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Timeform Shortlist: Cheltenham, Thursday March 16

Stayers' Hurdle favourite Unowhatimeanharry (right) winning last year's Albert Bartlett
Stayers' Hurdle favourite Unowhatimeanharry (right) winning last year's Albert Bartlett
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Timeform's free Shortlist comes from the third day of the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.

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1.30 JLT Novices' Chase (Golden Miller) (Grade 1) (1) 2m3f198y

Timeform Top Rated:
173p 8. YORKHILL W. P. Mullins R. Walsh
171 3. DISKO Noel Meade B. J. Cooper
170 6. POLITOLOGUE Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies

Analyst's Verdict:
Yorkhill, a classy hurdler who is unbeaten in 2 starts over fences, should take all the beating as he bids for back-to-back Cheltenham Festival wins, his jumping likely to have improved again since his latest bloodless success at Leopardstown. Top Notch and Politologue are both likeable types who have impressed with their jumping to date, so expect big efforts from them, too.


2.10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (1) 2m7f213y

Timeform Top Rated:
158p 16. IMPULSIVE STAR Neil Mulholland Mr S. Waley-Cohen (3)
157 22. ALZAMMAAR Sam England Jonathan England
156+ 4. JURY DUTY Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy

Analyst's Verdict:
Impulsive Star has progressed every start this season, winning a qualifier at Exeter in impressive fashion last month, and a likely well-run race could see this strong-travelling type in an even better light, so he looks the one to side with. Not surprisingly, plenty of these are in with a chance, most notably Jury Duty, Isleofhopendreams, Tobefair and Rocklander.


2.50 Ryanair Chase (Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) (1) 2½m166y

Timeform Top Rated:
183 6. UN DE SCEAUX W. P. Mullins R. Walsh
179 3. EMPIRE OF DIRT Gordon Elliott B. J. Cooper
178 5. SUB LIEUTENANT Henry de Bromhead David Mullins

Analyst's Verdict:
Sub Lieutenant 's form has improved markedly since switching to Henry de Bromhead, and his 2½-length second to subsequent Irish Gold Cup-winner Sizing John is solid form. He could see off Un de Sceaux, who sets a clear standard, but is tackling this trip for the first time over fences. Gigginstown's other representative Empire of Dirt is also a serious contender.


3.30 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1) (1) 2m7f213y

Timeform Top Rated:
180 12. UNOWHATIMEANHARRY Harry Fry Noel Fehily
175 15. YANWORTH Alan King Non Runner
174 8. NICHOLS CANYON W. P. Mullins R. Walsh

Analyst's Verdict:
Unowhatimeanharry has beaten the majority of this field 3 times already this season and Harry Fry's most likeable stayer is hard to oppose. Ballyoptic is fairly priced on the pick of his form and could represent some each-way value, whilst Shaneshill has finished second at the last 3 Festivals and is another to consider.


4.10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (1) 2½m166y

Timeform Top Rated:
173 19. ROCK GONE Dr Richard Newland Sam Twiston-Davies
172 16. SIZING CODELCO Colin Tizzard Tom O'Brien
172 24. THOMAS CRAPPER Robin Dickin Charlie Poste

Analyst's Verdict:
Sizing Codelco is still lightly raced and will benefit from a return to this trip. He looks well treated on the improvement shown when second to Top Notch at Ascot and should give backers a decent run. Baron Alco is another with good form against that rival and can go well, while last year's Coral Cup winner Diamond King and Starchitect tick all the right boxes, too.


4.50 Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Dawn Run) (Grade 2) (1) 2m179y

Timeform Top Rated:
158p 5. LET'S DANCE W. P. Mullins R. Walsh
157+ 1. AIRLIE BEACH W. P. Mullins P. Townend
156p 8. ASTHURIA W. P. Mullins Daniel Mullins

Analyst's Verdict:
Willie Mullins won the inaugural running of this in 2016 with Limini and Let's Dance can follow suit. She shouldn't be inconvenienced by the step back in trip given that a strong end-to-end gallop is assured, and her form is the strongest on offer. Stablemates Airlie Beach and Asthuria both merit respect, but Forge Meadow is preferred for forecast purposes. Verdana Blue is also worth a mention.


5.30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase (2) 3¼m

Timeform Top Rated:
161 7. SOUTHFIELD ROYALE Neil Mulholland Mr James King
158p 17. SUGAR BARON Nicky Henderson Mr Joshua Newman (3)
158p 20. SQUOUATEUR Gordon Elliott Mr J. J. Codd

Analyst's Verdict:
Southfield Royale is well handicapped on several pieces of form in 2015/16, and though he was unable to prove that point in the Sky Bet Chase on January's return, he is well worth another chance. Mall Dini, Premier Bond and Squouateur are a trio of novices with potential, while an on-song Doctor Harper would make them all go.



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