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Our continued coverage of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival – Ryanair & Stayers Day…
What a day we had on Wednesday with Bob Olinger & Monkfish winning but sadly Chacun Pour Soi was beaten & you have to take your hat off to Aidan Coleman & Put The Kettle On a fantastic performance from horse & jockey….
The BIG races on the card on day 3 of the festival are the Ryanair & Stayers & what a race it looks like on paper, will it live up to expectation’s??
The AOL Cheltenham Blog Table…..
1 Chris – 1 win & 3 places
2 Charlie – 1 win & 2 places
3 Jamie – 1 win & 2 places
4 Rich – 1 win & 2 places
We start day 3 with Jamie taking the lead on the blog….
2:30 – Ryanair Chase (G1) – Selection: Fakir D’Oudairies
I am going to put my neck on the line here and select Fakir D’Oudairies here for the win. I was firmly in the Min camp for this before he was pulled up at Leopardstown last month. At an attractive price and in an open looking contest Joseph O’Brien’s gelding is in with a chance based on his previous Cheltenham form. He was runner up to Champion Chaser Put The Kettle in the Arkle last year and that form looks very solid now. Fakir D’Oudairies had two disappointing runs, including being pulled up at Leopardstown over Christmas but he returned to somewhere near top form when second at the Dublin Racing Festival to Chacun Por Soi. He showed some positive signs that day and I think this step up trip will help him and so will the better ground. He has got a realistic chance of winning. At a big price Real Steel who ran so well in the Gold Cup last year could sneak into a place with a bit of luck.
3:40 – Paddy Power Plate Handicap (G3) – Selection: Farclas
The Gigginstown owned 7yo gelding makes some appeal in this typically hot 2m 4½f contest. Farclas has been running very well in some of the biggest handicap chases in Ireland this season. First up he took in a Grade B Handicap on Morgiana Hurdle day at Punchestown where he was a respectable 5th of 17th on what wasn’t ideal conditions for the grey. Two trips to Leopardstown have brought a 3rd and a 4th place. That 4th came in arguably the hottest intermediate trip Irish handicap of the season at the Dublin Racing Festival when he was a close 4th. Racing on good ground will really help him and he has a lot of pace being a former Triumph Hurdle winner, but he does stay well too. Farclas looks to have another big win in him and I hope today will be the day!
2.30 Ryanair Chase
Melon has been a standing dish at the last few Festivals, running some pretty strong races in defeat and finishing 2nd on 4 occasions. He ran flat at the Dublin Racing Festival last month, but he was held up and that didn’t appear to suit. He also put in a below-par run at that meeting last term, before going down by a nose in the Marsh back here. He’s slightly shorter in the betting than I’d have liked in such a wide open contest, but he has outstanding each-way claims with bookies likely to be offering extra places.
3.05 Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle
This race has lost a little bit of its lustre with Thyme Hill ruled out, but I’d have backed Paisley Park to confirm the Long Walk Hurdle form here, with his chance now only enhanced I won’t be changing my mind. Not at his best last season, Paisley Park has done little wrong in both starts this term, and arrives here a fresher horse than previous years after Trials day was abandoned. Still only a 9yo he is strong on many trends though this race was of course a trend buster last season.
Charlie – 1.55 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade3) 2m 8f for 5yr Old’s +
Selection – The Boss’s Oscar, 6yr old Gelding out of Oscar and Cuteasafox, has had 8 races under rules winning 3 times and placing 2nd in another 4 races. The wins have came at Thurles X 2 and Leopardstown X 1, the 2nd places have came at Punchestown,Thurles, Navan and Leopardstown. Has ran over 3m the last two starts finishing 2nd on both occasions. Yard have won the last 3 renewals and will be looking to make that 4, biggest threat comes in the shape of Imperial Alcazar who has won twice from last 3 starts.
4.15 – Dawn Run Mares Novices Hurdle (Grade 2) over 2m 179y
Selection – Hook Up – 5yr old Mare Out of No Risk At All and Mission Accomplie, has had 9 races under rules although first 4 of those were on French soil. Made Irish debut for W Mullins on the 22nd February 2020 when finishing 3rd behind Burning Victory and Great Bear. Finished 11th at Cheltenham on the 13th March behind winner Burning Victory. Was then sent to Fairyhouse on the 28th November last year and won, beating Gars De Sceaux by 12 lengths with John Cannon a further 4 and 1/2 lengths adrift in 3rd. Returned to Fairyhouse on the 3rd January this year and finished a 5 length 2nd to Royal Kahala with Razzle Dazzle Love a further 7 lengths adrift in 3rd. Another visit to Leopardstown was on the agenda for Hook Up on the 7th February when finishing 4th behind winner Appreciate It who won the Supreme here on Tuesday.
Verdict- Hook Up although hasn’t been prolific so far has ran in some decent races and wasn’t disgraced in defeat to Appreciate It as was only 7 and 1/2 lengths behind last time out. With normal progress can get revenge on Royal Khahala who was 5 lengths in front in that race at Fairyhouse when these 2 last locked horns back in January .
1.55 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle – Grade 3 – 5yo Plus – 2m 8f…
Imperial Alcazar – Vinnie Roe X Maddy’s Supreme 7yo gelding.
Won 3 of 4 starts last season with 1 place before returning in a Grade 3 Stayers 3m 58yds Hurdle at Haydock on November 21st, finishing 9th of 17.
Last seen at Warwick on January 15th in a Class 2 Pertemps 3m 1f Handicap Hurdle, winning by 2 & 1/4 lengths & is raised 8lbs for that. A course winner here in January 2020, when taking the Ballymore Listed Novice Hurdle, so has course experience…
2.30 Ryanair Chase – Grade 1 – 5yo Plus – 2m 4f 127yds…
Imperial Aura – Kalanisi X Missindependence 8yo gelding.
4 wins & 2 places from 7 chase starts, winner of 2 Listed Chases & a Grade 2 Chase.
Landed the Northern Trust Novice Chase at the Festival last year beating Galvin by 3 & 1/4 lengths, the last time Galvin was beaten, now 4/4 since that day!
Won the 2m 4f Intermediate Listed Chase at Carlisle on return this season on November 1st before beating Itchy Feet at Ascot in the 2m 5f 1965 Grade 2 Chase on November 21st.
Unseated his jockey at Kempton on January 9th in the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase at the second fence, I would put a line through that run, so will be fresh & had won his 3 previous starts prior to Kempton…
Some bookies are paying 5 places…
That is everything for you today folks…. Thanks for popping by & for your support, we really appreciate it…. STAY SAFE.
All the Best – The Arseonlineracing Team