Ladbrokes' Hayley O'Connor marks your card for Day Three of Cheltenham
Hayley provided us with some tasty winners yesterday, so listen up to what she has to say about Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival.
So we're half way through the festival and our head is well above water, but today is a very tricky card so I'm going to have to dig deep to keep up the winning momentum!
I am most confident with my selection of Benefficient in the Ryanair. He has been a really lucky horse for me and I tweeted my amazement before he won the Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown that punters were letting him go off at 9/1. He was a winner for me last year when landing the Jewson at 20/1, beating today's rival Dynaste. I can't see that form being reversed and previous course time is imperative in this race. The Irish have never been successful in this but I believe we're about to.
I'm really torn in the big race. Big Bucks is bidding for his fifth Ladbrokes World Hurdle and he's a stunning horse, one of my favourites to see at the festival. His sequence of 18 wins came to an end when he made his return in the Cleeve Hurdle, finishing third. His trainer admitted he may not have been fit enough and he's reportedly in flying form.
He is, however, getting on in years and it will be remarkable if he can regain his crown. He is remarkable, that's why I'm so fearful of punting against him. My deciding reason to look elsewhere is that his previous festival wins were with Ruby aboard and he now rides potential wonder mare Annie Power (main pic).
There's no guarantees she'll stay the trip, but her breeding suggests she will. She's never been truly tested and her jumping is far from amazing, but she really is awesome as she's shown in her 10 career victories, where her average winning margin is 10 lengths.
Elsewhere on the card Wonderful Charm looks a bit of value in the opener, but I'm not going to go heavy on this one as Felix Yonger could rob me and has been really lively in the markets this morning. Lastly, I'm going to have a small wager each way on Jetson. Patrick Kennedy is claiming 5 lb off his back and even though he's ridden just once at the festival before, he's a really good pilot.
Lastly Champion Court in the Byrne Group Plate is being backed to the exclusion of everything else, so if you like following the money, he's the one to go for and I wouldn't put you off.
Less confident today, but hopefully not less lucky, what with it be Paddy's Day and all.
Don't forget to check back here at around 1.00 today as when will kick off our bumper live blog of the day's action, with all the tips, advice, craic and winners from Day Three of Cheltenham 2014.