Cheltenham Festival 2021 day three tips and best bets including Stayers’ Hurdle

Paisley Park can reclaim his Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle crown (3.05) on day three of what has already been a scintillating Cheltenham Festival so far, which will ensure further positive news for racing when it needs it most.

The ground was quite testing, with the times slow, but the spring weather has given conditions more of a traditional Cheltenham feel over the past couple of days. Rachael Blackmore’s victory on Honeysuckle on day one was the opening-afternoon highlight but owner Andrew Gemmell, who has been blind since birth, can look forward to a huge run from the 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle hero Paisley Park, who came unstuck last year.

He’s bounced right back this term, overcoming Thyme Hill in one of the most memorable races of the season at Ascot in December, and is coming here fresh. The defection of Thyme Hill has rendered this much easier for Paisley Park, who may have a big challenger in the face of Fury Road, who is working well coming here.

Lisnagar Oscar returns to the site of his 50-1 win in the third-day feature last year. There was no real fluke about that and Rebecca Curtis gave this horse a wind operation after he flopped behind Thyme Hill at Newbury. He’s likely coming to hand.

It’s arguable that the superstar of day three is not running in the pivot race but in the opening Marsh Novices Chase (1.20). There have been perhaps too many odds-on favourites for the taste of the purists this week, who want ultra-competitive action, but this Envoi Allen, yet to taste defeat in any shape or form, looks a star.

Honeysuckle’s trainer Henry de Bromhead now trains Envoi Allen, Cheveley Park having moved its horses from Gordon Elliott. However, his groom has joined him in County Waterford, to render the switch as seamless as possible. He’s awesome.

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The 10-1 about Samcro, another horse unbeaten at Cheltenham and who used to be trained by Elliott, is appealing in the Ryanair Chase (2.30). This is deeply competitive and excuses have to be made for Samcro’s defeats this season but the stable seemed out of form last time and he tends to come alive in then Cotswolds.

Another Cheveley Park steed, Allaho, has a tongue tie for the first time. Run out of it in the RSA Chase last year, he has a massive chance under Blackmore, with Paul Townend staying loyal to Min.

Jeremy Scott’s Dashel Drasher would be a popular winner here. He’s progressed to a mark of 162 after winning his last three and he showed a terrific attitude to win the Betfair Ascot Chase under Matt Griffiths in February.

It looks like being another good day for the Irish, with Farclas rock-solid each-way in the Paddy Power Plate (3.40). Nicky Henderson’s Top Notch is interesting at a price after a wind op but Farclas is preferred.

The 16-1 about Mighty Blue is appealing in the Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (4.15). Willie Mullins has won this race every year since it was born but he may be up against it this year, with the Joseph O’Brien-trained daughter of Authorized looking sure to appreciate a strong pace, with Royal Kahala and Roseys Hollow feared.

The hosts have a definite chance in the Kim Muir (4.50), with Hold The Note an obvious choice for Mick Channon, but Plan Of Attack (blinkered for the first time) is surely becoming dangerously handicapped for Henry de Bromhead. He’s 8-1 with Paddy Power, which is paying five places.

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