Hello and welcome to Day 3 of our Cheltenham Festival coverage. We are joined again by our guest bloggers Talksport 2’s Lee Mackenzie, top trainer Brendan Powell and our National Hunt Diary man Chris Price.
As you are aware, this website is 100% independent with NO affiliate links. The website is curated by 2 racing enthusiasts from either end of the British Isles…
We have reached day 3, so lets have a recap of day 2, Lee & Chris both had Tiger Roll, Lee also had Altior, while Rich landed another winner with Band of Outlaws, so lets see who is leading the arseonlineracing Cheltenham blog table….
Table… Won – Places
Charlie 0 1
Chris 1 0
Lee 2 0
Brendan 0 1
Rich 2 3
So after day 2…. We now take a look at day 3 of the 4 day Festival at Prestbury Park… JLT, Pertemps, Ryanair & the big race of the day the Stayers….
Back to the racing and as on the previous 2 days, we go again with all our thoughts…
Defi Du Seuil – 1.30 JLT Novices Chase
At the start of the season if you would have said to me I’d be putting up Defi Du Deuil as one of my hopes for a festival Grade 1 I’d have said you’d have lost the plot, but such is horse racing here we are. After finishing well beaten on reappearance in November the Philip Hobbs trained charge has form figures of 121 over fences, including when reversing the form with Lostintranslation in the Scilly Isles last month. He comes out very strong on the trends having won Grade 1’s over fences and hurdles, a winner last time out, plus those at the head of the betting having such a strong record in the race. A current best price of 3/1 is fair in what doesn’t look the strongest of renewals.
Posh Trish – 4.50 National Hunt Breeders Supported by Tattersalls Mares Novices Hurdle
Im a big fan of this mare and she arrives here on the back of two comfortable wins over Christmas. Successful twice at listed level, she brings solid form to the table, with the second at Taunton, Indefatigable, pushing Lady Buttons all the way at Doncaster next time. The 5lb penalty does mean she requires a career best in this company, but this tough and battled hardened mare is a solid each-way play at 13/2.
Lee(Talksport2 Presenter) –
The JLT looks a cracking clash between two well-matched opponents in Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation, but the Hobbs yard is in good form and DEFI DU SEUIL can win the battle if his turn of foot can be employed to finish the race off up the hill.
The Stayers’ Hurdle has a short-priced favourite in Paisley Park, who has done eveything right this winter and is the one highly progressive top-class performer in the line-up. But his cramped odds encourage me to find something capable of placing, and which might even win if things go its way.
That leads me to BACARDYS, who would have been contesting the places in last year’s running if he hadn’t fallen at the last. The modest pace may have flattered him at this trip, but at the price it’s worth chancing and he wouldn’t be the first failed chaser to make a successful switch back to hurdles. I get the love for Faugheen, but the three-mile hurdle he won at Punchestown had a freaky look about it and, that apart, the last three years have been one setback after another for this talented but unlucky horse. But I do like Supasundae, who never gets the credit he deserves. If he runs, he’s likely to be in the mix.
The Ryanair looks a nice opportunity for MONALEE. He stays three miles, but a strongly run two-and-a-half at the Festival will play to his stamina and he will get home better than most of the speedsters in the field. He doesn’t lack pace for this trip and his form is high-class. In many respects he is exactly the kind of horse the race was invented for.
Final Word with Rich –
Well, it was a bit like the lords mayors show yesterday after the big win on Tuesday…
1.30… JLT.. Novices Chase… Grade 1 Class 1… 2m 3f 168yds
Defi Du Seuil….Last seasons JCB Triumph Hurdle winner by 5 lengths and started his chasing career with a 25 length defeat to Lalor over C&D in the November Arkle Trial. Improved next time out on December 9th when landing a Class 2 Novice chase(2m 3f) by 3 & 1/2 lengths. That was quickly followed by a runner up spot to Lostintranslation in the Grade 2 Big Dipper(2m 4f). Then reversed the form with Lostintranslation at Sandown when last seen in the Scilly Isles Grade 1 over2m 4f by 3/4’s of a length….
2.50… Ryanair Chase… Grade 1 Class 1… 2m 4f 127yds…
Monalee… Last seasons RSA runner up to Presenting Percy(who we will see in the Gold Cup tomorrow). Started this NH campaign in November at Down Royal, when finishing 3rd over 2m 3 & 1/2f to Snow Falcon in a Grade 2 Chase. Next time out finished runner up to Kemboy, when running over 3m in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown on December 28th. A drop back to 2m 4f resulted in a 2 length win when last seen on February 16th at Gowran in the Red Mills Chase Grade 2 beating Anibale Fly….
3.30… Stayers Hurdle… Grade 1 Class 1… 2m 8f…
Faugheen…. Now 11, the 2015 Champion Hurdle winner finished 6th in that race last season. Two runs this season, well of sorts. Finished a 7 & 1/2 lengths to Sharjah at Punchestown over 2m in the Morgiana Hurdle before falling at Leopardstown on December 28th, when stepping back up to 3m having won the 2018 Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown last April. If he can stay on his feet then he has a BIG CHANCE!
That’s all for you today folks, we really appreciate you popping by and we look forward to seeing you for Gold Cup day…..
All the Best – The Cheltenham Blog Team