Cheltenham tips: Paddy Power Plate antepost best bets from Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey

Can Paddy's pundits pick a winner in the Paddy Power Plate?

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Paddy Power are taking over Thursday at Prestbury Park with a FREE £/€5 bet on any of the day’s seven races.

The Paddy Power Plate follows hot on the heels of the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle and the Grade 3 handicap looks to be a fairly open contest.

Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have cast their expert eyes over the renewal ahead of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, where we’re offering non-runner money back on every single race.

Speaking on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth ‘Countdown to Cheltenham’ podcast, Ruby and Frank discussed their tips and plumped for different selections.

You can listen to the full show BELOW.

RUBY WALSH

You should always look out for novices in handicaps as they can be improving and ahead of the handicapper.

FILS D’OUDAIRIES won at Navan in December, placed second to Envoi Allen at Punchestown but he didn’t stay behind Monkfish in Grade 1 company last month. He runs off 145, with a weight of 10st 9lb and is a strong traveller. The trip and pace of the race will suit him.

Daryl Jacob was giving CARIBEAN BOY a positive plug. He beat Fiddlerontheroof at Newbury in November but was no match for Dashel Drasher at Ascot in December and was beaten by Moonlighter at Sandown last month.

It’s hard to know who’s the best of the Gigginstown team. SAMCRO‘s runs this year have been disappointing but he’s a former Ballymore winner. FARCLAS found the trip at Leopardstown was a bit sharp and I think he wanted a bit further. CONFLATED is only a novice, came third behind Monkfish at the Dublin Racing Festival and has decent form this season. He’d definitely be in with a squeak.

CHATHAM STREET LAD should run in the Marsh Novices’ Chase as he’s going to struggle to win this. If for some reason Envoi Allen over jumped and did the splits you’d be sick waiting to have a go at a handicap.

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FRANK HICKEY

It’s always a positive if a horse has won round Cheltenham before but the Irish horses coming over won’t have run here this year.

CHATHAM STREET LAD might not run as he’ll have to run off 156 and you imagine everything that will finish in the first three or four will be running five or six pounds ahead of their mark so he’ll need to be running to 160. If he were to run at that level he’d be finishing in the top three in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.

MIDNIGHT SHADOW was sixth in last year’s Marsh Novices’ Chase so not disgraced at all. After a disappointing seasonal reappearance, he was second behind Chatham Street Lad off a mark of 148. The yard has been in desperate form this year but Sue Smith has had three winners in recent days so they might be hitting a bit of form. He’s won at the track before and he’s a second-season chaser so he splits the profile.

UMBRIGADO won a Grade 3 at Newbury last Saturday and travelled like a dream. He has a five-pound penalty and Martin Pipe has a brilliant record in this race. He knows what it takes to go close. Umbrigado’s a novice, he’s won his last three and I don’t think the handicapper’s got him yet. There’s a fair bit to like about him.

PADDY POWER PLATE BET SUMMARY – THURSDAY, MARCH 18

Ruby Walsh – Fils D’Oudairies

Frank Hickey – Umbrigado/Midnight Shadow (if Umbrigado does not run)

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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