Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Tips

Time Race Our Tip Place Bet
13:20 The Marsh Novices’ Chase Envoi Allen Envoi Allen Place Bet
13:55 The Pertemps Network Final Imperial Alcazar Place Bet
14:30 The Ryanair Steeple Chase Envoi Allen Allaho  Place Bet
15:05 The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle Sire Du Berlais Place Bet
15:40 The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Farclas Place Bet
16:15 The Daylesford Mares Novices’ Hurdle Royal Kahala Place Bet
16:50 The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase Musical Slave Place Bet

The third day of the Cheltenham Festival 2021, on Thursday, March 18, offers punters two feature races to get stuck into. The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle is the traditional feature of the Cheltenham day 3 races but now shares top billing with the Ryanair Chase, which was added to the Festival line-up in 2005 to provide a championship race for chasers at a distance between that of the Champion Chase and the Gold Cup. The star attraction, however, is away from those two races in the shape of hot Marsh Novices’ Chase favourite Envoi Allen, who has won all 11 of his races, five at Grade 1 level, and is bidding for his third Cheltenham Festival victory. In this page we run the rule over the two feature races, pinpoint the horses to look out for in the Cheltenham day 3 races and reveal our expert Cheltenham race tips for Thursday.

Click here to review our top tips from across the festival

Cheltenham Day 3 Races

Cheltenham races day 3 kicks off at 1.30pm with Envoi Allen, who looks a banker in the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase. He is one of the most exciting horses in training, having won all 11 of his starts with two Cheltenham Festival victories among them.

The Pertemps Network Final, a three-mile contest for handicap hurdlers, is next up at 2.10pm. Sire Du Berlais has won the last two runnings but he is set for a step up in class in the Stayers’ Hurdle this year. His stablemate The Bosses Oscar is favourite this time round.

The Ryanair Chase, at 2.50pm, is the first of two features among the Cheltenham day 3 races and is a relatively new contest, having been introduced in 2005. Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins holds a strong hand with last year’s winner Min, Melon and Allaho among his contenders.

The second feature race on Thursday, the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle, takes place at 3.30pm. Thyme Hill and the 2019 winner Paisley Park, who are 1-1 after already facing each other twice this season, are fighting it out for favouritism.

The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, a Grade 3 handicap chase, is scheduled for 4.10, followed by the Daylesford Mares Novices’ Hurdle at 4.50pm. This Grade 2 has been run only six times – and all six have been won by Willie Mullins. He trains the unbeaten Gauloise, who heads the market.

Cheltenham races day 3 concludes at 5.30pm with the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, a handicap chase for amateur riders.

Cheltenham Thursday Feature Race

The Ryanair Chase, run over 2m4½f, is the newest of the feature races at the Cheltenham Festival and shares the spotlight on Thursday with the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. Open to horses aged five and above, it was introduced in 2005 to provide a Cheltenham Festival championship race at a distance between that of the Champion Chase and the Gold Cup. Ryanair horses can develop into Cheltenham Gold Cup contenders – the 2019 winner Frodon and 2020 third A Plus Tard are among the challengers for the Gold Cup this year, while the 2009 Ryanair hero Imperial Commander triumphed in the Gold Cup the following season.

The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle is the Cheltenham Festival championship race for long-distance hurdlers. At three miles, it is run over a mile further than Tuesday’s feature, the Champion Hurdle. While it has less status than the Champion Hurdle, it has produced some great hurdlers. Big Buck’s won the race four times between 2009 and 2012, and in each of those seasons he was officially rated the best hurdler in Britain and Ireland, above the winners of the Champion Hurdle.

15:30 Ryanair Steeplechase

The Ryanair Chase has been going only since 2005 but has already made Festival history. In 2019, Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 over jumps at the meeting when riding Frodon to a thrilling success. Frodon was fourth last year but goes for the Cheltenham Gold Cup this time.
Min is the defending Ryanair champion and is among a strong Willie Mullins team that could also include Melon and Allaho. Leading the British challenge are last season’s Northern Trust Novices’ Handicap Chase winner Imperial Aura and the 2020 Ryanair runner-up Saint Calvados.

Stayers Hurdle

The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle is the championship race for long-distance hurdlers and has on its roll of honour one of the greatest staying hurdlers in history, Big Buck’s, who won the race a record four consecutive times between 2009 and 2012. The star attractions this time are the 2019 winner Paisley Park and Thyme Hill, who have already built up a great rivalry this season. Thyme Hill got the better of Paisley Park at Newbury in November, but the runner-up reversed the order at Ascot in December when beating Thyme Hill by a neck. They head the betting for the Stayers’ Hurdle, while dual Pertemps Final winner Sire Du Berlais looks a danger.
Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Betting Tips

The first of our Cheltenham Festival day 3 tips is Saint Calvados in the Ryanair Chase. He got to within a neck of Min last year despite a mistake at the last and having to be switched on the run-in. He can gain revenge on the winner after running an eye-catching race in the King George before he ran out of steam over the three-mile trip.

Sire Du Berlais is the Stayers’ Hurdle pick in our day 3 Cheltenham tips. His two Pertemps Final victories tell you all you need to know about his ability to act around Cheltenham and he looks ready to make the step up to Grade 1 company a winning one at the chief expense of Paisley Park.

Cheltenham Free Bets For Thursday

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest betting event in the sporting calendar and the bookies will be falling over themselves to get your custom with enhanced odds and free bets. With two feature races and a hot favourite in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, there are sure to be plenty of tempting offers for the Cheltenham races day 3, such as money back if your horse is beaten by the favourite or if it falls. To take full advantage of our day 3 Cheltenham tips, looking out for these offers before placing your bets.