Cheltenham Festival Thursday tips: The best bets on day three

Iroko is fancied to crown his early return from injury with a second successive Festival win



4 months ago

Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival is traditionally the meeting’s most fiendishly complex in terms of finding winners but we’ve three confident selections as the third day of the greatest show on turf moves the stamina-sapping new course.

Cheltenham Festival Thursday best bets

1.30 – Iroko to win @ 11/2

2.10 – Gaoth Chuil to win (each-way) @ 8/1

5.30 – Amirite to win (each-way) @ 10/1

Bet on the latest Cheltenham Festival odds at Betzone

Greenall and Guerriero star can complete unlikely comeback in the opener

IROKO landed the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle on the new course at last year’s Festival and looks to have leading claims of doubling up a year later despite missing much of the campaign with an injury.

The six-year-old has just one chase start to his name having suffered what was at the time considered a season-ending foot injury after his victorious fencing debut at Warwick.

However, that victory looked fairly electric at the time and the form has been boosted since with second Golden Son going on to win a handicap and third Kilbeg King third in the Grade 1 Kauto Star at Christmas, before going down by a neck in the Grade 2 Reynoldstown at Ascot.

Considered a future Gold Cup horse by his trainer, he’s reportedly in superb form as he bids to land a second successive Festival win. In an open year he can continue his upwardly mobile trajectory with by landing the Turners.

Tip: 1.30 – Iroko to win @ 11/2

Cheltenham challenge can unlock more improvement in stamina-laden mare

Its’ rare that the winner of a Pertemps qualifier is the most eye-catching runner with a view to the Pertemps Final but GAOTH CHUIL (head wind in Gaelic) looked the one to take from the Leopardstown qualifier on December 28.

Claimer Shane O’ Callaghan was far from hard at work in the saddle but his mount was still able to win easily. Up 6lbs next time she finished a staying on three-quarters-of-a length second in a listed 3m handicap hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

A dour stayer by her trainer Ted Walsh’s own admission, she could well have further improvement to come on just her third run over 3m. Cheltenham’s new course, renowned for its stamina test, should play to her strengths nicely.

Tip: 2.10 – Gaoth Chuil to win @ 8/1

De Bromhead chaser can gain recompense for autumn equipment fail

Henry De Bromhead’s lightly-raced AMIRITE was a hard luck story on his last visit to Cheltenham but his misfortune at the track in October could have worked out for the best as his rating of 142 allows him to sneak in below the 145-rating ceiling in the Kim Muir.

The lightly-raced eight-year-old was running a big race over 3m1f on the Old Course at the Showcase until Rachel Blackmore’s saddle slipped after three out, but still managed to finish fourth behind stablemate Whacker Clan.

As Blackmore’s mount he was evidently his yard’s first string in the contest and would likely have gone very close barring that equipment failure, yet the handicapper saw fit to drop him 4lbs for that run – a mark that remains unchanged after his good fifth in the Paddy Power at Leopardstown.

Well-treated and having chosen this test over the Ultima, for which he’d also been entered prior to the 48-hour declarations he should run a big race.

Tip: 5.30 – Amirite to win (each-way) @ 10/1