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Cheltenham - Racing: Day Three Preview

The Stayers' Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase are the feature races on Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival, with last year's winners of those major contests looking to defend their crowns.

The card begins with a potentially breathtaking renewal of the Turners Novices' Chase, while the females are in action in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle later on the card.

Here's our race-by-race look ahead to day three of Cheltenham 2022.

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13:30 - Turners Novices' Chase (2m4f)

There's a real argument to be made for saying the Turners Novices' Chase could be the race of the week at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022. Willie Mullins has set up a brilliant clash between his novice Galopin Des Champs and Bob Olinger in the Day Three opener.

Many pundits expected Galopin Des Champs to be aimed for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase over the extended 3m trip, however, Mullins felt this shorter trip was the right one for his charge and had no fears in taking on Bob Olinger.

Grade 1-winning chaser Galopin Des Champs is 6/5 to continue his 100 per-cent record over fences. He looks likely to be a Gold Cup contender next season once he steps out of novice company.

Bob Olinger was very impressive at the Festival in 2021 when he won the Ballymore. Henry De Bromhead's runner has done nothing wrong in his two starts over fences this season and is 10/11 to win this contest.

Strap yourselves in for a rollercoaster start to Thursday's Cotswolds feast! Busselton and El Barra are their only rivals in a four-runner field - the smallest this century in a Cheltenham Festival race - with not a single British challenger turning up.

14:10 - Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (3m)

Sire Du Berlais won the Pertemps Network Final in 2019 and 2020 and he is back again looking to seal a third success in the 3m contest. Gordon Elliott's runner will need to do it from top weight this time, but at 11/2, he is at the prominent end of the betting.

Winter Fog has been one of the best backed horses for this handicap contest and is now trading at 11/2.

The lightly-raced runner from Emmet Mullins' yard finished second at Leopardstown to qualify for this race. With a mark of just 138, the Irish horse may still be well ahead of the handicapper and his shrewd trainer has confirmed the intention to run.

Teenager Kansas City Chief achieved the latest win in his fine season at Plumpton on Monday and is coming here for a crack at this priced at 33/1, while Ronan McNally's contender The Jam Man has some fine form on his CV and is a 14/1 chance.

14:50 - Ryanair Chase (2m4½f)

Allaho is considered to be many punters' NAP of the meeting this year. In the hands of Rachael Blackmore, the pair blew the field away in this race 12 months ago. He is 4/6 to win the Grade 1 contest for the second straight year.

There are no holes in Allaho's form this year. He has won both of his two starts, including a success in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown. Willie Mullins' talented chaser is one of Ireland's best chances of the week and will have Paul Townend on his back this time.

Connections of Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated have made good on their promise to taret this race. He is owned by Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary who recently suggested Conflated would have 'no chance' in the Gold Cup on Friday.

The Gigginstown runner is 11/2 to score and enhance his reputation once again under the excellent Davy Russell, who delivered him perfectly last month at the Dublin Racing Festival.

15:30 - Stayers' Hurdle (3m)

This is potentially the most open of the four Championship races this season. Flooring Porter was a surprise winner of this contest in 2021, dominating from flagfall, and he is 3/1 this time around.

Gavin Cromwell's runner has fallen twice since his 2021 Stayers' Hurdle win. His latest performance at Leopardstown will have encouraged his connections, as he finished a close second in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle behind Klassical Dream, a 4/1 chance in this race.

2019 winner Paisley Park produced one of the moments of the jumps season so far when he won the Cleeve Hurdle. He is 6/1 to follow that up with a second Stayers' success for Emma Lavelle

Champ is a horse who was considered as a Gold Cup contender not long ago. After winning the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, his connections have opted to stay over hurdles. The JP McManus-owned runner is 5/1 to power up the hill at Cheltenham
again for a major win but he'll need to bounce back having fluffed his lines behind Paisley Park in the Cleeve last time.

WATCH: Emma Lavelle discusses the highs and lows of Paisley Park's career

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Cheltenham: The Stayers' Hurdle - Horse Racing: All You Need To Know

16:10 - Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase (2m4½f)

Fergal O'Brien is on course for his best ever season. He does not have to travel far from his Cotswolds yard for this meeting. O'Brien has indicated that this race is the primary goal for Imperial Alcazar, who has four entries across the week. He is the 6/1 following an impressive performance on Trials Day.

The Glancing Queen has prevailed in two Listed races this season. She then finished a close second behind progressive subsequent Grade 1 winner L'homme Presse. Connections are likely to choose this race over a showdown against her own sex. She is 6/1 to give Alan King a Festival winner.

Cheltenham regular Coole Cody could be a value chance at 25/1, having won the Racing Post Gold Cup here in December and finished fourth in this race last year.

16:50 - Parnell Properties Mares' Novices' Hurdle (2m1f)

Dinoblue has had just one appearance on the track, but it was enough for her to jump to the top of the betting for the Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

The Clonmel winner is 5/2 to continue her trainer's excellent record in this race, with Willie Mullins responsible for four of the five renewals since it was inaugurated in 2016.

Stablemate Brandy Love, trading at 10/3, has more experience on the track than Dinoblue, as this will be her fifth start under Rules. She broke her maiden over hurdles at Naas, before finishing second in a Grade 3 contest behind Allegorie De Vassy.

Henry de Bromhead ended Mullins' unbeaten run in this race in 2021. His leading chance this year comes with Party Central, who is 6/1. She has won three of her four outings over hurdles including at last month's Dublin Racing Festival – a meeting with a rich yield of subsequent Cheltenham winners.

17:30 - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase (3m2f)

Gordon Elliott has an excellent record in the Kim Muir, and he will be looking to continue that this year with Frontal Assault. This is a horse who could be challenging for the Gold Cup next season if he continues to improve.

The seven-year-old has shown signs that he will appreciate this step up in trip on what will be only his fourth appearance over fences. He is 5/1 for this race following strong support behind him in the betting.

Ain't That A Shame has finished in the frame in all three of his starts over fences. He was just a neck behind the winner on his latest appearance at Navan over 3m and Henry De Bromhead's gelding is another horse who has a bright future. He is 7/1 to give the Irishman success in the finale contest on Day Three.

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