News

Cheltenham Festival 2018 day three - as it happened!

Thu 15 Mar 2018

By Racinguk.com staff

Welcome to day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

Headlines:

Willie Mullins secures 61st winner to become leading Festival trainer

Irish-trained horses win six of the seven races

Penhill back with a bang in Stayers' Hurdle

Balko Des Flos gives Gigginstown overdue Ryanair Chase win

Has Cue Card run last race after being pulled up?

Laurina demolishes rivals in Mares' Novices' Hurdle

Cheltenham Festival 2018 live blog

Thu 22:31
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Has Cue Card run his final race?
Connections to "sleep on it" after @CheltenhamRaces flop ➡️bit.ly/2FC8tHb

#TheFestival
Thu 21:31
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I want to put him away now for Cheltenham next year."

Penhill justifies faith in Stayers with first run for 323 days.

bit.ly/2HEgLLd
Thu 21:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"To do that against the best in the British Isles is unbelievable."

Mullins in awe of Laurina after Trull House stroll.

bit.ly/2GygDhm

#TheFestival
Thu 21:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#TheFestival day three - what was your highlight?
Thu 20:40
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Missed Approach showed a tenacious attitude to fend off Mall Dini and Squouateur in the Kim Muir @CheltenhamRaces. TheFestival #GreatRide
Thu 20:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"We have Brexit coming, so maybe we won’t be able to come any more!"

Willie Mullins leads way at #TheFestival as dominant Irish leave British trailing | via @Louchepunter

bit.ly/2IqtxhE

Thu 20:24

Thu 20:24
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Thu 20:10
Racing UK@Racing_UK
“The man is a master.” – Davy Russell speaks highly of Gordon Elliott after he partnered The Storyteller to victory in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 20:06
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#TheFestival Day 4 package

Triumph ➡ bit.ly/2nxG8pI
County ➡ bit.ly/2tkz99V
Albert B ➡ bit.ly/2FAp5eh
Gold Cup ➡ bit.ly/2FmhMau
Foxhunter ➡ bit.ly/2D7t7sY
M.Pipe ➡ bit.ly/2FjWgD7
Grand Ann ➡ bit.ly/2G0eevp
Thu 20:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
A record breaking day at #TheFestival ☘️
Thu 19:55
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#TheFestival Day 4 package

Triumph ➡ bit.ly/2nxG8pI
County ➡ bit.ly/2tkz99V
Albert B ➡ bit.ly/2FAp5eh
Gold Cup ➡ bit.ly/2FmhMau
Foxhunter ➡ bit.ly/2D7t7sY
M.Pipe ➡ bit.ly/2FjWgD7
Grand Ann ➡ bit.ly/2G0eevp
Thu 19:51
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#RUKQuoteOfTheDay: Willie Mullins reflects on becoming the all-time leading trainer at the @CheltenhamRaces Festival with 61 wins. #TheFestival

Watch all the key interviews from today in our interviews section. ➡️ bit.ly/2xE5mpt
Thu 19:42
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#RUKMomentOfTheDay: An incredible performance from Laurina who won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle by 18 lengths @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Watch all the finishes from Cheltenham today for free in our results and replay section. ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Thu 19:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"The British humiliation was total - and it could get worse."

Willie Mullins leads way at #TheFestival as dominant Irish leave British trailing | via @Louchepunter

bit.ly/2IqtxhE
Thu 19:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Despite drifting up the run in, The Storyteller managed to justify favouritism in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate @CheltenhamRaces and was Davy Russell’s third winner of the day. 👏👏 #TheFestival
Thu 19:16
Racing UK@Racing_UK
2017 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner Penhill, who was having his first start for 323 days, eventually outstayed 2017 Coral Cup winner to win the Stayers’ Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 19:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It's taken me 15 years to win the Ryanair, so I'm going to enjoy it."

Balko Des Flos finally delivers Ryanair win as Un De Sceaux fails to takeoff ➡ bit.ly/2HDouJs

#TheFestival
Thu 19:06
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Odds-on favourite Un De Sceaux was no match for Balko Des Flos in the Ryanair Chase @CheltenhamRaces. Balko Des Flos also completed a Day Three treble for Gigginstown House Stud. #TheFestival #TeamGigginstown 👊
Thu 19:01
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I want to put him away now for Cheltenham next year."

Penhill justifies faith in Stayers with first run for 323 days.

bit.ly/2HEgLLd
Thu 18:52
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Should Cue Card be retired now? The 12-year-old was pulled up in the Ryanair Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 18:49
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"To do that against the best in the British Isles is unbelievable."

Mullins in awe of Laurina after Trull House stroll.

bit.ly/2GygDhm

#TheFestival
Thu 18:39
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Delta Work and Davy Russell got the better of Glenloe and Barry Geraghty by a nose in the Pertemps Network Final @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival #FinishOfTheDay

Thu 18:28

Thu 18:27
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Shattered Love provided Jack Kennedy with his third success at this year's #TheFestival @CheltenhamRaces by winning the JLT Novices' Chase. 👏

Thu 18:10THAT'S IT FOR TODAY

Cheltenham's decision to arbritrarily allocate Thursday to being 'St Patrick's Day' when the real thing isn't still to take place for another 48 hours looks an inspired one as the dust settles after day three.

Michael O'Leary, Henry de Bromhead, Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins, Paul Townend, Davy Russell and Jack Kennedy will all be leaving the racecourse feeling pleased with their day's work... for a number of different reasons.

Sure, there were disappointments. Un De Sceaux wasn't quite on his A-game, Invitation Only didn't fire. But by and large it was pretty much all good news for the biggest Irish guns and another big wedge of the near-£5million in prize money offered at the Festival is still to be fought for tomorrow.

Join this blog then for more live coverage direct from the course, as Native River makes every yard to win the Timico Gold Cup. Well, maybe.

Thu 18:01ALMOST TOTAL DOMINATION

Presumably the handsome retainers being paid to respective 'captains' Phil Tufnell and Ken Doherty to promote the Betbright Cup - the competition between British and Irish-trained horses designed to thrill racing fans across all four days of the Festival - will be reduced on a pro-rata basis with the trophy having already been won by Ireland with a full day remaining of the meeting.

Thu 17:53
Racing UK@Racing_UK
How To Bet £20 on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival: @StevoGG has five fancies, including two at 25-1 ➡ bit.ly/2FRTlVL
Thu 17:50
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's annoyed me." - Warren Greatrex explains that it hasn't all gone to plan this season for @CheltenhamRaces Kim Muir winner Missed Approach. #TheFestival
Thu 17:45
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Top tipster Dave Nevison believes Nicky Henderson is going to be the man to follow on the final day of #TheFestival tomorrow ➡ bit.ly/2tT0W1o
Thu 17:41
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Last year's National Hunt Chase runner-up Missed Approach fends off all challengers to win the Kim Muir @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Thu 17:24
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Almost 26 hours since a British-trained winner at #TheFestival. And people wonder why we had no runners at the Dublin Festival last month.

Thu 17:20

Thu 17:19LUCKY SEVEN FOR IRELAND?

So, can a clean sweep of victories on 'St Patrick's Thursday' be prevented in the last?

The betting market says that either Squouateur or Mall Dini will win, and it's undeniable that both have great chances, but I really do like the look of Aubusson in this line-up.

I really think this slightly stiffer test of stamina will suit Aubusson, who loves testing conditions, and I have a funny feeling that Nick and Jane Williams will have had a family success in mind for this horse, who is ridden by Jane's teenage son, Chester.

There's just a hint of plot to this. And I love a plot.

Thu 17:18
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"She looks a mare with a real future." - Willie Mullins talks future plans for impressive Mares' Novices' Hurdle winner Laurina @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 17:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The Irish Angle: Johnny Ward marks you card for the final day of #TheFestival tomorrow. He has three tips at double-figure odds ➡ bit.ly/2G03eR0

Thu 17:10

A reminder that a) it's not all about winning and b) it's not all about punting. Must try harder to remember this next year.

Thu 17:04
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, Charles Darwin, David Beckham, Sir Isaac Newton, Ian Botham - your boys (and girls) are taking a helluva beating. #NineOnSpinNowForIrishAtTheFestival

Thu 17:01LAURINA FIRST, THE REST....

That is absolutely ridiculous. Never before have Irish-trained horses won all seven races in a day, but it might well happen today.

Laurina had the race perfectly teed up for her by Cut The Mustard in the same silks and won as and when she wanted - and it didn't do any harm to her chances that Cut The Mustard helped soften up fellow frontrunner Maria's Benefit in the process.

It was, quite simply, a one-horse race. Why didn't I back Cap Soleil without the favourite? Ach.

Willie Mullins says "she might be the type for a mares' chase here in the future, if they ever introduce one in the future". Subtle, Willie, subtle.

Thu 17:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Odds-on favourite Laurina bolts up in the Mares’ Novices Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces and remains unbeaten in three runs for Willie Mullins who records his third win in the race. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Thu 16:59
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Laurina by 25 lengths? Never mind Samcro, what about her! #TheFestival

Thu 16:52LAURINA TO BE A WINNER?

Rumour has it that one of the Irish Cheltenham preview evenings, it was declared that Laurina would have a clear edge on homework over Limini and Let's Dance, the two previous Mullins winners of this race.

Of course, doing it at home and doing it on the track are two very different things...

Thu 16:42

It's a game of opinions

Thu 16:40
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"The man is a master." - Davy Russell praises Gordon Elliott after his victory aboard The Storyteller in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 16:36
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Irish-trained horses have now won past eight races at #TheFestival. Never happened before. Brits only have Laurina - and a few others - to beat in the next. 🙄
Thu 16:31
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He gave me a bit of a fright!" - Gordon Elliott says The Storyteller unnerved him up the run in en route to winning the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 16:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Get the inside track on tomorrow's Gold Cup at #TheFestival: Watch interviews with Nicky Henderson, who talks all things Might Bite, plus Patrick Mullins ➡ bit.ly/2pd2Hli

Thu 16:28ANOTHER FOR RUSSELL, ELLIOTT

When you're on a roll, you're just on a roll and Davy Russell can do no wrong today. Despite his mount hanging violently across the track after the final fence, The Storyteller stays on strongly to catch the admirable Splash of Ginge and give Gordon Elliott yet another success.

Poor old Splash Of Ginge did so well to fight them off around the turn. Such a shame that it doesn't look like he will get into the final field for the National, but if he goes up a couple of pounds for that, it might improve his chances of doing so for the 2019 renewal.

That's the first winning favourite of the day and but probably unlikely to be the last with Laurina well fancied to take the next race, the Trull House Mares' Novices' Hurdle. I'll be taking her on though, being the contrary beast that I am, with the experienced Cap Soleil who bids to give Fergal O'Brien a welcome first Festival victory.

Thu 16:25
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The last two races of #StPatricksDay at @CheltenhamRaces are live ONLY ON Racing UK. #CheltenhamCovered #TheFestival
Join now ➡️ bit.ly/2EVQryx

Thu 16:20

Thu 16:19
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The Storyteller justifies favouritism in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate and completes a treble for Davy Russell @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 16:09ADVISORY NOTE

There's every chance that our next race, the Brown Advisory & Merribelle Stable Plate, will be the only one of the 28 at this year's Festival on which I don't have a bet.

I don't think it looks particularly competitive and I'm convinced Movewiththetimes is well handicapped, but I also don't think he really wants this kind of soft ground.

Maybe Traffic Fluide is the answer coming back into handicap company on ground that he really appreciates? Your guess is as good as mine though.

Thu 16:09AINTREE NEXT FOR SAM SPINNER

The gentleman that he is, Jedd O'Keeffe was trying to downplay his disappointment despite Sam Spinner ultimately finishing back in fifth place under Joe Colliver.

Joe Colliver - Sam Spinner - Racingfotos

"Joe felt the horse probably lacked the experience for this today - he was looking at everything, looking at the photographers, looking at everything that was going on," he said.

"It's been a rapid rise up the ranks and possibly too rapid. He started the season as a novice and quite an inexperienced novice, and I think that just showed.

"I think the next thing on the table is probably Aintree. There are four weeks to get him ready and I think that's the plan.

"Look, we were favourites for the Stayers' Hurdle and that's something to be proud of in itself. It's been a great day even if we didn't get the result we might have wanted."

Thu 16:09
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Has Cue Card run final race? Connections to "sleep on it" after 12-year-old pulls up in Ryanair Chase at #TheFestivalbit.ly/2FC8tHb
Thu 16:08
Thu 16:03
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It means a lot." - Paul Townend on cloud nine after guiding Penhill to victory in the Stayers' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Thu 15:56

And to think they say that trainers make the worst tipsters...

Thu 15:56
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He was just outstayed on that ground." - Robbie Power believes the ground went against Stayers' Hurdle runner-up Supasundae @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO

Thu 15:44SISTER, MY SISTER

Lots and lots to take out of the Stayers' Hurdle finish, not least the question of whether Joe Colliver gave Sam Spinner a brilliant ride (stacked them up from the front and gave his mount every chance) or a shocker (failed to put enough emphasis on stamina and allowed the race to turn into a sprint). The truth is somewhere between the two.

But it's got to be the amazing Colin's Sister who I have to give a mention to. Stone last of the lot two out, she has absolutely motored home under Paddy Brennan to snatch fourth place prize money and some Grade One-placed black type for her enthusiastic owners.

She probably won't get the soft ground and decent test she prefers again this season, but what a cracking effort.

Thu 15:42
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Willie Mullins records his sixth win at this year's #TheFestival as Penhill stays on strongly to win the Stayers' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces.

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Thu 15:28
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He was manning up the further he went in the race." - Davy Russell tells us his thoughts on Balko Des Flos who provided him with a quick-fire double in the Ryanair Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Thu 15:27TIME FOR THE STAYERS

It's been all about the maroon and white Gigginstown colours so far today, but we will have a new winning owner for the first time today in our next race with Apple's Jade out of the Stayers' Hurdle and Gordon Elliott having his pocket lightened by £500 for the late notice of her withdrawal.

Sam Spinner heads the betting and understandably so. A couple of months ago, all the talk after Ascot was 'Ah, but will he get his ground at Cheltenham?' and waddayano, he has. The key for me is whether Joe Colliver - stripping his tribulations aside - can keep his head on the big occasion. He's surely going to be taken on for the lead by something and this could be a ride that requires more patience than usual.

It's a fascinating contest though - check out the full list of runners & riders for the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle here.

If you're looking for one at a price, it has to be Wholestone for me. He is jumping better than was the case last season, handles very testing ground, and sees this trip out well. Best of all, he's run seven times at this track before and never yet finished out of the frame. That's the sort of record you want on your side for an each-way bet.

Thu 15:20
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Un De Sceaux produces a flying leap en route to finishing second behind Balko Des Flos in the Ryanair Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 15:14
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Cue Card “as bright as a button” says Colin Tizzard. He and owner Jean Bishop say “no rash decisions” regards future and “we will keep everybody informed”. #TheFestival
Thu 15:11
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's a legend" - Paddy Brennan reflects on Cue Card's performance in the Ryanair Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Thu 15:08THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, CUE CARD

A fond farewell (surely) to a hero of the Cheltenham Festival. Watching this video has just genuinely left me in tears.

Paddy Brennan says: "I just think his age showed a little bit on that ground. We'll have to speak to connections and see what the future brings. Cue Card is a legend though and you feel like you've got to mind him like a child."

Thu 15:02

Thu 15:01
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Cue Card given a hero's send off here at @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Thu 15:01BALKO DES FLOS WINS RYANAIR

Hard to know where to start in unpicking that one.

Without being disrespectful to the winner, who has showed his Leopardstown second to Road To Respect to have been no fluke at all, it's hard to believe that Un De Sceaux has quite run up to his best in second and the crowd gave almost as big a cheeer to the sight on the big screen of Cue Card hacking back happily under Paddy Brennan as they did to the winner.

Henry de Bromhead will be delighted and Michael O'Leary ecstatic to have finally won his own race, but it was surely the most quietly-celebrated winner of the whole Festival. There was little more than polite applause from most pockets of the stand as Balko des Flos came past the winning post.

Thu 15:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
It's a treble on the day for Gigginstown House Stud as Balko Des Flos wins the Ryanair Chase and completes a double for Davy Russell @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 14:49SCEAUX MUCH THE BEST?

Un De Sceaux is getting a bit warm behind the saddle, but that's normal for him - if he is to be beaten in the Ryanair Chase, I wonder if it might be a matter of tactics.

Sub Lieutenant has got himself into a real lather in the parade and Sean Flanagan might not be able to prevent his mount from trying to take Un De Sceaux on for the lead if he doesn't start to calm down soon, while the brilliant Cue Card is another with whom connections might just be considering letting him go forwards. We know stamina isn't an issue with him.

Will it be a problem for Un De Sceaux if either of those two take him on? Probably not, because we know he can do it from off the pace too. Personally, I hope he goes out, wins, and wins well.

Thu 14:47

Un De Sceaux is the 8-11 favourite to win the Ryanair Chase for the second time and score at the Festival for a third time after his 2015 Arkle success.

Thu 14:45
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Cue Card circles the @CheltenhamRaces parade ring for what's likely to be the last time.
Run 9 times here for 3 wins.

👏 #TheFestival
Thu 14:41
Racing UK@Racing_UK
And that's how close it was! Delta Work clings on to win the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces by a nose from Glenloe. #TheFestival

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Thu 14:34
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I thought we'd probably lost it on the bob of heads." - Michael O'Leary tells us he wasn't confident Delta Work had held on in the Pertemps @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Thu 14:33

Thu 14:32
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Under an hour to go to enter day 3 of our Cheltenham tipping competition - enter here for your chance to win £50 Betfair Free Bets >>> bit.ly/CheltenhamTipp…

Thu 14:29ELLIOTT AT IT AGAIN

It looked fiendish on paper, but when push came to shove it's the two shortest-priced horses who have fought out the finish of the Pertemps - and both of them were trained by Gordon Elliott.

Turning for home, Glenloe was fifth with Delta Work just behind and Barry Geraghty made the most of that narrow advantage to pin his rival in behind Taj Badalandabad on the run to the last and forced Davy Russell to switch.

That gave Glenloe first run on the final climb to the line, but Delta Work gave everything and just got the better of a great battle between the stablemates. I can't imagine that JP McManus will be over the moon... unless Gordon perhaps told him to have a saver on the winner?

Thu 14:27LISTEN - GORDON ELLIOTT ON SHATTERED LOVE

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/RacingUK_Cheltenham18_1.30pm_GordonElliott.mp3
Thu 14:22
Racing UK@Racing_UK
What a finish! Delta Work wins the Pertemps @CheltenhamRaces and completes a quick-fire double for Gordon Elliott. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 14:11KENNEDY LOOKING FORWARD TO GOLD CUP ALREADY

Sometimes it’s not all about the winners, even for Jack Kennedy.

Kennedy is 18 years old and has had only a handful of rides here at Cheltenham during his short but meteoric career so it was understandable when the level-headed teenager went wide-eyed at the thought of tomorrow.

Shattered Love was Kennedy’s only ride of the day, and the Festival’s leading jockey with three winners so far is going to enjoy the delights of Prestbury Park for the rest of the afternoon with his mother, father, and brother, who were all in the winner’s enclosure when the Gigginstown mare swept in on the back of her JLT Novices’ Chase win.

From there it is on to the sales here tonight, before he prepares to partner Farclas in the JCB Triumph Hurdle, Duca De Thaix in the Randox Health County Hurdle as well as The Gam Changer in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual on Friday.

All three of those horses are shorter in the betting in their respective races than Outlander is for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup - he's 33-1, but Kennedy was like a child before Christmas just now.

“I’m looking forward to riding Outlander in the Gold Cup the most tomorrow,” he said. "To be riding in a race like that is just unreal.

“I’m still probably a bit inexperienced around the track but when you are riding good horses it makes it a hell of a lot easier.

"I'm going to the sales tonight but, oh Jesus, I'm not going to buy anything."

As for Shattered Love he said: "She's a super mare and she's only been improving. She does everything so easily.

"She jumped and travelled great. She's done it very well in the end."

Thu 14:11

With the field now at the start for the Pertemps, it's worth highlighting late support for Forza Milan, Jonjo O'Neill's representative.

O'Neill has been incredibly quiet at this year's Festival by his usual standards but much is clearly thought of Forza Milan's prospects and 3lb-claimer Killian Moore is great value for his allowance while he still has it.

Thu 14:06
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Will Native River win the Gold Cup at #TheFestival tomorrow? Watch Nick Lightfoot's interview with Joe Tizzard plus other exclusive chats with Joseph O'Brien and Sean Flanagan ➡ bit.ly/2pfwTvf

Thu 14:02HE'S GOOD, BUT...

Put Michael O'Leary in front of a microphone and you can usually be reasonably assured that he'll produce an interesting sentence or two.

Interviewed on the winner's podium after Shattered Love's success, O'Leary first says that if his mare "was a boy, she'd been lining up as prop forward for Ireland against England this Saturday - she's a big girl, but a beautiful one".

Then asked to pay tribute to winning rider Jack Kennedy, his praise for the successful 18-year-old is typically atypical.

"He's a good jockey but he's one of a number of very talented young jockeys we have in Ireland at the moment," he says.

Presumably that's how he keeps Ryanair's pilots on their toes, by constantly reminding them that they are only as successful as their last flight and that there are lots of other very promising young pilots ready to come through and take their jobs...

Thu 13:49GLENLOE ALL THE RAGE

With Gordon Elliott off the mark for the day, it's worth noting that his Glenloe, the favourite for our next race, the Pertemps Final, has collapsed in price.

He's now a rock-solid 4-1 chance to take one of the most competitive staying handicap prizes of the whole season - although there is usually a fair amount of market fluctuation with these JP McManus horses and it will be interesting to see how things go over the next 20 minutes or so.

Personally, I've backed one of the other three McManus runners, Sort It Out, who was a screaming eyecatcher last time out at Punchestown and seems to love both these kind of testing conditions and the hurly-burly of a big field.

Conditions, meanwhile, in the parade ring, are becoming almost as muddy as those out on the track...

Thu 13:47
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"She looks like a gelding!" - Gordon Elliott discusses Shattered Love's success in the JLT Novices' Chase @CheltenhamRaces and praises Jack Kennedy's ride. #TheFestival

Thu 13:41THIRD FESTIVAL WINNER FOR KENNEDY

Jack Kennedy rides a third winner of the 2018 Festival as Shattered Love survives her worst two jumps of the race to win going away from Terrefort, who ran his heart out in second.

Gordon Elliott says: "We knew she'd stay and we were thinking about the RSA for her but I'm pleased we took this route now. She's a very tough mare."

Benatar, who raced too freely early on, made late gains for the each-way money ahead of Kemboy and Finian's Oscar.

Invitation Only proved the major disappointment and he was already beaten when blundering his chance fully away three out.

Thu 13:38
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Shattered Love beats the boys in the JLT Novices' Chase @CheltenhamRaces and is now 5-6 over fences. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 13:30

Kemboy certainly the other main market mover in this race, now down to 15-2 having been more than twice those odds this morning. Takes some money to force a horse's price down to that extent...

Thu 13:29
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Invitation Only has been replaced at the head of the JLT market by Nicky Henderson's Terrefort. Willie Mullins' Kemboy the plunge horse at 15-2. #TheFestival

Thu 13:25TERREFORT NOW FAVOURITE FOR JLT

The runners are in the parade ring for the opener and Terrefort, our new market leader, looks in fantastic shape, flicking his ears around at the crowd.

Mind you, Invitation Only is also a very good-looking sort of horse, with loads of size and he looks as well as almost all of the Willie Mullins horses have done in the paddock this week - year in, year out, he just gets them cherry-ripe for the big meetings.

Compared to the Supreme and the Neptune that started the action on the first two days, this is quite a low-key beginning to the day with no hotpots for the punters to get stuck into and the betting ring is comparatively quiet. But there's no doubt that Terrefort is the one that punters want and he's now into 11-4.

Thu 13:16
Racing UK@Racing_UK
What is your best bet on Day Three of #TheFestival @CheltenhamRaces? The Racing UK team run through theirs.

Deposit £20 then bet with £70 with Betbright ➡️ bit.ly/2tPGmPj (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 12:59DOUVAN vs ALTIOR - BRING IT ON!

Patrick Mullins has just been interviewed in the parade ring before racing and he has confirmed that Douvan is fine after yesterday's spill.

Douvan at Cork

"I was talking to Ruby while he was lying there getting his leg looked at and he told me to just go on if he took me there," said the jockey, who is the son and right-hand-man of Douvan's trainer Willie Mullins.

"Unfortunately, he just guessed at one fence and got it wrong. But he's okay and I'm okay and I'd love to take on Altior on. Obviously Altior is an amazing horse but Douvan was giving me an amazing feel up to that point."

Where might Altior vs Douvan finally happen? This season seems sadly unlikely with Sandown the stated aim of the former and Douvan reportedly heading to Punchestown. Therefore we might be waiting for the Tingle Creek at Sandown next season - but will both horses still be on their A-game then? If they're in good shape next week surely Aintree could still come into the equation for either or both with almost a full month between now and then...

Thu 12:56
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He was fine this morning."

Nicky Henderson maps out Altior's next step after Queen Mother triumph - more here ➡️ bit.ly/2HDQddl
Thu 12:48
Racing UK@Racing_UK
There's concern on Twitter that @RishiPersad1 has been living too much of the high life this morning.

Meanwhile at Racing UK towers. #HowTheOtherHalfLive 😜 twitter.com/bernardcondren…

Thu 12:43COLEMAN READY TO SET RECORD STRAIGHT

On the face of things, there are fewer jockeys coming into today with a worse record at the Cheltenham Festival than our own ambassador Aidan Coleman, but statistics rarely tell the full story. Aidan Coleman

Although it's 2009 since Coleman's first - and last - Festival success, he of course gave Any Currency a brilliant ride to win the Cross-Country Chase at last year's meeting only for the winner to be subsequently disqualified after an acrimonious BHA hearing.

Coleman has a couple of live outsiders today, coming in for the mounts on Protek des Flos in the Pertemps Final and Wholestone in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle. Then tomorrow, he's off to Fakenham!

"You've got to go where the winners might be and that's the way it's worked out," he says. "To be fair, it wasn't looking like there was going to be much for me here, so that's the way it's worked out."

Thu 12:40
Racing UK@Racing_UK
As the Un De Sceaux fans start to flood in keep up to date with all the action from @CheltenhamRaces with our live #TheFestival blog:

➡️ bit.ly/2Iqq5E1
Thu 12:33
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"She's tough and she will like the ground." - The Racing UK team @CheltenhamRaces believe Cap Soleil is a good each-way bet in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle. #TheFestival

Deposit £20 then bet with £70 with Betbright ➡️ bit.ly/2tPGmPj (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Thu 12:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Our Cheltenham Tipping competition closes at 3:29pm today! Don't forget to enter here to win £50 free bets with Betfair >>> bit.ly/CheltenhamTipp…
15:30 - Stayers' Hurdle
16:50 - Racing UK Exclusive
17:30 - Racing UK Exclusive
Thu 12:19
Racing UK@Racing_UK
😂😂🤝@RishiPersad1, @BetfairBarry, @alexsteedman. #Awkward #TheFestival

Thu 12:12

Thu 12:11
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's won on this ground before." - Aidan Coleman tells us which horse he thinks is his best chance of a winner today @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Deposit £20 then bet with £70 with Betbright ➡️ bit.ly/2tPGmPj (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Thu 12:06
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#StPatricksThursday at #TheFestival @CheltenhamRaces
Racing UK have #CheltenhamCovered - the only channel showing every race live! Join Now... ➡️ bit.ly/2EVQryx
Thu 11:58
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Day 2 of #TheFestival
Enter our Cheltenham Festival tipping competition to win £50 free bets with Betfair >>> bit.ly/CheltenhamTipp…
Thu 11:57
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"At the price, I would rather take him on." - Ben Linfoot and Chris Dixon are keen to take on Un De Sceaux in the Ryanair Chase @CheltenhamRaces. Do you agree? #TheFestival

Deposit £20 then bet with £70 with Betbright ➡️ bit.ly/2tPGmPj (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 11:55

Great British Racing have set up a Sport Relief challenge opposite the main entrance encouraging racegoers to have a go at climbing the Cheltenham hill. I can't help but feel that having Tommo upsides you might encourage you to find a little more for pressure... perhaps he'll be there all day, spurring challengers on.

Thu 11:48
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I'm a bit scared to touch it!" 😂 - @RishiPersad1 arrives in style @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Thu 11:29
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I think he's really interesting at a double-figure price." - Ben Linfoot makes a case for one in the Pertemps Network Final @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Deposit £20 then bet with £70 with Betbright ➡️ bit.ly/2tPGmPj (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 11:25BUY A FUTURE FESTIVAL WINNER?

As if Cheltenham wasn't in any case a time when all common sense goes out of the window, egos and chequebooks will be out after racing today when 27 horses are sold at auction in the winner's enclosure in the popular Goffs sale.

The average price of the 21 horses sold at the event last year was £142,857 - the event saw £3,000,000 worth of horses change hands in less than two hours and a number of the biggest owners were in action. Make no mistake, the big bloodstock agents will be schmoozing like mad today in the hope that they can persuade their clients to hand over big bucks in search of the next Big Buck's.

At last year's Festival Sale the gelding Santini was knocked down for £150,000, and is now a leading fancy for tomorrow's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Thu 11:25
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Will the dream be realised for Jedd O'Keeffe, Joe Colliver and Sam Spinner this afternoon? #TheFestival
Thu 11:23
Racing UK@Racing_UK
A few notable jockey changes @CheltenhamRaces today.

Racecards ➡️ bit.ly/2uLpje4
Thu 11:17
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's a strong stayer." - Ben Linfoot and Chris Dixon like the chances of a general
28-1 chance in the JLT Novices' Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Deposit £20 then bet with £70 with Betbright ➡️ bit.ly/2tPGmPj (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Thu 11:10

More information on today's going from Turftrax.

Thu 11:07TOWNEND ON UN DE SCEAUX AND LAURINA

Un De Sceaux Cork 5

Confirmation of how the jockey changes for the Mullins horses will shape up today - some cracking opportunities for Paul Townend to throw down a challenge to be the meeting's top jockey. A winner and a second today could put him top of the pile if Jack Kennedy draws a blank and he's a reasonably-appealing 11-4 with Paddy Power.

Thu 11:01
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Congratulation Nick and Trevor for winning Day One and Two of our Cheltenham tipping competition!
Enter here with your Day Three tips from #TheFestival to win £50 Betfair free bets
bit.ly/CheltenhamTipp…
Thu 10:56
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I thought there were question marks against Sam Spinner." Ben Linfoot is taking on the leading contenders in the Stayers' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces and has an each-way selection #TheFestival

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Thu 10:55DE BROMHEAD ON HIS RYANAIR FANCIES

Personally, I think I've got the Ryanair sewn up.

I can't hear of defeat for Un De Sceaux - he's won it before, the ground is perfct for him, he is the most talented horse, and the extra 57 yards he'll need to run up that hill will pose no problems for him.

What's more, I think Frodon, who ran such a huge race on heavy ground here in January, will follow him home.

BUT! If you like the chances of the De Bromhead pair, even one of the most pessimistic trainers was fairly upbeat about his horses - even for all the world that they are unlikley to appreciate the heavy going.

Listen to him in our interview below.

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/RacingUK_CheltFestival18_HenryDeBromhead_FRIpreview.mp3

Thu 10:55MORE ON THE GOING

I've bumped into Racing UK's Niall Hannity who says fears that today might turn into a complete mudbath could prove well wide of the mark.

"The lads I've spoken to who have already been out and had a good walk on the course say they are pleasantly surprised," he said.

"I've had a quick look at it too and the general feeling is that there is a lot more 'soft' than 'heavy' in it and I must admit I was struggling to find the heavy places."

The other good news is that no more rain is expected today, according to Simon Claisse, and there's no doubt that the New Course has always tended to dry out more quickly than the Old Course.

Thu 10:48ABSENT DE BOINVILLE STILL ON AN ALTIOR HIGH

Nico De Boinville hit the heights yesterday when he guided Altior to an extraordinary victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

He's clearly still thinking about it as he has just tweeted a picture of his win.

As an illustration of the ups and downs of being a professional jockey, De Boinville has skipped day three of the Festival today and instead heads to Towcester, where his only ride is aboard With Discretion, a horse who has not run for 1019 days.

It's the first time the rider has partnered the mare, who last run in a Point To Point when third of six. Never has 'the market may prove informative' been so apt.

Thu 10:48
Racing UK@Racing_UK
St Patricks Day today at #TheFestival and BetBright are offering all new customers £50 Free Bets when you deposit £20!
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Thu 10:39KEEP OFF THE GRASS

The additional rain overnight has led to a frantic scramble for the parking spaces available at the track on a hard surface. A number of racegoers found themselves stranded in the mud after racing on Tuesday leading to the racecourse issuing a statement late in the day advising those affected to 'remain in their cars and turn on their hazard lights' if looking for help. Come Friday night, there could be wild scenes in the car park.

Thu 10:22

Thu 10:21
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Scratch these from your calculations today @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Keep up to date with all the non-runners here ➡️ bit.ly/2wbqwhU

Thu 10:19DOUVAN AND APPLE'S JADE OFFICIALLY OUT

So the news we all knew the answer to, but were eagerly awaiting, is that Douvan will not run in the Ryanair Chase and Apple’s Jade will not take part in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle.

Officially the line is that Apple’s Jade has not eaten up, via self-certificate, and Douvan has also been excluded with self-certificate, but, curiously, the reason given is simply “other”.

As far as Apple’s Jade is concerned, yesterday owner Michael O’Leary said that the mare was found to be in season after Tuesday’s OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, while trainer Gordon Elliott used the term ‘Mare-ish”, and was inspected by vets.

Now she hasn’t eaten up – being Apple’s Jade has never been so tough.

Get all of today's non-runners as they com out here >>>

Thu 10:09RACE DISTANCES

In near heavy ground the last thing that you need is an extra 57 yards but that is the reality of it is that the 100+ horses in action today are going to have just that bit further to run up the Cheltenham hill.

The race distances changes today are as follows:

1.30 - JLT: Chase bends set out 6 yards, adding 57 yards, the start has been moved forward 42 yards, actual distance 2m 3f 213yds.

2.50 - Ryanair: Chase bends set out 6 yards, adding 57 yards, the start has been moved forward 35 yards, actual distance 2m 4f 188yds.

4.10 - Brown Advisory: Chase bends set out 6 yards, adding 57 yards, the start has been moved forward 35 yards, actual distance 2m 4f 188yds.

5.30 - Kim Muir: Chase bends set out by 6 yards, adding 75 yards, actual distance 3m2f 75 yds.

All other races are as advertised.

Thu 10:04WELCOME TO A SOGGY DAY THREE

Welcome to the third day of the Cheltenham Festival.

I hope you are all ahead, or at least within touching distance of profitability. If it is wors than that, then, well, at least there has been some tremendous sport over the past two days - and much more to come.

Today's action switches to the New Course, which will also be used for the fourth and final day of The Festival tomorrow, Gold Cup Day.

The going on the New Course is: Soft, Heavy in places

There was 9mm of rain overnight. The forecast is for a dry afternoon, with temperatures of 11 to 12 degrees Celsius.

Simon Claisse, Cheltenham's Clerk of the Course, said this morning: "The rain that we had overnight has petered out and we are looking forward to a dry afternoon with some spectacular racing.

"What drama we had yesterday with poor Ruby Walsh suffering an injury which means he won't ride at the rest of the meeting. Then we had Nicky Henderson winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase with Altior to set him up with a possible treble in the three championship G1 races if Might Bite can land the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup tomorrow.

"The nine millimetres of rain overnight has left the New Course Soft, Heavy in places. Most of the track we are using today has not had foot set on for 12 months and is in pristine condition. It will be perfect for this afternoon's sport."

Thu 9:12
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Join BetBright today at get £70 free bets when you deposit £20!
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Thu 8:39
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#TheFestival day three tips:

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Dave Nevison ➡️ bit.ly/2DsrNRl

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Thu 8:25
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Are you #CheltenhamReady for Day Three?
Racing UK have #CheltenhamCovered with every race live from #TheFestival
Join Now... ➡️ bit.ly/2EVQryx
Thu 8:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
'He looks a million dollars, he knows where he is."

Un De Sceaux ready for Ryanair takeoff

Watch video interviews with:
Patrick Mullins
Colin Tizzard
Ruth Jefferson

Preview ➡ bit.ly/2GsC0k7
Thu 8:00
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
This might come back to bite me but surely Squouateur has to be THE worst favourite for a race since Clever Cookie was sent off as 4-1 in Postponed's King George? #TheFestival
Thu 7:42
Racing UK@Racing_UK
St Patricks Day today at #TheFestival and BetBright are offering all new customers £70 Free Bets when you deposit £20!
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Thu 7:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
'I kicked it in the belly, it set off and I fell straight off the back of it. I’ve kind of had the bug ever since!"

Joe Colliver talks to Tom Peacock about life's rollercoaster and Sam Spinner carrying him to redemption ➡ bit.ly/2FSq5vk

#TheFestival
Thu 7:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#StPatricksThursday at #TheFestival @CheltenhamRaces
Racing UK have #CheltenhamCovered - the only channel showing every race live! Join Now... ➡️ bit.ly/2EVQryx
Thu 7:24
Thu 7:11
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#TheFestival day two:

Altior the 'freak' ➡ bit.ly/2FEwYDC
Ruby out ➡ bit.ly/2tP7Fte
Samcro lives up to hype ➡ bit.ly/2FDMBvi
Percy pounds RSA rivals ➡ bit.ly/2pi58Cv

More videos, reports and replays at Racinguk.com

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