Tom's Tips: Cheltenham day three preview
WITH the four time previous winner of the Ladbrokes Workd Hurdle Big Buck's missing from today's renewal the market for the feature race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival looks wide open.
Concerns remain over the staying power of favourite Oscar Whisky and he looks too short a price, especially as he got turned over by his main rival in the betting Reve De Sivola on this track back in January. Looking further down the market my allegences will be with Get me Out of Here who has been a runner up in the last three festivals and could finally take his deserved place in the winner's enclosure under the ride of AP McCoy.
Today's action kicks off again at 1.30pm with the Jewson, a novice chase over two miles and four furlongs. The David Pipe grey Dynaste looks the one to beat after side-stepping the RSA Chase for this lower-graded contest but I have really liked the look all season of Captain Conan, a strapping chaser for Nicky Henderson, who I feel could bring further glory for the trainer and jockey Barry Geraghty. The six-year-old has won all three starts this term, including a victory at Cheltenham, and looks decent value at 7/1.
The Pertemps final, a three mile handicap hurdle, could provide champion trainer Paul Nichols with his first win of this year's festival with the well fancied Sam Winner leading the betting. But in a typically unpredictable race, the winner could come from way down the betting and there is better each way value to be had at 20/1 with Charlie Longsdon's Ely Brown, who looks well suited for the three mile trip.
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Those who were at Exeter for this season's Haldon Gold Cup will remember Colin Tizard's stable star Cue Card romping home after an impressive round of front running jumping. He followed that up when again making every yard of the running in the grade one Ascot Chase and, although it is unlikely he will get all his own way up front in today's Ryanair Chase, I fully expect him to come out on top again.
Ballynagour looks the handicap steal of the festival for David Pipe in the Byrne Group Plate handicap chase and I wouldn't put anyone off backing him, even at short odds of 4/1.
For the Kim Muir handicap chase i have sided with a lively outsider Same Difference, currently at 20/1, for the Nigel Twiston Davies yard. Despite fears in the run up to the festival of illness affecting many of his horses, this week has seen his stable peak at just the right time.
The Cross Country has been re-arranged for today and my previous fancy of Arabella Boy from Tuesday still stands.
1.30. Captain Conan
2.05. Ely Brown ew
2.40. Cue Card
3.20. Get Me Out of Here ew
4.00. Ballynagour NAP
4.40. Same Difference ew
5.15. Arabella Boy