Cheltenham Festival 2024: winners, tip, news and more on day three – live | Cheltenham Festival 2024

Key events

2.50 Ryanair Chase odds

  • Envoi Allen 11/4

  • Banbridge 7/2

  • Stage Star 13/2

  • Capodanno 17/2

  • Protektorat 9/1

  • Conflated 10/1

  • Ahoy Senor 16/1

  • Fugitif 20/1

  • Ga Law 22/1

  • Fil Dor 28/1

  • Hitman 40/1

  • Via Oddschecker

Alex Ferguson, who lands his first Festival winner with Monmiral, speaks. “That was fantastic! What a jockey, he was amazing. Champion in the making? He’s got a chance. It’s my first winner here – but John [Hales, co-owner] is the master, he picks the horses and I back him all the way.” How does this compare to winning the Champions League? “That’s a bit different.”


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It’s a 49th Cheltenham victory for trainer Paul Nicholls – and a moment to celebrate for Sir Alex Ferguson, who is one of the horse’s owners. Racing, bloody hell, and so on. The jockey, Harry Cobden, says: “He was 25-1, I thought he should have been 125-1 – it shows what I know! I think the blinkers made a big difference.”

Congrats, Sir Alex. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

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Monmiral wins the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle

Up the hill, Kyntara begins to open up a lead over Bold Endeavour, with 25-1 shot Monmiral coming through as we approach the last. Cuthbert Dibble is still in contention but fading – and Monmiral catches Kyntara to grab victory by a length!

Monmiral ridden by Harry Cobden in action as he leads the 14:10 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle ahead of Kyntara ridden by Charlie Deutsch. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images/Reuters

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Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle: The leading group now includes Cuthbert Dibble and Flight Deck, with Bold Endeavour another long shot faring well with five to go …

They’re off in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle! A slower pace than in the opening race, with outsider Prairie Dancer and 16-1 chance Kyntara the early leaders …

A non-runner to report in the day’s final race – Back on the Lash is out of the 5.30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

3.30 Stayers’ Hurdle

The outcome that every racegoer at Cheltenham will hope to see here is for Paisley Park, the winner in 2019, to return home safe and sound after what seems likely to be the final run of a memorable career. He is currently only 16-1 to do much more than that, however, and bring down the curtain with a second victory in this race on his seventh trip to the Festival. He warmed up for his sixth start in this race with a narrow defeat behind Noble Yeats, the 2022 Grand National winner, in the Cleeve Hurdle at the Trials meeting here in January, and since the winner there is only around 7-1 for today’s race, some will see Emma Lavelle’s 12-year-old as the value bet in the race.

That was only Noble Yeats’s third career start over hurdles, however, and he is entitled to find further improvement for the experience, and both a stronger pace and softer ground are likely to play to his strengths. Crambo, unraced since winning the Grade One Long Walk at Ascot just before Christmas, would be another popular winner as his trainer, Fergal O’Brien, has yet to register a winner at this meeting, while other runners likely to attract support include two more previous winners in Sire Du Berlais and Flooring Porter, but the likely favourite is Teahupoo, third last year after a slightly unfortunate run in the straight. Selection: Noble Yeats.

2.10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle

  • Cuthbert Dibble 5/1

  • Le Milos 6/1

  • Icare Allen 7/1

  • Gaoth Chuil 15/2

  • Cleatus Poolaw 17/2

  • Gabbys Cross 17/2

  • Popova 12/1

  • Springwell Bay 16/1

  • Farouk D’Alene 16/1

  • Kyntara 18/1

  • Gowel Road 25/1

  • Chantry House 25/1

  • Monmiral 28/1

  • Anna Bunina 28/1

  • Noble Birth 28/1

  • Emitom 33/1

  • Alpesh Amin 33/1

  • White Rhino 33/1

  • Hyland 40/1

  • Mill Green 40/1

  • Prairie Dancer 50/1

  • Hector Javilex 50/1

  • Jai Froid 66/1

  • Bold Endeavour 80/1

  • Flight Deck 100/1

  • Via Oddschecker

Market Movers:


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Greg Wood

Greg Wood

2.50 Ryanair Chase

The first of the day’s two Grade One events, and a highly competitive one too, with Envoi Allen, last year’s winner, currently 5-2 favourite for a repeat success, ahead of Banbridge (5-1) and Stage Star (11-2). All three are previous winners at this meeting, and Envoi Allen would be a fourth consecutive winner of this for Cheveley Park Stud, his owner, following successes for Willie Mullins’s Allaho in 2021 and 2022.

Banbridge, meanwhile, took the Martin Pipe Conditionals’ Handicap Hurdle two years ago – a race that was won by Galopin Des Champs, last season’s Gold Cup winner, in 2021 – while Stage Star landed the Turners at the top of the Thursday card 12 months ago. They face a posse of runners with strong form in one or more of the two-and-a-half mile handicap chases that feature at the big meetings earlier in the year, including Fugitif and Ga Law, and Dan Skelton’s Protektorat, third and fifth in the last two running’s of the Gold Cup. Selection: Envoi Allen.

Here’s how the first race played out, with a titanic Battle of Britain over the last fences.

1.30 Turners Novices’ Chase result
1 Grey Dawning (Harry Skelton) 5-2 Jt Fav
2 Ginny’s Destiny (H Cobden) 11-2
3 Djelo (Charlie Deutsch) 25-1
11 ran
Also: 5-2 Jt Fav Facile Vega, 17-2 Zanahiyr 4th

Grey Dawning has just delivered a third Grade One win of the week for the Skeltons. The winning jockey, Harry Skelton, says: “Thank you, Cheltenham! These people make it special. Everything went just perfect. He’s a very good horse, absolutely brilliant. He’s so unassuming, he doesn’t know how good he is … hopefully he’s a bit special.”

Grey Dawning wins the Turners Novices’ Chase!

Grey Dawning and Ginny’s Destiny leave Djelo behind, and it looks a two-horse race to the line. Facile Vega is pushing for a place, but at the last, Grey Dawning begins to pull away after the last fence – and holds on to win despite a determined push from from his old rival down the home straight! Djelo comes home in third to complete a very welcome British 1-2-3 in a Grade One race.

Harry Skelton onboard Grey Dawning ahead of Harry Cobden onboard Ginny’s Destiny. Photograph: Tom Maher/INPHO/REX/Shutterstock

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Turners Novices’ Chase: Over the water jump and open ditch, the front three of Ginny’s Destiny, Djelo and Grey Dawning opening a small gap ahead of the rest, led by Zanahiyr. Sharjah and Le Patron are struggling to keep pace …

They’re off in the Turners Novices’ Chase … Ginny’s Destiny and Djelo making the early running, with Grey Dawning (who, helpfully, is grey) on the inside in third. Zanahiyr also well-placed, while Facile Vega is towards the back of the pack …

The runners and riders are out on the track for the first of today’s seven races, the Turners Novices’ Chase, with some spots of rain in the air. Races move to the New Course today, having been held on the Old Course for the first two days of the Festival.


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1.30 Turners Novices’ Chase odds

  • Facile Vega 5/2

  • Grey Dawning 11/4

  • Ginnys Destiny 5/1

  • Iroko 15/2

  • Zanahiyr 12/1

  • Letsbeclearaboutit 14/1

  • Sharjah 22/1

  • Djelo 28/1

  • Colonel Harry 40/1

  • Le Patron 100/1

  • Jamaico 150/1

  • Via Oddschecker

Market Movers from Oddspedia:

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

2.10 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle

This should, in theory at least, be one of the more straightforward Festival handicaps to solve, as a top-four finish in one of the 20 qualifying races during the first part of the season is required to book a place in the final field. The fact that there have been just three winning favourites this century tells a different story, however, and this year’s renewal is as competitive as they come. There has been money this morning for Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Cuthbert Dibble, who arrives on a hat-trick, and he is now vying for favouritism with Dan Skelton’s Le Milos, who bids to give his trainer a third handicap winner at this week’s meeting.

Gordon Elliott’s Cleatus Poolaw – who trivia buffs might be interested to know is named after the most decorated native American to serve in the US Army – ran well into a close second on his handicap debut in the Naas qualifier in last February, but he is up another 9lb here, and while he remains lightly-raced, that could be a tricky extra burden to overcome. At least a dozen more are worthy of inclusion on any shortlist, but I’ll be having a small interest in Farouk D’Alene, a stable companion of Cleatus Poolaw, at around 20-1.

He is lightly-raced for a nine-year-old, having missed a season-and-a-half after a fall in the Grade One Brown Advisory Novice Chase here two years ago, and ran well to finish second when sent back over hurdles in the Leopardstown qualifier in December. He is set to carry top weight, but would not be the first horse by any means to run well in this race from the top of the handicap, and he also has Rob James, one of the best amateurs in the business, taking off 7lb. Selection: Farouk D’Alene.

Nicky Henderson has been talking to the Nick Luck Daily podcast about his decision to pull Sir Gino out of the Triumph Hurdle.

“He looked a million dollars, but I can’t have a horse like him run like in the first race yesterday [Jingko Blue]. How are we going to feel if Sir Gino gets to the top of the hill stone last and gets pulled up? I would look brain dead.”

Henderson added that the horses he is still running are “all older horses that have been through the mill. The younger they are, the more you’ve got to protect them.”

On his chances of another winner this week: “I’ve given up – I’ll attend, but [a winner] is impossible. The Sir Gino thing has been hanging over me for 48 hours, but now it’s over.”

On Willie Mullins: “He’s a very good mate, we have plenty of banter. He’s a genuinely good bloke, and he’s very, very good at what he does. It’s a tricky old job, this – but he’s making us all look very ordinary.”

Enjoyed this from Barry Glendenning on Cheltenham’s Style Wednesday and a social media storm in a teacup:


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Greg Wood

Greg Wood

1.30 Turners Novice Chase Preview

Having landed the Arkle on Tuesday and the Brown Advisory yesterday, Willie Mullins is looking to complete a clean sweep of the meeting’s Grade One novice chases here with Facile Vega, the likely favourite but at a working person’s price of around 9-4 having been beaten in his last two races. Gaelic Warrior, of course, shrugged off a last-time defeat in the Arkle two days ago, and Facile Vega too also has very strong course form, having won the Bumper here in 2022 before finishing second to Marine Nationale in last year’s Supreme Novice Hurdle. He is stepping up in trip here, however, and faces a couple of very strong opponents in Grey Dawning and Ginny’s Destiny.

Grey Dawning will bid to give Dan Skelton his third winner of the week, and his first in a Festival Grade One since 2019, and arrives on the back of a career-best in a Grade Two at Doncaster in January. He should also probably be on a four-timer, having gone down only narrowly to Ginny’s Destiny on the Old course here in December, having made a momentum-sapping error at the second-last. Selection: Grey Dawning

Here’s the schedule for Thursday…

  • 13:30 – Turners Novices’ Chase

  • 14:10 – Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle

  • 14:50 – Ryanair Chase

  • 15:30 – Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle

  • 16:10 – TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase

  • 16:50 – Ryanair Mares Novices Hurdle

  • 17:30 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Catch up on Wednesday’s action, with Mullins enjoying his 100th Festival winner on a sketchy afternoon for the bookies.

Here are the updated Triumph Hurdle odds for Friday via Oddschecker, with Willie Mullins’ Majborough now the favourite.

Majborough 11/4
Storm Heart 5/1
Kargese 7/1
Nurburgring 8/1
Salvator Mundi 8/1
Salver 11/1
Highwind 16/1
Bunting 18/1
Fratas 20/1
Ethical Diamond 20/1
Mighty Bandit 28/1
Ithacas Arrow 100/1
Peking Opera 100/1

Good morning, everyone. Let’s start with more on the news that Nicky Henderson’s Festival has gone from bad to worse, with Sir Gino out of the Triumph Hurdle on Friday and Shanagh Bob missing the Albert Bartlett. The trainer released a statement confirming both horses have been withdrawn.


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Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Good morning from Cheltenham, where the going is improving ever-so-slightly before the third day of this year’s Festival meeting.

After two days on the Old course, the action switches to the New course for the second half of the meeting and the fresh ground is currently described as soft, albeit with some rain expected during the day.

All ground and courses seem to come alike to Willie Mullins’s horses, of course, and having celebrated his 100th winner at the meeting – an achievement that would have been widely regarded as impossible a quarter of a century ago – he can now turn his attention to the personal record of 10 winners at a single Festival, which he set in 2022.

Mullins does not have quite the same firepower to muster as he did on the first two days, and the shortest-priced members of his Thursday team are Facile Vega and Jade De Grugy, both on offer at around 2-1 for the Turners Novice Chase (1.30pm) and Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50pm), respectively.

He has plenty with an each-way chance scattered across the seven races, however, and Ireland should secure the four wins required to lift the Prestbury Cup before the afternoon is out. Gordon Elliott will be hoping to chip in to the total – Betterdaysahead, the favourite for the Mares’ Novice Hurdle, is his best chance to get off the mark for the week – while Rachael Blackmore, one of only three riders to have ridden more than a single winner so far, has a favourite’s chance aboard Envoi Allen in the Ryanair at 2.50pm,

The moment we will all be hoping to see, meanwhile, is the hugely popular Paisley Park ending his career with a second win in the Stayers’ Hurdle. He is a 16-1 shot, but much stranger things have happened here in the past.

In other news this morning, Nicky Henderson’s miserable Festival continues and he has now been forced to rule out Sir Gino, the favourite, from tomorrow’s Triumph Hurdle. Shanagh Bob, who was due to contest the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle on the same card, has also been ruled out

For the moment at least, Henderson has seven runners declared to run over the next couple of days – but only No Ordinary Joe, in tomorrow’s Martin Pipe Conditionals’ Handicap Hurdle, is priced up at less than 25-1.

My picks for the third day are here, and you can, as always, follow all the news, views and action here on the Guardian’s liveblog, and we will be under way on the track at 1.30pm.

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