Cheltenham 2023 - Day 3 and on to the Gold Cup

We started the day well when Stage Star won the Novices' Chase.

ENVOI ALLEN winning the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in England.
ENVOI ALLEN winning the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

He was on our list of "improvers to be watched" and came good thanks to the Nicholls-Cobden team.  He won by 2 ¼ lengths from Notlongtillmay 40/1 and short-priced favourite was only third with Appreciate It fourth.

The Ryanair Chase was a very happy result for Henry de Bromhead and Racheal Blackmore with Envoi Allen 13/2 coming out in front of the evens fav Shishkin whose jumping was not the best this time.  Hitman 22/1 was third.  deBromhead was full of praise for Racheal's ride in the race.

The Stayers' Hurdle saw Sire de Berlais 33/1 back in the winner's circle on his sixth visit to Cheltenham.  He was supposed to be in another race but didn't qualify and so came here and the 11yo was in now doubt he knew where he was and what he had to do.  Jockey Mark Walsh was delighted as he's only just back after recovering from a bad fall and trainer Elliott said they were supposed to win with "the other one" – Teahupoo who finished third but was elevated to second when the stewards found Dashel Drasher, another veteran, had caused interference to Teahupoo.

The Jack de Bromhead Novices' Hurdle was named in memory of Henry and Heather de Bromhead's son Jack who was killed in a racing accident late last year at the age of 13.  The race didn't go to a de Bromhead runner instead to You Wear It Well for Jamie Snowden and Gavin Sheehan.  Luccia was fourth and Toxy Girl 8th.

Friday is of course Gold Cup day which kicks off with the Triumph Hurdle where Lassiemouth is on 3/2 for Mullins-Townend.  There are 6 other Mullins runners in the race so we suggest any of them could fill the frame.

The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle has a field of 20 runners headed by Corbetts Cross trained by another Mullins – Emmet and Mark Walsh has the ride.  Three Card Brag looks as if he could have plenty to brag about both now and in the future – 7/2 here is fair, and we have to add Hidden Valley Lake for the top team of Henry de Bromhead and Racheal Blackmore.

And to the Gold Cup Chase with 13 runners.  Can Galopin des Champs do it?  If all goes well he should be there for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend.  Last year's winner A Plus Tard hasn't had the smoothest of preps but should not be dismissed and he's 7/2 for de Bromhead-Blackmore.  Bravemansgame 7/1 won the King George and deserves a shot at this and we cannot ignore Noble Yeats, the Grand National winner, for Emmet Mullins and Sean Bowen.  We loved his Daddy and see lots of the same qualities of perseverance in the son.

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