Cheltenham Day Three Preview: A walk in the Park for Paisley

We’ve reached the halfway stage of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and day three of the meeting promises to be live up to its billing as the sport’s latest superstar Envoi Allen takes centre stage.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:00 pm
Aidan Coleman riding Paisley Park. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

We’ve also got the small matter of the Stayers’ Hurdle too. We’ve once again previewed the pick of the action with stats and analysis.

1.20pm Grade One Marsh Novices’ Chase

Only one name on everyone’s lips here – the great Envoi Allen. Unbeaten in 11 starts under Rules, the seven-year-old, now trained by Henry De Bromhead, is a dual winner at the Cheltenham Festival and is unbeaten in three starts over fences this term. He has yet to be seriously challenged over the larger obstacles but he jumps for fun and should take the world of beating here.

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Selection: Envoi Allen 8/11

1.55pm Pertemps Network Final

Champagne Platinum ran a race full of promise at Haydock last time where he stayed on through beaten rivals to take second. He looks to have an attractive handicap mark of 139 for this event and also has a good record over timber with two wins from five starts. Three miles looks right up his street and he is of serious interest along with the progressive Imperial Alcazar. However, JP McManus likes targeting this race and Champagne Platinum could be the classic handicap good thing.

Selection: Champagne Platinum 6/1

2.30pm Grade One Ryanair Chase

An interesting renewal of this top-class event. Min is the defending champion and clearly holds live claims, but has to be forgiven when pulled-up at Leopardstown last time out. Interestingly, Paul Townend may also decide to ride Allaho who comes into this race on the back of a smooth win at Thurles last time out.

However, at the prices, Imperial Aura looks interesting for Kim Bailey. Successful in handicap company at last year’s Cheltenham Festival he easily captured Graded honours at Ascot on his penultimate start and then unseated-rider early at Kempton last time out. He can be forgiven for that mishap and looks capable of further improvement.

Selection: Imperial Aura 6/1

3.05pm Grade One Stayers’ Hurdle

This race lost some of its lustre with Thyme Hill ruled out of the race for Philip Hobbs after meeting with a slight setback. He defeated Paisley on his first start of the season in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, before Paisley Park exacted his revenge with a dramatic last-gasp success in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Emma Lavelle’s charge therefore has an easier task with his main rival out and whilst 2020 winner Lisnagar Oscar could be an each-way player, this looks a good opportunity for Paisley Park to regain his crown hn the Thursday feature.

Selection: Paisley Park 15/8

3.40pm Plate Handicap Chase

A very tricky handicap puzzle in which Conflated looks booked to go close. Running off a mark of 144, he scored by 17 lengths at Navan in December, before being far from disgraced in G1 company behind Monkfish at Leopardstown over the Festive period. This looks a shrewd bit of placing and he has leading claims.

Selection: Conflated 7/1

4.15pm Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Willie Mullins has won all five runnings of this event and the progressive Glens Of Antrim looks interesting for the Closutton maestro. Yet to win in three starts, she was arguably disappointing when beaten at Naas last time out, but was not suited by the testing ground on that occasion. Previously a runner-up to her smart stable companion Stattler, she looks open to plenty of progress.

Mullins could also run Hook Up and Gauloise who are both unexposed, whilst Jonathan Sweeney has a big-race runner with Roseys Hollow who has won her last two starts in fine fashion.

Selection: Glens Of Antrim 8/1

4.50pm Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Time To Get Up has been strongly supported in the build up to this race following a smooth win at Wincanton last time out and looks interesting off a mark of 138. However, Hold The Note has been threatening to win a big pot like this and shaped with plenty of promise at Newbury last time out. This stamina test should arguably bring out the best in him and looks a interesting contender here. At a bigger price, Demachine has done nothing wrong for Kerry Lee this term and looks a good each-way bet at 16/1.

Selection: Hold The Note 11/1

Tips and analysis via Betting Expert