Cheltenham Festival Thursday racecard, schedule, runners and riders & day 3 tips

Get ready for round three of the 2022 Festival!

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Guinness galore. Rip-roaring racing. It’s only St Patrick’s Thursday at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival… and we’re sponsoring the big race!

The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle looks like the most wide-open contest of the week with the front of our betting market loaded and a whole host of question marks over all the leading contenders. Flooring Porter attempts to become the first horse since Big Buck’s in 2012 to retain the title but he lost to Klassical Dream in controversial fashion over Christmas before Willie Mullins’ charge flopped on his last appearance. Champ, Paisley Park and Thyme Hill will also be hoping to be in amongst it.

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Thursday’s card kicks off with the epic clash between Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs in the Turners Novices’ Chase before the maximum field of 24 runners go to post in the Pertemps Network Final at 2.10pm.

Allaho bids to defend his Ryanair Chase crown in the second Grade 1 of the day at 2.50pm but faces fresh competition from the likes of Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated and Shan Blue.

The day’s racing is rounded off by three big-field renewals and you’ll find all the information you’ll possibly need about the contests over on our nifty Racecards page including the runners and riders, weights, odds and horse-by-horse analysis.

You can head over to the Racecards tab at the top of page now to start swotting up, otherwise, you’ll find the Cheltenham Thursday race schedule, start times and Timeform’s tips below.

1.30: Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

Only four runners, and essentially a match between GALOPIN DES CHAMPS and Bob Olinger but it should still be a race to savour between two top-class chasing prospects. Henry de Bromhead’s imperious Ballymore winner has the better hurdling form but Willie Mullins’ Martin Pipe scorer has looked something special since sent over fences and his fine jumping is likely to prove the deciding factor.

2.10: Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

Gordon Elliott has a fine record here and his DUNBOYNE looks primed to make it a fourth win in the past five seasons. This low-mileage son of Yeats has enjoyed no luck in running on his last two starts in Leopardstown handicaps and arrives on a very workable mark. Winter Fog shaped really well on his debut for Emmet Mullins and is feared most, with Alaphilippe and Folcano high on the shortlist.

2.50: Ryanair Chase (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Grade 1)

ALLAHO produced a performance out of the top drawer and left a host of top-class chasers trailing in his wake when landing this race 12 months ago. He’s done little to alter the fact he’s the one to beat again with success in the John Durkan/KInloch Brae this term and can give Willie Mullins a fifth success in this race. Shan Blue is a fascinating runner and respected along with Conflated.

3.30: Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

Having made a remarkable rise through the ranks, FLOORING PORTER was dominant when landing this race 12 months ago. Things haven’t been plain sailing since but he put up a huge effort when runner-up to Klassical Dream (pair clear) at Leopardstown over Christmas. Kept fresh since, he can make a bold bid to defend his crown. Klassical Dream and Thyme Hill can emerge next best.

4.10: Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

Cases can be made for several but CELEBRE D’ALLEN had plenty up his sleeve when completing the hat-trick on his first chase start in Britain at Warwick last month, having to pick his way through rivals. He’s no ordinary 10-y-o and, ticking plenty of boxes, he can make it 4 on the spin. Grand Paradis, The Glancing Queen and Imperial Alcazar are just a handful of other contenders.

4.50: Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle)

Willie Mullins has won five of the six previous renewals and holds a very strong hand again. DINOBLUE looked a smart mare in the making when hammering 12 rivals under hand riding at Clonmel, and with significant improvement likely, she’s hard to ignore. Stablemate Brandy Love will be more at home on this left-handed track and is feared most, with Love Envoi perhaps the pick of the British runners.

5.30: Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

The Elliott stable has a good record in this and FRONTAL ASSAULT has very much the right profile having got his mark from 3 runs over shorter trips whilst leaving the impression this sort of stamina test will very much play to his strengths. Fellow handicap newcomer Ain’t That A Shame is feared most. School Boy Hours and Smoking Gun complete the shortlist in what could be an Irish domination.

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