THIS is a game which can bring you down to earth with a huge bang, but it’s fair to say the first two days of Cheltenham have been like buying money for this blog. Paddy is in bits with me and has even threatened to shut me down. No way Paddy. You hear me? There will be a bigger petition for me to stay than Clarkson!
Let’s kick on with day three and the opening JLT Chase. There’s no doubt in my mind that last year’s Supreme Hurdle winner VAUTOUR (1.30pm) will take all the beating. He’s not captured the imagination yet, but I think there is still much more to come and he’s a star in the making. He was once considered a better horse than Faugheen.
The Pertemps Final is always a nightmare but I can’t give up on the Cesarewitch hero BIG EASY (2.o5pm) who has been beaten in all four jumps runs since that Newmarket success.
He’s gone up in the handicap for the defeats, but there’s just a chance the better ground will help him out for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson.
I’ll take a chance with JOHNS SPIRIT (2.40pm) in the Ryanair Chase. He has great Cheltenham form and I’m hoping he might cruise round behind these before powering up the hill.
The Ladbrokes World Hurdle (3.20pm) is more like a group of handicappers than a Grade 1, but the joker in the pack might be Nicky Henderson’s Whisper. He’s got form very close to Saphir de Rheu and has a light campaign.
The 2m 5f handicap is another tricky contest but Kim Bailey might strike with AP McCoy on UN ACE (4pm). There are lines of form to suggest he’s well handicapped.
Finally, check out JUST A PAR (4.40pm) in the Kim Muir Challenge Cup. He stays strong and has some fine Cheltenham efforts. Another for Paul Nicholls hopefully.
So best of luck once again. Although luck has had nothing to do with it this week. You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!
- TV tips Cheat sheet: The best bets for day three of the Cheltenham Festival
- Ruby Walsh: I think Vautour will win but Sam Twiston-Davies may have picked the wrong one in the World Hurdle
- Cheltenham Tip Cheat Sheet: Top jocks Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty plus Matt Chapman and John Parrott mark your Thursday card
- Can it get Annie better? Yes it can – Paddy Power refunds customers who were on the four-timer