Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival and you could have got at least 100-1 on a certain Mr W Mullins NOT to have trained a winner by now – but that is the case.
He has three representatives in today’s feature, the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle at 3.30, but is unlikely to get on the score-sheet with any of them.
Hot favourite for the race is the 8 from 8 Unowhatimeanharry at a top price of 11-8 and it’s hard to fault the 9-y-o on anything it has achieved since joining Harry Fry’s yard. On its latest run, ‘Harry’ beat four of today’s opponents, giving weight to them all and re-opposes at levels this afternoon. However, in second place that day was the Warren Greatrex trained Cole Harden, the gutsy winner of this race in 2015. That was a back-to-form run, on unsuitable ground and the reports from the yard have been upbeat ever since.
Named after a suspected horse thief, played by Gary Cooper in the film The Westerner, on ideal ground and available at 8-1, Cole Harden looks the e/w play to nick a few quid.
Starting the day’s action at 1.30 is the JLT Novices Chase over 2m4f and the market has it as a match between Yorkhill and Top Notch, trained by Messrs Mullins and Henderson respectively. However, I think Noel Meade’s runner Disko could beat them both and at 6-1 in a dead eight field, this looks a cracking e/w bet.
At 2.50, the Ryanair Chase looks at the mercy of Empire of Dirt, owned by The Honourable Company of Muckspreaders (no, not really), which is well worth a decent wager at 11-4. Also recommended is a modest Exacta with Sub Lieutenant for a Gigginstown 1-2.
We’ll try a couple of small bets on the handicaps today and in the Brown Advisory jobbie at 4.10 Bouvreuil and Sizing Codelco are the best in at the weights. With 14-1 being the odds of reward for both, either making the frame will do and the chance of a win is quite possible.
At the end of the day the Amateurs take over in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at 5.30 and the Tom George trained Whats Happening has to be the bet at 14-1. Already a course and distance winner off just a pound lower, this 10-y-o ran a race full of promise on comeback last month and has a top pilot at the controls. Added to this is the theory that if you can’t pronounce it, it can’t win, so the favourite (Squouateur) has no chance.