Cheltenham Festival Betting Preview Thursday 17th March

Cheltenham Festival Betting Preview Thursday 17th March

by 14th March 2016

Betting preview for the third days racing at The Cheltenham Festival on Thursday 17th for the JLT Novice Chase, Ryanair Chase & World Hurdle.

Thursday March 17th

JLT Novice Chase

What runs? That is always the question ante post.

Bristol De Mai looks like heading the home challenge and possibly the betting, although Outlander for that man Mullins will probably go to the head of the market if the bookies suffer a bloodbath on Tuesday from the great man.

Verdict: Bristol De Mai and Outlander look like the 2 to concentrate in this as I cannot see many towards the top of the betting actually taking up the engagement.
Ryanair Chase

I think this is the race for Vautour this year. I do not think V will stay the Gold Cup distance and if he turns up here he will simply outclass this field. Accepting that V will swerve this for the Gold Cup Village Vic is next on the list for Hobbs / Johnson. Another that could run into a place, but is far too short is Al Ferof, 5/1 would not see me part with any money.

Verdict: In the belief that Vautour is going to the Gold Cup, Village Vic is decently priced at 10/1 ante post and I cannot see him being out of the top 3.

 

World Hurdle

What a race ………… the big question is – will Thistlecrack prove as effective on drying ground? I am not convinced. Highly impressive this season good or faster ground might cause him a few issues.

So, what are the alternatives?

Alphas Des Obeaux for Mouse Morris must not be under estimated as he has oodles of grade one form and the trainer is a master at getting a horse ready for when it counts!

Cole Harden the defending champion has the ground turning in his direction. Against this is the lack of a run since January 1st. The Greatrex stable continue in decent form and they are bullish, so, you cannot rule him out.

Martello Tower won at the festival last year and although not been at his best so far this season, the deep ground would not have played to his strengths and 25/1 is an insult.

Prince of Scars for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott has been a revelation this season, but the ground, I think, has gone against this class stayer.

Whisper for the Henderson team is the dark horse in this and the stable vibes have been very positive. His form at home has to be taken on trust but he would not be the first Henderson horse to come back to form when it matters.

Verdict: Martello Tower is simply too big at 25/1 to ignore, so I will go each way on MT with potential ground / fitness issues over the other major players.

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