Day three of four at Cheltenham and another fantastic day is on the cards. Envoi Allen bids to remain unbeaten, while there’s a very open feel to the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Struggling to find a winner? Well here are Nick Luck’s fancies for all seven races.


ENVOI ALLEN is one of the most complete racehorses you could wish to see, and I don’t see any reason to oppose him at 2/5 in Thursday’s opener, the Marsh Novices’ Chase (1.20pm). If he slips below par for some reason, Chantry House is the likeliest beneficiary.

SPIRITOFTHEGAMES can run a bold race at 20/1 in the Pertemps Final (1.55pm) and must be backed each-way – clearly well treated over hurdles relative to his chase mark, he looked at least as good in this discipline when hardly knocked about in defeat in the qualifier at Chepstow. His last two runs on ground described as ‘Good’ both resulted in victory, and he has run blinders at the last three Festivals.

After much soul searching, and a possibly regrettable change of heart, I’m throwing my eggs in the ALLAHO basket for the Ryanair (2.30pm) Having looked back through his two Festival runs so far, I see a horse who has moved beautifully through his races but has been undone by a lack of stamina, but more by inexperience. Now he’s grown up a bit and connections have the confidence in him to allow him to settle near the lead at this shorter distance, I feel he might blow these away from the front and prove hard to peg back at 9/2.

IF THE CAP FITS is a cheeky each-way play at 33/1 in the Stayers’ Hurdle (3.05pm). He’s one of those rare beasts who is a lazy so-and-so that wants good ground and a bit of pace to aim at, as he showed when beating Roksana and Co in that three mile epic at Aintree a couple of seasons back. He has the cheekpieces back on, is back over hurdles and now has his conditions. I like him to run a big race here.

CARIBEAN BOY makes quite a bit of appeal at 11/1 in the Plate (3.40pm). He produced a stunning performance on the clock on good ground at Newbury earlier in the season – as his Flat pedigree suggests should have been the case – before sinking in the mud the last twice. He’ll be better served here and has reportedly been working well. I’ll also be backing PADDY’S POEM at 25/1, to whom he market is not giving enough respect given the dominance of his recent Wincanton win and his being completely unexposed at the trip.

ROSEYS HOLLOW might be the answer to the Mares’ Novices hurdle (4.15pm). She showed a nice attitude to beat Royal Kahala last time and, although markedly worse off at these weights, might just be open to a bit more progression for her very capable trainer at 6/1.

HOLD THE NOTE is becoming a bit frustrating, but well handicapped horses are really thin on the ground in the Kim Muir (4.50pm) and he certainly fits the bill in that respect. An excellent third to Imperial Aura and Galvin here last year, he simply faces nothing of that calibre here, looked to have benefitted significantly from the wind-op last time, and looked as though he would be fine over this longer trip. He’s priced at 15/2.

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