+++ THE CHELTENHAM TRENDS: DAY THREE
TURNERS NOVICES’ CHASE
■ Eleven of the 12 winners were aged six or seven.
■ Eleven of the 12 winners were French-bred.
■ Nine of the 12 winners were trained in Ireland.
MIGHTY POTTER ticks the four key trends and also ran at last year’s Festival over hurdles (as did 10 of the 12 winners), albeit disappointingly in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He looks a top-class chasing prospect and can provide the Irish with yet another win in today’s opener. Banbridge is feared most, with Appreciate It older than ideal.
■ Twelve of the past 15 winners had previously won or placed at the Festival.
■ Eleven of the past 15 winners had finished first or second in a Grade One last time out. SHISHKIN is a two-time Festival winner and returned to form last month with a sparkling display in the Ascot Chase. Six of the past 10 favourites have won the Ryanair and he is hugely respected, but Willie Mullins has won five of the past seven renewals and the record of French-bred horses in this race sways things in favour of BLUE LORD.
PADDY POWER STAYERS’ HURDLE
KLASSICAL DREAM has Festival form, but it is hard to win this race having been beaten in it previously and he is older than ideal. Dual winner Flooring Porter needs to leave behind a disappointing run, while a lack of Festival form is a concern for both Teahupoo and BLAZING KHAL. However, the latter is a two-time course winner and an improving hurdler.
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