It’s Day Three in the Cotswolds and we’re ready to go again with a bumper Thursday card. Have you any money left to lose?
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Most importantly — leave your tips in the comments section. We’re broke.
13.04 – When you’re fumbling around your pocket for change and weighing the choice between soup and a sandwich and a few quid each-way on a 16/1 shot, it can only be Thursday at Cheltenham.
There was another inspection this morning but we’re good to go with racing due to start at 1.30pm — so there’s still time to place those bets. Anybody know how to make some money in this minefield?
We’ll be here until the bitter end of the eight-race card (including the charity race if they get around to it) so you should really stay here for the afternoon.
13.07 – PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The course for the Glenfarclas Cross Country, which is due to be run at 5.15pm today having been cancelled earlier in the week, needs a second inspection at 2.15pm before officials decide if it is race-fit.
Once we know, we’ll let you know.
13.13 – Now for the real business. Here’s today’s running order:
- 1.30: Jewson Novices’ Chase
- 2.05: Pertemps Final
- 2.40: Ryanair Chase
- 3.20: Ladbrokes World Hurdle
- 4.00: Byrne Group Plate
- 4.40: Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase
- 5.15: Glenfarclas Handicap Chase
- 5.45: St Patrick’s Day Derby (Charity Race)
13.20 – If you missed it earlier, here are five things to talk about when the office conversation turns to racing later. Here’s what we had to say about the first, which will see Dynaste go off the hot hot hot favourite:
1. “Is Dynaste as hot as his price suggests?”
Short answer: no.
There’s no denying that David Pipe’s seven-year-old has been one of the outstanding novice chasers this season but there was a lot of indecision about whether he would run in today’s opener, the Jewson Novices’ Chase (1.30pm), or in the RSA Chase (won by Jim Culloty’s Lord Windermere yesterday).
The decision to go for the shorter race was taken on the basis that the ground was soft to heavy earlier in the week, but now that it’s drying out, the scenario has changed a bit. The drop back in trip won’t inconvenience him too much but quite simply, 6/4 is too skinny for a favourite in this race.
The upside is that there’s plenty of value to be found elsewhere, not least in Aupcharlie(6/1) from the searingly hot Willie Mullins yard, and in Noel Meade’s Texas Jack(10/1)
13.25 – The runners are down in the parade ring for the first of the day, the Jewson Novices’ Chase over 2m4f. After plenty of indecision, David Pipe’s yard seem very sweet on Dynaste’s chances but I quite fancy the chances of an Irish winner in this. Take your pick of Aupcharlie, Texas Jack and Marito.
Betting: Dynaste 6/4, Captain Conan 5/1, Aupcharlie 8/1, Texas Jack 11/1, Marito 11/1, Bar 16/1.
It’s “St Patrick’s Day” in Cheltenham, don’t ya know? *cringe*
13.31 – AND THEY’RE OFF: The roar sends them on the way in the Jewson.
13.33 – Bryan Cooper and Benefficient lead them past the stand, Sire Collonges and Molotov sit in behind. Tom Scudamore sitting nicely on Dynaste so far.
13.35 – Four to jump. Dynaste looms into third…
13.37 – MASSIVE SHOCK IN THE FIRST… AND IT’S AN IRISH WINNER: Bryan Cooper wins on board Benefficient for Tony Martin. A 20/1 shot. Dynaste second.
13.38 – “Unbelievable,” an elated Bryan Cooper says. “Probably hasn’t sunk in yet but it’s what you dream of.”
Changing Times with a storming run to finish third.
13.40 – RESULT: 1. Benefficient (20/1) 2. Dynaste (6/4 fav) 3. Changing Times (100/1) 4. Module (16/1)
13.41 – There’s some party in the parade ring as Clare Balding interviews the connections. Full of praise for young Bryan Cooper, who still has a doozy of a ride on Our Conor in the Triumph tomorrow.
And here’s the one that matters:
13.46 – If you had backed Dynaste (middle), you would have thought you were sitting pretty as they came to the second last but to be fair to Tony Martin and Bryan Cooper, they never panicked.
Ruby Walsh did have a fall on Molotov in the closing stages but he’s up and seems fine.
13.49 – Ever wondered what it looks like to have a Cheltenham winner? This is the face of owner Adrian Shiels, with his co-owner Niall Reilly just out of shot to the left:
13.51 – This just in from our friends in Betfair:
Benefficient backed at 150 in-running; Dynaste traded at 1.3; Captain Conan backed at 1.01 to place; Changing Time traded at 38 to place.
As they say, somebody out there just lost their… ahem.
14.04 – No time to sit back and relax. The Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle is up now at 2.05pm.
Here’s the betting: Sam Winner 4/1, Shutthefrontdoor 6/1, Jetson 10/1, Top of the Range 10/1, Close House 12/1, Stonemaster 14/1, Ballybough Pat 16/1.
14.06 – We’re off in the Pertemps. Can Paul Nicholls land a winner? Will there be another Irish winner?
14.08 – Tom Scudamore is not having a good Thursday. Bad mistake on Close House but he stays standing. Eight to jump.
14.09 – Junior leads from Bertie’s Dream and According to Trev with six left to jump. Sam Winner and Shutthefrontdoor held up by Ruby and AP.
14.10 – Bertie’s Dream, American Spin, Ely Brown is the 1-2-3 as they come to the third last.
14.11 – The favourite Sam Winner needs a Ruby miracle to win this. AP coming through on Shutthefrontdoor.
14.12 – HOLYWELL WINS THE PERTEMPS FINAL at 25/1
14.14 – RESULT: 1. Holywell 2. Captain Sunshine 3. Jetson 4. Shutthefrontdoor
14.19 – It’s an all-Rebel trainer/jockey combo for Corkmen Richie McLernon and Jonjo O’Neill, but it goes into the book as a British win. Lovely tribute from McLernon to his friend and fellow jockey Campbell Gillies who died last year.
14.29 – Time for a little bit of celeb spotting. There’s Kammy:
Pippa went for “inconspicuous yellow” today:
[Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images]
14.31 – DAVY RUSSELL STOOD DOWN for the rest of the day. That’s big news with the Ryanair coming in 10 minutes as he was due to ride the favourite, First Lieutenant, for Gigginstown. He’s replaced by Bryan Cooper who just had first Festival winner in the Jewson earlier today. What a day this could turn out to be.
14.36 – Only eight go to post for the Ryanair but it’s a cracking field, and Bryan Cooper and First Lieutenant will have their work cut out for them if they’re to beat last year’s winner Riverside Theatre, 2010 and 2011 winner Albertas Run… and Cue Card, Champion Court and the rest.
Here’s the betting: First Lieutenant 2/1, Cue Card 7/2, Riverside Theatre 7/1, Champion Court 15/2, 8/1 Bar
14.40 – A few thoughts coming in in the comments section — Menorah for Patrick Dunphy; Ghizao or Albertas Run for David Keogh.
I’m on Riverside Theatre, hoping that he’s back to his very best. I’m not sure that Nicky Henderson would be sending him out if he’s below par but that’s probably my wallet talking.
14.40 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE RYANAIR
14.42 – Cue Card and Champion Court set the early pace. About three or four clear as they come down in front of the stands for the first time.
14.44 – Albertas Run pulled up at the back. Six left and it looks like a three-horse race between Cue Card, Champion Court and First Lieutenant.
14.46 – RESULT: 1. Cue Card 2. First Lieutenant 3. For Non Stop
14.50 – What a brilliant run by Cue Card and ride by Joe Tizzard for his father Colin.
First Lieutenant looked to be motoring but didn’t quite clear the third last and that may have cost him a bit. Make no mistake though — Cue Card is a deserving winner, running away to win by nine lengths.
14.56 – Looks like I’m not the only person having a bad day.
Patrick Dunphy: “I gave myself a red thumb there….why did he even race at cheltenham if he can’t finish the race!”
David Keogh: “Think I should stop with these predictions! 4 horses = 1 faller, 1 pulled up and 2 finished nowhere….fingers crossed the last 4 races go better than the 1st 3! At this stage I’m happy to just break even for the day.”
15.06 – Alright, here we go. We’ve 15 minutes to go until the big one, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. No Big Buck’s of course, and this race is the worse for it, but it leaves the contest wide open and you could realistically make claims for any of the field’s 14 runners.
15.09 – With Channel 4 reporting that Davy Russell is on his way to Cheltenham General Hospital, 20-year-old Bryan Cooper takes the ride on Bog Warrior. He’s in the parade ring getting his final instructions from trainer Tony Martin and owner Michael O’Leary.
15.12 – DOI: I’ve backed Bog Warrior each-way but I’m not at all confident in his chances. Probably win the thing…
The money is coming for Oscar Whisky in a big way. Backed in from 6/1 this morning to 11/4 now; little bit for Reve de Sivola in to 5/1, while the Irish support is concentrated on the trio of Solwhit, Bog Warrior and Get Me Out of Here (all 8/1).
15.15 – We’ve just under five minutes to go to the off. Who will you be shouting home in today’s feature? Let me know in the comments section.
15.18 – Still no winners for AP McCoy (Get Me Out of Here) or for Paul Nicholls (Celestial Halo, Wonderful Charm). Ruby Walsh rides the latter.
15.22 – THEY’RE OFF IN THE WORLD HURDLE… just about. Nobody wants to make the running as the starter lifts the tape and they gradually amble off.
15.23 – Bog Warrior zips into an early lead with Reve de Sivola about three lengths back. Field well strung out by the pace.
15.24 – No change at the top. Oscara Dara and Cross Kennon in third and fourth as they finish up the first circuit. About 15 lengths covers the field.
15.26 – Two to jump. Bog Warrior has them stretched but there’s a long run in. Oscar Whisky with lots to do.
15.27 – SOLWHIT WINS THE WORLD HURDLE FOR PAUL CARBERRY AND CHARLES BYRNES
15.30 – “I was always afraid to take it up too early,” winning jockey Paul Carberry says. “Charles said to attack at the last so I tried to time it as well as I could.
“Always going well.”
15.31 – RESULT: 1. Solwhit 2. Celestial Halo 3. Smad Place
15.35 – A word for trainer Charles Byrnes. This horse was a multiple Grade 1 winner over hurdles — remember those epic battles with Hurricane Fly? — before spending two years off the track. Now, he’s back winning a Cheltenham feature and that type of thing doesn’t happen by accident.
The first Irish winner since Doran’s Pride in 1995.
15.46 – Ben Blake in to take you through the remainder of Day 3. Before we get to the next race, I’ll bring you a quote from Ted Walsh on Paul Carberry.
“He is the most talented jockey of his generation, I don’t give a shit what anyone else says”.
15.51 – Right, the 4.00 is the Byrne Group Plate. It’s 2m 5f and the favourite comes from Ballynagour, who is 4/1. AP McCoy, still looking for his first win of the week, rides Cantlow (6/1) and further back are Hunt Ball(8/1) and Vineo Griego (11/1).
15.57 – Word that Cantlow is bleeding from the nose. It’s not for the first time it has happened to the Paul Webber-trained horse and he will be checked by the vet before we start.
Ted Walsh says if it was his horse, he’d pull it straight away.
16.02 – And it’s more back luck for AP as Cantlow will not run after the vet suggests he sits this one out.
It looks like we’re off and running but we’ve been pulled back for a false start.
16.04 – They’re off now but Mad Moose has decided not to run. Carrickboy leads from Tartak with 10 to jump.
16.08 – CARRICKBOY WINS THE BYRNE GROUP PLATE. He led from the start and kicked on with two to jump. Super win.
16.14 – Winning jockey Liam Treadwell. “It means so much. I’ve go close in past years but what a blow-out this lads has given. I didn’t want to press on too soon and I’m delighted it paid off.”
It’s an amazing story for trainer Venetia Williams and Treadwell, who won the 2009 Grand National but has struggles to hit similar heights since then. Carrickboy came in at 50/1.
RESULT: 1. Carrickboy 2. Vino Griego 3. Tartak 4. Hunt Ball
16.15 – Winning jockey Liam Treadwell. “It means so much. I’ve go close in past years but what a blow-out this lads has given. I didn’t want to press on too soon and I’m delighted it paid off.”
It’s an heart-warming story for trainer Venetia Williams and Treadwell, who won the 2009 Grand National but has found it difficult to hit similar heights since then.
RESULT: 1. Carrickboy 2. Vino Griego 11/1 3. Tartak 20-1 4. Hunt Ball 8/1
16.27 – Paul Carberry has the tricolour out after winning the World Hurdle…
Credit: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
16.34 – Not long now until the Kim Muir Handicap Chase (4.40), which is over 3 miles. 24 runners with Derek O’Connor and Super Duty favourites at 11/2. According to the market, the challenge will come from Romanesco (8/1) who is making his festival debut and is partnered by Nina Carberry and Alfie Sherrin (9/1) – trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by Alan Berry.
16.37 – Set to miss the Grand National…
16.41 – They’re off up the hill with Super Duty taking to the front immediately.
16.46 – Super Duty, BecauseICouldntSee and Harry the Viking with four to go.
16.48 – IT LOOKS LIKE SAM DIFFERENCE HAS WON THE KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP CHASE. He crosses the line just before Super Duty in a photo finish.
16.57 – RESULT: 1. Same Difference 2. Super Duty 11/2 fav 3. Romanesco 4. Alfie Sherrin
A first festival win for Ryan Hatch with the 16/1 shot and a second for trainer Nigel Twiston Davies at this year’s Cheltenham.
17.15 – Right, one more to go and it’s the the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase or Cross Country, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday. Look out for Nina Carberry and Arabella Boy (9/4), which is trained by Enda Bolger and has come in from 3/1. Fresh from his win with Solwhit, Paul Carberry rides Sadders Storm (14/1). Katie Walsh is on Shakervilz (16/1)
The race, 3m 7f, was scheduled for 5.15 but an announcement has just revealed that we’re going to be delayed by a few minutes.
17.25 – We’re still waiting to get started due to an ambulance which is attending to JT McNamara, who was on board Galaxy Rock in the last race when it fell.
17.27 – Race officials have just said that the Cross Country will now go ahead at 5.40 – 25 minutes later than originally planned.
17.41 – Okay, it finally looks as if we’re going to get started.
17.43 – False alarm. It has now been put off for a further 5 minutes. All in aid of safety, I suppose.
17.50 – Okay, the start is imminent.
17.53 – You’re kidding me, we’ve had a false start. The horses brought back around to the starting point and there’s a huge cheer from what is becoming an increasingly impatient crowd as the Cross Country begins.
Any longer and they would have been running in the dark!
Wedger Paddy leads by a length from Passato.
17.57 – Wedger Paddy has opened up a four length advantage from Passato and Double Dizzy.
17.59 – Big Shu takes the lead and is travelling strongly from Outlaw Pete. A tired looking Wedger Paddy has dropped way off.
18.00 – BIG SHU WINS THE GLENFARCLAS HANDICAP CHASE/CROSS COUNTRY. Ridden by Barry Cash, the 14/1 shot is another Irish winner.
18.06 – RESULT: 1. Big Shu 2. Shakervilz 3. Outlaw Pete
18.13 – News from Cheltenham is that TJ McNamara has been taken to hospital after being put in an “induced coma” according to the Racing Post. Our thought are with him and hopefully he makes a fully recovery ASAP.
That’s about it from me but in case you’ve forgotten, tomorrow is Gold Cup day so join again from midday.
As always, thanks for the company.