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Barry Hill's Cheltenham Tip Guide - Day 3

Resident tipster Barry Hill gives his day 3 Cheltenham Festival tips including a 40/1 shot in the Stayers Hurdle.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

1:30 Cheltenham 

Turners Novices' Chase

IROKO - 6/1

Ginny's Destiny is poised to emulate the success of her stablemate Stage Star, who previously triumphed in the Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase before securing a victory here a year ago. She has already outpaced Grey Dawning in their second-to-last race, despite some mitigating factors for the latter. It wouldn't be surprising to see both contenders playing significant roles in today's outcome. Facile Vega leads the charge for Willie Mullins, although he'll need to enhance his jumping technique, which was less than perfect in the Irish Arkle. Sharjah, despite being 11 years old, continues to be a formidable competitor.

Djelo also warrants attention after a commendable second-place finish in the Scilly Isles at Sandown. Nonetheless, the preference is for last year's Martin Pipe winner, IROKO, who began his steeplechase career with a win at Warwick in November. While a 128-day break could raise some eyebrows, he retains the potential to excel at the highest level and is expected to demonstrate the necessary progress.

2:10 Cheltenham 

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle

CLEATUS POOLAW - 13/2

There is more to come from CLEATUS POOLAW, who has a profile not too dissimilar to that of Delta Work, successful as a novice in this for connections back in 2018, and with this stiffer test sure to suit he's taken to come out on top. The Leopardstown handicap Gaoth Chuil won at Christmas often throws up the winner of this and she's a big player. Cuthbert Dibble and 2021 Golden Miller-winner Chantry House are a couple of the other leading contenders.

2:50 Cheltenham 

Ryanair Chase

ENVOI ALLEN - 9/4

ENVOI ALLEN stands as the top pick to retain his title and secure his fourth victory at the Cheltenham Festival. At 10 years old, he once dominated the National Hunt scene, especially during his stint with Gordon Elliott, where he celebrated an undefeated streak in his first 12 races. His impressive portfolio includes wins in the 2019 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and the Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle the following year.

Despite his once perceived invulnerability, challenges arose, such as his fall in the Turners Novices’ Chase in March 2021 during his debut for Henry de Bromhead, followed by a third-place finish behind the Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Energumene a year later.

Nevertheless, Envoi Allen, with Rachael Blackmore, made a triumphant return to Prestbury Park, claiming victory in last season’s Ryanair Chase by a margin of two and three-quarter lengths over Shishkin. This marked his fourth significant win over fences.

After finishing a close second to Gerri Colombe in the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal in November, Envoi Allen has not raced since. However, his excellent performance following breaks positions him as a strong contender to become the third horse to win this race twice, following in the footsteps of Albertas Run (2010 and 2011) and Allaho (2021 and 2022). Despite recent setbacks, including unseating his rider in his last two races, Conflated is still a horse to watch, alongside other notable contenders such as Stage Star and Protektorat.

3:30 Cheltenham 

Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle

ASTERION FORLONGE - 40/1

This year's stayers' crown is shaping up to be a fascinating challenge for bettors, filled with a host of familiar contenders squaring off once again. Sire Du Berlais, last year's victor, brings a formidable spirit to the competition, demonstrating last year that he cannot be easily dismissed. Flooring Porter, the champion of the two years preceding, returns with a solid track record, positioning him as a strong contender once more. Teahupoo, having secured a win in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse over 2m4f on his latest outing, comes into this race with a significant chance to improve on his third-place finish from the previous year.

Noble Yeats, celebrated for his 2022 Grand National victory, has shown a commendable adaptability. His win in the Cleeve Hurdle here in January, outpacing Paisley Park and Dashel Drasher, highlights his competitive edge for this race. Yet, it might be wise to broaden the search for potential winners, turning attention to ASTERION FORLONGE. His close second-place finish to Irish Point at Leopardstown is particularly compelling, especially considering his stable's success in this event in 2017 and 2018, suggesting he could be a key player in this year's contest.

4:10 Cheltenham 

TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase

THEATRE MAN - 7/2

THEATRE MAN delivered an impressive performance, finishing a close second in his last race here, where he showed remarkable strength climbing the hill but was just beaten by the high-caliber Ginny's Destiny, with the finish line arriving a tad too early for him. Known for his front-running style, as seen in his victory on soft terrain at Kempton before stepping into handicap races, the switch to jockey Harry Cobden could significantly enhance his prospects. Despite a gradual climb in the weights, Theatre Man is showing signs of untapped potential.

Crebilly stumbled during his chase debut but has since shown improvement, notably clinching a victory at Exeter. Although talented, the challenge of a larger field here raises questions about his performance consistency.

Arctic Bresil, transitioning to fences, has demonstrated potential and is anticipated to benefit from the increased distance, especially with Rachael Blackmore guiding him.

In Excelsis Deo nearly clinched a win at Sandown but was derailed by an unfortunate unseating at the last fence. With two solid placements in chases here, he's strongly positioned for another commendable finish under Harry Fry's guidance.

James De Berlais consistently performs well in competitive handicaps in Ireland. Despite carrying a heavier weight, his enduring stamina makes him a contender not easily overlooked.

Shakem Up’Arry returns after finishing third in this race last season and showcased his form with a commanding seven-length victory here on New Year’s Day. Perfectly suited to this distance, he emerges as a serious contender for Ben Pauling.

Saint Felicien, showing marked improvement since transitioning to fences, secured his first victory over fences at Gowran in his latest outing. With a modest increase in weight for his handicap debut over fences, he's positioned as a viable candidate for a place finish, adding depth to the Elliott team's roster.

4:50 Cheltenham 

Ryanair Mares' Novices' Hurdle

JADE DE GRUGY - 2/1

JADE DE GRUGY enters her inaugural Cheltenham Festival with an unblemished record and high expectations to maintain her winning streak. Her career commenced auspiciously with a victory in a bumper at Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, in October 2022, marking a promising start for the progeny of Doctor Dino. Subsequently, she left France to join the esteemed stable of Willie Mullins. Her debut over hurdles during the Christmas meet at Leopardstown was nothing short of spectacular, securing a win with a 15-length lead over Butcher Hollow.

Further solidifying her status as a formidable contender, Jade De Grugy triumphed in a Grade 3 mares contest at Fairyhouse in January, outdistancing her stablemate A Penny A Hundred by six and a half lengths. With only a few starts under her belt, she shows immense untapped potential and, partnered with Paul Townend, is poised to tackle and excel in what is anticipated to be her most challenging race yet.

5:30 Cheltenham 

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase 

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN - 8/1

Inothewayurthinkin captured attention with several notable performances behind leading novices before encountering less than favorable circumstances in his first handicap race at the Dublin Racing Festival. There's potential for improvement as he steps up in distance, a move suggested by his lineage, though it's still up for debate how well positioned he is in terms of handicap. Angels Dawn, last year's victor, proved her mettle and potential improvement by securing third place in the Thyestes, a performance that underlines her development and justifies her inclusion on the shortlist, even with an 11lb increase in weight.

Cool Survivor is Gordon Elliott's leading priced entry, but it's his stable companion WHERE IT ALL BEGAN who really stands out. The eight-year-old declared his presence as a rising staying chaser with a dominant 16-length victory in the Punchestown National Trial. Given the favorable conditions, he appears primed to unveil further potential. Others like Coral Trophy's third-place finisher Bowtogreatness, City Chief (donning cheekpieces for the first time), and Git Maker are also seen as strong contenders capable of securing a spot in the frame.