Davy Russell on board Mighty Potter. Morgan Treacy/INPHO

3 best bets for Thursday's card at Cheltenham

Three to follow on the third day of the 2023 festival.

DAY THREE OF the Cheltenham Festival is set to be dominated by the Irish, with Shishkin quite possibly the only home-trained winner of the day.

Davy Russell has every chance of another Festival winner during his Cheltenham swansong, and he rides one of the bets of the day in the first.

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1.30 Cheltenham: Mighty Potter 11/10 (Turner Novices’ Chase)

Welcome back, Davy Russell! My concern about Mighty Potter is not that Jack Kennedy is injured and that Russell deputises, but rather that he bombed in the Supreme last year. He’s won all around him since and if he performs he should take this.

A sublime jumper, the form of his victory in the Drinmore is really strong, and he was every bit as impressive at the Dublin Racing Festival. He is one of the hotpots of the week in the Turners Novices’ Chase.

3.30 Cheltenham: Home By The Lee 6/1 (Stayers’ Hurdle)

A hell of a renewal, such that Flooring Porter, winner in 2021 and 2022, is likely to be fourth-favourite.

I really like Home By The Lee each-way, for all that he was only sixth in the race 12 months ago. His Lismullen Hurdle victory might have seemed a bit of a fluke but he backed it up with a really authoritative performance at Leopardstown, when Flooring Porter was no match for him.

Teahupoo’s chance may hinge on the ground but he is a fascinating runner for Gordon Elliott. Joseph O’Brien does not have many jumpers nowadays but there are no concerns about how he will produce this horse. He’s an improving stayer who finds loads for pressure and the vibes at home are really strong. He is travelling better in his races this year and at Leopardstown could be called the winner a long way out.

This is an absolute cracker.

4.50 Cheltenham: Princess Zoe 14/1 (Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle)

Imagine the scenes if Magical Zoe could take the Jack De Bromhead mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (4.50) for his dad Henry, though it could be that Princess Zoe has too much class for these. It seems a little unfair that she has eased out so much in the betting since her dead-heat win on her hurdling debut.

Tony Mullins says that the mare was not nearly at her best fitness-wise on that occasion and she reportedly schooled well last week. She would hammer these at her best if translating her Flat form.

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