2016 Cheltenham Festival Free Tips - DAY THREE
2016 Cheltenham Festival Free Tips - DAY THREE

2016 CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL – DAY THREE – Can Anyone Crack ‘Thistle’ In The World Hurdle?

2016 Cheltenham Festival Free Tips – DAY THREE So, we are now at the halfway stage of this year’s Cheltenham Festival as we move into DAY THREE. Plenty more action to enjoy today with the World Hurdle the feature race – will the much-improved Thistlecrack continue his upward progression and add the World Hurdle to his already impressive haul of long distance hurdle races – or is there a shock on the cards?

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13:30 JLT Novices' Chase   2m 4f

THATSBETTINGTIPS VERDICT: A fairly-new race, but one that’s already been a good race for the Irish-trained runners – they’ve won 4 of the last 5 runnings. ALL of the last five past winners had raced at the Festival in the past, while it’s generally been a good race for the punters with 4 of the last 5 winners coming from the top 4 in the market. The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai has been very impressive this season and is sure to be a popular pick, especially after his recent 6 length win at Sandown. However, we’d be worried about his lack of festival experience, not to mention this will be his first run here at Cheltenham. So this could be left for the Willie Mullins-trained OUTLANDER. The yard took this 12 months ago with Vautour, plus in 2012 with Sir Des Champs, so know what’s required. This 8 year-old was a fair sixth in the Neptune last season, albeit a shade disappointing as he was sent off at 4/1 for that race. He’s 3-from-3 over fences since switching to the bigger obstacles in November and certainly ticks more trends than most – he can go close to giving Mullins his third win in this opening day three contest.


  • 4 of the 5 winners were Irish-trained
  • All 5 winners had run at the Festival before
  • 4 of the 5 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 10 of the 15 top three finishers won last time out
  • All 5 winners ran between 47-54 days ago
  • 7 year-olds have won 3 of last 5


  • Be careful of horses rated 146 or less
  • Since 1990 all Festival Novice Chase winners have been aged 8 or younger
  • Just 1 winning favourite in 5 runnings
  • No winner had less than 3 career chase starts

14:50 Ryanair Chase   2m 5f

THATSBETTINGTIPS VERDICT: In contrast to today’s opening race the Irish have a horrific record in this race – they are 0 from 32 runners in the Ryanair, but surely this year this trend can be broken. It’s been another good race for the punters with the first or second favourites winning 8 of the last 11 runnings, while 8 of the last 10 winners returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting. ROAD TO RICHES would, of course, be a huge player based on the fact he was third in the Gold Cup last year and in this slightly easier-looking race then it will be a shock if he’s not going close here. He’s a consistent sort that has won 6 of his 14 chase starts and finished in the top three in 12 of those 14 runs. A recent second in the Irish Gold Cup was another solid effort, and the drop back in trip looks ideal – especially as we know he stays further and the hill will help bring out his stamina. Al Ferof would be a popular winner, but at 11 years-old he’s not getting any younger. Mullins seems to have a good chance with Valseaur Lido, but that horse heads here having fallen and unseated in recent runs and that’s not good preparation for a run at Cheltenham. So, of those at a bigger price the Nicky Henderson-trained Josses Hill (e/w) might also be worth a saver. His jumping has always been a bit suspect, but he put that right last time out with an 8l beating of God;s Own at Kempton and, don’t forget, he still managed to finish third in the Arkle last year – beaten just 8 lengths behind Un De Sceaux.


  • 16 of the 21 winners and runners-up had won at the course before
  • 7 of the last 8 had won at Cheltenham previously
  • The King George VI Chase is a good guide
  • The previous renewal is often a good guide
  • 8 of the last 10 winners returned 6/1 or shorter
  • The last 4 winners were aged 7 or 8 years-old
  • 7 of the last 8 were rated 161+
  • 4 of the last 11 were placed in the top 3 in the Ascot Chase
  • 8 of last 11 winners were fav or 2nd fav
  • Jonjo O’Neill, David Pipe & Nicky Henderson are respected


  • The Irish are 0 from 32 runners in this race
  • Avoid horses priced 7/1 or bigger
  • Avoid horses aged 11 or older

15:30 Ryanair World Hurdle   3m

THATSBETTINGTIPS VERDICT: A familiar theme here again on Day Three as the feature contest will figure strongly in many people’s doubles and trebles on the day as all eyes will be on the Colin Tizzard-trained THISTLECRACK. His 8 year-old has been a different horse this season after having a wind operation last year. He’s mopped-up all the key trial races – including the Cleeve and Long Walk Hurdles – and on all known form this season is the clear one to beat. Many were questioning his ability to handle the track after running down the field over hurdles here last January, but he quickly put a stop to those rumours with an easy 12 length win in the Cleeve Hurdle this season. That’s always been one of the best trial races ahead of this contest. With 13 of the last 14 winners having finished either first or second in ALL of their hurdles races that season this is another huge stat in favour of Thistlecrack, and really it looks his race to lose. The Tizzards are no strangers these days to landing the big races, but you also feel that if this horse was trained by Mullins, Nicholls or Henderson it would be at least half a point shorter! Of the rest, last year’s winner, Cole Harden, can be expected to make a bold bid from the front again and should be seen in a better light than previous runs this season, but the main danger might come from Alpha Des Obeaux. This 6 year-old has been running well all season – finishing in the top two in all three of his hurdles runs – and really caught the eye when beating At Fishers Cross at Gowran Park last time out.


  • 9 of the last 11 won last time out
  • 14 of the last 15 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 8 of the last 14 were French Bred
  • Respect the Cleeve Hurdle and Long Walk Hurdle form
  • 13 of the last 14 winners finished 1st or 2nd in all their hurdling runs that season
  • 10 of the last 11 winners started 17/2 or less in the betting
  • Respect past winners of the race


  • Avoid horses that didn’t finish either 1st or 2nd last time out (1 from 16)
  • A 5 year-old is yet to win the race
  • Willie Mullins is yet to win the race
  • Avoid front runners
  • The Irish are have won the race just once since 1995
  • Previous Albert Bartlett winners have a poor record (0 from 13)
  • Horses wearing headgear are 0 from 56
  • Horses aged 10 or older have all been beaten since 2000


Best Of The Rest: The Pertemps Final at 2.10 is a race that’s seen just 1 Irish-trained winner in the last 10 runnings, while 7 of the last 10 winners were aged 8 or older. Those at the head of the weights have fared better in recent years as the last 5 winners have been rated 138 or higher, plus be wary of French-bred horses – they are 0 from 64. All things considered the Nicky Henderson-trained CUP FINAL (e/w) could be the answer to hit the back of the net here. This 7 year-old is lightly-raced with just seven career runs and although he’s clearly had his problems he returned to win at Musselburgh last month to suggest connections might have him back on track. His owner JP McManus loves to win this race, plus the horse has run at the festival before when down the field in Faugheen’s Neptune in 2014 – Barry Geraghty riding will be the final icing on the cake. The Brown Advisory Plate at 4.10 should be a race the bookies will love with there looking likely to be many chances. Some big stats – like 26 of the last 28 winners being rated 141 or less, and the last 7 winners all carried under 11-0. Venetia William, David Pipe and Nicky Henderson runners are worthy of a second glance – especially the Pip camp as they’ve won 7 of the last 18. Their MONETAIRE (e/w), who was second in this race 12 months ago, looks as if he’s been targeted at the race once again. The new Mares’ race at 4.50 will be run for the first time and this looks likely to go to the Willie Mullins-trained LIMINI, who could be the next big-thing for these powerful connections. The final race on day three is the Kim Muir at 5.30. 8 and 9 year-olds have the best recent record, while 5 of the last 6 winners carried 11-6 or more. 4 of the last 5 wore headgear, plus look for anything Jamie Codd rides – he’s ridden 3 of the last 7 winners. The Irish have had just 1 winner in the last 33 years, and Paul Nicholls has had just one placed horse from his last 17. The Jonjo O’Neill UPSWING (e/w) could be the answer. Yes, pulled-up last time out, but that was in the Welsh National in desperate ground. Hell love the return to a better surface and ran a solid second here last November off just a 3lb lower mark.





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Thatsbettingtips Staff

Thatsbettingtips Staff

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