Day two of the Cheltenham Festival sees the Coral Cup as well as The Queen Mother Champion Chase and with strong entries in both there’s plenty to get excited about. So if you haven’t studied the form yet let RedArmyBet take you through some of the runners and riders with our guide to the second day…
The opening race sees a keenly fought clash in the form of the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle over 2m5f with Nicky Henderson’s Champ strongly fancied to take this one after an impressive Grade 1 win at Newbury in December.
Competition will be strong however, notably in the form of Battleoverdoyen, who comes into the race in terrific form and with bags of stamina is likely to be in the running until the end.
Meanwhile Easy Game might be the each way shout here under the guidance of Ruby Walsh who won with him at Navan back in December.
Presenting Percy was the impressive winner of this race 12 months ago and once again an impressive field will be lining up for the second race of the day at Prestbury Park.
Nicky Henderson’s Santini, who made a very impressive chasing debut at Newbury, has been well fancied in the ante post market despite being beaten at Kempton over Christmas.
The likely favourite will be Gordon Elliott’s Delta Work which has won all three starts over fences this season with the last two being in Grade 1 company, while one to watch in the market could well be the impressive The Worlds End, though soft ground might not suit.
With a competitive field of in-form performers all primed for this valuable Grade 3 prize over 2m5f choosing a winner in this one might be one of the biggest challenges of the week.
The Irish have produced the last three runners of this race and the Willie Mullins trained Uradel looks likely to go off favourite though could face stiff competition from Farclas who won the triumph hurdle here in 2018 and Cracking Smart, also trained by Gordon Elliott, who has shown progressive form after almost a year off the track.
Canadier won here over course and distance back in October and might well be worth considering making his handicap debut.
Undoubtedly the highlight of Wednesday at the Festival is the Queen Mother Champion Chase as the very best two-mile chasers compete for a prize of £225,000 and all eyes this year are bound to be on Altior.
The Nicky Henderson trained 9-year old is 12 from 12 when chasing, including victory in this race last year, and is heavily backed to repeat that success.
With such a hot favourite the only real chance of value here is in the each way market with a number of contenders in with a shout of a place. Politologue was a Grade 1 winner last season and is likely to be involved while God’s Own has finished 4th, 5th and 3rd in his last three runnings of this race.
12 months ago Tiger Roll secured his third Cheltenham Festival title with a win in the Cross Country Chase before going on to win the Grand National just a few weeks later at Aintree so there’s no surprise that the odds to retain his crown have plummeted.
Enda Bolger’s Auvergnat has finished fourth in the last two runnings of this race and is something of a cross country specialist so is bound to be in the mix while another of Bolger’s entries, Josies Orders is a four-time course and distance winner including victory here in 2016.
Another to keep an eye on is Ultragold having won twice over the National obstacles in the Topham at Aintree and not afraid of fearsome fences.
Joseph O’Brien’s unexposed juvenile Band of Outlaws has won two from three over hurdles in Ireland, and is open to significant improvement now going handicapping from an attractive mark but if it’s value you are after then Our Power could well be involved at an attractive price.
Alan King’s runner has won twice over hurdles so far, including a Grade 2 Victory at Cheltenham back in January, suggesting he’ll be more than suited by the nature of this race while French filly Naturelle has won 2 from four over hurdles and arrives at Prestbury Park in decent form if a little harshly treated by the handicapper.
Ladies’ Day concludes with the Champion Bumper, the final race of the day and the only one at the festival not to feature obstacles with Irish trainer Willie Mullins having saddled nine of the 26 runners of this rate to date.
Mullins has just one runner here in the shape of Blue Sari, a 4-year old who won with plenty to spare on debut at Gowran Park in January, suggesting there is more to come.
However, Envoi Allen is one of the most experienced runners in the race, having won all of his three starts under rules as well as a point to point and Gordon Elliott’s promising youngster could be tough to beat here while a surprise package could arrive in the form of Ask for Glory who won by 13 lengths in his last outing at Chepstow.
*all odds are subject to change