Cheltenham Live Blog: Market movers, tips and fast results from Day 3 at the Festival
It was a day for the punters on Wednesday, but what does Thursday have in-store? We'll have all the latest from the markets, our ambassadors and tipsters here on the Cheltenham Live Blog, updated throughout the day...
"Frodon is a marvel who keeps delivering and he is still improving as he is only seven. He is on a mark of 169 now which puts him up with the best, he loves the track and will get the trip strongly."
18:03 - And that's your lot
A wonderful St Patrick's Day at Cheltenham, with plenty of drama and a number of popular winners, none more so than Frodon, pictured here on his way to victory in the Ryanair. We'll be back tomorrow for the biggest day of them all, Gold Cup Friday.
17:57 - Kim Muir Handicap Chase result
Winner: Any Second Now
Betfair Starting Price: [8.80] (ISP [7.0])
Antepost High of Winner: [17.50]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Any Second Now [13.50]; Kilfilum Cross [1.52]
Comments: The booking of Derek O'Connor was rightly seen as a positive for Ted Walsh's seven year-old, who had never won over fences before but chose a good day to break that duck as he kept on finding up the hill, staying every inch of the extended trip and bringing the curtain down on day three.
17:48 - Fehily's Festival farewell
After landing a brilliant winner on Eglantine Du Seuil earlier, Noel Fehily revealed this would be his last Festival in the saddle. What a legendary jockey he has been.
EXCLUSIVE An emotional Noel Fehily says he will not be riding in another #CheltenhamFestival? Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 14, 2019
"It's time to let the young ones get on with it" - multiple G1-winning jockey may have just weeks left in the saddle
Best known perhaps for partnership with Silviniaco Conti pic.twitter.com/gL0gZUoewl
17:26 - Kim Muir wide open as ever
The lucky last sees 23 going to post for three miles and two furlongs. Gordon Elliott's Measureofmydreams is the strong favourite but the race looks as wide open as ever, and Tony Calvin has taken a chance on Perfect Candidate at a huge price on the Exchange.
17:18 - Frost a SPOTY steamer
Anyone who watched Bryony Frost's interview after winning the Ryanair on Frodon will have understood why she is such a popular jockey and there has been interest in our Sports Personality of the Year market, reports Barry Orr.
Bryony Frost is 20/1 from 66/1 for Sports Personality Of The Year on @Betfair? Barry Orr (@BetfairBarry) March 14, 2019
17:11 - Mares' Novices' Hurdle result
Winner: Eglantine Du Seuil
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: 96.6 (51.0)
Antepost High of Winner: [200.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Eglantine Du Seuil 170 ; Concertista 1.11 ; Epatante 2.60;
Comments: On a day when punters have been on top some relief for bookmakers this time, as Henderson's hotpot was one of many to pay for the fast and furious early gallop. It was left to a pair of Mullins outsiders to pick up the pieces and fight out the finish, Noel Fehily prevailing on the winner by the slightest of margins.
16:32 - Plate Handicap Chase result
Winner: Siruh Du Lac
Betfair Starting Price: [6.88] (ISP [5.50])
Antepost High of Winner: [14.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Siruh Du Lac [9.0]; Janika [2.22]; Eamon An Cnoic [2.22]; Spiritofthegames [3.80]
Comments: Lizzie Kelly coaxed a superb round of jumping from her willing partner and was then able to hold off the strongly-fancied Janika to record a memorable second Festival victory.
16:09 - Plate looks like one to play each-way
Janika and Siruh De Lac are well clear at the top of the market after being steadily backed all day, but with 17 of the last 19 runners arriving from outside the top four in the betting, it could be worth an each-way dart. Our Bets of the Day tipster Alan Thompson likes Polidam at a chunky price.
15:55 - Stayers' Hurdle result
Winner: Paisley Park
Betfair Starting Price: [2.44] (ISP [2.38])
Antepost High of Winner: [60.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Paisley Park [3.95]; Faugheen [2.46]; Sam Spinner [3.0];
Comments: Heartwarming stuff in the paddock as popular owner Andrew Gemmell soaks up the applause after his hot favourite obliged in the main event, taking off up the straight when asked the question by Aidan Coleman, eating up the ground with every stride to win going away.
15:22 - Paisley Park the one to beat but value elsewhere?
Paisley Park is hovering around the 6/4 mark for the Stayers and looks a strong favourite but Faugheen has had plenty of interest. Having already backed the latter at 10/1 antepost, Tony Calvin has had a dart at old favourite Yanworth at a huge [65.0].
15:11 Ryanair Chase result
Betfair Starting Price [5.93] (ISP [5.50])
Antepost High of Winner: [55.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Frodon [11.00]; Footpad [2.00]; Aso [1.53]; Road To Respect [2.74]
Comments: Bryony Frost adopted the usual front-running tactics aboard Frodon but the fear was that this might only set up the race for one of their many dangerous rivals. However horse and rider showed commendable courage and application to stay there right to the line, a further advertisement, if one was needed, of how well they get along with one another.
What a fantastic round of jumping from Frodon and Bryony Frost!? Timeform Live (@TimeformLive) March 14, 2019
One of the most improved horses in training this season, wins the Ryanair Chase for @PFNicholls! #CheltenhamFestival
15:02 - Don't say we didn't tell you!
A superb run by Frodon, handled beautifully by Bryony Frost, lands Paul Nicholls the Ryanair. That's six winners from the last nine for the Betfair Ambassador team.
14:42 - Nicholls strong on Frodon for the Ryanair
Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls opted for this race rather than the Gold Cup for Frodon and he fancies his runner to go well.
Frodon is a marvel who keeps delivering and he is still improving as he is only seven. He is on a mark of 169 now which puts him up with the best, he loves the track and will get the trip strongly.
14:31 - Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle result
Winner: Sire Du Berlais
Betfair Starting Price: [6.20] (ISP [5.0])
Antepost High of Winner: [13.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Sire Du Berlais [240.0]; Not Many Left [1.59]; Tobefair [1.55]
Comments: Incredible drama as only Prestbury Park can serve up; a host of horses were in with a shout round the turn but it boiled down to three over the last. Barry Geraghty looked to have most to do of the trio at that stage, but galvanised a terrific response from his mount to get back up under the shadow of the post, giving Betfair Ambassador Gordon Elliott his third winner in two days.
14:03 - Elliott on Pertemps favourite Sire Du Berlais
14:00 - Watch that JLT finish in full...
13:49 - JLT Novices' Chase result
Winner: Defi Du Seuil
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: [4.5] (4.0)
Antepost High of Winner: [23.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Defi Du Seuil [9.2]; Lostintranslation [1.2]; Mengli Khan [2.22]
Comments: A third titantic tussle between Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation this season, Colin Tizzard's horse set the pace but it was Phillip Hobbs' former Triumph Hurdle hero who landed the decisive blow.
13:43 - Defi-nitely a winner
Defi de Seuil victory in the JLT Novices' Chase means a winning bet for Alan Thompson from our Racing Bet of the Day team - read which other horse he's backing today here.
13:20 - Paul Nicholls on Day 3
We caught up with Paul Nicholls to see what he thinks Day 3 will bring:
You can watch all our ambassadors as well as get the latest horse racing trade tips from The Betting Guy on theBetfair Player.
11:48 - David Cleary's betting briefing
With the day billed as 'St Patrick's Thursday', it is perhaps appropriate that the main focus of the day's punting may well revolve around horses carrying the green and gold of JP McManus. His runners are currently favourite for three of the seven races and a strong second favourite for another.
Sire du Berlais in the Pertemps Final at 16:10 is a warm favourite for what is on paper a really competitive handicap, matched at a low of [5.50] (slightly bigger at the time of writing), after being taken at [8.6] shortly after the day-of-race market opened on the Betfair Exchange.
Of McManus's other strong contenders, Defi du Seuil is maintaining favouritism over old rival Lostintranslation for the JLT at 13:30, while the exciting Epitante has been fluctuating in price for the Dawn Run at 16:50.
In the day's feature, the Stayers' Hurdle at 15:30, Paisley Park has been strengthening his grip on the head of the market, a position he's held since winning the Cleeve over course and distance in January. He has moved from [3.35] to a low of [2.72] since the declarations were made.
Abolitionist [22.0] is a speculative selection win and place for the Pertemps Final. Sire du Berlais might win but everyone saw his eye-catching run at Leopardstown and there's no value in his price now. Abolitionist is having just his third run since joining Richard Newland, winning well over hurdles in the autumn, then shaping as if in need of the run over fences earlier in the month. This is a prep en route to the Grand National, but he should be spot-on after his last run and can take advantage of a lower mark in this sphere.
The Ryanair at 14:50 looks sure to be strongly run, but it may pay to stick with one of those that will be up with the pace, namely Un de Sceaux at [7.0]. He wasn't at his best in this race last season, just too fresh, but that shouldn't be a danger this afternoon. He won the race the previous season and the rain that fell this morning should have made the ground perfect for him.
11:12 - All the latest Exchange market movers
10:43 - A 'Super' day for golfer Lee Westwood
Plenty of punters were no doubt in the black yesterday, but few probably had a good a day as Betfair customer and golfing superstar Lee Westwood, who won over £48,000 after putting on a 'Super Heinz' bet with us. Top work Westy!
10:28 - Three horses to oppose on Day 3
We've tasked Jack Houghton with finding three short priced runners to lay every day this week and he's made a good start, with four winning lays from six selections. Find out who he is opposing in his Day 3 column.
10:07 - The Betting Guy's Day 3 trades
After advising a back-to-lay on Delta Work - who hit [1.7] in-running - on Wednesday, The Betting Guy returns with his best Exchange trades for Day 3. Listen to his latest podcast here:
09:48 - @StopwatchRacing's verdict on Day 2 and Thursday best bets
A tale of two middle distance hurdles yesterday, the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and the Coral Cup, run over identical distances but in slightly different ways.
The Ballymore was a stern test at the trip with a strong pace from the off. Stamina, as well as class, came to the fore and it was City Island (pictured) who emerged victorious. Champ travelled better than anything, and would likely have done City Island for speed under different circumstances, but was unable to get past the tough winner who was extending at the line.
Bright Forecast, who had previously been plying his trade over the minimum trip, shaped in third like another step up in distance may be necessary to see him to best affect. Brewin'upastorm, the eventual fourth, shaped like a shorter trip will play better to his strengths.
The Coral Cup, while not run at a crawl by any means, was nonetheless a relative test of speed and the winner, the sparingly campaigned William Henry has to be upgraded for his victory.
Brio Conti travelled better than anything, probably too well, and got there too soon. Patrick Mullins must have thought he used Wicklow Brave's two-mile speed perfectly but was worried out of it at the death.
The closing sectionals here were excellent and, when synthesised with the overall time, are indicative of the quality of contest: the first half dozen home are all likely better than their current marks.
The RSA Chase produced the best race of the week thus far. Class came to the fore with the first three home the first three in the market (albeit finishing in directly the wrong market order).
Harry Cobden rode Topofthegame to perfection hanging on to him until the last fence where he produced a superb jump. Timeform recorded the finishing speed as 104.8% which suggests that tactical speed was crucial at the finish.
Topofthegame possesses plenty of that whereas Santini and Delta Work would probably have preferred a greater test at the trip. Regardless, all three animals look to be Grade 1 types and I would suggest that Santini will have an enormous chance in the 2020 Gold Cup assuming all goes to plan.
Thoughts on Day 3
The JLT Novices Chase kicks us off on Day three with Defi Du Seuil (pictured) and Lostintranslation clear at the top of the market. They've traded wins thus far and look very similar, in ability terms, albeit completely different in their racing styles.
Defi's the much pacier of the two, no surprise given he's a Grade 1 winner over the minimum, whilst Lostintranslation would be equally at home over three-miles. Barry Geraghty gave the JP charge a lovely ride in outpacing Lostintranslation the last time they met but that race turned into a test of speed at the trip.
Today's contest looks certain to feature a stronger pace and I'd be quite confident that would turn things back in Lostintranslation's favour. The ground certainly isn't as testing as it was on day one of the Festival but I would still expect stamina to come to the fore here and that will suit him better. I had him the narrow favourite so I think the market's upside down.
At a bigger price, I like the look of Kauto Riko in the Brown Advisory Plate. He posted a sectional performance above his station when winning in December then failed to match that when third in January.
The pace was steady that day, which definitely wouldn't have suited him, so he can be excused that run and I think the extra half mile could suit. At [75.0] on the Exchange, we can pay to find out.