DAVY RUSSELL: Cheltenham Festival Thursday

Been a tough week so far but it just underlines how tough Cheltenham is to get a winner. Delta Work ran his race, and was a bit novicey which gets found out at the speed they go here but he galloped all the way to the line to finish third. Now on to Thursday’s racing.



1:30pm JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

No ride here and although I’ve been with Defi Du Seuil all along for this, I think with the rain it now looks a good opportunity for Lostintranslation. Of the Irish challenge I wouldn’t dismiss the challenge of the mare Pravalaguna.

2:10pm Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

The usual big field and whilst I don’t have a ride I like the unexposed novice Cuneo who I think is a likely improver. Walk To Freedom may struggle under his top weight, Boyhood isn’t without a chance and Sire Du Berlais is a grand horse whose been knocking on the door in the big races but has a big weight.

THE STORYTELLER (2:50pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 1))

My first ride of the afternoon is The Storyteller (pictured) who is ultra-consistent and runs a good race every time but this is a really deep contest. Any more rain would be huge plus for Un De Sceaux who was runner-up in this last year. I won this last year on Balko Des Flos but he doesn’t seem to be coming into this in great form. Coney Island are Monalee can be given chances and Road To Respect has rock solid form in Ireland but I think Un De Sceaux may still have a bit in the locker.

3:30pm Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

He’s a big price but I have something in my mind for Kilbricken Storm – I don’t think he’s out of it. I love Faugheen and if Petit Mouchoir settles he could have a touch of class and will be one of the last off the bridle. Paisley Park is obviously a high class horse and the ground has come for him but it’s a very open Championship race.

4:10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

Daryl Jacob was very sweet on Janika who was impressive on the course when just beaten the last day and even though he has gone up a few pounds the ground will help him. At a bigger price and much further down the weights Splash Of Ginge will love the ground – more rain the better for him.

BLACK TEARS (4:50pm National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2))

She has been consistent and is a lovely filly but this looks very competitive. This is a huge step up for her, she might prefer a little further but the ground will be OK. Interesting one is Concertista first time out but Ruby is jocked up on My Sister Sarah from a host of Willie Mullins trained runners. Epatante has the hood on for the first time but I don’t see that as negative for Nicky Henderson’s runner.

5:30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase

Two against the field would be No Comment and at a huge price Drumconnor who has been running some good races and I think will be suited by his bottom weight in this big field handicap.




If you have a question for Davy drop us a line at content@starsportsbet.co.uk and we’ll try and include in the next blog…