Daniel Hussey - Cheltenham Day 2 Tips & Preview

9 min

Matchbook’s Daniel Hussey will be here each day of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival with his final tips and selections.

It was a dramatic Day 1, as Paul Townend and Willie Mullins combined to win three races with Gaelic Warrior, State Man, and Lossiemouth.

Nice to land a couple on this column in Slade Steel and Telmesomethinggirl w/o. Roll on tomorrow.

13:30 Cheltenham – Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle

Ballyburn got a form boost yesterday (not that he needed it) with Slade Steel winning the Supreme and I expect him to take all the beating here.

It means another selection in the without favourite market, and the one I like is seemingly Mullins’ third string in Predators Gold. He ran a great race in deplorable conditions at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival behind Caldwell Potter over two miles before another solid 2nd at the Dublin Racing Festival. I can see a situation where Ile Atantique tries to beat the favourite, with Danny Mullins stalking the top two in the market and hopefully picking up the pieces to finish 2nd. Worth a play at 4.5

Selection: Predators Gold w/o fav 4.5

14:10 Cheltenham – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

The way Willie Mullins’ horses are firing, it is hard to bet against Fact To File, I won’t lie. However, I think he’s running in the wrong race – the Turners at this stage of his career would be perfect – especially with the heavy ground.

There’s enough to go against him at the prices, and the one I’m with is Monty’s Star, who runs in the same colours as former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo. He’s been brought along slowly (like Indo was), and has been kept fresh for this. If this turns into a slog at the trip, expect him to be there or thereabouts and, with Henry DeBromhead’s horses flying, I think he’s the bet in the race.

Selection: Monty’s Star 7.8

14:50 Cheltenham – Coral Cup

Good old Langer Dan. It’s his fifth Cheltenham Festival, and it’ll be the fourth time I’ll be backing him. He was unlucky in 2021 to bump into a future Gold Cup winner in Galopin Des Champs; he unseated rider at the 1st in 2022; he then switched from the Martin Pipe to the Coral Cup last year and duly bolted up in a close photo finish. Unbelievably, the handicapper has dropped him back to the same mark of 141, and I’m hopeful he can go close.

The second selection is Built By Ballymore for Martin Brassil. The heavy ground should be no problem, given that his last two runs were in deep ground, and I think this horse is a future Graded performer over fences. I was very impressed with him against Silver King last time out in Punchestown and off a mark of 139, I think he could be well-handicapped.

Selection: Langer Dan 10.0 & Built By Ballymore 8.0

15:30 Cheltenham – Champion Chase

El Fabiolo looks a solid favourite here, and bar an accident, he should win.

I’ve liked Captain Guinness in the without market for a while. He finished second in this race last year and has always acted very poorly around Leopardstown (which explains his poor runs this season). As discussed in this column, Henry’s horses are firing, so I expect another big showing.

Selection: Captain Guinness w/o fav 5.5

16:50 Cheltenham – Grand Annual

Try saying these two horses back-to-back without getting mixed up.

First up, Madara, a rare British winner at the Dublin Racing Festival, absolutely romping home as a well-backed favourite. It was impressive how he beat a good yardstick in Path D’oroux (who also runs here with a good chance) and given he’s only a 5-year-old, there’s a possibility there’s even more improvement to come..

Maskada was a horse I liked throughout last season but deserted in this race last year. She duly bolted up at last year’s Grand Annual, which was run in similar tough conditions. She may be 8lbs higher than that effort, but it was a hot renewal, with Dinoblue beaten in 2nd (she is now the favourite for the Mares Chase), and I think she’ll be primed for this.

Be nice to hear the commentator muddle the two of them up if they’re fighting out the finish.

Selection: Madara 8.8 & Maskada 10.0

17:30 Cheltenham – Champion Bumper

The Gordon Elliott team weren’t expecting much from The Yellow Clay at the Dublin Racing Festival when he ran a creditable 4th (despite finding trouble in the run). Jack Kennedy has opted for Jalon D’oudairies, but Jordan Gainford is an able deputy, and I’m hopeful of a big performance.

I backed a horse for this race ante-post before his debut in C’est Ta Chance. It initially looked like a disappointing run behind William Munny, but the Barry Connell horse has since franked in the form. He has the same connections as Fun Fun Fun (3rd favourite in last year’s Bumper), at a big price of 19.0, he could be a lively Mullins outsider.

Selection: The Yellow Clay 11.0 & C’est Ta Chance 28.0


  • 13:30 Predators Gold w/o fav 4.5
  • 14:10 Monty’s Star 7.8
  • 14:50 Langer Dan 10.0 & Built By Ballymore 8.0
  • 15:30 Captain Guinness w/o fav 5.5
  • 16:50 Madara 8.8 & Maskada 10.0
  • 17:30 The Yellow Clay 11.0 & C’est Ta Chance 28.0

Win Double: Predators Gold w/o & Monty’s Star

Win/Place Double: Langer Dan & Maskada

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