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Preview: Cheltenham Festival 2024: Thursday's tips and odds, including Ryanair Chase

As the action continues at the Cheltenham Festival, Sports Mole takes a look at the seven races on Thursday.

After a start to the Cheltenham Festival that delivered few unsurprising outcomes on Tuesday, the action will continue on Thursday with punters looking to benefit from some bigger prices.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at who could prevail from the seven offerings during the action on day three.

Turners Novice' Chase (13:30)

Distance: 2m 4f
Type: Chase

Since 2014, a 9/1 winner represents the biggest odds that has prevailed in this race and it would be smart to follow that form book with several in contention here.

On the back of the success on Tuesday, Willie Mullins and Paul Townend could come through with Facile Vega, with the second place in last year's Supreme Novice Hurdle showing a likeness for this course.

That said, 11/4 is perhaps too short and it is Iroko who gets the nod for us, with victory coming in last year's Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle and on the last outing in Warwick back in November.

WE SAY: Iroko (5/1)

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle(14:10)

Distance: 3m
Type: Hurdle

Cleatus Poolaw is the obvious pick here on the back of a sustained run of top-two finishes, with the last three coming on soft or soft to heavy ground.

Odds of 13/2 are more than enough to support Gordon Elliott returning to the winners' circle in this race, like he did between 2018 and 2020, but there will also be plenty of backers for Chantry House.

A multiple-time winner around this course, recent innocuous performances should be largely ignored and each-way at around 10/1 would represent solid value.

WE SAY: Cleatus Poolaw (13/2)

Ryanair Chase (14:50)

Distance: 2m 4 1/2 f
Type: Chase

Twelve months ago, Envoi Allen produced one of the performances of the festival to see off Shishkin in this race, but the French horse has failed to deliver on the three starts that have followed.

That leads us to consider our options further down the field and we cannot ignore Hitman, who came home in third place in the 2023 edition.

Although indifferent runs have since followed, Hitman was second behind Shishkin last time out, highlighting improvement, and betting odds of 20/1 are far too big.

WE SAY: Hitman (20/1)

Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle (15:30)

Distance: 3m
Type: Hurdle

Gordon Elliott horse Teahupoo is the standout runner here, partly due to finishing as runner-up by a neck in the same race 12 months ago.

More recently, a win over odds-on favourite Impaire Et Passe came in a Grade One contest at Fairyhouse and it is difficult to look anywhere different with great confidence.

Former Grand National winner Noble Yeats will attract attention as long as the betting odds remain above 6/1, but the 2023 Stayers' Hurdle victor Sire Du Berlais should be dismissed now that he has reached 12 years of age.

WE SAY: Teahupoo (15/8)

TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase (16:10)

Distance: 2m 4 1/2 f
Type: Chase

Although Credbilly will likely go off as the marginal favourite here, the Jonjo O'Neil horse's worst two performances in recent times have come at Cheltenham.

That is enough for us to ignore the selection and we are going to take a punt on Il Ridoto, a previous course and distance winner and a horse who has widespread experience of this course.

Shakem Up'Arry may be the way to go if you want an alternative after also emerging as a winner at this course on New Year's Day.

WE SAY: Il Ridoto (11/1)

Ryanair Mares' Novices' Hurdle (16:50)

Distance: 2m 1f
Type: Hurdle

Willie Mullins won this race five times in a row between 2016 and 2020, and Jade De Grugy represents his best chance of achieving more success here.

The five-year-old has lived up to the billing in recent races, prevailing in fields of seven and 16, as well as running on strongly to win by six-and-a-half lengths on soft ground at Fairyhouse in January.

Brighterdaysahead may go off as favourite and commands obvious respect, but the greater value is in Jade De Grugy, with Golden Ace an each-way bet on the back of two triumphs after wind surgery.

WE SAY: Jade De Grugy (9/4)

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase (17:30)

Distance: 3m 2f
Type: Chase

Inothewayurthinkin is the youngest of a packed field and there is a belief that having youth on the six-year-old's side will lead to victory.

However, there has been no win in seven outings and we would encourage you to look elsewhere, and Cool Survivor has delivered stellar consistency of late with four successive top-four finishes.

Perhaps the one downside is Harry Swan being aboard for the first time in a couple of years, but that should not stop you going with the 6/1 that is on offer.

WE SAY: Cool Survivor (6/1)

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Nico de Boinville celebrates on Constitution Hill after winning the 15:30 The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
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