Tipster insights for Thursday at Cheltenham
THERE is little point in opposing Paisley Park in today’s Stayers’ Hurdle (3.30), the feature race on day three of the Cheltenham extravaganza.
He always endures a ‘flat’ spot which causes palpitations to jockey and connections in the latter stages of a race but when it comes to climbing that famous hill, there is no horse better and he’s confidently expected to keep his unbeaten tag.
At odds of 4/6, there is little value but Paisley can form the platform for multiples, despite some of his runs this season not being as impressive as last season. He only got home by just over a length over course and distance from Summerville Boy last January.
The latter may chase him home again as it’s impossible to oppose the hottest favourite of the week.
The roof will really come off if veteran Faugheen can take the RSA Novice Chase (1.30) at the age of 12.
A top class hurdler when winning the Supreme Novice and following up a year later in the Champion Hurdle (2015), he has come to chasing rather late in life. And he has distinguished himself with three wins from three efforts, including putting Samcro in his place. by ten lengths at Limerick over the Christmas period.
Faugheen was all out in defeating Easy Game over slightly further at Leopardstown in February but he made a blunder at the last and did well to battle on. Trainer Willie Mullins also has Melon and Bapaume in the line-up and the latter will be ridden by Rachel Blackmore who had a day to remember on Tuesday with super mare Honeysuckle, but all eyes will be on Faugheen.
Third in last year’s Stayers’ Hurdle, Faugheen is taken to return on a successful note at odds of 4/1.
Rachel has an excellent chance in the Ryanair Chase (2.50) on board Henry De Bromhead’s A Plus Tard who distinguished himself previously in accounting for Chacun Pour Soi.
The selection won a handicap on the first day 12 months ago and so has no concerns about the track or indeed the soft going.
There are plenty of live threats, not least the luckless Min who was behind Chacun Pour Soi last time and chased Altior home three times over two miles here.
However, the Willie Mullins-trained gelding stormed home by 20 lengths at Aintree over 2m 4f and that was his fourth win over this trip. Min deserves a festival success and is worth supporting.
The other races are very competitive but one that catches the eye in the Handicap Chase (4.10) is Harry Whittington’s Simply The Betts whose last winning form was franked by Imperial Aura’s Tuesday triumph.
That represent’s solid form and he can give jockey Gavin Sheehan a rare Cheltenham success.
2.10: Tout Est Permi;
3.30: Paisley Park;
4.10: Simply The Betts;
5.30: Kilfilum Cross.
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