Cheltenham Festival 2022 Day Three Preview

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 13:30
Rachael Blackmore

Bob Olinger

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 161
Days: 60

The first race on the third day of the 2022 Cheltenham festival is the Grade One Turners Novices' Chase that sees only four runners heading to post.

We have sided with the Henry De Bromhead trained Bob Olinger who is a superstar already in his career and is now looking to put himself in the category of the greats.

Back in November 2019 the five year old won an Irish maiden at Turtulla by 15 lengths and was bought and given to De Bromhead off the back of it.

At Gowran Park in March 2020 he made his rules debut in a bumper and again showed clear talent to take the 2m2f event by 10 lengths, seeing off nice types for Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott.

He was sent back to Gowran Park for his hurdles debut when him and Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow breezed away from the rest of the pack and he narrowly finished runner up behind the Cheveley Park horse.

He was then stepped up in trip at Navan in a maiden hurdle over 2m4f and he was an emphatic winner of the race beating a minor field by 14 lengths.

Next time out he was sent into the Grade One Lawlor Of Naas Novices' Hurdle and he breezed away from a good field to land the event by close to seven lengths.

He rounded off his season in total style when landing the Grade One Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival, seeing off the likes of Gailliard Du Mesnil and Bravemansgame by close to eight lengths.

Throughout last term he showed speed and stamina and he retained that on his seasonal debut at Gowran Park when jumping a fence for the first time under rules and going on to win by close to seven lengths.

Given some time to brush up on his jumping he was seen for the first time since November this month and went on to take the Grade Three Kildare Novice Chase.

His jumping was much sharper and although looking slightly in trouble turning for home his unlimited gears saw him pull away from the field to win by close to five lengths.

He will have to jump better against Galopin Des Champs but he should be a much better horse for the better ground.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:10
Jack Kennedy


J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 7
Weight: 10-4
OR: 134
Days: 40

The Grade Three Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle looks to be a cracking race as always this year and with that in mind we have picked out two each way selections.

Dunboyne for Gordon Elliott is one of five or six that have been entered into the race for the experienced trainer, but we think this seven year old holds leading credentials.

A second season hurdler, the gelding in his first season over timber was tried at 2m, 2m4f and 3m, placing twice and going on to land a Maiden Hurdle over the furthest trip.

A much more experienced horse this term and staying over the smaller obstacles, he finished eighth of 18 in a decent Handicap hurdle at Naas off a mark of 129.

Off the same mark he stepped up in trip to three miles finishing 11th of 23 and then over the same trip at Leopardstown at Christmas off the same mark was a much better fifth.

Off 1lb lower he was last seen at the Dublin Racing Festival when cruising into contention in the three mile Handicap Hurdle, but was bumper and knocked back in the field and turning the bend his race was run.

Before that he was running a huge race, on the bridle and ready to use his stamina to go close.

This makes him extremely dangerous for the festival, with it being a big stamina test and his current mark of 134 sees him get some serious weight off the field.

Dunboyne, overall fits many of the key stats for this race with 10 of the last 13 winners being aged between six and eight and 10 of the last 15 winners hadn’t run at the previous years’ festival and he fits both those bills.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:10
Mr R James

Sire Du Berlais

J: Mr R James
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 10
Weight: 11-12
OR: 156
Days: 61

Another for Elliott that could run a big race is the dual Cheltenham festival winner Sire Du Berlais who has handy 7lb claimer Rob James on board offsetting some much needed weight.

The 10 year old has been a superstar for the yard over the years, Winning this event off a mark of 145 back in 2019 and then came back the year after and did the same, this time off 152.

Winning the Lismullen Hurdle on seasonal debut last term, he then finished a good third in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle and backed that up, back at Prestbury Park when a good second in the Grade One Stayers' Hurdle.

This term, it looks as though another crack at the Pertemps has been on the agenda for a while, finishing second in the Lismullen Hurdle he won last term and was then pulled up in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle.

Sent to Warwick to qualify for this race he ran a very suspicious race finishing fourth, which saw the British handicapper drop him 2lb.

Now off a mark of 156, with 7lb extra taken off he is effectively off 149 and that could see him well handicapped over a course and distance he runs well at.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
Paul Townend


J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 174
Days: 53

One of the feature events on day three is the Grade One Ryanair Chase over 2m 4 1/2f and we have a win and each way selection with nine going to post.

Allaho looks the horse to beat and has done since winning last years renewal by 12 lengths to dual Grade One winner Fakir D'oudairies.

The gelding was arguably the most impressive winner of the entire 2021 Cheltenham festival when landing this Grade One, making all from the front in eye catching fashion.

The build up of pace set by Rachel Blackmore on board that day had each and every rival slowly crumbling away and the manner by which he took every fence made it a coming of age performance.

Having been a smart hurdler, finishing third in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle back in 2019, he was sent chasing the next season and took some time to really find his form, but his narrow third in the Grade One RSA Novices' Chase was a big step forward

It wasn't until last season that he properly matured and was a horse to take notice of, finishing a good fourth in the three mile Savills Chase at Christmas and off the back of that was finally dropped back to his preferred 2m4f.

He went to Thurles in January 2021 where he saw off stablemate Elimay with ease to land the event by an eased down three lengths.

This set him up perfectly for last years Cheltenham festival where he gave the performance of the season to win the event by a clear 12 lengths.

Allaho finished off last term at the Punchestown festival when stepping down to two miles against stablemate Chacun Pour Soi and although running a big race had to settle for second, not having enough speed for the trip.

The eight year old returned this term in the Grade One John Durkan Chase and from the front went on to see off a superb field of runners.

The form of that race has worked out fairly well and Allaho franked that last time out when winning the same race at Thurles he did before taking the event last year.

The one to beat.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
Brendan Powell

Eldorado Allen

J: Brendan Powell
T: Colin Tizzard
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 166
Days: 33

There is each way value to be had in the race and we have located Eldorado Allen.

The Colin Tizzard horse has been in decent form this season, a talented horse on his day, who is already a Grade Two winner this season winning the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter in November last year, beating the Tingle Creek winner Greaneteen and runner up Hitman.

He does look to go well when fresh, so that could have contributed to the reason why he beat the two fancied horses in the Haldon Gold Cup who will likely improve over him as the season goes on.

He ran a nice race in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon next time out, only beaten by just over 6 lengths by two decent horses, as well as finishing second in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton in January, only going just under two lengths down to Mister Fisher who looks to be back to his best since a heart operation.

Always looking to have a race in him last time out he put up a career best to win the Grade Two Denman Chase over three miles at Newbury.

A Grade Two at Cheltenham already in his career he will handle the track and he looks the value away from Allaho.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Tom O'Brien

Thyme Hill

J: Tom O'Brien
T: Philip Hobbs
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 161
Days: 89

The Grade One Stayers Hurdle is the feature race of the day at Prestbury Park on day three and we fancy Thyme Hill for Philip Hobbs to run a cracker.

Thyme Hill over the last two years has installed himself as one of the best British staying hurdlers in the sport and on Thursday he will be looking to truly show that.

After finishing a superb fourth in Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and before that winning the Challow Hurdle, many people were excited to see him in open company.

Last term he stayed over hurdles and was exceptional on all three starts, winning the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, before being chinned on the line by Paisley Park in this race last term.

He rounded off the season by getting back to winning ways in the Grade One Ryanair Stayers Hurdle at the Grand National meeting.

Back for another term over hurdles at the start of November he was sent over to France for the Grade One Grand Prix d'Automne and in heavy ground he finished a weak fifth of seven, nearly 42 lengths behind the winner.

Everything went wrong for the gelding and that can certainly be put behind him with the ground for his first run back being the opposite of what he wanted.

However, he returned to form in a big way when a narrow second to Champ in the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

He has been saved since then for this event and having a knack for going well fresh he looks to have a big chance.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 16:10
Jack Kennedy

Grand Paradis

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: 145
Days: 26

The Grade Three Plate Handicap Chase is a contest that looks to be very intriguing with a big field heading to post and with that in mind we have two selections at each way prices.

The first is the Gordon Elliott trained Grand Paradis who was a fairly useful hurdler winning two of his three events over two miles and 2m5f, both on heavy ground.

Sent chasing this term, he fell on his debut over the larger obstacles and was then pulled up next time out, needing to learn a lot for those experiences.

On New Year's Day he put up one of his best efforts when third of 10 behind the smart Jungle Boogie and Diol Ker who has since won the Leinster National Handicap Chase.

He then went back over the same course and distance and finished a dead heated second behind Floueur and stablemate Frontal Assault.

Last time out he went to Gowran in a Beginners Chase and finished second to the talented Blue Sari.

He looks to have been steadily progressing with each run and looks a typical plot job for a race like this off a mark of 145.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 16:10
Paddy Brennan

Imperial Alcazar

J: Paddy Brennan
T: Fergal O'Brien
Age: 8
Weight: 11-9
OR: 152
Days: 47

At a similar price and holding a very similar chance is the Fergal O'Brien trained Imperial Alcazar who has been ran this season in preparation for this event.

A decent hurdler over the last two years he looked to have a big chance last year in the Pertemps Final having won a qualifier well at Warwick, but unfortunately got injured during the race.

Sent chasing by O'Brien this year he finished a six length second over 2m6f at Newbury behind the likeable mare Silver Forever giving weight away.

Over three miles next time out he was a good second again behind Pats Fancy for Rebecca Curtis but gave his best run of the season last time out.

At Cheltenham over the Plate course and distance he was a 10 length winner of a competitive handicap chase and although up 7lb he looks to have the profile for a race like this.

Big player.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 16:50
Mark Walsh


J: Mark Walsh
T: W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
Days: 70

Next up is the Grade Two Mares' Novices' Hurdle 2m 1/2f and Willie Mullins has a superb record in this race winning five of the six renewals.

The horse we like the look of is the JP McManus owned Dinoblue who looks a superstar in the making for Mullins off the back of her debut.

The five year old has been seen once in her life winning a Clonmel Maiden over 17f by 15 lengths on heavy ground in very taking fashion.

Having been well backed in the last few weeks, she looks to have bundles of ability that she has yet to show and could be made for this event.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 16:50
Robbie Power

Say Goodbye

J: Robbie Power
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: 133
Days: 39

From an each way angle in the 22 runner race we are putting up the likeable Say Goodbye for Gordon Elliott, who is more exposed than most the field but has some big form.

Seen seven times in her career over hurdles the mare has only finished outside the top three on once occasion and has gone on to win once.

Last time out she was seen putting up a serious career best when a narrow third to the well handicapped Party Central at the Dublin Racing Festival.

There was not much between them that day off level weights and now getting 5lb makes her serious value at 33/1 if running to a similar standard.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 17:30
Mr R James

Frontal Assault

J: Mr R James
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 145
Days: 47

The final event on day three of the meeting is the Kim Muir Handicap Chase over 3m2f and the horse that everyone has been talking about in this race is the Gordon Elliott trained Frontal Assault.

Although top weighted, Rob James takes a valuable 3lb off seeing him now on a mark of 142, which could leave him ridiculously well in with the handicapper.

A fair hurdler, he looks to be a serious staying chaser going forward, making his chase debut at Punchestown over 2m4f when a close third behind Busselton.

He was then seen over the same trip at Navan finishing fourth behind Ciel De Neige and Busselton again.

Stepped up slightly in trip at Fairyhouse he was seen rattling home behind stablemate Floueur, screaming a step up in trip to three miles plus.

Elliott did a similar thing last year with Mount Ida and she was a big plot job for this race and Frontal Assault looks to be exactly the same this term.

Big chance.