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Your ultimate guide to Day 3 at the Cheltenham Festival as Allaho takes to the stage

16 March 2018; Trainer Dan Skelton, centre, and jockey Bridget Andrews celebrate with winning connections after winning the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle Race on Day Four of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

16 March 2018; Trainer Dan Skelton, centre, and jockey Bridget Andrews celebrate with winning connections after winning the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle Race on Day Four of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Sunday World

We have come close to an Irish clean-sweep on quite a few Festival days in recent years, but had to settle for a 6-1 victory most times.

We possibly came closest of all the first time, the Wednesday in 2011, when surprisingly the bumper rescued the home team with Cheltenian scoring.

This could be the day though we finally scoop the lot - and fittingly on St Patrick's Day, too.

It's not often that Willie Mullins admits to having a banker bet for the week, but he won't hear of defeat for ALLAHO (2.50) in the Ryanair.

Mind you, he'll hardly repeat his blistering performance of 12 months ago, but he probably won't have to. He certainly looked sharp as ever at Thurles last time, and he's the only odds-on jolly this week that deserves that rating.

His quietly progressive stablemate Janidil must be respected over what looks a perfect trip, and Melon won't let the side down either.

Conflated sprang a shock in the Irish Gold Cup, and deserves to take his chance. All credit to Dan Skelton for throwing Shan Blue into the furnace here and he's a player, but Saint Calvados could prove best of the home squad.

If the Ryanair is the most predictable major race of the week, then Thursday's other main attraction, The Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle, provides the biggest puzzle.

Defending champ Flooring Porter is reportedly working superbly, but like Klassical Dream, the big test for the horse - with the huge crowds and the incredible buzz - is keeping the lid on temperamentally.

While Klassical won the Supreme here three years ago, it took a Ruby Walsh masterclass, both before and during the race, to keep his mind on the job, and his recent Galmoy fade-out at Gowran Park does not inspire confidence.

ROYAL KAHALA (3.30), who took full advantage at Gowran, is certainly interesting.

She is not nearly as soft-ground dependent as Peter Fahey once thought.

His decision to compete here, rather than in the Mares Hurdle, looks a shrewd move, as stamina is a strong point - and she can more easily hang in there early in this contest.

It is a worry that her only really bad performance came at this Festival last year, but there were genuine excuses for that.

Paisley Park and Champ need no introduction and are both very good on their day. They performed admirably in the Cleeve Hurdle, where former champ Paisley Park finished with a rattle, having been most reluctant to start.

With so many question marks around the leading contenders, Song For Someone may not be the rank outsider the betting indicates.

The Champion Hurdle talk for Tom Symonds runner was Alice In Wonderland stuff, but if he gets the three-mile trip here it could well be a fairytale result for the young Herefordshire trainer.

We kick off with an explosive duel in the Turners Novice Chase between Bob Olinger and GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (1.30). While Bob Olinger was different gravy to his rival in the Ballymore here last year, he has not looked quite as awesome over fences, whereas, in total contrast, Galopin Des Champs has looked the next Sprinter Sacre - and he looks the best of the day.

1.30 1 GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (Nap); 2 Bob Olinger; 3 Jungle Boogie

2.10 1 DUNBOYNE; 2 Alaphillipe; 3 Winter Fog

2.50 1 ALLAHO; 2 Janidil; 3 Saint Calvados

3.30 1 ROYAL KAHALA; 2 Song For Someone; 3 Flooring Porter

4.10 1 BUSSELTON; 2 Imperial Alcazar; 3 The Shunter

4.50 1 HEIA; 2 Dinoblue; 3 Brandy Love

5.30 1 FRONTAL ASSAULT; 2 Aint That A Shame; 3 Smoking Gun


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