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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 21 March, 2019
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And we’ve reached Day 3. Welcome along to St Patrick’s Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival. Seven races down for decision and we’ll be following all the action.

So what are the main talking points likely to be today? Here’s Thom Malone’s verdict of the best storylines on Thursday’s card:

  • The emerging rivalry between Defi du Seuil and Lostintranslation.
  • The 11-year-old Faugheen chasing glory in the Stayers’ Hurdle.
  • Can Jamie Codd claim his third victory of the week with Measureofmydreams in the Kim Muir?

The brilliant Irish Cheltenham performer Un De Sceaux goes in the Ryanair Chase. The owners hoping for another memorable day.

2019 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday - Cheltenham Racecourse Source: Nigel French

So first up at 1.30pm is the opener with the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase.

This race seems all about Defi Du Seuil with Barry Geraghty on board and Robbie Power’s mount Lostintranslation.

When they met in January at Cheltenham it was victory for Lostintranslation before Defi Du Seuil gained revenge last month at Sandown.

Willie Mullins hope Real Steel and the Ben Pauling-trained Kildisart have their merits as well.

And we’re off in the JLT Novices’ Chase!

Lostintranslation leading them out ahead of Vinndication and Mengli Khan.

Voix du Reve’s jumping a little suspect early on. All standing so far.

Lostintranslation still in front going over the water jump. Defi Du Seuil in fifth and still very much in it.

Voix Du Reve falls at the third last!

A thrilling finish with the leading duo battling it out until the finish! Lostintranslation made all the running, jumping superbly and holding off Mengli Khan with Defi Du Seuil very much in contention at the last.

And then Barry Geraghty’s mount finished brilliantly to hold off the challengers as the favourite Defi Du Seuil triumphed.

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JLT NOVICES’ CHASE RESULT

1. Defi Du Seuil (Barry Geraghty) 3-1 fav

2. Lostintranslation (Robbie Power) 4-1

3. Mengli Khan (Jack Kennedy) 9-1

So next up at 2.10pm it’s going to be the Grade 3 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle.

Barry Geraghty is going out as the favourite on board Sire Du Berlais for trainer Gordon Elliott. Are we going to see another success for Geraghty?

That was Barry Geraghty’s 30th festival winner at Cheltenham in the opener, is he going to triumph again here on the favourite? We’re about to find out.

And they’re off in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle!

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PERTEMPS FINAL HANDICAP HURDLE RESULT

1. Sire Du Berlais (Barry Geraghty) 4-1 fav
2. Tobefair (Thomas Bellamy) 40-1
3. Not Many Left (Mark Walsh) 16-1
4. Cuneo (Rachael Blackmore) 12-1

So we’re turning to the next at 2.50pm, it’s the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase.

This looks like a potentially brilliant contest with a bunch that will fancy their chances of glory.  It looks like Footpad for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins is going to go off favourite ahead of Monalee for Rachael Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead.

We’ve got a couple of former champions as well with last year’s winner Balko Des Flos, who has had a noticeable drop in form since the 2018 success, and 2017 champion Un De Sceaux, who has such a fantastic record at this festival.

And what about Noel Meade’s Road To Respect or Frodon for Paul Nicholls? Plenty in contention here.

And we’re off in the Ryanair Chase!

Frodon and Sub Lieutenant making the early running as they race each other in front, Monalee in third.

It’s all tightened up now at the front, Frodon still narrowly in front with eight left to jump but a lot in pursuit.

Aso and Frodon lead them four out.

What an achievement for Bryony Frost and trainer Paul Nicholls!

33/1 shot Aso challenged strongly finishing second with Road To Respect in third and Monalee in fourth.

That decision to go with Frodon for the Ryanair over the Gold Cup certainly vindicated now.

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RYANAIR CHASE RESULT

1. Frodon (Bryony Frost) 9-2
2. Aso (Charlie Deutsch) 33-1
3. Road To Respect (Noel Meade) 9-2

Fair to say this meant a lot to the winning jockey. A marvellous story after a marvellous race.

“He’s got his day, guys,” says Bryony Frost of Frodon on ITV.

“He’s Pegasus, he’s a terrific battler. It was that minute he got headed two out and he grabbed me by the hand and said “I want this, don’t you let me down”. He’s unbelivable and I love him. The dream that he’s just made come true for me, he’s incredible. He’ll deserve every high five, carrot and Polo Mint he’ll get.” 

The first female jockey to ride a Grade 1 winner at the Cheltenham Festival!

2019 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday - Cheltenham Racecourse Celebration time for Bryony Frost. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

What about the next Grade 1 race? It’s the Stayers’ Hurdle which goes off at 3.30pm.

The overwhelming favourite here is Paisley Park for jockey Aidan Coleman. But Ruby Walsh on Faugheen, Robbie Power on Supasundae and Daryl Jacob on Top Notch lead a strong chasing pack.

And they’re off in the Stayers’ Hurdle! 

Nautical Nitwit tears away into an early lead from Sam Spinner.

Faugheen, Wholestone and Kilbricken Storm chasing the front two with eight to jump. Paisley Park back in the middle of the pack.

Still Nautical Nitwit leading from Sam Spinner and Faugheen, it’s all a bit tighter now.

Sam Spinner takes it up now with four to finish but plenty left. Faugheen third and Paisley Park ninth.

Paisley Park finishes like a train to win for Cork jockey Aidan Coleman! Sam Spinner produced a terrific performance in second with Faugheen back in third.

An amazing day for owner Andrew Gemmell, who has been blind from birth. He’s celebrating after the favourite gets the victory in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

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STAYERS’ HURDLE RESULT

1. Paisley Park (Aidan Coleman) 11-8 fav
2. Sam Spinner (Joe Colliver) 33-1
3. Faugheen (Ruby Walsh) 4-1

Celebration time for jockey Aidan Coleman and the Paisley Park connections.

2019 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday - Cheltenham Racecourse Source: PA Wire/PA Images

2019 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday - Cheltenham Racecourse

Next up at 4.10pm is the Grace 3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase.

Nicky Henderson’s Janika is the favourite ahead of Siruh Du Lac and Spiritofthegames. 

And they’re off in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase.

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STABLE PLATE HANDICAP CHASE RESULT

1. Siruh Du Lac (Lizzie Kelly) 9/2
2. Janika (Daryl Jacob) 3/1 fav
3. Spiritofthegames (Harry Skelton) 6/1

The second year in a row that Lizzie Kelly savours glory at Cheltenham after last year’s victory in the Foxhunter with Pacha du Polder.

2019 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday - Cheltenham Racecourse Siruh Du Lac is ridden home by Lizzie Kelly en route to victory. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

So just the two races left on Day 3 of the festival.

We’ve the Mares Novice Hurdle off at 4.50pm with Epatante the favourite for Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson, next up is Posh Trish followed by My Sister Sarah.

And they’re off in the Mares Novice Hurdle.

A photo finish in the Mares’ Novice Hurdle!

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Eglantine Du Seuil wins the Mares’ Novice at 50/1 for Willie Mullins under jockey Noel Fehily.

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MARES’ NOVICES’ HURDLE RESULT

1. Eglantine Du Seuil (Noel Fehily) 50-1
2. Concertista (David Mullins) 66-1
3. Tintangle (Jack Kennedy) 40-1
4. Black Tears (Gordon Elliott) 25-1

The last race of the day coming up with the Kim Muir Handicap Chase. Measureofmydreams and Any Second Now are the two most heavily backed.

And they’re off in the Kim Muir.

A victory for Ted Walsh and jockey Derek O’Connor in the last at Cheltenham.

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KIM MUIR HANDICAP CHASE RESULT

1. Any Second Now (Derek O’Connor) 6-1
2. Kilfilum Cross (Alex Edwards) 7-1
3. The Young Master (Sam Waley-Cohen) 22-1
4. Crievehill (Z Baker) 40-1

Some big news in the wake of Mares’ Novice Hurdle, winning jockey Noel Fehily is set to bring the curtain down on his career.

So that’s it from us on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival. A day when Barry Geraghty had a cracking start with wins in the first two races, Lizzie Kelly won the Plate while Willie Mullins had a 50-1 winner and Ted Walsh saw his mount triumph in the last.

But it’ll be dominated by two memorable stories. Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 race at the festival as Frodon triumphed in the Ryanair Chase and jockey Aidan Coleman was successful for owner Andrew Gemmell, who has been blind from birth, as Paisley Park took the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Fantastic scenes after their wins, we’ll be back tomorrow on Gold Cup Day as the festival draws to a close. Bye for now!

Bryony Frost celebrates winning with Frodon Bryony Frost celebrates winning with Frodon. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Aidan Coleman, Emma Lavelle and Andrew Gemmell celebrate winning with Paisley Park A marvellous victory for the connections of Paisley Park. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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