It’s day three at Prestbury Park as a number of bankers for the week take to the course. Day two did not disappoint with Energumene making a mockery of early doubters to fly home in the Champion Chase to give trainer Willie Mullins his record-extending 92nd victory at the festival. Earlier, Langer Dan made it third time lucky in a thrilling Coral Cup.
Looking ahead to today’s action, the likes of Mighty Potter, in the Turners Novices’ Chase, Shishkin, in the Ryanair Chase, and Luccia, in the Mares’ Novices Hurdle, are expected to romp home, while the Stayers’ Hurdle feature race includes our NAP of the day in Home By The Lee. Flooring Porter and Blazing Khan will hope to prove us wrong, though.
The going remains soft after rain yesterday and this morning, with further showers expected across Thursday. All the action kicks off at 1.30pm and you follow everything from Prestbury Park with our dedicated blog below!
Rachael Blackmore on Envoi Allen
Rachael Blackmore has three rides today. Here she is talking to Betfair about her first.
“I’m looking forward to riding Envoi Allen in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday. He ran no race in the King George at Kempton, it just wasn’t his running, so you just have to put a line through that.
“He was very good in winning the Champion Chase at Down Royal in early November on his debut this season. That was over three miles, but this extended two-and-a-half-mile trip is probably perfect for him.
“Hopefully the ground won’t be too soft, but we move to the New Course on Thursday, so that should help.
“He’s in really good order at home, and I think that he has a good chance. He has won twice at Cheltenham, and we know that he has the ability.
Turner’s Novices Chase odds
There’s a clear favourite for the first at 1.30pm.
- Mighty Potter 8/11
- Appreciate It 11/4
- Stage Star 17/2
- Balco Coastal 11/1
- James Du Berlais 18/1
- Notlongtillmay 50/1
- Unexpected Party 80/1
Weather and going update
The wind is drying the course this morning after a warmer night. The ground is still soft, to good-to-soft, but that may well improve come show time.
Our NAP of the day
This year’s Festival should turn out to be a Cheltenham for the ages — and the quality remains sky-high on day three.
The feature Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (3.30) is as deep a renewal as you are likely to see.
Flooring Porter is bidding to win this event for the third year running, yet there are three horses shorter than him in the betting, all Irish trained: Blazing Khal, Teahupoo and Home By The Lee.
The key to Teahupoo’s chance may be the ground, the softer the better. It will be immaterial to the other Irish hopes and Home By The Lee, only sixth in the race last year but a better horse now, looks pretty bomb-proof each way.
How to watch Cheltenham Festival
TV channel: The only place to watch the Festival in its entirety is on Racing TV, which will broadcast all seven races on each day of the meeting. Racing TV is a subscription channel available through Sky and Virgin Media and online via website and app. Build-up coverage starts at 12.30pm every day and coverage concludes after the final race.
ITV will broadcast the first five races, with coverage beginning at 1pm every day.
Live stream: Racing TV subscribers can stream the action live via the website or app, or cast to their TV, while ITV viewers can do likewise via the ITVX website and app.
Live coverage: You can also follow all the action LIVE right here with us!
First up, let’s tell you about the horses which aren’t racing today.
Two in the first, one in the second and two in the last.
- 1.30: Banbridge, Christopher Wood
- 2.10: Jet Of Magic
- 5.30: Chambard, One More Fleurie
Thursday’s full race card
- 1:30pm – Turners Novices’ Chase
- 2:10pm – Pertemps Final
- 2:50pm – Ryanair Chase
- 3:30pm – Stayers’ Hurdle
- 4:10pm – Plate Handicap Chase
- 4:50pm – Mares Novices’ Hurdle
- 5:30pm – Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Good morning and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of day three at Cheltenham Festival.
We are halfway through one of the biggest weeks of the horse racing calendar, and punters will already be counting their winners as the bookies take a battering.
Today looks likely to follow the same path. Stick with us.