Cheltenham 2019: Lucky Luke's Day 3 Tips

14/03/2019

After a fantastic day for Lucky Luke on day two, with his tipping blog landing an 80/1 four-fold with City Island, Altior, Tiger Roll and Envoi Allen, he is back for more on St Patrick's Thursday.

Today's main event is the Stayers' Hurdle where hot favourite, Paisley Park, faces some tough opposition from across the Irish Sea in the likes of Faugheen and Supasundae. 

Who will come out on top?

Lucky Luke shares his opinion...

1:30pm – JLT Novices’ Chase

After disappointing at Cheltenham in an Arkle trial won by Lalor, Defi Du Seuil was stepped up in trip and that has seemed to make all the difference.

Running around 2m4f in three runs since, he beat RSA Chase winner Topofthegame at Exeter and then reversed the form of his Cheltenham 2nd by beating Lostintranslation in the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown.

That last victory was off level weights and with that being the case again in the JLT, that would have to give him the edge. He won the Triumph Hurdle in 2017 don’t forget, and Festival form can count for a lot.

2:10pm – Pertemps Network Final

The Pertemps is a race that has been dominated by the Irish in the last few years and more to the point, jockey Davy Russell.

He has taken this with Mall Dini (2016), Presenting Percy (2017) and Delta Work (2018) but somewhat surprisingly, he doesn’t have a ride in the race this year.

Instead, I’m plucking for a horse who is using this as a stepping stone to the Grand National. That is the Dr Richard Newland-trained Abolitionist, who follows a similar route to the Dr’s National winner – Pineau Du Re.

He was 3rd in the Pertemps before winning the National and connections will be hoping that Abolitionist can follow suit. He won his latest hurdles start by 10 lengths at Aintree in November, leading from pillar to post.

He’s unlikely to get it that easy this time, but he could be a horse that is worth a few quid to land a place.

2:50pm – Ryanair Chase

Despite no 11-year-old ever winning the Ryanair Chase, I can’t help but want to back Un De Sceaux for this.

Its a hugely competitive affair with some really classy individuals in the mix, most notably Footpad, who was an impressive winner of the Arkle last year.

However, Footpad has been a shadow of the horse he was last season and both Road To Respect and Monalee are dropping back in trip after spending more time over 3m of late.

Frodon perhaps has the best form over this distance, but whether or not he can mix it over this trip in open company is a question that remains unanswered.

UDS is consistent and proved he remains his ability by finishing runner-up to Altior in a cracker of a Tingle Creek at Sandown. Conditions were to his liking that day, but Altior is just the best in the business so we can perhaps forgive him a second-place effort to the King.

It’s likely to be soft again and given UDS has been 1st and 2nd in the Ryanair already in his career, I think his experience could count a lot and I’m hoping he’ll come roaring up the hill again.

3:30pm – Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle

paisley-park

You can have no mark against Paisley Park this season. He’s won pretty much everything that this division has to offer in the UK, and nobody can be better than him with the form book in mind.

His four wins so far this campaign have included a Grade 3 at Haydock, the G1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot and then the Cleeve at Cheltenham. The way he quickened up to basically put the race to bed at Cheltenham last time means he’s a deserving favourite and a big player.

Of course, there are dangers, particularly from Ireland, in the likes ofSupasundaeand Faugheen, but you can have marks against both of those.

I prefer to go off what I have seen so far this season, and that leads me to Paisley Park. Although I will give an each-way squeak for Black Op, who was 3rd in the Cleeve and that could have sharpened him up after returning to hurdles from chasing.

4:10pm – Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase

This is a really tricky handicap to try and fathom out. I’ve no real selection in the race, so I’m going to have an each-way play on Eamon An Cnoic.

He ran well at Cheltenham in a hot handicap won by Baron Alco in November and has previous wins under both soft and heavy conditions.

He was a winner last time out at Chepstow, following wind surgery, and given trainer David Pipe has won this 3 times since 2010, Eamon An Cnoic is well worth a shout.

4:50pm – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

These mares’ races are far from the most competitive affairs of the meeting. Just ask Willie Mullins, who has won the first three renewals of this with Limini, Let’s Dance and Laurina. If you have a bit of class in this division, it usually rises to the top.

This time around, Mullins’ best chance in this race looks to be way below his usual standard with Sancta Simona his best chance, according to the betting. She was some 10 lengths behind Aramon (6th in the Supreme) last time out at Leopardstown and that doesn’t exactly set the world alight.

One of more interest for me is the Paul Nicholls-trained Posh Trish. She is highly regarded by the team at Ditcheat and has done very little wrong this season with four wins from five outings. Owned by Highclere, they know a thing or two about winning big races and you can be sure that Posh Trish has been trained with exactly this target in mind.

From what we’ve seen from her so far, she loves a strong gallop and isn’t one to give in lightly. A recipe that could prove to be a successful one next week. Her form is good enough to win something like this as well and she looks a touch overpriced at the current odds.

5:30pm – Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase

Like many of these amateur races, it’s often worth sticking with the more experienced jockeys.

Jamie Codd is certainly one of those, if not the best, and is already two from two at this year’s Festival thanks to winning rides on Le Breuil in the National Hunt Chase and Envoi Allen in the Champion Bumper.

Measureofmydreams could be the one that lands the Coddfather his hat-trick, especially after returning from a long lay-off to finish 3rd at Fairyhouse last month.

He switched to Gordon Elliot during that time off the racecourse and considering Elliot and Codd have teamed up to win this before (Cause of Causes, 2016), and the fact that Codd has won two of the last three, you’d be a brave punter to back against them doing it again.

Selections

1:30 – Defi Du Seuil

2:10 – Abolitionist (EW)

2:50 – Un De Sceaux

3:30 – Paisley Park

4:10 – Eamon An Cnoic (EW)

4:50 – Posh Trish

5:30 – Measureofmydreams

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