What a week it’s been and we’re only halfway through this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Ladies Day produced plenty of drama, not least the defeat suffered by odds-on jolly Douvan in the Champion Chase.
But now we turn our attention towards St. Patrick’s Thursday and one horse in particular stands out more than most.
Unowhatimeanharry is many people’s idea of a Festival banker in the Stayers’ Hurdle.
Since moving to Harry Fry’s stable, he’s notched up an incredible eight wins on the bounce and the JP McManus-owned nine-year-old looks unopposable in his bid land a crowning glory at Prestbury Park.
However, before we see Harry turn it on there are three intriguing races to get stuck into.
The JLT Novices’ Chase gets us underway with last year’s Neptune Novices’ Hurdle winner Yorkhill the standout name.
While his jumping has caused concern, he should have enough to see off the opposition, including Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase winner Top Notch.
Tobefair is the big story in the Pertemps Network Final with his move to Debra Hamer’s yard yielding seven straight victories to reach the Festival.
However, he’ll have his work cut out with the likes of Impulsive Star and Presenting Percy.
Thursday’s undercard will also feature an intriguing Ryanair renewal. Un De Sceaux has improved markedly this season and showed another dimension to his game in landing both the Tingle Creek and Clarence House Chase.
However, this could be the year that Gigginstown House Stud win their own race with Troytown Chase winner and Irish Gold Cup runner-up Empire of Dirt a huge threat.
With regards to the final three contests of the day, Starchitect can take the 16:10 in front of last year’s Coral Cup winner, Diamond King.
Meanwhile, Willie Mullins can clean up with Let’s Dance and Airlie Beach in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle before the lethal Gordon Elliott-Jamie Codd partnership bring the house down with Squouateur in the Kim Muir.
Well, we’ll see.
Here’s our full list of tips for day three of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival:
13:30 – Yorkhill
14:10 – Tobefair EW
14:50 – Empire of Dirt
15:30 – Unowhatimeanharry
16:10 – Starchitect EW
16:50 – Let’s Dance
17:30 – Squouateur
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing