The Cheltenham Festival is a unique atmosphere in which some horses thrive. You will find that certain horses find another gear when running here and keep coming back again and again. The track is often polarising as its uphill finish suits some but can scupper the chances of others. Here are three course specialists to consider for your multiples during Thursday’s action at Prestbury Park. If you’re looking for more tips you might want to check out our Cheltenham tips page where you can find plenty of thoroughly researched content throughout the week.
Sire Du Berlais is a horse that always finds his best level of performance at the festival. His form figures here read 4112 which has to put him in the mix as he returns for his fifth consecutive festival. The two victories which he has achieved both came in this race before finishing a gallant second in the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle last year. Having now dropped to a mark just 4lb higher than when he won this race in 2020 you can see why connections were keen to return to the handicap route.
Paisley Park is a well established fan favourite and a previous winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle. This horse is a really strong stayer despite not being the quickest these days and he might prefer it if the race was six miles rather than three. He roared back to form last time out when giving his rivals a massive head start in the Cleeve Hurdle here. He stayed on out of nowhere to win by a comfortable margin in the end. Provided he jumps off at the same time as his rivals you’d have to think he won’t be far away on that evidence in an open race.
Coole Cody seems to exclusively run in handicap chases in and around a 2m4f trip on both the old and new course here. He won the Racing Post Gold Cup here in December over course and distance off just a 2lb higher mark. In 2020 he also won the Paddy Power Gold Cup on the old course. He was only six or so lengths behind the well-handicapped The Shunter in this race last year off this mark. The bottom line is that the handicapper is often keen to give him a chance and he clearly has done so again by dropping him to this mark so quickly.
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