THE Day 3 highlight brings together the elite staying hurdlers in the World Hurdle. Will Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) be opposing hot favourite Thistlecrack.
15:30 Cheltenham | Channel 4
This race sees one of the bankers of the meeting for many people in the form of Thistlecrack. So far this season he has been a revelation over this trip and he comes here on the back of three wins at Grade 2 or Grade 1 level. He is the stand out selection form wise, but is he opposable?
Cole Harden is the defending champion and comes here a fresh horse who is experiencing his ideal conditions for the first time this season. He should run a good race but this looks a stronger race than the one he won last year and he has looked flat in all his runs as champion. I’m taking him on here and I don’t expect him to retain his crown.
Alpha Des Obeaux was my ante-post selection and I’m still very confident that he will go close. He is a remarkably consistent horse and despite only having won twice he has only finished out of the first two once and that’s when he fell when giving Thistlecrack a real race at Aintree.
He will enjoy the ground and I fully expect him to be involved in the finish. However he is a much shorter price than when we backed him each way so I’m having a bet on another horse today.
Thistlecrack has been fantastic all season and he comes here a solid favourite. I’ve looked through his form looking to pick holes in it and I’m struggling.
He was incredible at Cheltenham last time which blew the theory that he doesn’t like the course out of the window, and though it wasn’t a tremendous race he was head and shoulders above his rivals there. The staying division has been weak for a couple of seasons now and this race looks perfect for him before he embarks on a chasing career next season.
15:30 Cheltenham – Thistlecrack to win (5/4 Ladbrokes)
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