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Cheltenham Festival – 17th March Day 3

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Moving day as it’s described in the golf, the Thursday card represents a very different challenge to those earlier in the week. The switch to the new course dramatically increases the need for stamina, especially on the hurdles course, where just 2 flights are taken in the final 7-furlongs. 3 excellent grade 1s are followed by the most difficult hour of the week for the punters, with the Plate, Mares Novice hurdle and Kim Muir always presenting some of the most difficult puzzles to solve. Here are Thursday best bets from our team.


2:50PM Ryanair Chase – ALLAHO

He may well be a short price, but it is very hard to make a case for anything beating ALLAHO. The winner of this race 12-months ago, he blitzed his rivals from start to finish in 2021 and if anything, appears to be arriving in better form this time around. He has won the John Durkan this season, as well as a 2nd win in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Grade 2 and holds almost all his rivals on form and previous meetings. Likely to dictate in front again, it is very hard to see any of the other runners finding the improvement needed and he should bring his trainer another winner in this race.


3:30PM Stayers Hurdle – FLOORING PORTER

Our second bet of the day is also looking to repeat last season’s heroics, but the fact is that FLOORING PORTER is the solid option in this year’s renewal. Ted Walsh famously said that nobody sets out in life to breed a stayer’s hurdle winner and as such horses end up in this race when their connections have exhausted other options. As a 7-year-old, Flooring Porter does buck that trend a little and has run perfectly well since making all to win this race 12-months ago. He was only beaten by 2-lengths when 2nd to Klassical Dream over Christmas, which given Paul Townend stole 5-lengths at the start was not a bad result. Klassical Dream, Champ, Paisley Park et al have all shown themselves to be quirky and inconsistent this season and if he can get to the lead, Flooring Porter is likely to test all their resolve.

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