Success again in landing the Place 6 but the outlay far outweighed the return as favourites only missed the frame in the two big handicaps. Much tougher card tomorrow but how full are the accounts of those who want to land it? The Tote Jackpot and Colossus Win 6 pools also rolled over to Thursday. For those who prefer the Tote option - they've got Placepot Insurance this week if you place your bets before midnight the day before. Lose in the first race, and they'll refund you up to £10.
Marsh Novices' Chase
Day three begins with another favourite's benefit, this time the mighty Envoi Allen. The star 7yo is undefeated in 12 starts, 11 under Rules and the Point-to-Point win which earned him a £400k price tag in 2018. This will be his third visit to the Festival, he won the Bumper in 2019 and the Ballymore last year. In three chase starts, they haven't gotten near him and that's unlikely to change this time. The challengers are a fairly even lot, Fusil Raffles has won three out of his four starts over fences, only failing on a Cheltenham track which was significantly softer than the official rating according to the stable. Stepped up in trip last time, he won comfortably over a small but select field including Chantry House and looks a decent bet without the favourite.
ENVOI ALLEN, Fusil Raffles (w/o fav), Shan Blue
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle
This is your archetypal enigma wrapped in a riddle hidden inside a pineapple. Not only is it a handicap but a race where every runner had to qualify by doing just enough to get into the race but without blowing their handicap mark. Of course they were all 'trying' in their qualifiers but few were fully wound up. Now we have to gauge how much was still up their sleeves. I'll take a stab at the following but you could make a case just about all of them.
CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM, Everglow, Storm Arising, Dandy Mag
A rare sight this week, a wide open Grade 1 race with a multitude of chances. Imperial Aura blotted his copybook last start when tossing the rider early at Kempton, his first finish out of the top three in a dozen starts. A winner of the 2.5 mile Novice Chase here last Festival (defeating Galvin who won on Tuesday), he took out a G2 at Ascot at his most recent completed race. His ratings are still climbing and he has a great chance of claiming his first Grade 1. Poor old Melon has finished second at the Festival four years in a row but he just doesn't win. One success from seven chase starts says a place is all he can hope for yet again while stablemate Min seeks to defend his title. Dashel Drasher is a great story of the season, winning his first G1 for the trainer and jockey at Ascot last month. Resuming after wind surgery and a year off, he was flat on his first run but has since strung three wins together.
IMPERIAL AURA, Min, Dashel Drasher
This was the boilover of the week last year when Lisnagar Oscar won at 50/1 and Paisley Park was beaten into seventh at 4/6, pulling up with an irregular heartbeat. The old Paisley was back in the Long Walk just before Xmas with a remarkable staying effort to catch Thyme Hill on the line. With that rival not declaring, Paisley Park is a clear favourite to win this race for a second time, adding to his 2019 success. Beyond him, it's very even. Sire Du Berlais has a tremendous Festival record, winning the Pertemps Final two years running (another 3m hurdle) plus a fourth earlier in his career. Now he's earned his place here and is right in the mix. Flooring Porter and The Storyteller to fight it out for third.
PAISLEY PARK, Sire Du Berlais, Flooring Porter
Paddy Power Plate
Another beastly handicap to unravel. Farclas won the Triumph Hurdle three years ago then got thrown in the deep end against the top bracket. He wasn't able to progress over hurdles but once introduced to chasing, quickly racked up three straight wins. He then had issues and an 18 month break coming into this season. Three nice but not outstanding runs this campaign suggests protecting his chase mark which is still below his hurdles rating. The Shunter finished third behind A Wave of the Sea at Leopardstown six weeks ago, carrying 9lb more, but then cannily went to Kelso and won a rich handicap hurdle, without affecting his Chase mark. He now carries less than A Wave Of The Sea and then gets the services of Jordan Gainford, a 7lb Irish claimer. I don't know much about him but the fact he has been booked on several leading Irish handicap chances suggests he goes well. Mister Whittaker finished third in this race last year off a similar formline while for an absolute Hail Mary, Eamon An Cnoic has been running well and has been running well over hurdles lately, but has the chasing record, finishing fourth in this race in 2019 off 7lbs higher.
FARCLAS, The Shunter, Eamon An Cnoic, Mister Whittaker
Mares' Novices' Hurdle
Trappy race with lots of intertwined form, particularly in Ireland. Telmesomethinggirl ran third to Heaven Help Us who won the Coral Cup on Wednesday, beaten only 3.5L and carrying 9lb more. That'll be a popular formline so she will see plenty of support, particularly with de Bromhead & Blackmore behind her. The stable has a handy alternative in Magic Daze who ran into Gaillard Du Mesnil (second in the Ballymore) in her maiden, then bolted in at her only other start under rules. Roseys Hollow beat Global Equity, who finished between Heaven Help Us and Telmesomethinggirl at the Dublin Racing Festival, when winning her maiden in January and followed that up with a G3 win over Royal Kahala.
TELMESOMETHINGGIRL, Magic Daze, Roseys Hollow
Kim Muir Handicap Chase
Impossible race to end the day, I'll throw a dart at Storm Control who won a couple of three mile chases here pre-Xmas before finding the Classic Chase at Warwick too far for him. A drop back in trip on drier ground should suit. Morning Vicar was flying in the autumn before tiring in the mud at Sandown in early December and down in the weights, on drying ground, should have a solid chance.
STORM CONTROL, Morning Vicar, Deise Aba
Fusil Raffles w/o Envoi Allen 6/1
Imperial Aura 8/1
Paisley Park 2/1
Eamon An Cnoic ew 40/1
Magic Daze ew 22/1
COLOSSUS Ticket - join my syndicate
6 / 4,10,11,23,25 / 6,9 / 3,9,13 / 3,7,14,23