“Willie Mullins is out of form”, “avoid his horses!”, that’s what everyone was saying as Day 2 came to a close as Mullins and Ruby Walsh landed another duck at the 2017 Festival. Day 3 however was a day of resurgence, as Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh staged a remarkable comeback on Stayer’s Hurdle day. Can they continue this blistering run to provide Mullins a first success in the Gold Cup? You can see our thoughts on our Gold Cup tips page, where you can find an in-depth preview of National Hunt’s premier race.
JLT Novices Hurdles
Travelling strongly and given the splits when he needed it, Yorkhill kick started Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh’s Festival with a good win on Day 3. Top Notch gave valiant pursuit and looked to be in with a shout approaching two out, but made a bad error and lost three lengths. He tried hard but couldn’t get back to the quarters of Yorkhill, who followed in the foot steps of Black Hercules for the same connections who won the race last year. Disko finished third with a long gap back to the remainder, with Flying Angel never able to challenge after being hampered by the falling Baily Cloud at the eleventh.
Result – 1st Yorkhill (6/4F) 2nd Top Notch (7/2) 3rd Disko (4/1)
Ireland continued their dominance at the Festival in the best possible way on Day 3, and will be looking for even more winners tomorrow. Their best chance looks to be Gordon Elliott’s Death Duty, who has been boosted to a massive 18/1! See the offer below.
It was that man Davy Russell again as Presenting Percy took home the Pertemps for last year’s winning connections. Held up off the pace, Russell started to make headway approaching two out under a cool Russell who pressed the button before the last, going clear on the run in for a second victory in the race for Patrick Kelly. Barney Dwan was a game second for Fergal O’Brien and Jury Duty was third for Gordon Elliott. The favourite Impulsive Star was mightily disappointing and weakened quickly after two out to finish 21st, with Tobefair sadly only able to muster up 22nd place.
Result – 1st Presenting Percy (11/1) 2nd Barney Dwan (16/1) 3rd Jury Duty (9/1) 4th The Tourard Man (66/1) 5th Sutton Manor (16/1) 6th Electric Concorde (20/1) Also Ran: Impulsive Star (8/1F)
There were a few nervous moments for backers of Un De Sceaux who pulled his way to the front as they passed for the winning post for the first time, would he stay at such a frenetic pace? The answer was a resounding yes as he pinged the final fence to run out a game winner with Sub Lieutenant a gallant second. Aso was a valiant third for Venetia Williams with Empire Of Dirt disappointing in fourth, the rest were well beaten.
Result – 1st Un De Sceaux (7/4F) 2nd Sub Lieutenant (8/1) 3rd Aso (40/1)
Harry Fry has had a brilliant season but another of his hot pots failed to deliver as Unowhatimeanharry couldn’t live up to expectations when only third under Noel Fehily. The day just continued to get merrier for Walsh and Mullins as Nichols Canyon gave them a third winner of the day, held up before making good progress between the final two flights, snatching it from a gallant Lil Rockerfeller who was a brilliant second for Neil King and Trevor Whelan.
Result – 1st Nichols Canyon (10/1) 2nd Lil Rockerfeller (33/1) 3rd Unowhatimeanharry (5/6F)
Ireland’s momentum just kept on building as Road To Respect took the Festival Plate for Noel Meade and Bryan Cooper despite a bad mistake early on. He took over before the second last and went clear under hands and heels for a six length success. Baron Alco was a brave second for Gary and Jamie Moore with Bouvreuil running on late in the day to snatch third from Thomas Crapper. Favourite Diamond King made a bad mistake at the sixth when lucky to survive but was bady hampered at the tenth and was unable to recover.
Result – 1st Road To Respect (14/1) 2nd Baron Alco (10/1) 3rd Bouvreuil (10/1) 4th Thomas Crapper (7/1)
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
“Four on the day for Mullins and Walsh after the two days they’ve had? You can’t be serious!”. That’s what many would have said if you’d told them they’d have four on the day on Thursday, but it did indeed happen! Approaching the last Verdana Blue and Let’s Dance were both travelling well, but there was a certain inevitability that Ruby Walsh was about to take over and go clear. That’s what he did as Let’s Dance swept on by to finish a three length winner with Barra coming through into second. Dusky Legend placed again for Alan King and Verdana Blue was unlucky to drop to fourth in the dying strides.
Result – 1st Let’s Dance (11/8F) 2nd Barra (12/1) 3rd Dusky Legend (20/1)
It was an incredible day for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh with four winners after drawing blanks on the first two days! Djakadam has been boosted to 20/1 for tomorrows Gold Cup as Mullins looks for his first success in the race, see the offer below!
Kim Muir Chase
Carrying 11st 12lb, Pendra was about to cause a bit of a shock from top weight and give Charlie Longsdon a well deserved Cheltenham Festival winner. It wasn’t however meant to be as a starting paddling towards the finish and was pounced on by 40/1 shot Domesday Book and Gina Andrews, who swept on by towards the finish and caused an even bigger shock. Premier Bond rallied for third and Potters Legend ran on strongly in the closing stages to grab fourth.
Result – 1st Domesday Book (40/1) 2nd Pendra (16/1) 3rd Premier Bond (9/1) 4th Potters Legend (10/1)