Barry Drake's Cheltenham tips: Paisley Park can land another big win

Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs put their unbeaten records over fences on the line at today's festival
Barry Drake's Cheltenham tips: Paisley Park can land another big win

Paisley Park (Aidan Coleman) wins the Welsh Marches Stallions at Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture: Healy Racing

THE opening race on day three of the festival is one of the most eagerly awaited novice chases for many a year as last year's Festival winners Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs put their unbeaten records over fences on the line. 

For me, it's all about the Henry De Bromhead trained Bob Olinger and he can get punters off on the right note by winning the Turners Novices' Chase, which is due off at 1.30pm.

The nap selection cruised round hard on the bridle on his chasing debut at Gowran in November but had to dig a bit deeper when landing the odds at Punchestown in January. 

There is plenty more to come granted a true test of stamina in this sphere, and he is sure to be trained to peak on the day by his excellent trainer. 

Bob Olinger and Rachael Blackmore jump the last to win the Grade 3 Kildare Novice Steeplechase Picture: Healy Racing
Bob Olinger and Rachael Blackmore jump the last to win the Grade 3 Kildare Novice Steeplechase Picture: Healy Racing

The Willie Mullins trained Galopin Des Champs is an obvious danger, and he will have plenty of supporters on the day.

In the 2.10pm, Sire Due Berlais can take gold in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle. Bookmakers will be offering plenty of places in this race and the Gordon Elliott-trained runner looks certain to reach the frame. 

The leading contender can be the first to win this race three times since Willie Wumpkins completed a hat-trick in 1981.

School Boy Hours is worthy of each-way support in the closing race on the card, the Kim Muir Challenge Cup, due off at 5.30pm. Noel Meade's classy sort will be ridden by Derek O'Connor and he's another that has been primed for the day. 

The son of Presenting finally put it all together and got off the mark over fences on return at Christmas, landing red-hot 28-runner 3m Punchestown handicap from Ben Dundee, jumping better. 

The trip will be no problem and he should relish the Cheltenham hill. With strong form in the book, at worst, he should reach the frame.

Old-stager Paisley Park can land a serious blow in the 3.30pm, the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle. 

A high-class hurdler who won this in 2019 and he confirmed himself no back number when gaining third Cleeve Hurdle victory from Champ in January. 

With a strong pace expected, the selection can put on one of his usual strong finishers and that should have him involved in the closing stages. In a very open affair, Paisley Park is expected to go very close.

Flooring Porter was the dominant force when making all in this race 12 months ago. Gavin Cromwell's runner is sure to make another bold bid. He caught the eye on his most recent outing and with improvement expected, he's another with leading claims in this. 

A big run will be expected from the likely market leader.

TIPS:

1.30pm Bob Olinger (Nap) 

2.10pm Sire Du Berlais (NB) 

2.50pm Janidil (EW) 

3.30pm Paisley Park 

4.10pm Grand Paradis 

4.50pm Grangee (EW) 

5.30pm School Boy Hours (EW).

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