Perched alongside Royal Ascot and The Grand National on lists of the most prestigious horseracing events in the world is The Cheltenham Festival.
The Festival is a household name across the UK and Ireland, with not only die-hard horseracing fanatics patiently anticipating the event but the heads of the general public start to glance in its direction, too.
Day Three of The Cheltenham Festival 2021 will fall on Thursday the 18th of March, giving it the official name St. Patrick’s Thursday, where the Irish horseracing scene is celebrated intensely at Cheltenham Racecourse.
St. Patrick’s Thursday will host two featured races, sponsored by two well known Irish companies – the 14:50 Ryanair Steeple Chase and the 15:30 Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle. These two races will have a combined total purse of £675,000.
The Marsh Novices Chase
Race one of Day Three at The Cheltenham Festival will be The Marsh Novices Chase, commencing at 13:30.
The Marsh Novices Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt for horses aged five years and above. The race length is 2 miles 3 furlongs and 168-yards and consists of 17 fences to be jumped.
The purse for this race last time out in 2020 was £150,000, with £84,405 going to the team of the winning horse.
The Pertemps Network Final
The second race of St. Patrick’s Thursday at The Festival will be The Pertemps Network Final, starting at 14:10.
The Pertemps Network Final is a Grade 3 listed handicap hurdle race that is open to horses aged 5 years or older and is run on the ‘new course’ at Cheltenham. The race is a few yards short of 3 miles in length and contains 12 hurdles to be jumped.
The total prize pool for this race will be £100,000, with £56,270 going to the team of the first horse to pass the finish post.
The Ryanair Steeple Chase
The third race of St. Patrick’s Thursday at The Cheltenham Festival will also be the first of the day’s two featured races, The Ryanair Steeple Chase, which will begin at 14:50.
Horses aged 5 years and older can participate in The Ryanair Chase, a Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase run over the ‘new course’ for a distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs and 127 yards.
This 17 hurdle featured race will have a total prize pot of £350,000, with a massive £196,945 going to the horse that finishes first.
The Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle
Immediately after the first featured race of St. Patrick’s Thursday comes the second, in the form of The Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle at 15:30.
Open to horses aged 4 and older, The Stayers Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race that is run on the ‘new course’. The course length is 2 miles 7 furlongs and 213-yards and features 12 hurdles to be jumped.
The Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle prize pool will look similar to last year’s £325,000, with £182,878 going to the winning contender.
The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
The fifth race of Day Three at Cheltenham will be The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate which is scheduled to begin at 14:10.
This 2 mile 4 furlong and 127-yard Grade 3 handicap National Hunt race is open to horses over the age of 5 years and consists of 17 hurdles for the competing horses to jump.
The 2020 prize pool was £110,000 and we expect something similar this year, with first-place receiving £61,897, second-place receiving £23,320, third-place receiving £11,671 and the fourth-place finisher taking the remaining £5,830.
The Daylesford Mares Novices Hurdle
The penultimate race of St. Patrick’s Thursday at The Cheltenham Festival will be The Daylesford Mares Novices Hurdle, which will start at 16:50.
Known historically as The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, this race can be entered by fillies and mares aged 4 years or older. The track is just short of 2 miles and 1 furlong and consists of 8 hurdles around the ‘new course’.
The purse for the 2020 Daylesford Mares Novices Hurdle was £90,000, with £50,643 going to the first horse to cross the finish line.
The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase
The final race of Day Three at The Cheltenham Festival will be The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase, beginning at 17:30.
This lengthy Steeplechase is open to all horses ages 5 years or above and stretches 3 miles and 2 furlongs of the ‘new course’ at Cheltenham. There is also a total of 21 fences for the competitors to clear.
The final prize pool for St. Patrick’s Thursday will be around £70,000, with the winner taking £41,510 of it.
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If the event is at Cheltenham Racecourse, you know it’s going to a big one. The bookies know this, too, and they make sure all their odds are competitive enough to draw in customers new and old.
Some long-priced competitors have caused many upsets on St. Patrick’s Thursday over the years, including last year when 50/1 outsider Lisnagar Oscar won The Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle, and 100/1 Rayna’s World managed a third-place finish in the Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on the same day.
Check back here for all the best odds, promotions and free bets to use on them as the big day approaches.