Cheltenham Tips

Cheltenham Tips for Thursday: Frero the big player in Tony Calvin's Day 3 quintet

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
Gold Tweet could be TC's stand out bet of the Festival

It's day three at the Cheltenham Festival and Tony Calvin is recommending five to back including an 11/1 shot in the Stayers' Hurdle and a 12/1 best bet...


New course, stiffer track and fresher ground on Thursday at Cheltenham - though rain is forecast from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning - and it is a day on which those who love a shortie will be falling over themselves to stick Mighty Potter, Shishkin and Luccia into a treble.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if all three cop, so I am not going to get all sniffy at that approach, but it is not a route I tend to go down.

Ante-post picks have strong claims in Turners

Ante-post, I have gone against Mighty Potter in the Turners at 13:30, backing Balco Coastal and Stage Star each-way at double-figure prices last week.

There are still nine runners in here, so three places are still available for each-way punters, but the downside is that is at least two more than I wanted to see for my own selfish punting purposes.

Mighty Potter does have outstanding claims, and Willie Mullins fires two dangerous bullets with Appreciate It and James Du Berlais (a very dangerous floater). You have to respect Banbridge stepping back up in trip, for all that rain would be a negative for him. In fact, Banbridge could well be a non-runner if they get a lot of the wet stuff.

So, for all I still like the chances of Balco Coastal and Stage Star, both from a time and form perspective, I genuinely think they have as strong a claims as any bar the favourite. It is a stronger race than I was expecting last week so I am not having any fresh bets, hence I am not tipping.

Those two are the ports of call to visit if you want an interest though, as I think their current win-only prices of 12/1+ on the Betfair Exchange are fair, and probably the fairest of them all, as some character from The Sleeping Beauty may have said.

Pertemps looks wide open

I wouldn't put anyone off any of the 24 runners in the Pertemps at 14:10 at their respective odds - it is bang open - so I am going to keep this race summary short and sweet.

Those at the top end of the market - the likes of Maxxum, Thanksforthehelp and Walking On Air - could well dominate but I like the claims of one who finished third to the latter horse at Exeter last time.

Step forward Moka De Vassy, who has a tempting combination of promise, course form and a lowly handicap mark.

I bet connections were delighted to have even got into the race off a mark of 125 - the bottom weight has actually crept in off a mere 121 - and I love the fact that this lightly-raced 5yo has two good Cheltenham runs to his name, in Triumph and Ballymore trials.

They stepped him up in trip over an extended 2m7f at Exeter last time and I liked the way he stuck on to finish a six-length third to the admittedly cosy winner Walking On Air, when wearing cheekpieces for the first time.

The headgear is retained here and I give this maiden a far better chance than the current betting would have you believe - though I want to see him travel more strongly in the early stages of the race - so back him at 33/1 each-way, six places, with the Sportsbook. I love the stable, too.

It was annoying that the 50/1 disappeared on Wednesday morning, but I'll accept the 33s.

Back Moka De Vassy e-w six places Betfair Sportsbook @

33/1

Janadil can benefit if Shishkin fails

For openness, I said at start of the week I would flag up where I had had any ante-post bets, so I had a small each way bet on Janadil at 8/1 last month for the Ryanair at 14:50.

That was immediately on the back of his Gowran Park comeback win (where he apparently looked as big as a very big bull beforehand). Last year's runner-up is possibly the one most likely to benefit if Shishkin can't back up that great win at Ascot last month.

But if there is a doubt about the favourite running to form, the same is equally true of Janadil, if not more so, as he tends to fade away excellent reappearance efforts.

They may have left more to work on than usual at Gowran but the usual regression from the first run has to be a concern for Janadil's each-way backers.

I am not going to play this race now, but I hope Janadil and Ga Law (who, as I said on Racing Only Bettor, I had very speculative and small bets on at 66s and 33s on before his Sky Bet Chase run and fall) oblige should the favourite blow out for some reason.

I'd be no more than mildly hopeful of a return on those investments to be honest, as you can clearly make place claims for a few others in here, too.

Gold Tweet backed to pass Stayers' test

The more you look at the Stayers' Hurdle at 15:30 the more puzzling it gets, but I have been chipping away at that solid campaigner Dashel Drasher for a couple of months now and I am more recently sold on the claims of the horse who beat him pointless in the Cleeve Hurdle last time, Gold Tweet.

Aunties and uncles and all that, but if any 6yo, trying the trip for the first time, from a top English or Irish stable, had won as he did at Cheltenham in January - and I appreciate the third, Paisley Park, was giving him 6lb there - then you would have been looking at a 6s poke here, tops.

Now, how much the horse (and jockey) finds under pressure when it gets down and dirty here - and it surely will given the depth of the field, and with a more punishing pace from the front - is to be seen but I am a believer for now.

Back him at 12.011/1 or bigger. He is 11s with the Sportsbook if you want to back him there.

Back Gold Tweet @

12.0 or bigger

Infuriating Frero can deliver in Plate

I haven't budged from my long-term fancies for the Plate at 16:10, so I suggest backing Frero Banbou and Datsalrightgino win-only on the Betfair Exchange, both at 13.012/1 or bigger.

You can currently get a touch bigger, but any 12/1+ looks exceptionally good to me. Actually, 10/1 would be fine for both, even if you have to really respect the claims of the favourite So Scottish.

Back Datsalrightgino @

13.0 or bigger

Frero Banbou has been an infuriating horse to follow of late, often flattering to deceive, and I may have too much of an unhealthy history with him.

But he has dropped to an incredibly tempting mark of 135 after his efforts over an inadequate 2m - including when third in the Grand Annual, off a mark of 141, here last season after nearly downing tools early doors - and the key to him winning this is surely this belated move up in trip to 2m4f for the first time.

I know we throw away long-term plot comments a bit too lightly but I am reliably informed this has been the target for a while - they nearly got him so well handicapped, they were worrying he wouldn't get into the race - and he is a huge player.

I could easily see him going off at around 6/1, so he is my bet of the day. Even the Sportsbook's 10s could look very big come the off.

Back Frero Banbou

13.0 or bigger

As is Datsalrightgino, who will surely go close if reproducing his second to Turners hopeful Stage Star here two starts ago.

He didn't run as well at Kempton last time - although by no means running badly - but the return to this more galloping left-handed track will suit and I think he still has something in hand of his current mark of 145.

The first-time cheekpieces for him surprised me - Jamie Snowden is only 2 from 25 with this angle since 2016 - but it is not putting me off.

Take on Luccia

If Luccia is as good as she has looked in in her Newbury and Exeter wins then she may destroy the opposition in the mares' novices' hurdle at 16:50, but a big field and a large merry band from Ireland could make life more troublesome for her and odds of 7/4 are no giveaway.

I am going to take her on, but not with something from Ireland, but with a horse housed just a few yards from her box in the shape of Ahorsewithnoname.

Back her at 30.029/1 or bigger, and 25/1+ is probably fair, too. She is definitely a win-only proposition, though.

She would like better ground (the incoming rain is a worry) but she finished second to Love Envoi in this race on soft ground last year, improved dramatically on the Flat subsequently and can be excused on her run on Boxing Day as she bled very badly.

She apparently has receieved a lot of love and attention since, but she is no 28/1 poke here, for all it would be a brilliant training performance to get her primed to win this race.

Back Ahorsewithnoname @

30.0 or bigger

I have decided against a bet in the Kim Muir as I thought Stumptown was just a little too short for my tastes - though he is edging towards 9/2 on the exchange and that could tempt me in - and my other half-fancy, Beauport, doesn't entirely convince me, even though his double-figure price is decent enough.

Go well.


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