TODAY’s top picks for Turners, Ryanair Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and Mares Novices Hurdle – THE INFORMANTI

Thursday at Cheltenham Festival looks to be a special treat of the week with a little something for every punter.

The stars of the day include Mighty Potter, Shishkin, Teahupoo, Paisley Park, Flooring Porter and Luccia.


Nico de Boinville riding Shishkin clear the last to win The Betfair Ascot Chase in February 2023


Three Grade 1 races take place on the third day of the festival: The Turners, Ryanair Chase and the showpiece Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.

Though the Ryanair now has a £211,013 winning prize money over the Stayers’ £182,878 cash prize.

The penultimate race of the day sees the Grade 2 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

Thursday can often churn out some big priced winners but this year there’s a few races that also look set to be dominated by the favourites.

Something that Constitution Hill knows all about with his emphatic win at just 4/11 on Tuesday in the Champion Hurdle.

Charlie Swan, jockey on Istabraq said to Cheltenham 2023: “I’m glad ‘once in a generation’ Constitution Hill wasn’t around in Istabraq’s day, he could be the GOAT.

“I was at Cheltenham yesterday. Constitution Hill was very good wasn’t he! I am just glad he wasn’t around when Istabraq was around. 

“It was never in doubt. He settled well, showed speed and jumped well. He was just brilliant, amazing. State Man is no slouch.

“I said before, he looked unbeatable with the way he won the Supreme last year when he took so much off the track record.  He justified all the superlatives and that was only his sixth race”

Cheltenham Festival odds and racing tips

1.30: Turners Novices’ Chase tip

Mighty Potter 11/10


Davy Russell riding Mighty Potter clear the last to win The Ladbrokes Novice Chase at Leopardstown

Mighty Potter also offers incredible value and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go off odds-on on the day.

The Gordon Elliott-trained horse was a big winner at Dublin Racing Festival beating Adamantly Chosen by over eight lengths.

Takes his chase record to three out of three and will be one of the most-backed favourites this festival.

Stage Star does represent a great each-way bet on this opener though, who will cope with the soft ground and won here last time out to beat 11 runners and was tipped at 16/1 as an outsider.

2.10: Pertemps Handicap Hurdle tip

Mill Green 28/1

This horse isn’t one that necessarily jumps off the page but perhaps should.

With the rain likely to be coming down it could suit this 11-year-old who came third in this race last year behind Third Wind by just over two lengths.

Was a subsequent third at Aintree in another Grade 3 and while conceding over a stone lost to Johnson’s Blue on reappearance.

That was a solid enough run though especially after a 315-day break and probably needed it to prep for this race.

He’s often the outsider but has placed in each of his of last five races at odds of 28/1, 33/1, 18/1 and 14/1.

2.50: Ryanair Chase tip

Shishkin tipped at 11/10

Energumene in the blue silks was overtaken in the final stretch by Shishkin in January 2022’s Clarence House Chase

Shishkin, trained by Nicky Henderson, returned to his best last time out when upped in trip from his usual 2m to a 2m5f trip.

Winning the Betfair Chase Grade 1 by an astonishing 16 lengths to Pic D’Orhy and Fakir D’oudairies.

Prior to that win the once 177-rated horse was pulled up at Cheltenham Festival’s Champion Chase and then came a disappointing third behind Edwardstone on his season debut in December.

But that return was incredibly eye-catching and the wind surgery conducted in January has clearly done the trick.

Wouldn’t be out of place in numerous races at the festival this year but this race will give him a leading chance, by a distance.

3.30: Stayers’ Hurdle tip

Paisley Park 16/1 each-way


Aidan Coleman riding Paisley Park (L) clear the last to win The Ladbrokes Long Walk Hurdle at Kempton Park Racecourse on December 26, 2022

The highlight of the day comes in the form of the 3m Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.

It’s incredibly open this year with the likes of regular stayers Paisley Park, Flooring Porter, and Klassical Dream in the field.

But at the front of the betting it’s newcomers to the hurdling Grade 1 scene Blazing Khal and Teahupoo.

Flooring Porter won this last year with Paisley Park close behind but the Emma Lavelle-trained horse has since had a resurgence of form winning the Long Walk Hurdle by over four lengths.

A typical gutsy performance especially after missing out by just a neck when battling it out with Champ in November’s Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

It is however, important to note how open this year’s renewal is with the ground a major factor.

Klassical Dream is an outright winner and has finished in the top two in his last three Grade 1 hurdles.

Started far back in last year’s race and still managed to finish within five lengths of the winner but many of these can’t be ruled out, so it’s best to see who looks good in-play.

4.10: Plate Handicap Chase tip

Mars Harper 25/1 & Frero Banbou 12/1

Gordon Elliott’s team are starting to run well now in the festival with a few good winners on Wednesday, including Delta Work in the Cross Country.

This horse looks to be progressing well over fences for what could be appearing as though he needs more.

He’s bumped into a few great horses, including on his fence debut to Mighty Potter in November.

Ran just two weeks later and placed behind Midnight Run who was also running in a Grade 3 at the festival.

Before placing far enough back on two occasions in Ireland which can be attributed to still learning.

Returned earlier this month at Leopardstown and finished close behind in a nine-runner event and is now given plenty of weight to give this a good go at a big price.

Another who could be dangerous at a nice price is Frero Banbou off just 135 for Venetia Williams.

He placed third behind Global Citizen in the Grand Annual last year on heavy ground and is now 6lb lower for that.

Could be suited to this step up in trip and clearly goes well on the imminent soft to heavy ground.

4.50: Jack De Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle tip

Luccia 11/8


Nico de Boinville riding Luccia win The British Stallion Studs EBF Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race at Sandown Park on March 12, 2022

There’s been more and more support for this mare trained by Henderson as the festival approaches.

It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see her go into odds-on by the off either.

She’s a talented mare with improvement coming with each step up in grade and contest.

Henderson could have a couple of big favourites come in at the festival this year if they justify their favouritism.

And Luccia resembles the hype seen for Constitution Hill last year.

She’s won two flat contests in 2022 by a wide margin and followed that form over hurdles beating She’s A Saint and Palace Boy in Class 1 events.

It’s possible the latest contest wasn’t as strong as it could be but she won in such a style that suggests she has plenty more to come at the big event and loves to get ahead.


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