Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Betting Tips

Betting.org experts give their three best bets for day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday, March 14. Epatante has really impressed in winning both her starts since joining Nicky Henderson, so rates the NAP bet in the 2m Grade 2 Dawn Run Hurdle for novice mares. Defi Du Seuil has the strongest form in the book and is therefore our next best bet in the 2m 4f JLT Novices’ Chase. Top Notch, meanwhile, looks a lively outsider and appeals each-way in the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle over 3m. Find out more about these horses in our in-depth preview with Cheltenham Festival day 3 betting tips for March 14.

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Odds
2/1
NAP
Epatante
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Odds
11/4
NB
Defi Du Seuil
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Odds
16/1
E/W
Top Notch
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Epatante of major interest in Dawn Run

Epatante has created a huge impression in winning her two starts since joining champion trainer Nicky Henderson, so looks worth a bet to take the step up into Grade 2 company in her stride and land the spoils in the 2m 1f Dawn Run Hurdle for novice mares on day three of the Cheltenham Festival (16:50). This daughter of No Risk At All has some smart form in France and has the potential to be anything.

She could not have been more impressive when landing a 13-runner novice hurdle at Kempton back in November when tanking along throughout, before quickening clear on the run-in to easily beat Ey Up Rocky by 3 1/2 lengths. Epatante didn’t have to be asked any serious question and won with any amount in hand.

Unbeaten for connections

The JP McManus owned mare has since warmed up for this with a facile 3 1/2 lengths success at Exeter where she won hard-held despite racing very keenly in the early stages. Although Epatante hasn’t beat anything of real substance in both those starts, the way in which she moved through the gears suggests she had a serious engine and massive future.

Henderson has made no secret of the high regard in which she is held. Indeed, the Seven Barrows handler went on record in the build-up to this as saying Epatante was one of his best chances of getting a winner. As he is already on the scoresheet, that speaks volumes given her inexperience.

Connections are also now fitting Epatante with the hood for the first time and that looks a wise move, as it should enable her to settle better. Having already achieved a mark of 143, she is also the highest rated in the line-up. So, given that she has bags of untapped potential and receives a handy weight-for-age allowance, Epatante is difficult to oppose. Hence she rates the best bet and our NAP in these 2019 Cheltenham Festival day 3 betting tips.

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Defi Du Seuil the answer to JLT

Leading Irish owner McManus has claims of a double on the card, as Defi Du Seuil has some very strong form in the book and is strongly fancied to land the 2m 4f Grade 1 JT Novices’ Chase that gets proceedings underway (13:30). This Philip Hobbs trained six-year-old was a top class juvenile hurdler in 2017 when unbeaten in seven starts.

Those successes included victory in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle at this meeting and Defi Du Seuil has a fine record at this venue, having won four of his six starts. The first of those defeats came on chasing debut in the Arkle Trial in November when trailing in a distant last of five to Lalor when never travelling or jumping well.

However, Defi Du Seuil showed the benefit of that experience when scoring in good style next time up at Exeter. He then lost little in defeat when pitched back into Grade 2 company and getting beat just over a length by Lostintranslation in the Dipper here when attempting to give the winner 3lb.

He has since gained his revenge on that rival when staying on strongly to beat him by three-quarters of a length in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown, where he had the hitherto unbeaten Vinndication a further 2 1/2 lengths behind in third.

Judged on that display, there’s no reason why Defi Du Seuil will not confirm the form with the re-opposing pair. With proven winning form on soft and/or heavy ground, there is simply nothing not to like about his chances in this. That’s why we make Defi Du Seuil the next best bet in our of Cheltenham Festival day 3 betting tips.

Top Notch a tasty each-way player in Stayers’ Hurdle

In the Grade 1 Stayers Hurdle over 3m (15:30), Top Notch looks cracking each-way value in what is a wide-open renewal. This Nicky Henderson trained eight-year-old is a consistent and classy sort who has won four of his 11 starts over hurdles, making the frame on three occasions.

He shaped with plenty of promise on season reappearance in the Grade 1 Long Walk at Ascot back in December, when a 5 3/4 lengths third of 11 to Paisley Park. The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned son of Poliglote travelled well and threw down a strong challenge two from home before being unable to find any extra after the last.

It was a fine effort following 238 days on the sidelines given that the winner, who is all the rage and favourite for this, went into the contest with a big edge fitness wise having won his two previous starts.

Sure to come on for subsequent chase victory

Top Notch is entitled to get much closer now fully tuned having since won a competitive Listed chase at Kempton by five lengths. His proven form at previous Cheltenham Festivals is another big plus.

He finished a neck second to stable companion Peace And Co in the 2015 Triumph Hurdle, a fine fifth of 12 to Annie Power in the 2016 Champion Hurdle and a cracking length runner-up to Yorkhill in the JLT Novices Chase two years ago when he arguably should have won.

So, taking everything into account, Top Notch looks to have more going for him than his odds would suggest. He this features as our each-way punt and completes these 2019 Cheltenham day 3 betting tips with Paisley Park a short price to win by comparison.

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