Cheltenham

Will Smith’s Day 3 Preview

Thursday 17th March 13:30

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview for Day 3 of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival on Thursday 17th March.

Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Saint Calvados
(view this tip here)
12/112/1 Ante Post
E/W
2.50pm - Ryanair Chase
Will Smith
Place BetPlace Bet
Royal Kahala 6/16/1 E/W
Stayer’s Hurdle
Will Smith
Place BetPlace Bet
Song For Someone 25/125/1 E/W
Stayer’s Hurdle
Will Smith
Place BetPlace Bet
Mister Fogpatches
(view this tip here)
14/114/1 Ante Post
E/W
5:30 - Kim Muir Chase
Will Smith
Place BetPlace Bet
Mister Coffey
(view this tip here)
16/116/1 Ante Post
E/W
5:30 - Kim Muir Chase
Will Smith
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 16/03/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (19:43 16/03/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

I’m not sure who it was that scripted the first two days of the Cheltenham Festival 2022, but whoever had that honour, can be sure that they have produced a quite enthralling two days – dramatic, exciting, emotional, sadistic, nail-biting and jaw-dropping awe are all words or phrases that spring to mind. What will the remaining two days bring?

As action moves to the New Course, at least we have a (categorically) clear weather forecast to enhance assumptions about what the ground will be like!

The opening Turners Novices’ Chase at 1.30 won’t be for those who believe every race should be a double-figure field cavalry charge, but make no mistake, Bob O’Linger v Galopin Des Champs is a race that I would pay to watch anytime, anywhere.

Even if it was just the two of them facing off. They could just be the two best horses we see at this year’s Festival, and that is even allowing for eye-popping performances from Constitution Hill, L’Homme Presse and Energumene.

It’s safe to say I am not recommending a bet in the race, and sadly the same advice is wheeled out for the Pertemps Final at 2.10. The rain coming will have boosted the chances of Dunboyne and Alaphilippe, but don’t assume that even after Wednesday’s deluge, that it will be really testing on the untouched New Course.

Dame De Compagnie could be interesting at 25/1 each-way with Paddy Power, in the first-time cheekpieces, after Nicky Henderson has pulled off similar rejuvenation jobs on his other mares Epatante and Marie’s Rock. However, this would be a case of pulling an extra big rabbit out of that hat.

The Ryanair Chase at 2.50 looks a perfect set-up for a bet in the ‘market without Allaho,’ and the one that I would be leaning towards would be the 2020 runner-up Saint Calvados, who I actually advised at 12/1 each-way for the outright race after his eye-catching run, on debut for Paul Nicholls in the King George. Rather shrewdly, I note he is now available at 25/1 in a place after he bled in the Ascot Chase. Oops!

So, it is the Paddy Power Stayer’s Hurdle at 3.30 that we focus Thursday’s extra daily selections with. Flooring Porter, Klassical Dream and Thyme Hill will all have their supporters, but it is an open division.

With that in mind, I am going to suggest backing two horses who are either stepping up in trip to 3m for the first time, or doing so for the first time in a Championship environment.

Royal Kahala had the option of the Mares’ Hurdle on day one, but connections have been very much rewarded for their brave choice by the rain on Wednesday, as she will very much enjoy getting her hooves in. She stays, she enjoys the ground, and has more than a touch of class, who could become a rare Grade 1 staying mare over hurdles.

At 6/1 each-way with Paddy Power, who handily offer 4 places, Royal Kahala is a very solid pick to emerge onto this particular scene.

The other selection has never raced beyond 2m4f before, but is a Grade 2 winning hurdler at the track, enjoys dig in the ground, and has long been crying out for greater stamina tests in his races.

Song For Someone, at 25/1 each-way with Paddy Power for those 4 places, reminds me a lot of Solwhit, who was probably a better 2m hurdler than Song For Someone, but improved in a manner which Song For Someone could easily also do, by winning this race on his first try at the trip in 2013.

All week I have been considering backing and recommending The Glancing Queen for the Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate, but after L’Homme Presse advertised the form in no uncertain manner by winning the Brown Advisory, she is in to 10/3 favourite with Paddy Power!

Given the next two in the market, Imperial Alcazar and Celebre D’Allen are the next two on my list also, I will reluctantly withdraw from the fray on this one.

The other ante-post piece published for Thursday was the two Misters in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase – Mister Fogpatches at 14/1 and Mister Coffey at 16/1. While Mister Fogpatches has been popular in the market, he is still just about a price that I would be happy with, and Mister Coffey is still available at similar.

The main danger will be the Derek O’Connor-ridden School Boy Hours, who looks a really strong stayer, but he is into favouritism with plenty of firms now, so would only recommend a small saver on him. Stick with my two Misters to lead us into Gold Cup day on the front foot…

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