Cheltenham Tipster: Thursday 12th March

Faugheen is fancied to claim victory in the Marsh Novices' Chase on Thursday.
Faugheen is fancied to claim victory in the Marsh Novices' Chase on Thursday.

I’ve picked out five bets for day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival. Good luck if you decide to follow.

Note: Total stake = 4 points.

Cheltenham Tips

Former Champion Hurdler FAUGHEEN (NAP at 9/2 – 13:30) goes in search of a third Cheltenham Festival victory and comes in to this defending an unbeaten record over fences. This remarkable 12-year-old has been rejuvenated by the switch to the larger obstacles, and his last two wins have come at the highest level. Whilst he may be a little vulnerable to an improving youngster, he’s clearly the class act in the field and couldn’t be in better form.

SKANDIBURG (10/1 - 14:10) ended last season by winning a novice hurdle at Huntingdon and was beaten by just a short head on his seasonal reappearance back in October. He improved from that effort to win at Aintree in November before a victory over this course and distance last time out. That took his record to 2-2 over three miles and confirmed him as a strong stayer over the trip. He’s been raised 5 lbs by the handicapper, but that seems fair given that he’s still only six-years-old and open to plenty more improvement.

In the same race, I also like KILBRICKEN STORM (18/1 - 14:10), who won the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. Although he hasn’t won again over hurdles since then, he has been placed in a couple of three-mile handicaps this season and is weighted to run well.

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Chris Baker's P&L

SIRUH DU LAC (16/1 - 16:10) can bounce back from a below-par effort when last seen and take the Grade 3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate for the second consecutive year. This Nick Williams-trained seven-year-old was completing a four-timer when winning the race last year, and he has an overall record of 6-9 over fences. Today’s conditions should be ideal and regular jockey Lizzie Kelly takes the ride again. 

At a bigger price, MISTER WHITAKER (22/1 - 16:10) looks to have plenty in his favour and can outrun his odds. He’s just 3lbs higher than when he won a Grade 2 handicap over this course and distance last year, and that was his third victory at Cheltenham. He had several excuses when pulled up in a very good renewal of the Cotswold Chase last time out and should appreciate this drop in both class and distance.

Tip

13:30 Cheltenham
Faugheen silk

Faugheen

placed

Tip

14:10 Cheltenham
Skandiburg silk

Skandiburg

lost

Tip

14:10 Cheltenham
Kilbricken Storm silk

Kilbricken Storm

lost

Tip

16:10 Cheltenham
Siruh Du Lac silk

Siruh Du Lac

Tip

16:10 Cheltenham
Mister Whitaker silk

Mister Whitaker

placed
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