Can Paisley Park star again on day three of the Cheltenham Festival?

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival has already lived up its billing with the likes of Honeysuckle and Shishkin creating headline stories for the sport.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:50 pm
Runners pass the empty stands at Cheltenham
Runners pass the empty stands at Cheltenham

The action continues thick and fast this week and day three of the Cheltenham Festival sees one of the sport’s true superstars strut his staff as Envoi Allen chases a 12th straight win under Rules. Elsewhere, the feature event of the day is the Stayers’ Hurdle which features 2019 winner Paisley Park and 2020 hero Lisnagar Oscar.

We’ve once again previewed the action with our race by race guide.

1.20pm Grade One Marsh Novices’ Chase

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As already alluded to this race centres on the mighty Envoi Allen. He is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and has looked awesome in three starts over fences this term. He looks one of the bankers of the meeting and whilst Shan Blue and Chantry House have each-way possibilities, this is all about the exciting seven-year-old.

Selection: Envoi Allen 4/6

1.55pm Pertemps Network Final

A typically competitive renewal of this three-mile event. Champagne Platinum has been the name on punters lips following an excellent second at Haydock last time out, where he stayed on strongly. Owner JP McManus has won the last two renewals of this contest and has another leading hope here. The Fergal O’Brien-trained Imperial Alcazar looks his main rival and they can fight out the finish.

Selection: Champagne Platinum 6/1

2.30pm Grade One Ryanair Chase

A fine renewal of this two and a half-mile event in which Willie Mullins holds a strong hand. He saddles 2020 winner Min as well as the progressive Allaho who stormed to success at Thurles last time out. However, the domestic opposition are also of interest.

Imperial Aura needs to bounce back from a fall at Kempton last time out, but remains open to more improvement, whilst Saint Calvados also comes into the race following a mishap at Sandown last time. However, the latter was a narrow second in this race last year and with conditions to suit, he can bounce back to form with victory here.

Selection: Saint Calvados 10/1

3.05pm Stayers’ Hurdle

The Emma Lavelle-trained Paisley Park looks well-placed to regain his title. The nine-year-old has bounced back to form this season and was particularly impressive at Ascot last time out when defeating Thyme Hill. If he runs up to that form in this event, he will be very hard to beat. Lisnagar Oscar, the 2020 hero, shaped well at Haydock last time out and looks overpriced at 10/1, whilst Sire Du Berlais is not without a chance, given he is a dual winner at the meeting. However, Paisley Park is the class act and can stamp his mark on this event.

Selection: Paisley Park 2/1

3.40pm Plate Handicap Chase

Farclas has shaped with promise in two big-field handicaps at Leopardstown recently and looks well-weighted off a mark of 144 for Denise Foster who enjoyed her first Cheltenham Festival success earlier this week. The Shunter is chasing a £50,000 bonus for backing up success in the Morebattle Hurdle with victory here, whilst Coole Cody won the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham earlier this season.

However, at a bigger price, Mister Whitaker can record a second Cheltenham Festival victory. He looked to be returning to form when sixth on his latest start and a handicap mark of 150 looks fair.

Selection: Mister Whitaker 12/1

4.15pm Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Willie Mullins has the enviable record of five successive wins in this event. However, his stranglehold on this race could be broken this time around. Roseys Hollow seeks to give Jonathan Sweeney a significant Graded success and the seven-year-old has looked smart on her last two runs.

She slammed her rivals in a Graded contest at Fairyhouse last time out and is capable of improvement. Mullins is well-represented and Glens Of Antrim could prove the pick of his runners.

Selection: Roseys Hollow 11/2

4.50pm Kim Muir Handicap Chase

A tricky event to finish with Deise Aba a leading player following a smart effort at Sandown last time out. Storm Control brings course and distance form to the table and is a possible contender at a bigger price along with Shantou Flyer. However, Hold The Note looks of serious interest.

The seven-year-old was an excellent second at Newbury last time out after wind surgery and he remains unexposed over fences. He is still chasing a first win over the larger obstacles, but can break his duck at the biggest meeting of them all in the finale.

Selection: Hold The Note 6/1

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