CHELTENHAM TIPS: Day three | Daily Mail Online

CHELTENHAM TIPS: Klassical Dream can deliver Willie Mullins yet more Grade One success in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle on day three of the festival

  • Willie Mullins could be in for yet more Grade One success with Klassical Dream 
  • He will have to resist the challenge of Royal Kahala and Flooring Porter
  • Elsewhere, Imperial Alcazar can land the Paddy Power Plate he has been eyeing

Sportsmail provides all the tips ahead of the third day of Cheltenham Festival with selections from Britain’s No 1 tipster Sam Turner, eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore and festival winning jockey Lizzie Kelly. 

The Willie Mullins bandwagon engaged top gear yesterday and KLASSICAL DREAM (Cheltenham, 3.30) could provide further Grade One success for the Closutton handler in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle this afternoon.

Victories for Sir Gerhard and Energumene re-established the National Hunt order at Prestbury Park and Klassical Dream could add another top-flight success to a lengthy rollcall if he can resist the challenge of Flooring Porter and the dangerous Royal Kahala who will relish conditions following yesterday’s rain.

At first glance, the selection’s effort at Gowran last time (when in arrears of winner Royal Kahala) was underwhelming, however connections didn’t appear to be too disconcerted with the defeat at odds on and he could be worth forgiving at a track which was the scene of his 2019 Supreme Novice Hurdle win.

Klassical Dream could provide further Grade One success for Willie Mullins on Thursday

Klassical Dream could provide further Grade One success for Willie Mullins on Thursday

I am not convinced Klassical Dream needs to make the running as he did at Leopardstown when seeing off Flooring Porter at Christmas and he may have most to fear from the mud-loving Royal Kahala today.

There may only be four going to post in the Turners, but two of them have the potential to be top-class chasers and the prevailing conditions may just favour GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (Cheltenham, 1.30) over Bob Olinger.

Willie Mullins probably made a wise call swerving L’Homme Presse yesterday in conditions which would have required copper-bottomed stamina at three miles and that decision could be vindicated with victory here.

ALAPHILIPPE (Cheltenham, 2.10) may instigate a good day for local handler Fergal O’Brien in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle.

The Cotswold trainer has one or two nice chances through the card and his representative in the final of this series caught the eye when I was present at Warwick in January.

Looking as though the run would improve him, the selection made up ground quickly before fading late on in the straight and it’s worth bearing in mind he finished off strongly in last year’s Albert Bartlett from an uncompromising position so today’s test on deep ground should be ideal.

ALLAHO (Cheltenham, 2.50) dismantled his rivals in last year’s Ryanair Chase with a performance of sheer brutality and, with this renewal looking no stronger, he is a difficult horse to oppose.

The selection dismantled Fakir D’oudairies in a Thurles Grade 2 en route to defending his crown here and his old adversary subsequently upheld the form in the Ascot Chase to strengthen the claims of Allaho.

If Alaphilippe puts up a bold show it will increase confidence in stablemate IMPERIAL ALCAZAR (Cheltenham, nap, 4.10) who has had the Paddy Power Plate as his target ever since he landed a novice handicap chase on trials day in January.

Imperial Alcazar has had the Paddy Power Plate as his target ever since trials day in January

Imperial Alcazar has had the Paddy Power Plate as his target ever since trials day in January

A winner on heavy ground as a hurdler, the eight-year-old should appreciate the prevailing conditions even on the New Course which is used for the first time this week.

It is perhaps a shade surprising that Willie Mullins hasn’t chosen to run DINOBLUE (Cheltenham, 4.50) again following her highly authoritative success at Clonmel in January.

However, she was professional that day, hurdling slickly before easing clear, so the master trainer must be content that she boasts enough street craft today. The time of that Clonmel success certainly suggests she could be a sixth winner of this race for her handler.

MISTER FOGPATCHES (Cheltenham, nb, 5.30) couldn’t keep tabs on the aggressively-ridden Commodore in a handicap here before Christmas and again ran a blinder in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran seven weeks ago.

A repeat of those performances on ground which should suit could make him an interesting contender.


1.30 Galopin Des Champs

2.10 Alaphilippe

2.50 Allaho

3.30 Klassical Dream

4.10 Imperial Alcazar (nap)

4.50 Dinoblue

5.30 Mister Fogpatches (nb)


1.30 Galopin Des Champs (nb)

2.10 Alaphilippe

2.50 Shan Blue

3.30 Flooring Porter (nap)

4.10 Grand Paradis

4.50 Impervious

5.30 Mister Coffey


Your best chance of beating the bookies this week is to stick with Sportsmail’s brilliant team of tipsters, led all the way through the Festival by National Hunt legend Peter Scudamore…

FORMCAST (Nigel Taylor) 

OMAR MARETTI is an improving novice chaser for trainer Alex Hales. Since he switched from point-to-pointing he has won four of his five races, including two of his three starts over fences.

The handicapper raised Omar Maretti only 4lb for a recent easy victory at Catterick and he should be too good today for this field largely made up of exposed handicappers.


1.30 Galopin Des Champs

2.10 Sire Du Berlais

2.50 Allaho

3.30 Klassical Dream

4.10 Imperial Alcazar

4.50 Dinoblue

5.30 Omar Maretti (nap)

PETER SCUDAMORE (Eight-time champion jockey)  

There are question marks about plenty of the runners in the line-up for the Stayers’ Hurdle, including the matter of how quirky 2021 winner Flooring Porter will react to the hubbub created by the 70,000 crowd, having triumphed in near silence in front of last year’s deserted stands.

Klassical Dream is also far from straightforward, while 2019 winner Paisley Park might have produced a remarkable performance to win Cheltenham’s Cleeve Hurdle last time out but he forfeited around 20 lengths at the start, displaying a worrying reluctance to race.

A far more reliable contender will be THYME HILL. He has been placed at the two Cheltenham Festivals he has contested. Injury forced him out of last year’s meeting but he then landed the Grade One long- distance hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

Importantly, too, his trainer Philip Hobbs is in cracking form — winning with seven of his last 25 runners.


1.30 Galopin Des Champs

2.10 Winter Fog

2.50 Conflated

3.30 THYME HILL (nap)

4.10 Adrimel

4.50 Brandy Love

5.30 Chambard

LIZZIE KELLY(Festival Winning Jockey)

IMPERIAL ALCAZAR didn’t jump with great fluency on his first two runs over fences but it was a different story when he dropped down to a shorter distance last time.

The impressive performance he put in when winning by 10 lengths at Cheltenham in January seemed to show that Imperial Alcazar really benefited from an assured ride by jockey Paddy Brennan, who almost had to use the jumps to slow him down when racing over the longer distance.

Novices have a good record in the race and his trainer Fergal O’Brien is having another fantastic season. There will be emotional scenes if Imperial Alcazar can deliver a first Festival winner for O’Brien at his local track.

The speed and accuracy of jumping can be the key to GALOPIN DES CHAMPS beating fellow Irish hotpot Bob Olinger in the opening Turners Novices’ Chase.


1.30 Galopin Des Champs

2.10 Kansas City Chief (ew)

2.50 Allaho

3.30 Flooring Porter


4.50 Nina The Terrier

5.30 Cat Tiger

MARCUS TOWNEND (Captain Heath) 

BRANDY LOVE jumped alarmingly left at Fairyhouse giving away stacks of ground yet still only found hugely talented stablemate Allegorie De Vassy too good. The Mullins team will have worked on that and it should not be an issue at this left-handed track anyway. She clearly has a big engine. 


1.30 Galopin Des Champs

2.10 Honest Vic

2.50 Shan Blue

3.30 Thyme Hill

4.10 The Glancing Queen

4.50 BRANDY LOVE (nap)

5.30 Come on Teddy

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