Thursday, February 25

Cheltenham Festival LIVE: Latest updates, results, tips and race card on day three

Follow the latest updates live from day three at the Cheltenham Festival as St Patrick’s Day sees a number of racing’s big hitters on display with both the Ryanair Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle headlining the action.

Thursday proved another thrilling day at Cheltenham from the opening race as a photo finish was required to split Samcro and Melon in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, with the former just taking the victory, before Sire De Berlais took victory in the Pertemps. Min finally delivered the Cheltenham victory that he has long deserved in the Ryanair Chase, while it was up to Lisnagar Oscar to provide the shock of the day in winning the Stayers’ Hurdle at 50/1, with defending champion Paisley Park comprehensively beaten.

Concertista picked up a win in a frantic Mares’ Novices Hurdle. Follow the live updates below.


Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of day three at the Cheltenham Festival as action continues at the Prestbury Park course despite the growing concern over the coronavirus outbreak.
Despite the government’s planned COBRA meeting later today, thousands are once again expected to flock to Cheltenham to watch another seven action-packed races, with today’s card set to get underway from 1:30pm.
The opening races promises to be a must-watch too, with Faugheen returning to Cheltenham to take on the likes of Samcro and Itchy Feet, while the Ryanair Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle will provide the headline action in the middle of the card.

1:30pm – The Marsh Novices’ Chase

1. Bapaume – 20/1

2. Faugheen – 7/2

3. Itchy Feet – 9/2

4. Melon – 12/1

5. Midnight Shadow – 20/1

6. Mister Fisher – 7/1

7. Poker Play – 150/1

8. Reserve Tank – 20/1

9. Samcro – 9/2

10. Tornado Flyer – 12/1

11. Saint Sonnet – 25/1

12. Annie Mc – 22/1


Marsh Novices’ Chase
We’re treated to a real spectacle in the day’s opening race as ‘Faugheen the Machine’ takes on another previous Cheltenham winner in Samcro, two horses who not so long ago were being tipped to contend in the Champion Chase. Yet as it is, they feature in the Grade 1 Novices’ Chase in what looks a really competitive field.

It’s a glorious day at Cheltenham  as the Irish flood in to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, and not even the coronavirus outbreak can keep the punters away as the paddock fills up with 15 minutes until the first race.

Marsh Novices’ Chase
There’s a lot of optimism around Annie Mc even though she’s out at 20/1, compared to the favourites Faugheen (3/1), Itchy Feet (16/5) and Samcro (9/2). Trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by his son of the same name, there could be real value if Annie Mc can upset the odds.

Marsh Novices’ Chase
It looks like there’s one horse who stands out above the rest at this year’s Festival…

Marsh Novices’ Chase

Down they go to post with the grandstand absolutely packed, and Faugheen gets a huge cheer as he flashes past with Paul Townend in the familiar pink polkadot jersey.


Marsh Novices’ Chase
Faugheen and Itchy Feet to go off at 10/3 joint-favs.

Marsh Novices’ Chase
And they’re off for the first time today!

Marsh Novices’ Chase
They’re all over the first two safely with Faugheen leading the way.

Marsh Novices’ Chase

It’s Faugheen from Poker Play and Reserve Tank, with the latter getting a great leap over the third and taking the lead. Itchy Feet makes an error at the fourth and drops to last.


Marsh Novices’ Chase

Here comes Melon to takes the lead ahead of Reserve Tank.


Marsh Novices’ Chase

Itchy Feet unseats Gavin Sheehan!


Marsh Novices’ Chase

Itchy Feet never looked settled there, with a mistake at the fourth followed by an unseating over the fifth. That’s a lot of money gone there with the joint-favourite out.


Marsh Novices’ Chase

It’s Melon fron Faugheedn and Reserve Tank, but the latter gets a terrible leap and drops back a bit. Poker Play is out of it.


Marsh Novices’ Chase

Samcro moves into third. Annie Mc yet to show anything.


Marsh Novices’ Chase

Faugheen is down on his nose over the third last, but Melon gets a lovely jump and is challenging Melon out in front.


Marsh Novices’ Chase

Samcro takes the lead, but Melon gets him back over the second-last…


Marsh Novices’ Chase

It’s a photo finish between Melon and Samcro with Faugheen third!


Marsh Novices’ Chase

Samcro wins it!

Full racecard and results


1:30pm – The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle: 1. Shishkin 6-1 2. Abacadabras 11-5 3. Chantry House 15-2

2:10pm – The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase: 1. Put The Kettle On 16-1 2. Fakir D’Oudairies 3-1 3. Rouge Vif 9-1

2:50pm – The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase: 1. The Conditional 15-2 2. Kildisart 10-1 3. Discorama 11-2 Jt Fav 4. Vindication 11-2 Jt Fav

3:30pm – The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy: 1. Epatante 2/1 Fav 2. Sharjah 16/1 3. Darvar Star 17/2

4:10pm – The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Race: 1. Honeysuckle 9/4 2. Benie Des Dieux 4-6 fav 3. Elfile 16/1

4:50pm – The Northern Trust Company Novices’ Handicap Chase: 1. Imperial Aura 4-1 Jtfav 2. Galvin 4-1 Jtfav 3. Hold The Note 10-1

5:30pm – The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup: 1 Ravenhill 12-1 2 Lord Du Mesnil 11-2 3 Lamanver Pippin 33-1


1:30pm – The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race: 1. Envoi Allen – 4/7 Fav 2. Easy Work – 12/1 3. The Big Getaway – 9/1

2:10pm – The RSA Insurance Novices’ Steeple Chase: 1 Champ – 4-1 2 Minella Indo 3-1 3 Allaho 5-2 Fav

2:50pm – The Coral Cup Hurdle: 1 Dame De Compagnie 5-1 Fav 2 Black Tears 12-1 3 Thosedaysaregone 10-1 4 Cracking Smart 33-1

3:30pm – The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase: 1 Politologue 6-1 2 Dynamite Dollars 7-1 3 Bun Doran 33-1

4:10pm – Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase: 1 Easysland 3-1 2 Tiger Roll 8-11 Fav 3 Out Sam 33-1​

4:50pm – The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race: 1 Aramax 15-2 2 Night Edition 16-1 3 Saint D’Oroux 14-1 4 Recent Revelations 14-1

5:30pm – The Weatherbys Champion Bumper: 1 Ferny Hollow 11-1 2 Appreciate It 15-8 Fav 3 Queens Brook 6-1


1:30pm – The Marsh Novices’ Chase: 1 Samcro 4-1 2 Melon 14-1 3 Faugheen 3-1 Fav

2:10pm – The Pertemps Network Final: 1 Sire Du Berlais 10-1 2 The Storyteller 11-2 Jt Fav 3 Tout Est Permis 12-1 4 Third Wind 12-1

2:50pm – The Ryanair Steeple Chase: 1 Min 2-1 2 Saint Calvados 16-1 3 A Plus Tard 7-4 Fav

3:30pm – The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle: 1 Lisnagar Oscar 50-1 2 Ronald Pump 20-1 3 Bacardys 33-1

4:10pm – The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate: 1 Simply The Betts 10-3 Fav 2 Happy Diva 20-1 3 Mister Whitaker 22-1 4 Oldgrangewood 11-1

4:50pm – The Festival Mares Novices’ Hurdle: 1 Concertista 9-2 2 Dolcita 9-1 3 Rayna’s World 100-1

5:30pm – The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup: 1 Milan Native 9-1 2 Kilfilum Cross 8-1 3 Bob Mahler 16-1 4 Plan Of Attack 10-1


1:30pm – The JCB Triumph Hurdle

2:10pm – The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle Race

2:50pm – The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race

3:30pm – The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase

4:10pm – The St James’s Place Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

4:50pm – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase

5:30pm – Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle