Cheltenham Festival sits at the top table of the British racing calendar that sees around 60 thousand punters flock each day to Prestbury Park and as we approach the half-way mark for this year’s event that has already provided a series of longshot winners and surprises. This article has a handy round-up of all of yesterday’s races as well as a look ahead at this afternoon’s action and who you should be putting your money on.
Cheltenham Festival: Day 2 Results
The first race of the day’s action during Ladies Day was the 1:30 which could not have started in better fashion from a punter’s perspective as firm favourite Envoi Allen stormed home to take the win. Despite being the clear favourite for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, the horse had a rocky start but comfortably made the victory once it got to the hill turn. 12/1 shot Easywork placed at second and 9/1 horse The Big getaway managing to take third.
The 14:10 RSA Chase was arguably the race of the day as 5/2 favourite Allaho and 3/1 Minella Indo looked to be neck and neck as the race approached the finishing line. Then from out of nowhere somehow the 4/1 appropriately named Champ sneaked to victory which will have no doubt soured some punters’ afternoons with Minella Indo and Allaho ending up in second and third respectively.
Next up was the Coral Cup at 14:50 which was another win for the punter as the 5/1 favourite Dame De Compagnie which was ridden by Barry Geraghty was victorious. Geraghty has been on tremendous form of late which has continued into Cheltenham. Gordon Elliot trained 12/1 shot Black Tears secured second with Thosedaysaregone which was priced at 10/1 placing in third.
The Cross Country Chase at 16:10 however provided the biggest shock of the day as it saw 2018 and 2019 Grand National winner and heavy favourite Tiger Roll fall short in this encounter where it could only score second. The Irish thoroughbred just wasn’t in the same league as 3/1 shot Easyland during the race and does make you question whether the Grand National icon’s best days could well be behind him. 33/1 shot Out Sam also placed in third.
The penultimate race of the day was the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle at 16:50 which saw another great result for trainer Gordon Elliot as 15/2 shot Aramax took first place in this thrilling encounter. 16/1 darkhorse Night Edition but up a good fight but could only settle for second and Saint D’Aroux which was priced at 14/1 managing to grab third place.
Finally, it was time for the Champion Bumper at 17:30 which was won by Willie Mullins trained Ferny Hollow which was priced all the way out at 11/1 with 15/8 favourite Appreciate It having to make do with second. This astonishingly marked the 11th time that a horse trained by the legendary Mullins has won this race over the years. 6/1 Queens Brook had to settle for third place in the final race of the day.
Cheltenham Festival: Day 3 – Races and Betting Tips
Today’s action kicks off at 13:30 with the Marshes Novice Chase and is set to be an exciting start to the day as it sees the likes of veteran 12-year-old Faugheen involved which is priced at 7/2 with Novibet, this, however, is not the horse which I see becoming victorious. Despite Faugheen having had such an illustrious career, it is 9/2 shot Mister Fisher which is trained by Nicky Henderson where I see the smart money tomorrow afternoon.
Next, we have the 14:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle which is a hard one to call, however, the horse which takes my eye for this one is Skandiburg, a longshot priced at 19/2. The 6-year-old has barely raced in the last six months and hasn’t been seen since it won at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. However, trainer Olly Murphy has no doubt been spending the last few months making sure the horse is fully prepared for today.
The 14:50 Ryanair Chase is an equally mouthwatering encounter which should make for incredible viewing, A Plus Tard is the favourite with Novibet and is priced at 33/20 but the horse is still fairly untested on the big occasion. My pick, however, is Frodon, a horse that is tried and tested at Cheltenham having been victorious in this race last year and is 4/1 to do it all over again.
Up next is the Stayers’ Hurdle at 15:30, I can only see one winner for this one and that being the phenomenal Paisley Park which is priced at 10/17 with Novibet. This would make it two Stayers’ Hurdle’s in a row for Paisley Park and see his been unbeaten on the track surpass two years.
The fifth race of the day is the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at 16:10, the likes of Ben Dundee which is priced at 17/2 is one that I believe has a really strong shot of placing. However, the real value in this race is with La Bague Au Roi at 10/1, the Warren Greatrex trained horse had a strong 2019 and shouldn’t be underestimated in this one.
The 16:50 is the Daylesford Mares’ ‘Novices’ Hurdle and this one looks like a straightforward victory for Minella Melody who is priced generously at 5/2. The only other strong contender would be the Nicky Henderson trained Floressa, who was disappointing, to say the least on her last outing at Doncaster in January.
The final race of Thursday is the Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Rider’s Handicap Chase at 17:30, a case could quite easily be made for Kilifium Cross to do one better than last year when it achieved second place and is appealingly priced at 10/1. For me, I can’t look past Le Breuil at 5/1, it won the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last year and I’d expect it to add to its history at the festival tomorrow afternoon.