All you need to know ahead of day two at the Cheltenham Festival
Interested in the Cheltenham Festival? Here’s your handy guide to the second of four great days racing from the Cotswolds.
When is the big race?
The Grade 1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30) is the focal point of a fantastic seven-day card. It’s a unique test of both speed and jumping, and has been won by some of the sport’s true greats, including the legendary Sprinter Sacre, successful for Nicky Henderson in 2013 and 2016.
The champion trainer is responsible for this year’s red-hot favourite Altior, who some believe could turn out to be as good as his former stablemate.
Who are the protagonists?
Apart from Altior, who returned from a layoff to hack up in a three-runner Grade 2 at Newbury last month, there is the Willie Mullins-trained pair, Douvan and Min, both of whom are exceptionally high-class performers in their own right.
Ruby Walsh, who got back to winning Cheltenham action aboard Footpad in the Racing Post Arkle and Benie Des Dieux in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle yesterday, has the mount on Douvan, while Paul Townend partners Min.
How do I follow the action?
The first five races will be broadcast live on ITV, which will be on air from 1pm to 4.30pm, while the final two races will be on RUK or available through bet-to-view streams.
You can also get all the latest reports and news stories on the Racing Post website from our crack team of on-course reporters.
What will the ground be like?
As expected, the ground at Cheltenham on day one was very testing, with horses finishing tired.
Weeks and weeks of heavy rain plus several days of snow melting recently has resulted in conditions which are much softer than is usually the case for jump racing’s showcase meeting. Punters must look for horses who act well on heavy ground.
Anything else to note from the other races?
Gordon Elliott’s Samcro, who has been spoken of as a future star, bids to justify odds-on favouritism in the day’s opener, the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (1.30).
Another Irish challenge, Presenting Percy, heads the market for the Grade 1 RSA Chase (2.10), while there are two fiercely contested big-runner handicaps – the Coral Cup (2.50) and Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (4.50) – for punters to get their teeth into.
The Glenfarclas Chase (4.10), run over Cheltenham’s cross-country course, provides something totally different and never fails to produce its share of thrills and spills.
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