Cheltenham tips: Thursday Cheltenham Festival best bets from our top trader Frank Hickey

Paddy's trader Frank Hickey shares his best bets for Day Three at Cheltenham.

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Turners Novices’ Chase (1:30pm) – Galopin Des Champs

This is a really exciting race that is a match. Bob Olinger is the turn of pace horse and his jumping his fine but he hasn’t improved for chasing. He is still very good though. Galopin Des Champs has really improved for chasing though and has been really impressive in both starts. The small field probably means that Paul Townend can dictate the race the way he wants and that might be key. If he can put a little pressure on Bob Olinger’s jumping and get him under pressure coming down the hill, then he will win.

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (2:10pm) – Folcano

Last year Folcano was a 15/2 shot in a red hot renewal of the Martin Pipe off a mark of 132 and he fell at the first. Last year Gordon Elliott had The Bosses Oscar, owned by The Moran’s and ridden by Jordan Gainford run a cracker in second and Gordon has six runners and plenty more fancied. Folcano qualified back in November when 6th in the Punchestown qualifier. He was weak in the market that day, suggesting qualifying was all that he was out for. He was 4th in Navan in a decent handicap hurdle over 2m4f in December when he looked all over the winner and traded 1.19 in the run before being run out of it late and was beaten 3/4l. That race has worked out really well. Folcano has been kept fresh for this and he has a good each-way chance off just 10st6lbs.

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Ryanair Chase (2:50pm) – Allaho

Allaho was the most impressive winner last year and I can’t see him being beaten. The Paddy Power boost of him to win by 6l or more is very good.

Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (3:30pm) – Thyme Hill

There are question marks about everything and there’s a chance the occasion gets to Klassical Dream and Flooring Porter. Paisley Park is 10 now and while people loved his win last time, that will be the highlight of his season. Champ is interesting with Nicky’s runners going really well on the Tuesday but he was very disappointing last time. Thyme Hill was beaten by Champ in the Long Walk at Ascot after a poor run in France. He has six wins and three seconds from his 12 starts and he has finished 3rd in a Champion Bumper and was an unlucky 4th in Monkfish’s Albert Bartlett. He has been keep fresh for this and he is the most solid to run his race and that might just be good enough.

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Plate Handicap Chase (4:10pm) – Fusil Raffles

Fusil Raffles was second in last year’s Turners when 3l behind Chantry House, where he had Shan Blue and Asterion Forlonge behind. He was good enough to win a Grade 1 at Punchestown as a juvenile hurdler too. He appreciates decent ground and does go well at Cheltenham. Nicky’s horses were running really well on Tuesday. He was second to Bravemansgame at Newton Abbot when conceding him 12lbs and was the fortunate winner of the Charlie Hall. He’s dropped to 149 and is a double figure price.

Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (4:50pm) – Party Central

Party Central finished ahead of Brandy Love in the Grade 2 bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival last year. She’s 3-4 over hurdles and had an excuse when beaten at Down Royal. He’s a tricky ride but Davy will deliver her late but the big field and stiff nature of the new course will suit her and she has a massive chance.

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Kim Muir Challenge Cup (5:30pm) – Mister Fogpatches

Patrick rides Mister Fogpatches, who placed in the Scottish National. He won at the Punchestown Festival over 3m7f. He placed in the Cork National, Troytown, here at Cheltenham (handled the track) and in the Thyestes. The Thyestes form has been boosted with Death Duty winning the National Trial and Diol Ker winning the Leinster National and they were 7th and 4th respectively.

Frank Hickey’s Tips:

Turners Novices’ Chase (1:30pm) – Galopin Des Champs
Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (2:10pm) – Folcano
Ryanair Chase (2:50pm) – Allaho
Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (3:30pm) – Thyme Hill
Plate Handicap Chase (4:10pm) – Fusil Raffles
Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (4:50pm) – Party Central
Kim Muir Challenge Cup (5:30pm) – Mister Fogpatches

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