Day Three of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival was a profitable one for the bookmakers with just the one winning favourite as Vautour landed the odds in the opening JLT Novices’ Chase landing some sizeable bets in the process including one of £8000 to win in cash, and with ease as well in a very fast time. With the bookies licking their wounds Call The Cops was the next winner for the Nicky Henderson/Andrew Tinkler combination in the Pertemps Final and would have been a fairly neutral result at 9/1, even if he was second favourite with so many other bets on the rest of the twenty-three strong field, but Uxizandre at 16/1 soon saw them in profit.
Trained by Alan King and ridden by A P McCoy in a first time visor, he wasn’t completely unfancied but some decent sized bets were lost on runner up Ma Filleule for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty at 5/1 (including one of £10,000 to win), but not as many as on Don Cossack who was third! Trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, it looked as if the Irish punters were doubling up after Vautour as they smashed in to the eight year old chaser as if defeat was not an option, with over £30,000 in cash on course alone sending him off at 5/2 under Brian Cooper but to no avail after he was hampered two out, though that is no consolation to all his losing supporters.
When it came to the World Hurdle, it looked as if the bigger better known yards had it between them as Paul Nicholls was responsible for favourite Saphir Du Rheu (5/1) and second favourite Zarkandar (6/1), with Lieutenant Colonel (7/1), Whisper (8/1), and Un Temps Pour Tout (9/1) next in the betting. To the bookies delight, it was 14/1 shot Cole Harden who took the title by just over three lengths with no sizeable on course bets recorded – certainly the best race so far for the layers at least.
Kim Bailey was responsible for the winner of the Brown Advisory Plate at 4.00pm though not with the well-backed 6/1 shot Un Ace, ridden by A P McCoy, who could only manage a well-beaten thirteenth at the line. David Bass was on board Darna, an unbacked 33/1 shot who pulled off a bit of a shock even by Cheltenham standards, staying on strongly to the sound of the bookmaker cheers. With favourite Monetaire in second each way bets were landed but overall, it was another race that went the way of the enemy here. Finally, the lucky last was probably honours even as 9/1 third favourite The Package duly obliged for the David Pipe yard, landing one recorded bet of £1200 to win, as well as one of a flat £1000. With a total of twenty four runners we doubt those bets were enough to cause the layers much concern, but at least some lived to fight another day and come back on Friday afternoon.