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Cheltenham Day Three tips: Get ready for a Paul Nicholls renaissance

Hopefully, this will be the day when Paul Nicholls comes to the Cheltenham Festival party.

The Ditcheat trainer has yet to fire in a winner this week but we feel it’s about time he scored and we’re siding with Wonderful Charm (2pts win) in the JLT Novices Chase, Al Ferof (2pts win) in the Ryanair Chase, Big Buck’s (3pts win) in the World Hurdle to do the business for the seven-time Champion Trainer.

Wonderful Charm has always been held in high regard by the team in Somerset and he can announce himself as one of the best novice chasers this season by bursting the bubble of a few horses with big reputations.


He came out best at the weights when out sped by Oscar Whisky at Cheltenham earlier this year and that form looks the best on offer.

Nicholls always thought Al Ferof would develop into a high-class Grade One chaser and this could be the day where he makes that step up in a race that is likely to suit.

Three miles on soft ground looks beyond him but with the ground drying and the trip being 2m5f, this race looks at his mercy.

The Nicholls treble can be completed by Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle. He ran much better than many gave him credit for when third in the Cleeve Hurdle and there is no trainer better than Nicholls at getting an hold horse back to his best. Annie Power is a worthy favourite but has become too short in the betting when you consider the way she awkwardly jumps hurdles.

Giorgio Quercus (3pts EW) is a very interesting horse in the Byrne Group Plate for the in-form combo of trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico De Boinville, who have teamed up for a close second and a winner already this week.

De Boinville is riding out of skin and still claims a valuable five pounds, which also adds to the chances of the selection.

Henderson’s charge has been off the track since November, but you get the feeling they’ve always had this race in mind for him ever since he beat subsequent Kempton handicap winner Bally Legend in game fashion at Kempton.

That form is strong and if Henderson has him tuned up, which he will do, then he has to go very close at a massive 25/1.

Jonjo O’Neill’s horses are having a good week as usual and Twirling Magnet (1pt win) is sure to be there or thereabouts in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase.

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