Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, Riverside Theatre in the 2.40 & Oscar Whisky in the 3.20 Compare odds and bet
The mighty Big Buck’s bids to land a fourth consecutive Ladbrokes World Hurdle this afternoon, but he faces a couple of serious Grade 1 hurdlers in the shape of Oscar Whisky and Thousand Stars today.
With the Nicky Henderson horses in such fine form, preference is for Oscar Whisky (3:20) who looks an each-way bet to nothing against the market leader, with 5/1 available this morning.
The seven-year-old has easily won his last three starts, having earlier fallen when upsides Overturn at Ascot in November. He was trying to concede 8lbs to the winner that day and that form now looks even better in light of his Champion Hurdle second.
The big question is whether or not he’ll get the trip and, if he does, will he improve for the step up to 3m? His running style suggests he’ll stay and, with the ground as it is, I don’t envisage a problem.
If they go slowly, he could be ready to pounce on the champion, whilst it is worth remembering that Thousand Stars was just a neck off him in last season’s Aintree Hurdle and Willie Mullins’s grey has proven his stamina in the French Champion Hurdle. He, too, makes each-way appeal at 12/1 this morning.
The rest of the card looks extremely competitive, even the Ryanair Chase looks hotter than normal, but I’m sticking with the in-form Henderson team and Riverside Theatre (2:40) who did us a good turn when winning the Ascot Chase last month.
The son of King’s Theatre failed to sparkle on his sole start at the track (in the 2010 Arkle) but he’s a much improved jumper now and it’s hard to pigeon hole him a flat track horse on this limited evidence.
Rubi Light is greatly respected, though the ground maybe on the lively side for the Irish raider, so an each-way bet on Barry Geraghty’s mount is the way to go at 11/2.
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- AL FEROF won Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 10-1
- BENSALEM won Stewart Family Handicap 5-1
- BOBS WORTH won A Bartlett 15-8, 4/4 for year
- CAPTAIN CHRIS won Arkle Trophy 6-1
- FIRST LIEUTENANT won Neptune Investment 7-1
- (plus Grade 1 in Ireland 16-1)
- JAMES DE VASSY won Lanzarote Hurdle 8-1
- LONG RUN won King George 9-2, Gold Cup 7-2
- OSCAR WHISKY won Aintree Hurdle 6-1
- Peddlers Cross (Fighting Fifth Hurdle)
- Medermit (Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase)
- FINIAN’S RAINBOW (Maghull Novices’ Chase)
- WISHFULL THINKING (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)