Andy Stephens tipped Coo Star Sivola (advised 6-1) on the first day of the Festival and on Wednesday suggested backing Topofthegame each-way (second at 14-1) plus a £3 Exacta on Presenting Percy to beat Monalee (would have paid £32.40).
By Andy Stephens
There is around 10mm of rain forecast for Cheltenham on Wednesday night through to Thursday morning and I’ve taken that into account with my suggested bets on day three.
There looks to be several decent punts on the card, albeit I could not find anything at outlandish odds. Here goes:
Willie Mullins and owner Graham Wylie combined to win in the JLT last year with Yorkhill and have solid prospects of repeating the trick with Invitation Only.
The seven-year-old is 2-2 on heavy ground and was beaten under a length when third to Monalee in the Grade One Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown last time.
That looks the standout piece of form in the race and he can outstay the gifted, but two years younger, Terrefort.
JP McManus has four runners, all of whom carry less than 11st, and it is surely significant that Barry Geraghty partners Glenloe.
The seven-year-old will not be troubled by the deep ground and looks to have been teed up for this, having had only three starts this season and 11 weeks off since finishing an eye-catching staying-on third at Leopardstown over Christmas.
This is often a race for unexposed sorts (eight of the past ten winners have had between six to ten runs over hurdles) and Glenloe, who has shown a good attitude in his races, ticks that box having had eight.
Most important, he is bred to stay all day. He is a brother of smart stayers Alfie Sherrin and Hawkes Point – the latter finishing a head second in a heavy ground Welsh National in 2013.
The heavier the ground the better for Un De Sceaux, who probably relishes such a surface more than any other thoroughbred in training.
According to Timeform he has run on heavy going on six occasions and, bar a fall two out when in total control; would have won every time. Those five wins have been by an aggregate of 67 lengths.
Eight of his 20 career wins have been in Grade One company and I think those who believe the combination of 2m5f and testing going will stretch his stamina are barking up the wrong tree.
I was fortunate enough to walk the track with Ruby Walsh on Monday afternoon, with Racing UK competition winners, and he said the horse was in rude health and that he had absolutely no stamina concerns – happily recalling his win in the Prix la Barka over an extended 2m5f on bottomless ground at Auteuil a couple of years ago.
It is a crying shame that Walsh will not be able to partner him, but Un De Sceaux clicked for Paul Townend at Ascot in January and the pair can again dominate.
This could turn into a slog with zestful front-runner Sam Spinner, the Long Walk Hurdle winner, almost certain to set testing fractions.
The young, improving horse might just run his rivals into submission but he has never run at Cheltenham before and making all is never easy in any race at the Festival, least of all this one.
Neither of the other market leaders, Supasundae or Yanworth, are certain to stay under the conditions so there is a bet to be found here.
L’Ami Serge will not be for some because he does not always find much off the bridle but he does seem a thorough stayer these days and I can see a scenario where Daryl Jacob hacks around towards the rear and arriving late on the scene when others are wilting.
Sam Spinner kept him at bay in the Long Walk but this is another day on another track and we know L’Ami Serge, who has run cracking races in defeat at The Festival for the past three years, is fully effective at Cheltenham.
Mall Dini won the Pertemps two years ago and might well have landed this contest 12 months ago had his rider not overdone the waiting tactics.
This has clearly been at the top of his agenda all season and his ten previous runs on heavy ground in Ireland will stand him in good stead.
He’s able to race off the same mark as 12 months ago and this time connections have snapped up Patrick Mullins, who was again seen to excellent effect when winning on Rathvinden on Tuesday.
How To Bet £20 on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival:
1.30: Invitation Only £3 win at a general 3-1
2.50: Un De Sceaux £2 win at 11-8 with Coral
3.30: L’Ami Serge £3 each-way at a general 12-1
5.30: Mall Dini £4 win at a general 5-1
75p Win Super Yankee plus 25p each-way fivefold on the five horses above