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thursday 18 March

There are 3 Grade 1 races and not one but TWO feature races to enjoy on the penultimate day of The Cheltenham Festival. The Stayers Hurdle is run over 3 miles and the Ryanair Chase over 2 and a half miles.


There are 7 races in total with the action kicking off at 13:20 with the Grade 1 Marsh Novices Chase.

The information is correct as of 16 March 2021.


Race 1 (13:20) – Marsh Novices’ Chase

Race 3 (14:30) – Ryanair Chase

Race 4 (15:05) – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle


This day’s action starts with a warm favourite in Envoi Allen who bids for his 12th straight career win. After that it’s a competitive card, as usual at The Cheltenham Festival, with many wide-open betting heats.

Our top picks for Day Three are:



Tote Placepot Selections

The Placepot is the most famous bet in horseracing. Just pick at least one horse to be placed in each of the first 6 races. Today we’ve picked:


Race 1 – Envoi Allen (6) /Chatham Street Lad (4)

Race 2 – Imperial Alcazar (5) / Come On Teddy (18)

Race 3 – Mister Fisher (10) / Min (9)

Race 4 – Sire Du Berlais (12) / Paisley Park (9)

Race 5 – Farclas (7) / Caribean Boy (2)

Race 6 – Hook Up (7) / The Glancing Queen (15)

Suggested Perm 2x2x2x2x2x2 = 64 bets @ £0.25p per bet = £16.00 total stake


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(Grade 1) - 2 miles, 3 furlongs, 168 yards



(1) Envoi Allen

(2) Chatham Street Lad

(3) Shan Blue



  • Envoi Allen (7 year old, H De Bromhead) – Some would say this race has had Envoi Allen’s name written all over it for some time. Already a two-time Cheltenham Festival winner (Champion Bumper 2019, Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 2020) and unbeaten in all 11 career starts including three easy wins over the bigger obstacles this season. Likely to be odds on at the off, and for good reason.
  • Chatham Street Lad (9 year old, M Winters) – Another Irish challenger who won over course and distance in December and looked very good in doing so. That previous Cheltenham win was a Grade 3 and he will need to up his game in Grade 1 company here.
  • Shan Blue (7 year old, D Skelton) – Likely to be the leading contender for the home team having captured the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Lost little in defeat on his most recent start in heavy ground at Sandown. Will need a career best effort to challenge the Irish contingent in this race.
  • Chantry House (7 year old, N Henderson) – Two wins from three chase starts so far but yet to run in a race anyway near this standard. Commands respect as trained by Nicky Henderson, who has a fantastic record at the Festival.



2020 – Samcro (4/1).               Age 8.    Trainer: G Elliott

2019 – Defi du Seuil (3/1).        Age 6.    Trainer: P Hobbs

2018 – Shattered Love (4/1).    Age 7.    Trainer: G Elliott

2017 – Yorkhill (6/4).                Age 7.     Trainer: W Mullins

2016 – Black Hercules (4/1).     Age 7.     Trainer: W Mullins



Willie Mullins - 4 wins in the last 9 years.



Favourites have a good recent record - 4 favourites (incl. 1 co fav) have won this race in the last 6 years. Only one horse at double figure odds has won in the last 10 years – Benefficient at 20/1 in 2013.



6 and 7 year olds are best – Last year was the first time a horse not aged 6 or 7 won the race (Samcro aged 8) so younger horses tend to do best in this race.



The Irish trainers have dominated this race in the last decade with 8 winners. Ireland 8 vs UK 2. .



7 of the last 10 winners won last time out ­– and 9 of the last 10 winners had raced at the Cheltenham Festival previously, 5 of which won.


Will Envoi Allen bag a third Festival win? Place your bet at

(Grade 1) - 2 miles, 4 furlongs, 127 yards



(1) Mister Fisher

(2) Min

(3) Imperial Aura



  • Allaho (7 year old, W Mullins) – A close 3rd in an exhilarating RSA Chase at The Festival last year and highly tried in top class races since. Yet to win a Grade 1 race but still young and open to improvement.
  • Min (10 year old, W Mullins) – A thrilling winner of this race last year in what was his first win at The Festival in four attempts (outside the places only once). Won a top quality renewal of the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase in December before jumping poorly in another Irish Grade 1 in early February. An obvious contender but possibly vulnerable to a younger rival.
  • Imperial Aura (8 year old, K Bailey) – Rattled off a hat-trick of chasing wins in 2020 culminating in a Grade 2 success at Ascot. One run in 2021 where a bad mistake saw him fall at the 2nd obstacle. Will need to recapture his best form which has seen him finish 1st or 2nd in three visits to Cheltenham so far.
  • Saint Calvados (8 year old, H Whittington) – A return to two and a half miles looks ideal after having his stamina stretched on his last two outings. Often runs with credit at Cheltenham (a close 2nd in this last year) and could take home some place money if at his best.
  • Mister Fisher (7 year old, N Henderson) – Jumped well when winning a Grade 2 chase at Cheltenham in December in what was a career best effort. A progressive sort whose chance would be boosted if the going is described as good.



2020 – Min (2/1).                         Age 9.     Trainer: W Mullins
2019 – Frodon (9/2).                   Age 7.     Trainer: P Nicholls
2018 – Balko Des Flos (8/1).        Age 7.     Trainer: H De Bromhead
2017 – Un De Sceaux (7/4 Fav).  Age 9.     Trainer: W Mullins
2016 – Vautour (1/1 Fav).             Age 7.     Trainer: W Mullins



Willie Mullins has won this race three times in the last five years. This year he has several possible contenders including Min, Allaho and Melon.



Mixed results for favourites – 5 winning favourites (incl. 1 joint fav) in the 16 runnings of the race. In that time only 2 horse priced above 8/1 have won.



Lucky for some – horses aged 7 have won 5 of the last 10 renewals.



12 of the last 16 renewals have been won by UK based trainers, since the inception of this race. UK 12 vs Ireland 4. However Irish trainers have won this race 4 times in the last 5 years, suggesting the tide is turning.



13 of the last 16 winners of this race had been successful at Cheltenham previously.


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(Grade 1) - 2 miles, 7 furlongs, 213 yards



(1) Sire Du Berlais

(2) Paisley Park

(3) Lisnagar Oscar



  • Paisley Park (9 year old, E Lavelle) – Dominated the staying hurdle scene in 2019 which peaked in winning this race but could only manage 7th when 4/6 favourite last year. A leading contender on his best form, but may be vulnerable to others now aged 9.
  • Sire Du Berlais (9 year old, G Elliott) – A back to back winner of the Pertemps Final at The Festival and has an excellent record around Cheltenham. Would require a career best effort to win this but certainly not ruled out.
  • Lisnagar Oscar (8 year old, R Curtis) – Caused a shock when winning this race in 2020 at 50/1. Has not won in three starts since but seems to save his best for Cheltenham with form of 1,3,5,2 on his four runs here. Could be underestimated in the market once again.
  • Vinndication (8 year old, K Bailey) – A very interesting runner having raced over fences on his last eight starts. Returns to hurdles for the first time in over three years. Stable confidence appears high and this horse has been well supported in the betting markets in the last few days.



2020 – Lisnagar Oscar (50/1).        Age 7.      Trainer: R Curtis
2019 – Paisley Park (11/8 Fav).        Age 7.      Trainer: E Lavelle
2018 – Penhill (12/1).                        Age 7.      Trainer: W Mullins
2017 – Nichols Canyon (10/1).         Age 7.      Trainer: W Mullins
2016 – Thistlecrack (1/1 Fav).          Age 8.      Trainer: C Tizzard



Willie Mullins has an excellent recent record, with 2 winners and 2 thirds in the past 4 years.
Paul Nicholls has won this race 4 times, the last time was 2012.



Oppose the favourite - Only 2 winning favourites in the past 8 years.



The four most recent winners were all aged 7 and 28 of the last 31 winners were aged 6, 7 or 8.



14 of the last 17 renewals have been won by a UK based trainer. UK 14 vs Ireland 3.



10.6/1 is the average SP of the winners of the Stayers’ Hurdle in the last 10 years. This includes winners at 50/1, 14/1 and 12/1.
12/1 and 10/1 were the SPs of Willie Mullins’s last two winners of this race. The Irish supremo is more accustomed to shorter price winners at The Festival but don’t be put off if he saddles one at a bigger price in this race.
15 of the last 18 winners finished 1st or 2nd in their most recent start before The Festival.
6 of the last 12 winners ran in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on their last run. Paisley Park won this season’s renewal.


Lisnagar Oscar’s Stayers’ Hurdle victory in 2020 paid £85.70 on the Tote versus an SP of 50/1.


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