Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Runners & Riders – The Cheltenham Festival 2023, Day 3, ‘St Patrick’s Thursday’

‘The Steeple Times’ examines the tipsters’ selections and offers options for ‘St Patrick’s Thursday’ at the Cheltenham Festival 2023 including an 18/1 outsider

Yesterday, on a day of surprises at the Cheltenham Festival 2023, we scored each-way successes with a 2nd for Galvin at 11/4, a 3rd for Champ Kiely at 8/1 and a 1st for a late addition in the form of the rather marvelously named The Real Whacker at 8/1 also.


The might of the Nico de Boinville – Nicky Henderson combo with Shiskhin at 4/5 will be hard to beat in the Ryanair Chase (2.50pm) today, but that, in our view, is just one to watch. Instead, with still soft ground on ‘St Patrick’s Thursday,’ we’re going with EACH WAY BETS on:


1.30pm Cheltenham – ‘The Golden Miller’ Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) – 2m 3f 168y, 16 fences (9 runners, 3 places)

The Davy Russell – Gordon Elliott combo Mighty Potter at 10/11 is the ‘obvious option’ here and has been widely backed, but others to look at are:


Paul Townend – W. P. Mullins combo Appreciate It at 7/2 from 10/3 earlier (Daily Mail ‘Ruby Walsh’ and ‘Main Danger’, The Sun ‘Fiver Flutter’, At The Races ‘Watch Out For’, Daily Telegraph, Daily Star, Daily Record, Daily Express)

  • The Sun says: “Good effort in Grade 1 company last time on the back of an easy novice win. Has run well at the past two Festivals.”
  • Ruby Walsh for Daily Mail says: “I won’t be surprised if Appreciate It (each-way) turns up and gives MIGHTY POTTER a big fright. It looks a match and I’ll even go for the forecast of Mighty Potter to beat Appreciate It.”
  • Racing Post muses: “Put in his place in 2m1f Grade 1 novice latest but now looks ready for return to further.”
  • At The Races offers: “Appreciate It tasted his first defeat over fences when weakening into third in the Irish Arkle, but the 2021 Supreme winner is feared most now upped to 2m4f for the first time over obstacles. He had no problem winning a NH Flat race over this trip back in 2019 and this stiffer test could unlock some improvement.”


Also in the same race, Harry Cobden – Paul Nicholls combo Stage Star at 19/2 from 9/1 earlier (Racing Post, Daily Mail ‘Peter Scudamore’, SPOTLIGHT, TOPSPEED, POSTDATA, WEST COUNTRY)

  • Racing Post remarks: “Red-hot favourite Mighty Potter has to be the starting point but STAGE STAR was poetry in motion in a C&D handicap last time… On his way up and a serious contender judged on his smooth win in C&D handicap last time.”
  • At The Races adds: “Stage Star was impressive on his handicap debut over an extended 2m4f on Trials Day.”


Tony Bloom Energumene
Bloom Blossoms – Brighton F.C. chairman Tony Bloom celebrated yesterday after his horse, Energumene, won. He had placed £600,000 on his 6/5 winning favourite and won £830,000 as a result as well as a share of the £225,080 prize money. Later in the day, his team beat Crystal Palace.

2.10pm Cheltenham – Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) – 2m 7f 213y, 12 hurdles (23 runners, 6 places with Ladbrokes ‘The Grid’)

Ruby Walsh is quite clear in his view of this race. Writing in the Daily Mail, the legend shares: “I have no opinion here and I’m not going to give you a horse for the sake of giving you a horse. Let’s move on.”


However, in this crowded field, the obvious option shining through is the Mark Walsh – David Pipe combo Thanksforthehelp at 17/4 from 4/1 earlier (Racing Post, GG.co.uk, SPOTLIGHT, RP Ratings, WEST COUNTRY, Daily Express, Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Record, Independent.ie)

  • Racing Post remarks: “Walking On Air and The Bosses Oscar are respected but THANKSFORTHEHELP was scintillating when upped in trip at Chepstow… Had wind op; toyed with rivals on step up to 2m7f at Chepstow; 11lb rise may not stop him.”


Liam McKenna – A. J. Martin combo Good Time Jonny at 11/1 from 9/1 earlier (The Sun ‘Fiver Flutter’, Daily Telegraph, Stephen R. Power, Daily Mail ‘Marcus Townend’)

  • The Sun suggests: “Has been aimed at this by canny trainer and has proven form in a big field. Will be happy going back up in distance.
  • Racing Post less enthusiastic: “Stout stayer at 3m; mighty task against Maxxum sole 3m start this winter; tough assignment.”


Sam Twiston-Davies – Nicky Henderson combo Captain Morgs at 18/1 from 16/1 earlier (Daily Mail ‘Mick Fitzgerald’)

  • Mick Fitzgerald for Daily Mail enthuses: “The faster they go the better he looks and CAPTAIN MORGS has winning form at the track. He looks a good each-way play.”
  • At The Races offers: “Captain Morgs struck over C&D in December and could be good value to at least make the frame.”
  • Racing Post remarks: “Put on a good spurt when winning first attempt at 3m; up 7lb but unexposed at the trip.”


Ben Harvey – Gordon Elliott combo The Bosses Oscar at 11/1 (Stephen R. Power)

  • Racing Post muses: “Strong Festival record; back to form latest; 6lb lower than when 2nd in this race in 2021.”
  • ie shares: “The Bosses Oscar boasts strong Festival form and was second in this in 2021.”
  • At The Races adds: “The Bosses Oscar was third in a qualifier at Musselburgh on his return from a break and can be fancied to strip a lot sharper.”


3.30pm Cheltenham – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2m 7f 213y, 12 hurdles (11 runners, 3 places)

The Racing Post is clear and states: “On form there is no standout candidate” here, but the obvious battle is between the Davy Russell – Gordon Elliott combo Teahupoo at 5/2 (Radio 4, Stephen Power, Daily Mail ‘Lizzie Kelly’, RP Ratings, The Sun) and the Byrnes double Blazing Khal at 10/3 from 7/2 earlier (Daily Mail ‘Captain Heath Trio’ NAP, GG.co.uk, Paddy Power, Sporting Life, POSTDATA, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph). We’ll go with the latter.

  • Racing Post remarks: “Defied long absence in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle and has the potential to be a major player.”
  • Paddy Power adds: “If BLAZING KHAL is 100 per cent here I fully expect him to take all the beating.”


At bigger odds, we’re looking at the Johnny Charron – Gabriel Leenders combo Gold Tweet at 9/1 from 11/1 earlier (The Sun ‘Longshot’, Daily Mail ‘Main Danger’, The Times)

  • The Sun says: “Came over from France to win the Cleeve Hurdle ahead of Paisley Park last time and has been overpriced by the bookies.”
  • Racing Post adds: “French raider who won the Cleeve Hurdle over C&D on first British start; could be involved.”


SUMMARY – Our choices and options for ‘doing a double’

1.30pm – Selection: Appreciate It; Outsider: Stage Star.


2.10pm –Selection: Thankyouforthehelp; Outside: Good Time Jonny; Wildcard: Captain Morgs.


3.30pm – Selection: Blazing Khal; Outsider: Gold Tweet.



Selection: Each way double on Appreciate It (1.30pm) and Thankyouforthehelp (2.10pm) at 19/1.


Wildcard Selection: Each way double on Stage Star (1.30pm) and Gold Tweet (3.30pm) at 109/1.


Happy racing and don’t forget to join in and ‘ROAR’ – even if watching at home on ITV Racing.


Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party.


To join our racing followers – who receive a FREE tipping service occasionally by email – please send your relevant details to [email protected].


The Real Whacker
The Real Whacker valiantly held off the hot favourite Gerri Colombe to score victory in the Brown Advisory. The ‘Racing Post’ now claim that “a Gold Cup campaign could await this Patrick Neville trained seven-year-old” whilst the ‘Daily Mail’s’ Robin Goodfellow observed that the result was a case of “Britain’ll take anything we can get with Ireland comfortably leading 10-4” currently at the Festival.
Stephen Power
Popular racing blogger Stephen Power’s tips for ‘St Patrick’s Thursday’ at the Cheltenham Festival 2023 include Mighty Potter (NAP) in the 1.30pm, Good Time Jonny in the 2.10pm and Shishkin in the 3.30pm.
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


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