Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: Best Bets & Tips - Cheltenham Day 3 - Thursday 18 March

Neil Morrice: Best Bets & Tips - Cheltenham Day 3 - Thursday 18 March


Neil Morrice: International Racing - Thursday 31 December 2020

Neil Morrice brings you all of his best bets and tips for day three of the Cheltenham Festival as well as Chelmsford.

Check out Neil's video for day 3 below:


CHELTENHAM

Race 1 MARSH NOVICES’ CHASE (Grade 1)

No3 CHANTRY HOUSE (Each Way)
Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Nico de Boinville

This card with its mainly big fields has much more of the ‘normal’ Festival look than the first two days, and is a very attractive betting entity as a whole. The opener sees odds-on Envoi Allen attempting to extend his imperious sequence to 13, but Shan Blue and CHANTRY HOUSE can ensure the favourite doesn’t have things all his own way. Shan Blue suffered a first defeat over fences at the hooves of Sporting John in the Scilly Isles at Sandown and was no match for Envoi Allen in last year’s Ballymore Hurdle. True, he needs to seriously raise his game, but Chantry House can prove a bigger threat and is a sound Each Way proposition if putting in a clear. Third to stablemate Shishkin in the Supreme 12 months ago, his three outings over fences have yielded two authoritative successes and a heavy defeat. Worryingly that ‘off day’ happened at the December meeting here, but the selection jumped with more alacrity when scoring at Wetherby last month, and has always been held in the highest regard at Seven Barrows. He has a classy look to him, and can shake up the favourite.

Race 2 PERTEMPS NETWORK FINAL HANDICAP HURDLE (Grade 3)

No18 COME ON TEDDY
Trainer: Tom George - Jockey: Jonathan Burke

This is the handicap I’m most looking forward to, with two that have been laid out for the contest uppermost in my thoughts. A mention must firstly go to Brinkley, who operates like a horse with more to offer for a yard that has its horses firing at the right time. The trouble is, he’s taken quite a hike in the ratings owing to his last couple of successes happening recently, and attracting the assessor’s attention. In contrast, both Champagne Platinum and COME ON TEDDY have been concealed by their respective trainers since their last public outings, waiting for this one day. Champagne Platinum was highly tried as a novice over fences and didn’t manage to win, so I suspect a return to chasing is something that will happen for the grey down the line. This season he’s been confined to just two outings in handicap hurdles, and put in eye taking efforts in placing at Newbury and Haydock. Come On Teddy showed his liking for Prestbury Park with a clear cut delivery at the December meeting, since when he ran into the money in a competitive race behind Imperial Alcazar at Warwick. He’s shown consistency throughout his career by either winning or placing in six of eight starts for Tom George, and his tendency to take a grip can be eradicated by having plenty of horses around him to provide cover. It will be disappointing if one of the above two contenders don’t gallop down the hill into the straight with their jockeys looking confident.

Race 3 RYANAIR CHASE (Grade 1)

No10 MISTER FISHER
Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Nico de Boinville

This is one of the most wide open Ryanairs in memory, providing a contest with numerous possible scenarios. Imperial Aura and Saint Calvados along with Dashel Drasher will ensure there’s no hanging around, with horses like Allaho, Melon and Min also likely to play a prominent role. It will be cut throat for the lead, and while you wouldn’t want to be too far off the pace, a horse with a midfield stalking role might end up being the one that prevails. The ones that attract at the respective prices are MISTER FISHER and Chris’s Dream. Mister Fisher has delivered in three of his six outings over fences but is still considered by some as being an under achiever. This is because he’s always looked seriously good at home, and indeed showed his well being for this with an electric winding-up gallop in Lambourn. He scored decisively here in December, and if avoiding traffic and putting in a solid round of jumping has to be taken seriously. Chris’s Dream is a strong traveller who traded short for much of last year’s Gold Cup. He didn’t get home that day, but appeared to stay the three miles when worried out of it on his reappearance at Down Royal in the autumn. A line needs to be put through his underwhelming run at Punchestown in December, after which he enters calculations at a married man’s price back at his optimum trip. The best Win chance therefore rests with Mister Fisher, while both Chris’s Dream and Saint Calvados rate as Each Way alternatives that also need to go into all exotics.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Race 4 PADDY POWER STAYERS’ HURDLE (Grade 1)

No5 IF THE CAP FITS (Each Way)
Trainer: Harry Fry - Jockey: Daryl Jacob

Paisley Park has largely ruled the roost in the staying division over the last three seasons and after looking as good as ever when landing Ascot’s Long Walk Hurdle is a deserving favourite. The Storyteller is as good over hurdles as fences and rarely finishes out of the money. He rates the best of the Irish contingent. Flooring Porter can also do well for Ireland on what is a hat-trick mission and Fury Road ran a cracker behind Monkfish in last year’s Albert Bartlett. That is seriously good course form.
One that could get into the shake-up as a less obvious contender is IF THE CAP FITS. Harry Fry could have run the nine-year-old in the three mile novices’ chase yesterday, but has opted to allow the Grade 1 and Grade 2 winning hurdler to return to that discipline. He has seven and a half lengths to find with Paisley Park from this race last year but it is entirely possible that he could narrow the gap, making him a tempting Each Way proposition.

Race 5 PADDY POWER PLATE HANDICAP CHASE (Grade 3)

No3 MISTER WHITAKER (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon - Jockey: Jonathan Burke

A winner at the meeting in 2018 and placed here 12 months ago, MISTER WHITAKER is back on his favourite haunting ground and set to operate on the back of a light campaign. His two races this season at Wetherby and Warwick might not have yielded even a minor cheque, but he comes to life at this time of year, loves the Festival and is a fresh horse. Caribbean Boy also has his share of weight but will appreciate the drying ground and should be excused a disappointing effort at Sandown. Two roughies that could get into the argument are Paddy’s Poem and Happy Diva and especially the former, who is a lightly-raced improver that bolted up at Wincanton. He merits an Each Way investment along with the main pick Mister Whitaker.

Race 6 PARNELL PROPERTIES MARES’ NOVICES ‘ HURDLE (Grade 2)

No13 ROYAL KAHALA
Trainer: Peter Fahey - Jockey: Kevin Sexton

It will be a surprise if this doesn’t fall to an Irish-trained runner and my two against the field are Roseys Hollow and ROYAL KAHALA. Roseys Hollow clocked a good time when taking out her trial in the Solerina Hurdle, when having the selection a couple of lengths in her wake. There won’t be much in it over this slightly shorter trip, but at the respective prices Royal Kahala to turn the tables could be the way to go.

Race 7 FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE

NO 8 HOLD THE NOTE (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon - Jockey: Jonathan Burke

Although at first glance this has an impossible look to it, the very nature of the contest could well bring out the best in HOLD THE NOTE who makes a second appearance since undergoing wind surgery. Also equipped with a visor, he hasn’t managed to win over fences but that will be happily forgotten if he can get the job done today. The last time he encountered a big field he finished third to Imperial Aura at this meeting 12 months ago. If he can recapture that level of form he has to be in the shake-up. Other horses that could spice up the exotics include Shantou Flyer, Mount Ida and Musical Slave with a saver recommended on the latter, the best of whom we are probably yet to see.

CHELMSFORD

Race 3 No6 SHOW ME A SUNSET
Trainer: James Fanshawe - Jockey: Benoit Sayette

The addition of cheek pieces and then a tongue strap have combined to make SHOW ME A SUNSET a winner, and he has sound claims to add to his laurels in this all-aged handicap. Importantly the gelding struck here with the same apprentice in the irons, and history looks to have a good chance of repeating itself.

Race 7 No5 QUEEN OF ZABEEL
Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Rab Havlin

If Havlin has chosen QUEEN OF ZABEEL over the stable’s more experienced Qurtajana in this novice stakes then that is a tip in itself. The daughter of Iffraaj and Group 1 winner Music Show has plenty to recommend her for a delivery at the first time of asking.

Place Accumulater Perm (Races 2-8)

3 x 6, 2 x 1 x 8, 12, 4 x 1, 10 x 5, 6 x 1

R24


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