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2024 Cheltenham Day 3 Tips - Through-the-card tips on St Patrick's Day

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Last updated: 14 Mar 2024
Jon Vine 14 Mar 2024
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  • Final tips on day three of the Cheltenham Festival
  • This Stayers' Hurdle headlines the action at Cheltenham on Thursday 14th March
  • Sir Gerhard, Jade De Grugy and Where It All Began feature in our Cheltenham day three selections
Expired
il ridoto
Fugitif (left) and Il Ridotto (right) fighting out a finish at Cheltenham on Trials Day. (Getty)
    Cheltenham Day 3 Tips
  • 1:30pm Cheltenham - Turners' Novices' Chase Tips
  • 2:10pm Cheltenham - Pertemps Final Tips
  • 2:50pm Cheltenham - Ryanair Chase Tips
  • 3:30pm Cheltenham - Stayers' Hurdle Tips
  • Live Stream
  • 4:10pm Cheltenham - Plate Handicap Chase Tips
  • 4:50pm Cheltenham - Mares' Novices' Hurdle Tips
  • 5:30pm Cheltenham - Kim Muir Handicap Chase Tips

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival reaches its penultimate day on Thursday, affectionately known as St Patrick's Day. The Stayers' Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase are the co-main-events on the card. Viewers have also got the Turners, Mares' Novices' Hurdle and three handicaps to sink their teeth into.

Here's our best betting tips on day three of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham Day 3 Tips - Thursday 14th March


1:30pm Cheltenham - Turners' Novices' Chase Tips


In my guide to the Turners' that went live two weeks ago, I put FACILE VEGA (11/4) up at 9/2, predicting that he would go off as the favourite if declared. Paul Townend has indeed been booked to ride Willie Mullins' star and even his current price of 11/4 could look good come 1:30pm on Thursday.

Facile Vega jumped well when winning at Navan on his chasing debut. Mullins' star then finished fourth of four at Leopardstown over Christmas, but performed much better when third to Il Etait Temps at the Dublin Racing Festival - a marked improvement on the performance he produced at that meeting 12 months ago. Facile Vega has been crying out for a step up in trip and testing ground will suit.

I'll probably have a small punt on IROKO (11/2) too, despite my reservations over his fitness. Oliver Greenall & Josh Guerreiro's star won the Martin Pipe for me on day four last year and jumped superbly on his chasing debut at Warwick. Iroko has been off the track since that win at the start of November, but I can't let my favourite horse in training run without backing him, especially on his favoured soft ground.

2024 Turners' Novices' Chase Best Bet - Facile Vega
2024 Turners' Novices' Chase Value Bet - Iroko

2:10pm Cheltenham - Pertemps Final Tips


I was hoping to back Greenall & Guerreiro again in the Pertemps Final, but their contender White Rhino (12/1) is only the second reserve and needs two runners to drop out to get a run. Cleatus Poolaw (7/1) has been campaigned similarly to how stablemate Delta Work was before he won this contest in 2018. Gordon Elliott's novice is a massive player, but he's a little short in the market for my liking.

At a lengthy price, I'll have a punt on ANNA BUNINA (33/1), who has recorded two top-ten finishes in the County Hurdle. John McConnell stepped his mare up to three miles for the first time at Musselburgh last month, where she was nursed into the fourth and final qualifying position by Freddie Gingell. McConnell will be using Gingell's five-pound claim again on Thursday and, if the ground dries out a little, I'd give Anna Bunina a chance of placing.

2024 Pertemps Final Value Bet 1 - Anna Bunina E/W
2024 Pertemps Final Other Tips - White Rhino (If he gets in). Cleatus Poolaw (If White Rhino doesn't run).

2:50pm Cheltenham - Ryanair Chase Tips


I put Banbridge up in my ante-post series at 12/1 before his win at Kempton and he'd be my confident selection is the going was good. However, it seems neigh-on impossible that the ground will dry out enough for Banbridge to be at his best on day three of the Cheltenham Festival. I've cashed my ante-post bet out, in the expectation that he won't even be running.

Envoi Allen and Stage Star have already jumped ahead of Banbridge in the Ryanair market. I don't fancy backing either if Banbridge is indeed withdrawn, so I'm just going to have a speculative each-way punt on FUGITIF (20/1).

Richard Hobson's star came from the clouds to win the December Gold Cup and kept on valiantly to place third in the rescheduled Clarence House, having been badly outpaced over the minimum distance. Sean Bowen's mount is rated a little below the level you need to challenge in a Ryanair Chase, but he loves plenty of juice in the ground could be worth chancing in what looks like a weak renewal of this Grade One.

2024 Ryanair Chase Value Bet - Fugitif E/W

3:30pm Cheltenham - Stayers' Hurdle Tips


I backed Teahupoo to win this race 12 months ago and Gordon Elliott's star could only finish third behind two teenagers. For the second year in a row, the ground will be soft enough for this mudlark's liking, but Teahupoo has a better field to contend with this time around and, while it may have been Elliott's intention, I doubt that many horses have won a Championship race at Cheltenham on the back of a 120-day absence.

Having given up on Banbridge, I've got higher hopes for my ante-post punt in the Stayers' Hurdle. I backed SIR GERHARD (8/1) at 20/1 in the winter, anticipating he would revert back to hurdles following a fall at Naas. Willie Mullins' star switched back to the smaller obstacles at Punchestown over Christmas and ran out a comfortable winner of a fairly competitive conditions race.

To call a nine-year-old unexposed is a bit of a stretch, but Sir Gerhard has never run in a three-mile hurdles race before. The former Champion Bumper and Baring Bingham winner has plenty of course form to his name and still represents each-way value at his current price.

2024 Stayers' Hurdle Best Bet - Sir Gerhard E/W

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Paul Townend riding Sir Gerhard (red) clear the last to win The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle in 2022. (Getty)

Live Stream


If you plan on watching any of Thursday's races at Cheltenham live via a mobile device, then check out our Stayers' Hurdle Live Stream guide.

4:10pm Cheltenham - Plate Handicap Chase Tips


Despite Paul Nicholls' pessimism in the build-up to the race, I'm happy to back IL RIDOTO (14/1). Nicholls' seven-year-old brings tons of course form into this handicap, having won on Trials Day 2023 and placed on five other occasions.

Il Ridoto bested Fugitif in January of last year and was only beaten a short-head by that same rival back in December. To combat his career-high mark, Nicholls has booked Freddie Gingell to take the ride and he's already proven during his short career that he's ready to ride winners on the big stage.

I'm also going to back THEATRE MAN (5/1), but I won't be doing so until the day of the race. Richard Bandey's star finished like a train behind Ginny's Destiny here on Trials Day and looks more than capable of winning off this mark of 137. I can't see Harry Cobden's mount going off any shorter than his current price of 5/1, and you might get a better price if support continues to arrive for Crebilly and Saint Felicien.

2024 Plate Handicap Chase Tip 1 - Il Ridoto E/W
2024 Plate Handicap Chase Tip 2 - Theatre Man

4:50pm Cheltenham - Mares' Novices' Hurdle Tips


I'm finding it incredibly difficult to split the three mares at the head of the betting. Brighterdaysahead looks like a superstar in the making and this future chaser will be helped by the lack of obstacles in the closing stages on the New Course. Unlike her Irish rivals, Dysart Enos won't have a penalty to carry, but Fergal O'Brien's stable star has some catching up to do in the ratings department.

Out of the front three, I'm leaning towards JADE DE GRUGY (9/4). I was blown away by her maiden victory at Leopardstown over Christmas and Willie Mullins couldn't have asked for a better prep in the Solerina. Her proven staying ability will come in handy at Cheltenham. I'd rather back Jade De Grugy at 9/4 than the other two at their current prices.

Golden Ace has bundles of ability, but she looks a bit skinny at 12/1. MAJESTIC FORCE (33/1) bolted up in a point-to-point in December and thrashed a decent gelding of Willie Mullins in Dr Eggman on her hurdles debut at Punchestown. Darragh O'Keeffe will ride Henry De Bromhead's second-string, who boasts winning form on heavy ground. She's very interesting at 33/1.

2024 Mares' Novices' Hurdle Best Bet - Jade De Grugy
2024 Mares' Novices' Hurdle Value Bet - Majestic Force E/W

5:30pm Cheltenham - Kim Muir Handicap Chase Tips


WHERE IT ALL BEGAN (14/1) ticks plenty of boxes for the Kim Muir. Gordon Elliott's eight-year-old was only beaten narrowly on his penultimate start at Fairyhouse by 140-rated Intense Raffles, who was getting five pounds at the weights, and put 15 lengths between himself and hot-favourite We'llhavewan in the closing stages of the Punchestown Grand National Trial. 

When my guide to the Kim Muir went live last week, I hesitated to back Where It All Began at 20/1, as I feared Gordon Elliott might save his rising star for the Irish Grand National. When his name appeared in the final field with top amateur pilot Barry O'Neill in the saddle, I jumped straight on Where It All Began at 16s.

I'm also going to have a punt on GIT MAKER (25/1), who'll be ridden by a former Festival winner in Will Biddick. Jamie Snowden has had his eight-year-old laid out for the Kim Muir since his defeat at Ascot in December. Git Maker has won five of his six starts going left-handed, has won twice over an extended three miles at Catterick and boasts an excellent record on soft ground. His mark of 132 certainly looks workable.

2024 Kim Muir Tip 1 - Where It All Began E/W
2024 Kim Muir Tip 2 - Git Maker E/W

Verdict

Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Top Tips:

Best Bet1: Jade De Grugy 4:50pm Cheltenham @9/4 at Star Sports - 15 Units
Best Bet2: Facile Vega 1:30pm Cheltenham @11/4 at Hollywood bets - 15 Units
Best Bet3: Sir Gerhard E/W 3:30pm Cheltenham @8/1 at Star Sports - 10 Units
Best Bet4: Where It All Began E/W 5:30pm Cheltenham @14/1 at Betgoodwin - 10 Units
Jade De Grugy
4:50pm Cheltenham
@9/4 - 15 Units
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Facile Vega
1:30pm Cheltenham
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Sir Gerhard E/W
3:30pm Cheltenham
@8/1 - 10 Units
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Where It All Began E/W
5:30pm Cheltenham
@14/1 - 10 Units
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