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Cheltenham 2019: Day 3, St Patrick's Thursday 

The meeting moves on to the third day which celebrates Ireland’s patron saint even though its not actually St Patrick’s Day as that is on the Sunday in 2019. Cheltenham attracts thousands of Irish racing fans and the Guinness Village serves just one drink. At the bars in this area of the course you have two choices: a half or a pint of Guinness! Bar staff are continually filling glasses with this drink and customers are emptying them at an alarming rate. You could actually get sidetracked in the Guinness Village and not see a horse live all day. The celebrations continue in the town after racing.

As for the racing it’s probably the least spectacular of the four days but still features three Grade 1 contests. The action starts with the JLT Novices’ Chase which is the championship race for young horses over the intermediate distance of two miles and four furlongs. The World Hurdle brings together the best staying hurdlers over a demanding three miles and Thistlecrack was an outstanding winner last time. 

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The Ryanair Chase was introduced to the programme in 2005 to cater for horses that were not quick enough for the Champion Chase but without the stamina to be competitive in the Gold Cup. The race became part of the running-order at the first four day festival but is now a viable target for the best horses over the intermediary distance of two miles and five furlongs. The card also features the Mares Novices Hurdle that was only added to the meeting in 2016.

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Guide to the JLT Novices’ Chase (1.30pm)

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Thursday March 14th 

  • Steeplechase (Two miles four furlongs – New Course) 
  • Open to horses aged five-years-old and older 

The JLT Novices’ Chase was first run at the festival in 2011 and is the championship novice chase at the intermediary distance. The horses jump 17 fences over the New Course which is used for the last two days of the meeting. The race replaced a novices’ handicap and was given Grade 1 status in 2014 so is now a viable option for the best young chasers.  

Result

1st: Defi Du Seuil (3/1) Philip Hobbs (trainer), Barry Geraghty (jockey)

2nd: Lost in Translation (4/1) Colin Tizzard, Robbie Power

3rd: Mengli Khan (9/1) Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy

The Last 9 Winners of the JLT Novices' Chase 

  • 2019 - Defi Du Seuil (3/1F) Philip Hobbs (trainer), Barry Geraghty (jockey)
  • 2018 - Shattered Love (5/1) Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy 
  • 2017 - Yorkhill (6/4F) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh
  • 2016 – Black Hercules (4/1CF) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh
  • 2015 – Vautour (6/4F) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh
  • 2014 - Taquin De Seuil (7/1) Jonjo O'Neill, AP McCoy
  • 2013 – Benefficient (7/1) Tony Martin, Bryan Cooper
  • 2012 – Sir Des Champs (3/1) Willie Mullins, Davy Russell
  • 2011 – Noble Prince (4/1) Paul Nolan, AP McCoy

Fact File

This relatively new chase for novices’ has seen four winning favourites in the last five years.Every winner in the nine year history of the contest has been returned at single figure odds. 

 

Pertemps Network Final (2.10pm)

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Thursday March 14th 

  • Hurdle Race (About three miles – New Course) 
  • Open to horses aged five-years-and older 

The Pertemps Final is a race open to horses just below the top level in the handicap sphere that was first staged in 1974. Horses earn a place in the starting line-up after running in qualifying races throughout the season of which there are eight. Twelve hurdles are jumped over almost two circuits of the New Course on the third day of the meeting.  The race has had various sponsors and the race has been known as the Pertemps Network Final since 2003.  

Result

1st: Sire Du Berlais (4/1F) Gordon Elliott (trainer) Barry Geraghty (jockey)

2nd: Tobefair (40/1) Debra Hamer, Tom Bellamy

3rd:  Not Many Left (16/1) Mrs John Harrington, Mark Walsh

4th: Cuneo (12/1) Henry de Bromhead, Rachael Blackmore

Last 10 Winners

  • 2019 -Sire Du Berlais (4/1F) Gordon Elliott (trainer) Barry Geraghty (jockey)
  • 2018 - Delta Work (12/1) Gordon Elliott, Davy Russell 
  • 2017 - Presenting Percy (11/1) P Kelly, Davy Russell
  • 2016 – Mall Dini (14/1) PG Kelly, Davy Russell
  • 2015 - Call The Cops (9/1) Nicky Henderson, Andrew Tinkler
  • 2014 - Fingal Bay (9/2F) Philip Hobbs, Richard Johnson
  • 2013 - Holywell (25/1) Jonjo O’Neill, Richie McLernon
  • 2012 - Cape Tribulation (14/1) Malcolm Jefferson, Denis O’Regan
  • 2011 - Buena Vista (20/1) David Pipe, Conor O’Farrell
  • 2010 - Buena Vista (16/1) David Pipe, Hadden Frost

This is another competitive handicap hurdle that will attract a big field. Potential winners must have a few pounds in hand over the handicapper and before the weights have been published it’s difficult to highlight the leading contenders. Favourites have a poor recent record and only three winners over the last 10 years started at a single figure price.

Ryanair Steeplechase (2.50pm)

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Thursday March 14th 

  • Steeplechase (Two miles five furlongs – New Course) 
  • Open to horses aged five-years-old and older 

The Ryanair Chase was first run at the festival in 2005 and is the championship race for chasers at the intermediary distance between the Champion Chase and Gold Cup. The introduction of the race coincided with the first four day festival. The Grade 1 contest features 17 fences over the New Course on the third day of the meeting.  

Result

1st: Frodon (9/2)  Paul Nicholls (trainer), Byrony Frost (jockey)

2nd: Aso (33/1) Venetia Williams, Charlie Deutsch

3rd: Road to Respect (9/2) Noele Meade, Sean Flanagan

The Last 10 Winners of the Ryanair Chase 

  • 2019 - Frodon (9/2)  Paul Nicholls (trainer), Byrony Frost (jockey)
  • 2018 - Balko Des Flos (12/1) Henry de Bromhead, Davy Russell
  • 2017 - Un De Sceaux (7/4F) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh
  • 2016 – Vautour (EvensF) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh
  • 2015 – Uxizandre (16/1) Alan King, AP McCoy
  • 2014 – Dynaste (3/1F) David Pipe, Tom Scudamore
  • 2013 – Cue Card (7/2) Colin Tizzard, Joe Tizzard
  • 2012 – Riverside Theatre (7/2F) Nicky Henderson, Barry Geraghty
  • 2011 – Albertas Run (6/1) Jonjo O'Neill, AP McCoy
  • 2010 – Albertas Run (14/1) Jonjo O'Neill, AP McCoy

Pointers 

The race sponsors also own the Gigginstown House Stud but they have never won their own race despite coming close a number of times. Favourites have won two of the last four runnings and four of the last eight.

Guide to the Stayers' Hurdle (3.30pm)

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Thursday March 14th 

  • Hurdle Race (Three miles – New Course) 
  • Open to horses aged four-years-old and older 

The race is the most prestigious long distance contest in the discipline in the National Hunt calendar. The race was first run in 1972 and has a history of producing multiple champions in Baracouda, Inglis Drever and Big Buck’s. The race is the feature hurdle of the third day of the festival. 

Result

1st Paisley Park (11/8F) - Emma Lavelle (trainer) Aidan Coleman (jockey)

2nd: Sam Spinner (33/1) - Jedd O'Keefe, Joe Colliver

3rd: Faugheen (4/1) - Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh

 

The Last 10 Winners of the Stayers' Hurdle 

  • 2019 - Paisley Park (11/8F) - Emma Lavelle (trainer) Aidan Coleman (jockey)
  • 2018-   Penhill (9/1) Willie Mullins, Paul Townend
  • 2017 – Nichols Canyon (10/1) Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh
  • 2016 – Thistlecrack (Evens) Colin Tizzard, Tom Scudamore
  • 2015 – Cole Harden (14/1) Warren Greatex, Gavin Sheehan
  • 2014 – More Of That (15/2) Jonjo O'Neill, Barry Geraghty
  • 2013 – Solwhit (17/2) Charles Byrnes, Paul Carberry
  • 2012 – Big Buck's (5/6F) Paul Nicholls, Ruby Walsh
  • 2011 – Big Buck's (10/11F) Paul Nicholls, Ruby Walsh
  • 2010 – Big Buck's (5/6F) Paul Nicholls, Ruby Walsh

Pointers 

This three miles contest identifies the best staying hurdler of the season and there are some key trials that identify leading contenders. Big Buck’s won the race from 2009 to 2010 and there have been no multiple winners in the last five years. Willie Mullins has trained the winner for the past two years.

Guide to the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (4.10pm)

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Thursday March 14th 

  • Steeplechase (Two miles and five furlongs – New Course) 
  • Open to horses aged five-years-old and older

This race has its current sponsors for the second year and was formerly known as the Byrne Group Plate and is officially called the Mildmay of Fleet Challenge Cup. It was first run in 1951 and is a consolation race for those horses that do not get in to chases of a higher grade. A maximum field of 24 runners jump seventeen fences around the New Course. Several firms have sponsored the race and it was called the Racing Post Plate from 2006 to 2008.  

Result

1st: Siruh du Lac (9/2) Nick Williams (trainer) Lizzie Kelly (jockey)

2nd: Janika (3/1F) Nicky Henderson, Daryl Jacob

3rd: Spiritofthegames (6/1) Dan Skelton, Harry Skelton 

4th: Eamon An Cnoic (10/1) David Pipe, Tom Scudamore

 

 

Last Ten Winners of the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate

  • 2019 - Siruh du Lac (9/2) Nick Williams (trainer) Lizzie Kelly (jockey)
  • 2018 - The Storyteller (15/2)  Gordon Elliott, Davy Russell
  • 2017 - Road To Respect (14/1) Noel Meade, Brian Cooper
  • 2016 - Empire Of Dirt (16/1) Colm Murphy, Brian Cooper
  • 2015 - Darna (33/1) Kim Bailey, David Bass
  • 2014 - Ballynagour (12/1) David Pipe, Tom Scudamore
  • 2013 - Carrickboy (50/1) Venetia Williams, Liam Treadwell
  • 2012 - Salut Flo (9/2F) David Pipe, Tom Scudamore
  • 2011 - Holmwood Legend (25/1) Patrick Rodford, Keiran Burke
  • 2010 - Great Endeavour (18/1) David Pipe, Danny Cook
  • 2009 - Something Wells (33/1) Venetia Williams, Mr Will Biddick

Pointers 

This is a consolation race for horse that are not good to run in the graded chases. The last five winners have started at double figure odds and only one favourite has obliged in the last 10 years. David Pipe has won three renewals in that period, two of which were ridden by Tom Scudamore. Horses carrying less than 11 stone have won all but one race in the last decade. Inexperienced horses rarely figure at the business end of this contest. 

Mares Novices’ Hurdle (4.40pm)

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Thursday March 14th 

  • Hurdle (Two miles and one furlong – New Course) 
  • Open to mares aged four-years-old and older

This was a new race in 2016 and fills the void for a contest for which novice fillies are only eligible. The addition of a specific race for inexperienced mares has been welcomed by professionals so it will be interesting to see what trends emerge over the next few years. As a new race there are limited winners or trends to highlight. Let's Dance, aged six, won the race for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh in 2017 as the 11/8 favourite. Limini won the race for the same connections in 2016. The 2018 running saw a win for Laurina who went off the 8/13 favourite ridden by Paul Townend and trained by Willie Mullins

Result

1st: Eglantine Du Seuil (50/1) Willie Mullins (trainer), Noel Fehily (jockey)

2nd: Concertista (66/1) Willie Mullins, Danny Mullins

3rd: Tintangle (40/1) Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy

 

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Guide to the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (5.30pm)

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Three – Thursday March 14th 

  • Steeplechase (Three miles and about two furlongs – New Course) 
  • Open to horses aged five-years-old and older

This race is only open to amateur jockeys and over the distance of just less than 26 furlongs nineteen fences must be cleared. The race is the most prestigious handicap chase for non-professional riders of the season. The race was first staged in 1946 and has honoured the legendary trainer Fulke Walwyn since 1991. Kim Muir was an officer who lost his life during the World War 1 and had no involvement in racing but his name will always be associated with this race which does not have a sponsor.

Result

1st: Any Second Now (6/1) T M Walsh (trainer), Mr Derek O'Connor (jockey)

2nd: Kilfilum Cross (7/1) Henry Oliver, Mr Alex Edwards

3rd: The Young Master (22/1) Neil Mulholland, Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

4th: Crievehill (40/1) Nigel Twiston-Davies, Mr Zac Baker

 

The Last Ten Winners of the Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

  • 2019 - Any Second Now (6/1) T M Walsh (trainer), Mr Derek O'Connor (jockey)
  • 2018 - Missed Approach (9/1)  W Greatrex, Mr N McParlan
  • 2017 - Domesday Book (40/1) Stuart Edmunds, Miss G Andrews
  • 2016 - Cause Of Causes (9/2) Gordon Elliott, Jamie Codd
  • 2015 - The Package (9/1) David Pipe, Jamie Codd
  • 2014 - Spring Heeled (12/1) Jim Culloty, Robbie McNamara
  • 2013 - Same Difference (16/1) Nigel Twiston-Davies, Ryan Hatch
  • 2012 - Sunnyhillboy (13/2F) Jonjo O’Neill, Alan Berry
  • 2011 - Junior (10/3F) David Pipe, Jamie Codd
  • 2010 - Ballabriggs (9/1) Donald McCain Jr, Richard Harding

The race is for amateur riders and it is their Gold Cup. Two favourites have won the race in the last ten years when Jamie Codd has been the winning jockey four times. There are no multiple-winning trainers in that time and the last eight winners have carried more than 11 stone. The last six-year old to win the race was in 1971 and all but two of the last 18 winners were aged eight or older. 

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