Cheltenham Day 3 going update
Having walked the course, it is pretty much the same ground on The New Course today as the The Old Course for the last two days with more Good ground than Good-to-Soft which has probably been part of the reason for the general drift in price for Grands Crus in the World Hurdle - though it can be argued he was too short in general in the first place and he is now correctly priced.
The ground will certainly suit Mourad in the big race who has been winning in Ireland despite the soft ground according to Willie Mullins and it would be no surprise to me if is the big threat to Big Buck's.
After the remarkable day the Irish enjoyed yesterday with six winners, punters are likely to be very keen on Noble Prince and Loosen My Load in the Jewson Novices' Chase especially as both are expected to also enjoy this better ground than what they have running on during the winter in Ireland.
So far the Irish lead 8-6 and it could easily be 9-6 after the opener.
The Ryanair Chase is not as strong a renewal as couple of weeks back with setbacks to Riverside Theatre and Tranquil Sea so connections of Poquelin must be very hopeful of going one place better than in this race 12 months ago like two previous winners of this race.
The ground has also come in his favour as it has for the spring horse Kalahari King whose form figures at the Festival are 423 and he has also won at the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals.
Gauvain could be a lively each-way shot given how well Nick Williams' horses have run this week.
The three handicaps are nightmarishly difficult but the potential rewards are worth having a crack. In the Pertemps Final, don't be surprised if the last two winners of the race, Kayf Aramis and Buena Vista, appreciate this unique test again and hit the frame.
The Byrne Group Plate is a race for upsets so have a look at a couple of long shots in Aimigayle and I'm A Legend at big prices who like decent ground.
The Kim Muir ends the card where Junior has been well backed for the Pipe yard and they had a double and were a short-head away from a handicap treble on this day last season.