Cheltenham Day 3 Tips: Check out all Thursday's selections here

Allaho is a hot favourite for the Ryanair Chase on Thursday.
Allaho is a hot favourite for the Ryanair Chase on Thursday.

There's seven spectacular races taking place on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, and our man Steve Chambers is here to provide his best bets for all of Thursday's races...

13:30 - Turners Novices' Chase

Two of National Hunt racing's superstars are set to clash in the Turners Novices' Chase, as Henry De Bromhead's Bob Olinger locks horns with the Willie Mullins-trained GALOPIN DES CHAMPS in what is set to be an epic duel. With only four going to post this 2m 3f 168y Grade 1 contest could be a somewhat cagey affair, but with El Barra and Busselton unlikely to land a blow on the fancied duo then we could destined for a battle in the closing stages of the two market leaders.

Both have Cheltenham Festival wins on their CV with Bob Olinger winning last year's Ballymore, while Galopin Des Champs won the Martin Pipe, but it's been the latter that has arguably been more impressive since switching to the chasing sphere, and while both head into the event with two wins from two chase starts, it's Galopin Des Champs' jumping that could prove the difference. A little sticky at a few of his obstacles, Bob Olinger could well lose some momentum over his fences, as Galopin Des Champs serenely deals with the birch, and with his stamina well assured he can storm clear up the Cheltenham hill.

Turners Novices' Chase
Galopin Des Champs silk

Galopin Des Champs

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14:10 - Pertemps Final

Gordon Elliott will saddle a bumper team in the Pertemps Final on Thursday, which will see 26 runners go to post, but it's hard to look away from dual winner of the race SIRE DU BERLAIS, who can defy top weight and duly land a sensational hat-trick of wins in what is set to be hugely competitive handicap hurdle for punters to get stuck into.

A winner in 2019 and 2020, Sire Du Berlais ran a fine race in the Stayers' Hurdle at the 2021 festival, as he finished a sparkling second behind Flooring Porter, but the Cullentra House team have opted to revert to the handicap sphere for the 2022 festival, and he looks the one to beat. A promising showing at Warwick last time qualified him for this event, and he was handed a 2lb drop for his fourth placed finish, and he lines up off 158 on Thursday. Classy amateur Rob James will take a valuable 7lbs off his back, so it's all set fair for another bold bid for glory, and while the likes of Winter Fog and Alaphillipe could be huge dangers, it's the JP McManus-owned raider that can claim the win.

Pertemps Final
Sire Du Berlais silk

Sire Du Berlais

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14:50 - Ryanair Chase

it would be no surprise to see Allaho turn the Ryanair Chase into a procession once again, as last year's winner of the 2m 5f Grade 1 will return to the scene of his finest victory on Thursday, and he's likely to be sent off a heavily odds-on favourite for what looks a pretty straightforward contest for him. Imperious in his two starts this campaign, the Willie Mullins-trained star has been the dominant force in this division over the last year, and it's hard to not see him dominate from the outset here.

However, with such skinny odds available it's worth looking elsewhere, and both Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated and Dan Skelton's Shan Blue are sure to put up a bold bid for victory. However, both may lack the pace to live with Allaho, and can be ignored. One eye-catching runner is the Paul Nicholls-trained SAINT CALVADOS, who relishes this 2m 5f test, as he was just touched off by Min in the 2020 renewal of this contest, and while Allaho is a different proposition he's become a real model of consistency at Cheltenham, and at 25/1 is a decent each-way play. If he can replicate the effort that saw him finish fourth in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, then the Ditcheat raider has to be considered a notable player to make the frame.

Ryanair Chase
Saint Calvados silk

Saint Calvados (EW)

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15:30 - Stayers' Hurdle

Gavin Cromwell's Flooring Porter will look to become the first horse since Big Buck's to retain the Stayers' Hurdle crown, and the Irish raider is unsurprisingly a leading fancy for the 3m staying showpiece, which is the feature race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival. A faller on his comeback run in a Grade 2 at Navan, he bounced back to form when chasing home Klassical Dream in Leopardstown's Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle back in December, and it could be he has to settle for second prize again against the Willie Mullins-trained Klassical Dream.

A stunning winner of the 2019 Supreme Novices' Hurdle, KLASSICAL DREAM has had notable injury problems since that fine victory, but he showed when getting the better of Flooring Porter that he still possesses huge quality, and with him sure to relish a return to Prestbury Park, the eight-year-old can claim glory. He was hugely disappointing when only finishing fourth in the Galmoy Hurdle behind another of his Stayers' Hurdle rivals Royal Kahala, but he can reverse that form on Thursday, as he has shown previously that he can bounce back to form from setbacks, and he is the class act in this contest.

Stayers' Hurdle
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Klassical Dream

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16:10 - Plate Handicap Chase

Going in search of a four-timer, the Philip Hobbs-trained Celebre D'Allen is entitled to be well fancied for the Plate Handicap Chase, which is a hugely competitive contest, but he will need to defy another 6lb rise for a recent win at Warwick, and in a tougher race he could find it tough to continue his fine run. Alan King's The Glancing Queen and Fergal O'Brien's Imperial Alcazar are another duo in tremendous form, but the one that stands out is a former Cheltenham Festival winner, and the selection is SIMPLY THE BETTS.

A winner of the novices' handicap chase back at the 2020 festival, while under the stewardship of Harry Whittington, Simply The Betts has since switched to the stable of Paul Nicholls, but has failed to win for the Ditcheat handler yet. He very nearly tasted victory at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, but was just touched off by Vienna Court, while he was outclassed by Chantry House in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase last time out, when finishing last of five, but a return to the handicap sphere off a mark of 155 can see him claim a second festival win.

Plate Handicap Chase
Simply The Betts silk

Simply The Betts (EW)


16:50 - Mares' Novices' Hurdle

Willie Mullins will have an embarrassment of riches running for him in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle, which is the penultimate race on day two, and most eyes will be on the hugely exciting duo of Dinoblue and Brandy Love, who head the betting, at the time of writing. Both have performed to a high level, with the former proving particular popular in the betting in recent times and she looks extremely tough to beat.

But, there's another Mullins contender around the 20/1 mark that can play a notable role and that is the proven Grade 1 winner STATUAIRE, who bounded to glory in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle earlier in the season, and if she can replicate that display, where she beat the likes of Mighty Potter and My Mate Mozzie, then she has to be a player. Her winning streak ended last time out when finishing sixth behind Sir Gerhard last time out in Grade 1 company, but she's unlikely to meet a rival in the same calibre here and she looks a stonking each-way bet.

Mares' Novices' Hurdle
Statuaire silk

Statuaire (EW)


17:30 - Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Nicky Henderson has already had an excellent Cheltenham Festival with a double on day one, and the master of Seven Barrows can venture into the winner's enclosure once again in the finale on Thursday, as MISTER COFFEY can claim the honours in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase, which is a hugely competitive staying contest for punters to enjoy.

A decent hurdler, he's yet to taste victory over fences in his three starts over the larger obstacles, and his jumping has been a little sketchy at times. Last seen finishing a distant second to L'Homme Presse in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown Par last time out, Mister Coffey will not only drop to handicap company, but he will step significantly up in trip. Stepping up from 2m 4f to 3m 2f is certainly eye-catching, and you have to feel the slower pace will help him get over his obstacles, and at double-figured odds he's worth backing.

Stamina is sure to be a worry, as he will be taking on some dour stayers in this event, but a mark of 137 looks very attractive and if he can get into a rhythm in mid-division then he could well outclass his rivals here.

Kim Muir Handicap Chase
Mister Coffey silk

Mister Coffey

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Cheltenham Festival 2022
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