Brendan Duke’s Day Three Dispatch and Day Four picks for the Festival

Our man on the ground, Brendan Duke, files another dispatch from Prestbury Park...


It has been brought to my attention that the tone of my updates from the Festival may be a little downbeat. This meeting is a rollercoaster and hopefully I have conveyed the range of emotions it provides the fans, never mind the participants. Which is also helpful in terms of filing copy.

This is my first go at a daily blog. I’m running on fumes at this stage.

It’s sods law that amusing anecdotes tend not to happen to the people who really need them. My overriding emotion as I started the day was of course happiness. A sun-kissed sea of punters looking forward to the third day. Bring it on.

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Overheard in Cheltenham: ‘He doesn’t spend his money on clothes I’ll tell you that’. One woman’s reaction to Michael O’Leary on the winners podium. Something tells me the Low Fares King won’t be sweating the lack of love from fashionistas. Racing fans rejoice in what he prefers to spend his hard-earned on.

Tough duty today though lads. Can’t get close to a winner. Off to ask O’Leary for the lend of a fiver. Fading physically too. We’ll soldier on to tomorrow on Gold Cup day. Best of luck.

Race 1: Triumph Hurdle – 13:30

The ground has come right for Apple’s Shakira. Jumping and stamina will be the order of the day. She looks strongest in both departments and should win.

Race 2: County Hurdle – 14:10

Chesterfield is a proven performer in big field handicaps. He should cope with the ground and be in the shake up.

Race 3: Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle – 14:50

Chef Des Obeaux looks a remorseless galloper. Just what will be required tomorrow.

Race 4: Timico Gold Cup – 15:30

A fairytale could be in store here. A year on from his difficulties in the 4 miler, Edwulf returns. A very big player in an open Gold Cup.

Race 5: Foxhunters Chase – 16:10

Grand Vision is a fine jumper with bottomless stamina. His very capable pilot should get a right spin here.

Race 6: Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle – 16:50

Diese Des Bieffes brings very strong handicap form to the table. Looks the best bet on day four.

Race 7: Weatherbys Champion Bumper – 17:30

North Hill Harvey ticks plenty of boxes. Still unexposed over fences, he loves the track. With the deep going a help too he must go close.

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