St Patrick’s Thursday Betting Odds & Racecards - 17/03/2022

1.30: Marsh Novices Chase
Bob Olinger 7/4 Bet365All OddsAll Odds
2.10: Pertemps Final
Pileon 16/1 UnibetAll OddsAll Odds
2.50: Ryanair Chase
Allaho 9/4 UnibetAll OddsAll Odds
3.30: Stayers Hurdle
Klassical Dream 4/1 Bet365All OddsAll Odds
4.50: Mares Novice Hurdle
Elle Est Belle 7/1 Bet365All OddsAll Odds
2022 St Patrick’s Thursday Racecards - Day Three Tips

RACE 1: Marsh Novices’ Chase

There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that ENVOI ALLEN won’t win the Marsh Novices’ Chase in the first race of the third day of the Cheltenham Festival, with the seven-year-old yet to taste defeat and he was the winner at last year’s meeting.

The Gordon Elliott-trained charge landed the spoils in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, with three successive victories occurring this season over the bigger obstacles. However, this will be a sterner test of the horse’s credentials.

It appears that Energumene could rival Envoi Allen and Willie Mullins trains this talented seven-year-old who should be noted as an Irish Arkle Chase winner and it could be set up for an exciting finish.

Monkfish is likely to have another engagement, with Shan Blue and Sporting John potentially other horses to hit the frame.
PREDICTION: Envoi Allen

RACE 2: Pertemps Network Final

We’re looking forward to a wide open Pertemps Network Final, with the runners and riders competing over two miles and eight furlongs, with The Bosses Oscar and Imperial Alcazar among the favourites to win this race.

However, those horses are trading at quite a short price and we’re looking for horses that are trading at a bigger price including DANDY MAG who is part of the Willie Mullins stable and there was plenty to like about his win in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle qualifier.

On that occasion, the horse actually beat The Bosses Oscar, with Unexpected Depth also finishing in the frame on that occasion and trainer Oliver McKiernan has high hopes that his seven-year-old can be in the final shake-up.
PREDICTION: Dandy Mag

RACE 3: Ryanair Chase

The Ryanair Chase has been one of the highlight races at the Cheltenham Festival and we always look forward to quality runners battling it out over two miles and four furlongs, with MIN winning last year’s renewal and we see no reason to desert the Willie Mullins-trained legend.

Min has only run once this season and was pulled up at Leopardstown in February although we know that he will be prepared correctly for this clash, although there will be stiff opposition in the form of Allaho and Imperial Aura.

Allaho ran into third in the RSA Novices’ Chase last season and recently scored a Grade 2 success at Thurles, while Imperial Aura claimed the spoils in the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase in November before unseating his rider at Kempton.
PREDICTION: Min

RACE 4: Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle

It looks as though we’re going to have another ding-dong battle between two high-quality stayers, with PAISLEY PARK and Thyme Hill having traded blows throughout the season and we’re siding with the 2019 champion to regain his title.

The Emma Lavelle-trained horse ran well below par last year in the Stayers’ although the seven-year-old exploded into life when finishing runner-up in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle, while there was then a victory in the Porsche Long Walk Hurdle.

Thyme Hill was only a neck away from Paisley Park in the most recent clash at Ascot and the horse finished fourth in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle last year.

However, preference is given to Paisley Park who has those extra gears coming up the Cheltenham hill.
PREDICTION: Paisley Park

RACE 5: Paddy Power Plate

This is an interesting Grade 3 race taking place over two miles and four furlongs, with Chantry House among the favourites and the horse made a big impression in last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when finishing in third place.

More recently, there was a success in the Novices’ Chase at Wetherby, with Dickie having returned to the track after a two-year break and he was a creditable second in a Handicap Chase over the festive period.

However, FARCLAS has hit the frame in his past two races at Leopardstown and it was fourth place in a Grade A encounter last time out after finishing third at the same track and there’s everything to like about the seven-year-old.
PREDICTION: Farclas

RACE 6: Mares’ Novices Hurdle

Royal Kahala heads the betting market for the Mares Novices’ Hurdle and the six-year-old recently finished second in a Novices’ Hurdle at Fairyhouse, with many punters thinking that the horse is a good each-way price.

Gauloise is another interesting runner and scored a couple of interesting wins towards the end of 2020, with Willie Mullins always a good indicator that the horse might train particularly well for this race and the horse finished third and just behind Royal Kahala last time out.

GYPSY ISLAND would be our tentative pick although the only reservation is that the horse hasn’t run since May 2019, with Peter Fahey hoping that his horse will come back from a long time out before challenging.
PREDICTION: Gypsy Island

RACE 7: Kim Muir Challenge Cup

The final race on Day Three of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival is the Kim Muir Challenge Cup, with SCHOOL BOY HOURS looking like the horse to fit the right sort of profile to win this race.

Noel Meade trains this charge and runs in the JP McManus colours, with the eight-year-old performing well at Punchestown Racecourse this season, with the horse finishing second to Latest Exhibition before landing in the frame on a further two occasions.

Run Wild Fred could well end up going off favourite and the seven-year-old has second-placed finishes Punchestown and Gowran Park to recommend the runner.

Time To Get Up is the other horse who could be in the frame, with an early February at Wincanton over three miles and a furlong on heavy ground meaning there is plenty to recommend him.
PREDICTION: School Boy Hours

Cheltenham 2022 Day Three Betting Trends

Day 3 at the Cheltenham Festival has a mixture of older, well established races and newer races which are still building a reputation. No matter the history of the seven races there is information to be gleaned from previous renewals which we’ve picked out in the trends for each of Day 3’s races.

JLT Novices’ Chase

Day 3 at Cheltenham gets going with a Grade 1 for novice chasers aged five and older. In the eight previous renewals of this race no minimum aged horse has won. Indeed, all six of the eight winners were aged seven whilst the other two were six.

The relatively young winners of the JLT Novices’ Chase have all shown glimpses of some very good work over fences by the time they get to Cheltenham. All but one of the eight had a minimum of two wins over chases.

The importance of previous chase formers means that the market has proven to be a good guide with three winning favourites and only two winners priced over 4/1.

Pertemps Final

The Pertemps Final is a very interesting option for trainers. It’s been won both by quality staying hurdlers and chasers who have been reverted back to hurdling for this valuable handicap which always excites connections.

It’s also a race for punters to get excited about. We’ve seen winners go in at 25/1, 16/1 and 14/1 in recent years and a few of those landed pretty big gambles on the day. The last decade has produced just one winning favourite.

Winners carrying over 11st are relatively rare even though Presenting Percy won in 2017 carrying 11st 11lb and Fingal Bay in 2014 carrying 11st 12lb.

Ryanair Chase

At 2m5f the Ryanair Chase is a race that attracts horses with the ability to win over both longer and shorter trips. That makes it a very exciting contest for racing fans but doesn’t tend to produce the sort of betting upsets that you might expect.

Only two of the last eight winners of this Grade 1 affair came from outside of the top three in the betting with Uxizandre pulling off the biggest shock at racing odds of 16/1. Alan King’s charge was also the lowest rated winner of the last nine years although his official rating of 161 shows that he was still considered a classy operator.

At seven, Uxizandre was the perfect age for a Ryanair Chase winner. Nine of the last 12 winners were between seven and 12 with seven-year-olds claiming four of the last six renewals. Like all but three of the last 12 winners, Uxizandre had a win already in the season leading up to Cheltenham whilst it’s worth ignoring any horse who hasn’t made at least two appearances.

Stayers’ Hurdle

As you might expect, proven stamina is absolutely vital when it comes to the Stayers’ Hurdle. This 3m contest contains just 12 hurdles so the distance between them is fairly long which sees the competitors build up a real head of steam.

Punters must have a good reason to back any horse who has not already won over at least 3m before. That win can come over either hurdles or fences as several horses have performed well in the Stayers’ Hurdle having been reverted from chases.

Those who do perform well will often compete in the race again and we’ve seen three multiple winners since 2003. It’s unlikely that the record of four straight wins set by Big Buck’s between 2009 and 2012 will be bested. It’s also worth noting that he was sent off as the favourite in the final three of those wins which has skewed the trends a little bit as there has only been one winning favourite since.

Festival Plate

The Festival Plate is one of the most unpredictable races of the entire Cheltenham Festival. The 2018 winner, The Storyteller, was the first favourite to oblige punters in six races whilst the last 12 renewals have produced winners at odds as big as 66/1, 50/1 and two at 33/1.

Interestingly, that 66/1 winner, Mister McGoldrick, is the Festival Plate champion to have previous winning form at the Graded level over either hurdles or fences.

Recent form isn’t overly important as only four of the last 12 winners finished inside the top two in their last run but the weights are definitely worth close inspection. The Storyteller’s win broke a run of nine straight winners carrying less than 11st.

Horses aged under six have produced just two wins from 12 but we have seen winners as old as 11 (Mister McGoldrick again).

Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Each of the three previous editions of the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle have gone to Willie Mullins. The Irish trainer will be one to follow as long as he is sending horses to Cheltenham for this Grade 2 race, and each of his three winners were the favourite with two of them going off at odds on.

Those three winners had all won at Grade 3 or 2 level but only one, Let’s Dance, already had a run at Cheltenham under her belt. They’d all won at (or at around) two miles and had multiple wins in their novice hurdling season to date.

Finally, all three winners came into the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on the back of a win last time out, so keep an eye on that when trying to pick the winner.

Kim Muir Challenge Cup

A handicap race ends the Day 3 at Cheltenham but it’s not the wide open betting heat that you may expect on first glance. Amongst a smattering of winners at 14/1 and higher are six winners from the top three in the betting from the last nine runs.

Despite the good record of those at the head of the market, only one of the last 12 won their most recent run heading into Cheltenham. Most recent winners have already won over at least 3m and one win over fences is the minimum requirement.

All but one of the last 13 winners was aged between seven and nine but only two of that number were carrying less than 11st.

Day Three Races Tips - St Patrick’s Thursday Predictions

Cheltenham Festival 2022 Day Three is known as St Patrick’s Thursday and whilst the Guinness is certain to be flowing faster than the River Chelt, our focus is on making winning predictions and offering up great value betting tips.

The Championship race of the third day of the Festival is, of course, the World Hurdle, sponsored this year by Ladbrokes. However, there is plenty of other top quality racing action as ever at Cheltenham and the preceding race, the Ryanair Chase, also promises much.

It is, however, the World Hurdle that many will concentrate on when picking their bets for the penultimate day of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and our betting tip for this one is very simple: back the favourite, Zarkandar, at odds of 11/2 with Paddy Power. Trained by Paul Nicholls, this Irish eight-year-old may have been beaten in his last nine outings but looked good when narrowly beaten by Reve De Sivola last time out at Ascot. His ability to win on any going makes him a safer bet than some of the other key contenders and we get the feeling he can land a ninth win over jumps here. More Of That could challenge, as could Saphir Du Rheu, but on balance we have to predict glory for Zarkandar, who usually goes very well after a decent break.

The next biggest race of the third day of the Festival is undoubtedly the 14.40, the Ryanair Chase, and the betting there is currently headed by Don Cossack, the 9/2 favourite. This German gelding has won four races in a row since October last year and whilst he will face a bigger and better field here and could struggle if things get muddy, we predict the Gigginstown House Stud horse can make it five in a row if confirmed for this one.

Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival opens with yet another Grade One and if the two races mentioned above are the ones to get excited about, this one certainly isn’t too far behind. The JLT Novices’ Chase is a relatively recent addition to the Cheltenham schedule and is open to animals aged five years and older. AP McCoy has won this two years out of the last four, the inaugural 2011 race and last year’s renewal; this time out we predict it will be Irish horse Apache Stronghold who delivers at nice odds.

The seven-year-old won in mid-February against good opposition including Valseur Lido and with Paul Carberry on board we think betting odds of 7/1 with William Hill make this one of the day’s, if not the entire Festival’s, best betting tips.

The second race on Day Three is the Pertemps Network Final, a listed handicap run over three miles. A very difficult contest to predict, this was won last year by Fingal Bay carrying almost 12 stone in weight, but this year we fancy a better-handicapped runner to claim the win. Batavir is the ante post favourite at odds of 8/1 but we suggest an each way bet on Brother Brian may pay off nicely.

As with all four days of the Cheltenham Festival, Day Three closes with two “lesser” races that are not the easiest to tip. First comes the 16.00, the Festival Plate. Recent stats suggest an older horse (eight years and upwards) carrying less than 11 stone could be well set for glory, although the ante post favourite is French gelding Caid Du Berlais, aged six, at odds of 12/1 with Stan James.

Closing the penultimate day of the Festival (if we ignore the charity race, which any wise punter should!) is the Kim Muir Challenge Cup, which is a test of stamina run over three miles and one and a half furlongs. Our betting tip here is a familiar one for these final races: small stakes, each way bets, save the serious funds and betting for tomorrow, which – as we all know – is Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham!

Day 3 - Cheltenham