Daniel Hussey is here with some strong fancies for Cheltenham Wednesday.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint so on we go to Day 2.
13:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
The Ballymore is where the highly-touted Sir Gerhard will line up after all the ante-post talk. However, the step-up in trip here should suit Three Stripe Life and under a cold Davy Russell ride, he can put it up to the Mullins hotpot. Definitely one for the place market or without Sir Gerhard market on Matchbook.
14:10 Brown Advisory Novices Chase
With Galopin Des Champs heading to the shorter novice race, Capodanno leads the Willie Mullins charge and I think he’s been underestimated by the market. His second behind Bob Olinger suggested a step up in trip would suit massively, and he comes here unexposed and primed for a big run.
14:50 Coral Cup
A couple of darts at the Coral Cup with Saint Felicien a worthy favourite and he could be the classic Grade 1 horse in a handicap.
The Shunter was an impressive winner of the Grand Annual last year off a mark of 140, despite jumping poorly. He is now rated 153 over fences so it’s interesting they’ve dropped him back to hurdles off a mark of 146. He should go well.
15:30 Champion Chase
What a race we have in store here. Shishkin should have enough to beat Energumene once again but expect a few hearts in mouths before he powers up the hill.
16:10 Cross Country Chase
With the ground drying out, all the boxes are ticked for Tiger Roll to go out with a staggering sixth Cheltenham Festival. Gordon Elliott says he is ‘absolutely flying’ at home and he should take all the beating.
16:50 Grand Annual Handicap Chase
Embittered went off a short-price favourite for this race 12 months ago before falling. However, he has been given plenty of experience over fences last summer and he should be primed to run a big race off a mark of 1b lower.
Before Midnight brings all-important Cheltenham form to the table here and ran a cracking race to finish second to Funambule Sivola last time out. Definitely overpriced.
17:30 Champion Bumper
I was at Leopardstown when Facile Vega absolutely hacked up at the Dublin Racing Festival and remember thinking that horse won’t be beaten at Cheltenham. Here we are, five-week later tipping up a horse against him. However, American Mike is definitely overpriced given his form prior to Christmas.
The confidence of the Gordon Elliott team about this horse should not be underestimated, particularly given previous success with Envoi Allen. Jamie Codd on board is an added bonus and I expect a great battle up the hill between the top two in the market.
Cheltenham Day 2 Tips
- 13:30 Three Stripe Life w/o Sir Gerhard
- 14:10 Capodanno
- 14:50 Saint Felician, The Shunter
- 15:30 Shishkin
- 16:10 Tiger Roll
- 16:50 Embittered, Before Midnight
- 17:30 American Mike
Double: Tiger Roll & American Mike
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