Cheltenham Festival Thursday Betting Tips

Betting.org experts give their bets for the three handicap races on Stayers’ Hurdle day at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday, March 14. Sire Du Berlais caught the eye last time out and looks weighted to strike in the 3m Pertemps Final, so rates the best bet. Any Second Now has plenty going for him in the 3m 2f Kim Muir and is our next best punt. The Dan Skelton trained Spiritofthegames, meanwhile, has proven course form, so appeals as the each-way play in the 2m 4f Brown Advisory And Merriebelle Stable Plate. Find out more about these horses in our in-depth preview with Cheltenham Festival Thursday betting tips for March 14.

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Odds
6/1
NAP
Sire Du Berlais
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Odds
10/1
NB
Any Second Now
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Betfred logo
Odds
9/1
E/W
Spiritofthegames
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Sire Du Berlais the Pertemps punt

Sire Du Berlais was a massive eye-catcher last time out, so off what looks a handy mark looks worth a bet to land the spoils in the fiercely competitive 3m Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday (14:10). This seven-year-old who hails from the powerful Irish yard of Gordon Elliott, is yet to get his head in front in eight starts over the obstacles, but undoubtedly has a big race of this nature in him.

The JP McManus owned son of Poliglote shaped really well back in 2017 when a keeping on 7 1/4 lengths third to Mick Jazz, who finished third in last year’s Champion Hurdle behind Buveur D’air and is now rated 162. Sire Du Berlais also ran a cracker at this meeting 12 months ago when fourth of 23 to Blow By Blow in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

After racing in mid-division, he made good headway twi from home and stayed on powerfully up the stiff run-in to be nearest at the finish and beaten just 7 1/2 lengths off a mark of 144. That run proved his effectiveness at the track in big fields and Sire Du Berlais is able to race in this off just 1lb higher.

Looks nicely treated

It gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective, especially on his aforementioned run behind Mick Jazz, and judged on the way he has been campaigned this season he appears to have been laid out for this by shrewd connections. Sire Du Berlais has had just two starts and needed to finish in the first six in the last of those at Leopardstown to qualify for this.

After being held-up at the rear, he made headway two from home but was still in 13th place approaching the last. It looked a forlorn task, but under a tender ride from Davy Russell he stayed on nicely to grab that all important sixth spot.

It looked a plan perfectly executed to protect his handicap mark for this valuable prize and Sirec Du Berlais now gets the services of Barry Geraghty in the saddle. His best runs have also come on the forecast soft ground, so everything looks in place for a big run. Hence he features as the the standout bet in these 2019 Cheltenham Festival Thursday betting tips.

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Any Second Now ticks all the right boxes in Kim Muir

Any Second Now, who is also owned by McManus, has a similar profile in many respects to Sire Du Berlais and looks the one to be on in the 3m 2f Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (17:30). This Ted Walsh trained seven-year-old is yet to get his head in front in nine starts over the larger obstacles, but has posted some solid efforts in defeat.​​ ​​

They include when beaten six lengths into second by the now 161-rated Monalee at Punchestown and a 4 1/2 lengths third to Invitation Only, who is now rated 152, in a seven runner affair at Navan. ​​Any Second Now also ran well three starts back when a neck runner-up to Mortal at Fairyhouse, and backed that up with a solid 9 3/4 length fifth of 27 to Auvergnat over 3m at Leopardstown at Christmas.​

Solid prep run


​​There was also lots to like about his prep run for this when a not knocked about third to Chris’s Dream in the Grade 2 Ten Up Novices Chase, where he traveled powerfully throughout before being beaten just four lengths. The form of those races give him solid claims in this off a mark of just 143.​

McManus also has a good recent record in the race having seen his famous green and gold hooped colours carried to victory in two of the last six runnings of this contest courtesy of Sunnyhillboy (2012) and Cause Of Causes (2016). Another plus is that Any Second Now has the services of Derek O’Connor in the saddle as he’s one of the best and coolest amateur riders in the business.

Soft ground also holds now fears and he looks to have the perfect profile for this. That’s why we had no hesitation in making Any Second Now the next best bet in these Cheltenham Festival Thursday betting tips.

Spiritofthegames worth siding with each-way

In the 2m 4f Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (16:10), the Dan Skelton trained Spiritofthegames looks weighted to go well. This seven-year-old has some very string form in hot handicap hurdles last season, finishing a fine third to Kalashnikov in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and an excellent fifth of 24 to stable companion Mohayyed in the County Hurdle at this meeting 12 months ago.

The son of Darsi has had just three starts over fences this season and looked one to keep onside when making a winning debut in a Listed contest at Chepstow when scoring by six lengths. He then found Grade 2 company too hot when last of four to the hugely exciting and subsequent dual Grade 1 winner La Bague Au Roi at Newbury.

Spiritofthegames has since run very well over this course and distance when a 2 1/2 lengths third of eight to Kildistart. He was making good headway when getting slightly hampered three from home and then stayed on strongly to be nearest at the finish.

Given how the race panned out it was a very good run and, although now 1lb higher in the weights, a revised rating of 147 should not be beyond Spiritofthegames given that he remains unexposed and open to plenty more progression over fences. His proven course form is also a big plus as is the fact that he is versatile as regards ground.

Jockey Harry Skelton has stated that Spiritofthegames is his best chance of bagging a winner at the meeting. He looks to have lots going for him and thus gets our each-way vote and completes these 2019 Cheltenham Festival Thursday betting tips.

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