Cheltenham Festival Day Three: Course Form to the Fore


Flooring Porter Cheltenham



Moving into the second half of this years Cheltenham Festival and the steady stream of top-notch action continues. Dedicated to all things Irish, St. Patricks Thursday lays on a further seven cracking contests to keep racing fans entertained, with the highlight seeing the stamina laden hurdlers line up for what is their major event of the season. Here we pick out our best bets in the big one and highlight a couple of solid opportunities in the handicaps on the card.

Stayers Hurdle: Porter to Floor Them Again

Ten go to post for the feature contest, in what looks to be a highly competitive renewal. Andrew Gemmell’s Paisley Park would undoubtedly be the people’s choice as he bids to regain the prize he last claimed back in 2019. On the back of a remarkable last to first effort last time out in the Cleve Hurdle here, he’s not without a chance. However, we can’t help but just favour the defending champion, Flooring Porter from the yard of Gavin Cromwell. We loved the way this one powered right away once challenged to score by 3½l twelve months ago, and if in the same sort of form here he may prove tough to pass once more. Beaten only two lengths by Klassical Dream last time out, despite conceding six lengths at the start, he looks to be coming to form at just the right time.

Pertemps Network Final: Sire to Strike

And sticking with runners who have been there and got the t-shirt at the Cheltenham Festival, our second bet comes in the shape of a horse who has landed this competitive handicap contest not once but twice. Sire Du Berlais drops back into handicap company for this year’s festival assignment, having finished a gallant second to non-other than Flooring Porter in the 2021 Stayers Hurdle, and looks a major threat to all over a course and distance which appears to suit him so well. Whilst a mark of 156 is 4lbs higher than when ½l too good for subsequent Grade 1 winner The Storyteller here in 2020, the 7lb claim of Robert James offsets that. Primed and ready following a two-month break, he may just have his name up in lights once more.

  • Sire Du Berlais to Win at 6/1 with Betfred

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup: Teddy Primed and Ready

The finale on the card looks a prime candidate for an each way punt, particularly with Betfred paying out on the first six past the post. Frontal Assault and Smoking Gun are obvious contenders from the yard of Gordon Elliott, but the one we like from a little further down the list is the Tom George representative, Come On Teddy. One of only two previous course winners in this field, he lost a shoe when outclassed by L’Homme Presse here in January, but his staying on second off this mark last time out at Newcastle suggested he may be coming to the boil at just the right time. Will Biddick takes the ride for Tom George for only the fourth time in his career, with the previous three outings yielding one win and one third placed finish – a stat which augurs well for Come On Teddy’s chances of at least hitting the frame.

  • Come On Teddy each way at 12/1 with Betfred

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