Katie Walsh: The Stayers' Hurdle is wide open
The Betway ambassador previews the third day of the Cheltenham Festival 2022 and makes her picks for each race on the card.
We’ve had a proper few days, haven’t we? It was such a shame to see Shishkin pulled up in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, but I was delighted for Willie Mullins to win his first ever Champion Chase.
The Turners only has a field of four running in it, which is really disappointing, but we’ve got two class acts in Galopin Des Champs and Bob Olinger.
They do say that jumping is the name of the game, and Galopin Des Champs is a much better jumper of a fence than Bob Olinger, so he’s the one I’d rather be on. There won’t be much in it, but I love the way Galopin Des Champs has gone over fences so far.
The Pertemps Final is always a bit of a lottery - you’ll need to throw a few darts at this.
Third Wind is well handicapped on his best form but needs to improve on what he’s shown this season. Dunboyne has been a real eyecatcher in each of his runs this season. This has surely been his target all season.
I wouldn’t put you off The Cob at a massive price, too. Ben Pauling knows how to have a winner at this festival as we saw yesterday with Global Citizen and he was running in Graded races last season.
I don’t think it’s going to be too hard for Allaho to win another Ryanair Chase. He’s done nothing wrong this season and this race looks weaker than the one he won last year. It’s always dangerous saying it, but he’s banker material.
The big race of the day is the Stayers’ Hurdle and it’s really wide open this year. With all the rain that fell yesterday, I’m getting sweet on the chances of the mare Royal Kahala . She’s been grand this season, she’s so tough and she stays all day long. She gets the mares’ allowance and that’ll be a help over this distance on tacky ground.
The Plate is another big field handicap and is ultra-competitive. With L’Homme Presse winning the Grade 1 yesterday, you’d have to say that The Glancing Queen is very well handicapped and could be in a league of her own here.
She’s always been highly thought of and this looks much more winnable than the Mares’ Chase. She’s got good course form, too.
We all know how many times Willie wins the mares’ contests at Cheltenham and the fact he’s kept Dinoblue fresh for this could be a real giveaway.
He knows what it takes to win these events and he knows what type of horse it takes, so the fact he’s keen to run her after just one start, where she was so impressive, tells you she could be very good. I’ll keep her on side.
In the last race, I put up School Boy Hours on Sunday’s Betway Twitter Space preview and I’m sticking with him now.
Noel Meade’s horses are in grand order, and I loved the way he won a £100K Handicap Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas. He’s been kept for this and I think he’ll take all of the beating under Derek O’Connor.
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