I can’t believe it’s day three already, but here we are. Like you, I’m really excited to see Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs battle it out. Allaho looks almost unbeatable, but he still needs to do it, and the Stayers’ is a fascinating contest.

Let’s get down to business.

Turners Novices' Chase

Bob Olinger, for me, just shades it. The softer ground is no issue and I love everything about this horse. Some have crabbed his jumping, but I understand a recent schooling session after racing impressed several industry figures. He must be at his best to defeat Galopin Des Champs, but I think Henry De Bromhead’s star novice will just find enough to come out on top in the opener. 

Bob Olinger to win

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle

Everyone’s favourite puzzle to solve at the Festival is the Pertemps. The rules are simple; run and place in the first six qualifiers, and providing you’re in the top rated 24, you get to run.

The Irish have dominated this race in recent years, and for me, it’s quite simple. Sire Du Berlais has won this twice before. In 2020 he was off 4lb lower, this year Rob James is booked to ride who can take off a valuable 7 pounds. Just 12 months ago he finished second in the Stayers’ Hurdle, so softer ground is no concern and Gordon’s string look to be in great form. At 5/1 with extra places, he is an each-way bet to nothing.

Sire Du Berlais to win

Ryanair Chase

Last year, this race treated us to a stunning winner in Allaho and it is hard to see past the same result 12 months on. 

Allaho has ended up around a 4/6 shot, which in my book represents a great price considering he will be fine on the softer ground after the rain. He has looked as good as ever this season, there is so much to like about him. Also, the form of his most recent win at Thurles has worked out well, with Fakir D’oudairies winning a grade one at Ascot just a few weeks ago. 

Allaho to win

Stayers' Hurdle

We have seen some fantastic receptions at Cheltenham so far and if Paisley Park wins the Stayers’ Hurdle the roof may just come the new stand at Cheltenham.

Sadly, I think it’s more likely we see Flooring Porter retain his Festival crown.

He was so unlucky at Christmas when the starter handed a huge advantage to Klassical Dream. The more I watch that run back, the more I can accept he will reverse form here today. Gavin Cromwell does well with his Festival runners, and whilst he is yet to have a winner from the first two days, he did have a good second with Gabynako.

The only concern I have with Flooring Porter is the crowd. He does seem a slightly quirky type who needs to handle the pre-race pomp to ensure his chances of winning aren’t impacted. 

Flooring Porter to win

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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