Matt Chapman: Best Cheltenham bets on Thursday at the Festival

Matt tells us he's buzzing on Paddy Power Stayers' day.

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It’s Day 3 of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and I am back for more, buzzing in my quest to take a few quid off Paddy. I love to make him suffer.

This afternoon’s ITV action is all about the Paddy Power-sponsored Stayers’ Hurdle at 3.30pm. It will be even better if the favourite wins.

The Emma Lavelle-trained gelding Paisley’ Park @ 4/6 is the defending champion and goes for an eighth straight success on the trot under Aidan Coleman.

I will be very very surprised if he gets beat, as he has the perfect running style for this race and is simply the best in the line-up.

He should be shorter in the betting for me.


Faugheen wins at Dublin Racing Festival

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We start day 3 starts with the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase over 2m 4f at 1.30pm. As many of you will know, FAUGHEEN is my favourite horse in training and  I will not be deserting him here!

A former Champion Hurdle hero, Faugheen landed a Grade 1 over fences last time and although he is 12 years old – he has a mighty engine. Rest assured he is here on merit and nothing to do with sentiment.

He’s a legend win, lose or draw.


The 2.10pm is the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle, and the Grade 3 over nearly there miles looks as tough as ever.

Last year’s hero Sire du Berlais was a real eye-catcher at Warwick last time, and he was my fancy ever since then. That said his price has collapsed and he has 11st 12lb to carry.

So I have decided to take him on with KILBRICKEN STORM @ 14/1, who landed the Albert Bartlett back in 2018. The Colin Tizzard runner stays strong and has a nice racing weight.

He might surprise a few people.

Bryony Frost Frodon
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The Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at 2.50pm over 2m 5f looks a belter. I see no reason why the 2019 hero FRODON @ 5/1 won’t go really well again.

He did this column a favour last year and at Kempton last time out and will surely be hard to kick out the frame at the very least.

I’ll be having a few quid on each-way.

The Grade 3 Handicap Chase is at 4.10pm over 2m 5f also I expect a big effort from SIMPLY THE BETTS @ 11/2 for up-and-coming Harry Whittington. My hope has been in tremendous form and as a novice will be fresher than some. Should give jockey Gavin Sheehan a decent spin.

cheltenham 2020 guide

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It’s hard to predict what will happen in the Grade 2 Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at 4.50pm. I will back DOLCITA @ 11/2 each-way over this two-mile trip – even though the Willie Mullins’ retained rider Paul Townend is on stablemate Colreevy.

Dolcita was behind Minella Melody last time, but I think a bigger field and stronger gallop will help her. Jockey Robbie Power is no mug.

Finally, it’s the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at 5.20pm over 3m 2f. LE BREUIL 6/1 has a good Cheltenham record and has every chance for Ben Pauling and Jamie Codd.

Forget his run at Warwick last time where the start was a shambles.

You hear me Paddy?

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What do you think?