Cheltenham tips for Day 3 - Thursday, March 12
Here's our selections for Day Three of Cheltenham - tomorrow Thursday
13:30 - It's heart leading head here but FAUGHEEN (7/2) could be the answer here. Willie Mullins 2015 Champion Hurdle winner will have to defy his advancing years and the opposition to him has stated: "12-year-olds don't win novice chases." But then again, very few horses possess the ability of Faugheen and he also has perhaps the strongest form in the book. Although Samcro has undergone a wind operation since, Faugheen beat that rival by ten lengths at Limerick over Christmas. He followed it with another win at the Dublin Racing Festival last month, beating Easy Game and extending his unbeaten run over fences to three. He is yet to taste defeat over the larger obstacles and while the Cheltenham fences will certainly test his far-from-perfect jumping, he could just have the heart to power up the hill. It would be the biggest cheer of the week.
14:10 - Hard to have a strong opinion here but UNOWHATIMEANHARRY (50/1) is probably a little overpriced given his class. He has an awful lot to do carrying a big weight but was admirable under similar conditions when finishing fifth at Haydock last time out. He's won four times at Cheltenham and while he's not the horse he was when finishing third in the 2017 Stayer's Hurdle, he is capable of plugging away and into a place here. At those odds, he's worth a small risk.
14:50 - There are too many positives to ignore here for A PLUS TARD (2/1) who won here last year for the in-form combination of Henry de Bromhead and Racheal Blackmore. With the Arkle and Mare's Hurdle in the bag on day 1, it's clear Henry De Bromhead has his horses in great form and this could mark his latest trip to the Prestbury Park winner's enclosure. His three-length defeat of Chacun Pour Soi is the best form in the book this year, confirmed by Min's loss to the same rival at Leopardstown last month.
15:30 - Much like Envoi Allen on Wednesday, it's hard to imagine anything other than Paisley park winning this race, but I can't tip up a 4/6 shot. For the place or eachway markets, SUMMERVILLE BOY (9/1) represents good value. He won the Supreme Novice's Hurdle two years ago and, after a brief stint over fences, reverted to hurdles and easily accounted for Roksana over 2M 4F at this course in January. He stepped into a real top-class stayer's field in the Cleeve Hurdle here later that same month and pushed Paisley Park all the way. I expect both of them to be coming up the hill side by side again and I'd be surprised if there was anything ahead of them. Summerville Boy is capable of pulling off the shock but I'd be happy to see him place here.
16:10 - The brilliantly named SIMPLY THE BETTS (7/2) looks a good thing here given his form with Tuesday winner Imperial Aura at this course in January. Imperial Aura was a tidy winner of the Brown Advisory earlier this week but Simply The Betts accounted for that rival while giving him four pounds. Simply the Betts has been given an extra nine pounds for that win but is hugely progressive and has won three times in four races this season. I expect a gamble on this one so get on at the early prices. Vision Des Flos (25/1) is one at a big price who will handle the ground and could stay into a place.
16:50 - In the same colours as Honeysuckle, MINELLA MELODY (3/1) could easily be a 7/4 shot for this race and could be another star in the making for Henry De Bromhead. The way this mare stayed on after being joined at the last in Fairyhouse in January was eye-catching. She extended and beat Colreevy, a promising sort in her own right, by more than two lengths. Minella Melody is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles and should be good enough to confirm that form and win here.
17:30 - Another one for a big eachway hope and FLYING ANGEL (40/1) gets a tentative nod. He won a weak enough contest by eight lengths at Ascot in November but was well beaten by Vintage Clouds subsequently. The biggest tick in his favour is his festival form. He was a game fifth and just seven lengths behind Beware the Bear in the 2019 Ultima over a similar distance. He's sure to stay and will handle the testing ground. At a smaller eachway price, MILAN NATIVE (10/1) has a super chance for Gordon Elliott with a seven-pound claimer taking weight off his back. He was second to Allaho, albeit a 21-length defeat, in a recent start and could be well handicapped going over this extended trip.