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Two days down, two to go at The Festival 2019. Wednesday was a brilliant day for punters after a difficult start to the week and we were delighted to back 5 winners in the 7 races on the card on Ladies Day. These included a brilliant performance from Altior who equalled Big Buck’s record of 18 consecutive wins, fighting back to get back in front of both Politologue and Sceau Royal up the Cheltenham hill.
Thursday’s racing looks like a tantalising affair and our experts at ODDSbible have run through the card to give you the best chance of beating the bookies today.
Betway are offering you your money back as a free bet up to £10 if your horse loses the first of last race at Cheltenham everyday at The Festival this week.
1.30pm G1 JLT Novices’ Chase
An excellent race to get proceedings underway and this could quite possibly be a match between Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation. Philip Hobbs’ charge was successful when the pair last met in the G1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park in February, displaying a determined attitude to capture the two miles and four furlong event by three-quarters of a length. Colin Tizzard’s hope had registered a length and a quarter success in the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Years Day and the return to this track is sure to bring about further improvement. They look the two to focus on but Lostintranslation could be a Gold Cup horse of the future and he is able to take this en route to better things.
ODDSbible Tip – Lostintranslation 10/3
2.10pm Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
A trappy renewal of the three-mile event. Gordon Elliott’s Sire Du Berlais has attracted steady support in recent days and he looks thoroughly unexposed following two quiet runs in handicap company this term. He shaped well at Leopardstown in December and he has to be of definite interest. However, he has been well found in the market and both First Assignment and Aaron Lad may offer better value. The former was a course and distance winner of a Listed event in November and shaped well behind Stayers’ Hurdle favourite Paisley Park on his penultimate start. There is certainly more to come from him and he is proven on soft ground. Aaron Lad is also of interest following two good victories at Market Rasen and over course and distance in December. He has been saved for this race since and whilst he must cope with a 9lb rise, he remains unexposed in an event like this. We would just give the vote to First Assignment, but this looks a difficult event.
ODDSbible Tip – First Assignment E/W 11/1
2.50pm G1 Ryanair Chase
A superb renewal of the two mile and five furlong event and one which looks very touch to have a clear idea on the winner. Footpad heads the market for Mullins and Walsh, but he has endured a below-par campaign, which included a narrow defeat at Leopardstown last time out. An impressive victor in the Arkle Chase last term, this trip is sure to suit, but stablemate Un De Sceaux, given the soft going description at Cheltenham is arguably better value, following his second-placed finish to Altior in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December. Road To Respect drops back down in trip having been second to Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Bellshill in the Irish Gold Cup last time and he has to be feared given his win over course and distance at The Festival 2017. He finished behind Monalee in the Savills Chase over Christmas and despite that rival winning the Red Mills Chase next time out, I think Noel Meade’s inmate may be able to reverse that form here. A fine third to Native River in last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, his stamina is assured and that makes him an interesting betting proposition.
ODDSbible Tip – Road To Respect 9/2
3.30pm G1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle
By no means the best renewal of the three mile hurdling championship, but Paisley Park has emerged as a superstar this year following four successive victories. That included a G1 Long Walk Hurdle success and a striking win in the G2 Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham last time out. He is a warm order for this race and he makes plenty of appeal given his rapid progression this season. Soft ground should not be an issue and it’s hard to look past him. The roof would come off Cheltenham if Faugheen were to win the G1 contest and he impressed when scoring over this trip at Punchestown in April. He is certainly not without a chance and connections seem hopeful of a big run, but Black Op could emerge as a lively each-way player following a quiet season, in which he finished third to Paisley Park when returned to hurdles for his latest outing. However, Paisley Park sets a high standard and he is the one to beat in this.
ODDSbible Tip – Paisley Park 6/4
4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
A very tough event, but Kalondra makes some appeal. He has definitely disappointed in his last three runs, but connections have always thought a lot of him and this race could suit. A mark of 147 might just underestimate him and he has run well at Cheltenham in the past. Janika has been a well-backed favourite for this event in recent days and has filled the runner-up position on two starts this season, including when behind Siruh Du Lac over course and distance on his latest run. However, at the prices we’re keen to back Kalondra, trained by Neil Mulholland, given ground conditions should pose a problem and he is unexposed.
ODDSbible Tip – Kalondra E/W 14/1
4.50pm G2 National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
It’s tough to look past Epatante who has looked a very smart mare in two starts in Britain. This is her toughest test to date but she stands out on ratings and could be a very exciting horse going forward. Nicky Henderson’s charge could be given most to think about by Henry de Bromhead’s Sinoria who has similarly impressed in her last two races. Epatante does look a horse to follow goping forward and might just prove too good for these rivals.
ODDSbible Tip – Epatante 6/4
5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase
A tricky event to end the call and it’s hard to be confident on many of these. However, Just A Sting has looked very smart in three starts over fences and it would be disappointing if there was not more to come from him. A good second to Adrien Du Pont last time out, the slight step up in trip should suit and he remains unexposed in an tight betting heat.
ODDSbible Tip – Just A Sting E/W 16/1