Cheltenham 2018: Day 3 Preview, St Patrick’s Day

The third day of Cheltenham Festival takes place on Thursday 16th March, and is known as St Patrick’s Day. There’s plenty big races to look forward to today, after a few novice races yesterday on Ladies Day. This is the penultimate day of the festival with the Gold Cup ending the week as one of the feature races after what’s been an action packed week that kicked off on Champion’s Tuesday.

St Patrick’s Day Betting Offers & Free Bets

13.30 The JLT Novices’ Chase

Although it’s one of the newest races on the Festival calendar,  already  some famous names  have collected the prize, notably Sir des Champs and Vautour

14.10 The Pertemps Network Final

This is another fiendishly difficult maximum runner handicap that has produced some wonderful finishes over the years.  Last year was no different and, after a ding dong battle after the last, Mall Dini emerged victorious under Davy Russell.

14.50 The Ryanair Steeple Chase

This is a cracker of a race which quite rightly was given Grade 1 status in 2008. Often called the Thursday Gold Cup, it was won twice by Alberta’s Run in 2010/11 and Cue Card lifted it in 2013. Last year it was won in brilliant style by Vautour. Valseur Lido won’t be running this year as his injury in December meant he was pulled out of the race in mid-January.

 15.30 The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle

This is now the highlight of Day 4, and previous winners have a good record in this as Baracouda (twice) Inglis Drever (three times) and Big Bucks (four times) have all returned to retake their crown. Last year’s winner Thistlecrack is the current favourite for the Gold Cup.

16.10 The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate

David Pipe holds the key to this race, having won it on three separate occasions, and it’s not a race the Irish enjoy as last year’s winner Empire of Dirt was the their first  in 34 years.

16.50 The Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle

This race was introduced to the Festival only last year as it replaced the ‘charity race’. Limini, trained by Willie Mullins, was the winner.

17.30 The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

Another race restricted to amateurs, this event normally has a bearing on the following month’s Grand National, with many taking part in this event being aimed at the Aintree showpiece.