Cheltenham Festival 2021 Day Three – Paisley can be Stayers’ Hurdle King again

Day three of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival earmarks the halfway stage of a fantastic meeting.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 11:00 am
Day three at Cheltenham provides plenty more highlights / Picture: Getty
Day three at Cheltenham provides plenty more highlights / Picture: Getty

There are two championship races on Thursday with the Ryanair Chase over two and a half-miles and the Stayers’ Hurdle over three miles. With the likes of Paisley Park, Min and Thyme Hill in action, it promises to be another brilliant day of action. We’ve once again previewed all of the action with our race by race guide.

1.20pm Grade One Marsh Novices’ Chase

This is all about Envoi Allen. Unbeaten in 11 starts under Rules, he is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and is targeting a fourth straight win over fences. Built for chasing, he looks very hard to beat in the opener for new trainer Henry de Bromhead given his high cruising speed and athleticism over his fences.

Selection: Envoi Allen 8/11

1.55pm Pertemps Network Final

Champagne Platinum caught the eye when a fast-finishing second at Haydock on his latest start and he will look to give owner JP McManus a third straight win in this event. Lightly-raced, he has won twice over hurdles and looks sure to be suited by this event off a mark of 139. Imperial Alcazar is another horse progressing through the ranks and also warrans a mention.

Selection: Champagne Platinum 6/1

2.30pm Grade One Ryanair Chase

The first of two championship races on the card. Min comes into the race as the defending champion following a gutsy win in this event last year, but his stable companion Allaho is arguably of more interest having easily landed the spoils at Thurles last time out.

In terms of the home team, Imperial Aura fell at Kempton last time out but had previously been progressing nicely and is of interest, but Saint Calvados looks the dark horse here. A narrow second to Min in last year’s event, things have not gone to plan over three miles this term and dropped back to two and a half-miles for this event, he looks of serious interest.

Selection: Saint Calvados 8/1

3.05pm Grade One Stayers’ Hurdle

Unfortunately, the big match-up this race promised has lost some of its lustre with the Philip Hobbs-trained Thyme Hill ruled out of the race with a setback. He defeated Paisley Park in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, before Emma Lavelle’s charge exacted his revenge at Ascot in December. Paisley Park, the 2019 winner of this race, looked right back to his best at the Berkshire venue and with his main rival now ruled out, he makes plenty of appeal to regain his crown in the Grade One event.

Selection: Paisley Park 15/8

3.40pm Plate Handicap Chase

This looks trappy but Conflated looks well-handicapped for his new trainer Denise Foster. He bolted up by 17 lengths at Navan in December and was not disgraced when third to Monkfish in a Grade One event last time out. This drop into handicap company looks a shrewd move and his handicap mark of 144 looks more than fair.

Selection: Conflated 7/1

4.15pm Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Willie Mullins has farmed this race winning all five runnings of the contest. However, this year’s renewal looks wide open and Rosey’s Hollow is of interest for Jonathan Sweeney. An easy winner of a maiden hurdle in January, she followed that up with a clinical success in Graded company at Fairyhouse last time out in which she had fellow contender Royal Kahala behind in second.

Mullins could have a handful of runners in the race headed by Glens Of Antrim who has been the subject of strong support in the build-up to the race as well as the likes of Hook Up and Gauloise. However, they will all have to take a step up to match the form shown by Rosey’s Hollow this term.

Selection: Rosey’s Hollow 11/2

4.50pm Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Always a tricky race to solve, but Jonjo O’Neill’s Time to Get Up impressed with his jumping at Wincanton last time out when scoring in comfortable fashion. That proved his stamina-laden credentials for this trip and also his effectiveness on testing ground. He deserves to be towards the top of the market and a rating of 138 looks fair.

Selection: Time To Get Up 5/1

In association with Betting Expert