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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

The42′s Winning Post: Everything you need to enjoy day three of Cheltenham

And hopefully pick you a winner.

Betfair Chase Day - Haydock Park Racecourse Samcro won Wednesday, can Sam Spinner win Thursday? Source: Clint Hughes/PA Images

Three big talking points…

1. SHOULD I STAYERS or should I go? What the 2018 renewal of the Sunbets Stayers’ Hurdle (Thursday, 3.30pm) lacks in quality, it certainly makes up for in competitiveness with no fewer than six horses separated by three pounds at the top of the ratings.

Sam Spinner  (7/2) is the favourite because of his form on heavy ground but he tends to need a lead from early on which is The New One‘s (16/1) modus operandi too and that battle could cost them both.

Unowhatimeanharry (5/1) and Yanworth (5/1) will attract interest but Supadsundae (8/1), while undoubtedly class, has a lot to prove over three miles of tough sledding.

2. Not on the list: If we knew a fit Ruby Walsh was on board, Invitation Only (11/4) would be highly favoured to land the JLT Novices’ Chase (Thursday, 1.30pm). Fourth in the Flogas Chase in February, Rathvinden (7th that day) is already a winner at Cheltenham this year while Monalee’s mistake two out saw him finish second in the RSA on Wednesday.

Terrafort (9/2) comes in unbeaten in Britain for Nicky Henderson but it’s Modus (8/1) who tops the rankings. What the undoubtedly talented but enigmatic Finian’s Oscar (6/1) does is anyone’s guess.

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

3. Priority boarding for Un De Sceaux? The defending champion, Un De Sceaux (8/11) is rightly the favourite for the Ryanair Chase (Thursday, 2.50pm) with just six going to post — assuming Douvan, who is entered, doesn’t run.

Willie Mullins’ horse has just one loss in his last six outings with two wins on soft/heavy ground in his last two. While Cue Card (9/2) and Balko Des Flos (12/1) will see their share of the action, Frodon (10/1) could well be the real threat on ground he’ll like in a small field.

NAP of the day…

The Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Thursday, 4.50pm) has been part of Cheltenham for two years and has been won by Willie Mullins’ favourite on both occasions. With that in mind, how can we not select Laurina, even at 4/7.

BetBright Festival - Doncaster Races Sugar Baron is our each-way fancy. Source: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Images

An each-way fancy…

Wednesday’s selection might still be running for all we know, despite course, distance and conditions all suiting. The Kim Muir is possibly the weakest race of the festival but Sugar Baron (12/1) could give Katie Walsh a second win of this year’s festival.


With Thursday being the weakest day of the festival, we’re going in more with hope than expectation.

With that in mind, the quartet of Sam Spinner (7/2) Un De Sceaux (8/11), Invitation Only (11/4) and Laurina (4/7) will return €45 for every €1 staked.

Ruby Walsh ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival after aggravating broken leg

Originally published 6:55 PM, 14 Mar 2018

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