I bet a few cats got kicked at around 4.10pm on Tuesday as the fall of Annie Power cost punters absolutely millions – but that’s Cheltenham for you.
However, there’s still 3 days of fantastic racing to come including Wednesday’s Champion Chase which should be an absolute humdinger!
Here are our racing tips for day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival.
Despite only 10 runners, it’s a typical battle between the best Irish and English novices. It’s also a race that typically goes to a National Hunt bred horse rather than an ex-flat horse and this might count against top Irish fancy Nichols Canyon and top English fancy Parlour games. If that’s the case, this may turn into a fight between Winsdor Park and Vyta Du Roc who should both appreciate a sound surface. The vote goes to the latter who’s proven on the track.
Vyta Du Rock 1 point each-way @ 8/1 (Stan James or Ladbrokes)
RSA Chase 2.05pm
Leading fancy Coneygree heads for Friday’s Gold Cup leaving just 9 runners. The last seven winners have all been 7-year-olds which begrudgingly puts me off likely favourite Don Poli and Young Master. I also don’t like the way Kings Palace ran flat at last year’s festival – and Southfield Theatre looks a solid each-way shout.
Southfield Theatre 1 point each-way @ 15/2 (Paddy Power or Stan James)
Goodwood Mirage is my nap of the day for a number of reasons. His trainer Jonjo O’Neill has always hinted he thinks he’s good enough to win a Cheltenham Handicap and he’ll love the good ground. However, it’s the step up in trip to 2 miles 5 furlongs that really appeals as this is his first jumps start in excess of 2-miles having been a 12-14 furlong horse on the flat.
Goodwood Mirage 1 point each-way @ 14/1 (Paddy Power)
Champion Chase 3.20pm
Champagne Fever looks to bid for yet another big race victory for the trio of Mullins, Walsh and Ricci, but he has some ground to make up with the last two winners Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy on ratings. Both previous Champions still have something to prove but I think they might just be a class above their rivals and a reverse forecast has to be the bet.
Reverse Forecast: 1 point Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy (both legs paying about 12/1 with Bet365)
Glenfarclas Handicap Chase
Sire Collonges runs off the same mark as when third in last year’s renewal of this cross-country race and, with the blinkers on, looks sure to make a bold bid to at least reach the frame again.
Sire Collonges 1 point each-way @ 8/1 (Stan James)
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
The British 4-year-olds have looked better than the Irish 4-year-olds so far this season and, if that’s the case, Starchitect may have been let in lightly having finished runner-up to Hargam and Peace and Co on his last two starts. Both of those horses are strongly fancied for the Triumph Hurdle, and Starchitects’s trainer Donald McCain knows what it takes to win at the festival.
Starchitect 1 point each-way @ 25/1 (Stan James)