CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY 2 TIPS

Find out who our experts are tipping for day two of the Cheltenham Festival 2021

Cheltenham Tips Day 1 Tips Day 2 Tips Day 3 Tips Day 4 Tips

13:20 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

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RACING POST TIP

Bob Olinger

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The field for this year's Ballymore is much smaller than usual but there is no dip in the quality of the main form contenders. BOB OLINGER was nicely in command from a very talented yardstick when winning a Grade 1 at Naas two months ago and might be too strong for Leopardstown Grade 1 winner Gaillard Du Mesnil here. The other top-level winner in the line-up, Bravemansgame, also has a significant role to play.

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Bob Olinger

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Tom Segal

Bob Olinger

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Gavin Lynch

Gaillard Du Mesnil

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David Jennings

Bravemansgame

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Cheltenham Festival Free Bets

13:55 Festival Novices' Chase

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RACING POST TIP

Monkfish

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Some of these novice chasers are smart types who would hold every chance in any normal year, but MONKFISH is an exceptional talent and looks bombproof. The impressive RPR he recorded in the Flogas is already above the usual standard that's required to win this race, and he's still improving. The Big Breakaway may be the selection's closest pursuer, provided he jumps better than last time. Eklat De Rire and Sporting John are the other main contenders for runner-up honours behind the Mullins horse, who is well clear on ratings.

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Monkfish

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Tom Segal

The Big Breakaway

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David Jennings

The Big Breakaway

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14:30 Coral Cup Hurdle

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RACING POST TIP

Monte Cristo

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Nicky Henderson goes for a third consecutive win in this race and a fourth in eight years. He has a strong hand too, with MONTE CRISTO and Craigneiche having won in virtually runaway style last time out. They have been raised 12lb but are still in their infancy as handicap hurdlers with him and look open to further major improvement. Preference is for Monte Cristo. The best of the Irish looks to be Henderson's former charge Grand Roi, for whom the move back up in trip holds serious interest, and he may be the chief danger. Koshari is not the cleverest jumper but he looks very competitive with a clear round, which could also be the case with his very unexposed stablemate Dysart Diamond. The Betfair Hurdle sixth Guard Your Dreams going beyond 2m for the first time completes the shortlist.

Tom Segal

Sneaky Getaway

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Tom Segal

Thomas Darby

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Paul Kealy

Shakem Up'Arry

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Paul Kealy

Dysart Diamond

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Shang Tang

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Tom Segal

Botox Has

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Gavin Lynch

Grand Roi

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15:05 Champion Chase

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RACING POST TIP

Nube Negra

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Provided he takes to this course, Chacun Pour Soi has a good chance of giving Willie Mullins a belated first success in the Champion Chase. It may be clutching at straws but the unknown factor of Cheltenham is one reason to oppose him at short odds and look for an each-way alternative. NUBE NEGRA fits the bill and Put The Kettle On is another to consider seriously. Admirable grey Politologue has a good rating but he was left with little opposition in this contest 12 months ago, while First Flow is progressive but may be disadvantaged by drying ground. It would be remiss not to mention notable absentee Altior, who unfortunately has again been forced to miss this race due to a late setback.

Tom Segal

Nube Negra

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Paul Kealy

Rouge Vif

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myracing

Put The Kettle On

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15:40 Cross Country Chase

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RACING POST TIP

Hogan's Height

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Easysland bolted up in this race last year and has strong claims even on his below-par fourth in a C&D handicap in November, when good ground may not have suited. However, this is his first run since and he tends to make the odd mistake, so there is uneasiness about backing him at a short price. 2018 and 2019 winner Tiger Roll needs to prove he remains the force of old and the same applies to former class acts Alpha Des Obeaux and Balko Des Flos. Therefore the most attractive wager is an each-way bet on HOGAN'S HEIGHT, who excelled over Aintree's National fences when winning the Grand Sefton last season and could relish this unique test. Easysland is the obvious threat, with December's C&D winner Some Neck next on the list.

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Some Neck

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David Jennings

Tiger Roll

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16:15 Grand Annual Chase

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RACING POST TIP

Embittered

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This can go to EMBITTERED (nap) who ran such an excellent race in the County Hurdle here last March and is likely to find this type of race more suitable after showing promise against some high-flying novice chasers in Ireland. Sky Pirate has gained impressive wins in his two handicap chases at this trip, against Ibleo here and Amoola Gold at Warwick, and he looks the main danger now that he is back in a handicap. Last year's winner Chosen Mate looked to be running into form on his latest run over this trip in January and is preferred of the remainder, though Zanza looked highly promising earlier in the season.

Tom Segal

On The Slopes

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Paul Kealy

On The Slopes

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Paul Kealy

Chosen Mate

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Amoola Gold

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Tom Segal

Zanza

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16:50 Champion Bumper

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RACING POST TIP

Sir Gerhard

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Irish stables have won 21 of the 28 runnings of this and, also responsible for the first two home in the last four renewals, their dominance is hard to resist. Willie Mullins alone has won ten and he's sitting pretty again with Kilcruit and new recruit SIR GERHARD, who is a recent arrival from Gordon Elliott's. Kilcruit was catapulted to favouritism after breezing home without a care in the world at Leopardstown, beating the runner-up by over double the distance that Sir Gerhard did at Navan. However, Sir Gerhard has looked a bit special himself, despite his pedigree strongly suggesting that typical midwinter ground did him no favours. He can provide his owners with a third successive victory in the race. If there is one to challenge Team Mullins it could be Three Stripe Life, while Elle Est Belle looks the best of the British.

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Wonderwall

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Gavin Lynch

Kilcruit

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Cheltenham Festival Wednesday Preview

Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

17/03 13:20

Irish trainers have dominated this 2m5f Grade 1 for novice hurdlers, with seven victories in the last ten years. Willie Mullins, the leading trainer in the race's history with four victories, provided two of those wins with Faugheen (2014) and Yorkhill (2016), while Gordon Elliott has been successful in two of the last three runnings with Samcro (2018) and Envoi Allen (2020). Six-year-olds have excelled with nine of the winners in the last ten years coming from that age group (five-year-old The New One was the odd one out in 2013). Proven ability to stay further than two miles has been imperative with the last ten winners having won over at least 2m4f beforehand. During that time, the winners have had an adjusted Racing Post Rating of at least 152. Four of the last ten favourites have obliged (Simonsig 2012, Faugheen 2014, Samcro 2018 and Envoi Allen 2020) and in that period only Willoughby Court’s SP (14-1 in 2017) was bigger than 8-1. Some legends of jump racing have been successful in the race, including Istabraq (1997), Hardy Eustace (2003), The New One (2013) and Faugheen (2014).

Festival Novices' Chase

17/03 13:55

Last year's winner Champ broke a significant trend as he had gone into the race on the back of a fall in the Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham, whereas the previous nine winners had recorded a top-three finish the time before. Achieving a high level of a form is a key requirement - all ten previous winners had contested a Graded chase and nine of them had an adjusted Racing Post Rating of 160. The race provides a stern test of a novice chaser and past experience is crucial, with nine of the past ten winners having had six to 12 starts over hurdles and fences. Champ was trainer Nicky Henderson's fourth success in the race - an achievement matched by Willie Mullins - and third in the last ten years following Bobs Worth (2012) and Might Bite (2017). The Festival Novices' Chase has an excellent track record of producing top staying chasers, including future Gold Cup winners. Since the turn of the century, three Festival Novices' Chase winners - Denman (2007), Bobs Worth (2012) and Lord Windermere (2013) - went on to win jump racing's most coveted prize the following year.

Coral Cup Hurdle

17/03 14:30

The Coral Cup has a reputation for being one of the trickiest races for punters to solve over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival. A big-field handicap hurdle over 2m5f, the race attracts plenty of gambles come the day, but big-priced winners are not uncommon as evidenced by the victories of Medinas (33-1) in 2013 and William Henry (28-1) in 2019. Last year's winner Dame De Compagnie was the only winning favourite in the last ten runnings after providing a record fourth win in the race for Nicky Henderson, previously successful with Spirit River (2010), Whisper (2014) and William Henry (2019). The ideal type in recent years has been an unexposed horse, having had no more than nine hurdle runs, and arriving at the festival after a bit of a break, as nine of the past ten winners had not run for at least 32 days. Seven of the last ten winners have been aged five to seven.

Champion Chase

17/03 15:05

There are few finer sights in jump racing than the top two-mile chasers jumping at speed and hurtling around Cheltenham's Old course on the second day of the festival. The Champion Chase is one of the most prestigious races of the season and has been won by some of jump racing's most celebrated stars. Even since the turn of the century, the names of past winners such as Moscow Flyer, Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre and Altior send a shiver down the spine. The cream often rises to the top with four winning favourites and just two double-figure winners - Sizing Europe (10-1) in 2011 and Special Tiara (11-1) in 2017 - in the last ten years. During that time, trainer Nicky Henderson has dominated day two highlight with five victories, courtesy of Finian's Rainbow (2012), Sprinter Sacre (2012, 2016) and Altior (2018, 2019). You need a high-class performer on your side as all ten past winners had a Racing Post Ratings of 170 or above and nine had previously won at least one Grade 1. The Tingle Creek has always been a key trial for the Champion Chase and in the last decade Sprinter Sacre (2013), Sire de Grugy (2014), Dodging Bullets (2015) and Altior (2019) claimed Cheltenham glory having won the Sandown Grade 1 earlier in the season.

Cross Country Chase

17/03 15:40

The 3m6f Cross Country Chase offers something a bit different to festival week, with the runners negotiating 32 obstacles, including banks, ditches, hedges - and even a pair of fences called 'the cheese wedges'. Although it is a unique test of a horse's capabilities, the ability to stay the marathon trip is vital, with each of the last ten winners having proved their stamina with victories over 3m or further. Seven of the last ten winners were trained in Ireland, but going even further back that trend is stronger with banks king Enda Bolger dominating the first few years of a race established in 2005. Previous experience is crucial with six of the last ten winners having won or placed in a cross country race at Cheltenham or Punchestown. Balthazar King (2012, 2014) and Tiger Roll (2018, 2019) managed repeat victories in the last decade, while Garde Champetre did likewise in 2008 and 2009.

Grand Annual Chase

17/03 16:15

The Grand Annual, one of the oldest races on the jumps calendar having been established in 1834, finds itself in another new slot this year. Having been switched from the last race of the meeting to the penultimate one in 2019, it has been brought forward to day two in a schedule shake-up which sees the introduction of a mares' novice chase at the expense of the Listed novice handicap chase. A tough and strongly-contested race over an extended two miles, the maximum field was reduced from 24 to 20 by the BHA in 2019 for safety reasons. Every one of the last ten winners was proven at the trip and nine of them were no older than nine. Interestingly, seven of the last ten winners had not won that season, so finding a horse ready to peak on the day rather than concentrating on form figures has paid off in the recent past.

Champion Bumper

17/03 16:50

The Champion Bumper has become a race trainer Willie Mullins has made his own as last year's victory with Ferny Hollow was the trainer's tenth in a race first run in 1992. Mullins is the first place to start as he frequently runs more than one contender and has had plenty of near-misses. As was the case last year, the market doesn't always get it right. In fact, Mullins' last four winners have been returned at 11-1, 25-1, 25-1 and 16-1. If it's not Mullins, it's usually one of his Irish counterparts and the prize has gone to Ireland in seven of the last ten runnings. A race with strong trends, the last ten winners had been successful last time out and were aged five or six. The 2m½f contest is the most prestigious bumper on the calendar and has produced future stars such as Florida Pearl, Cue Card, Champagne Fever and Envoi Allen.