After a winner and three places on what was a day that we deserved more from on Tuesday, the Cheltenham Festival continues on Wednesday with the feature race being the Champion Chase. We have previewed that contest elsewhere on the site but once again a top drawer undercard has been put together at Prestbury Park and we are getting stuck into it.
There are six support races for the Champion Chase and we have picked out bets in four of them at various stakes and prices, as we look to build on a profitable first day of the Festival.
Bet £20 on the first race of the opening day of Cheltenham with Betfair and get a £20 FREE BET! Click the image below to bet. All customers! T&Cs apply. 18+|Gamble Aware
1.30 Cheltenham: Ballymore Novices Hurdle
The opener on Day 2 sees 7 race unbeaten Envoi D’Allen put his superstar reputation on the line in the Ballymore over 2 miles 5 furlongs. His unbeaten run includes the Bumper here 12 months ago & 3 hurdles runs since. He’s only once gone beyond 2 miles, winning easily, but this track and the quality of opposition will test his staying credentials. At the prices, I’d prefer to oppose him.
The market suggests that Sporting John is the closest of his 11 rivals and he does have bags of potential having been unbeaten in 3 races but he’s another too short in the betting. The Big Getaway has only raced twice, winning last time out but doesn’t look the most fluent hurdler.
Instead, I prefer the chances of the other with only 2 runs to his name, The Big Breakaway. An expensive purchase at £360,000, both trainer and jockey think the world of him. He’s won both his starts as easy as you like and, unlike some, he’s a guaranteed stayer. Despite his inexperience, he hurdles well and looks a straightforward sort. He has massive potential and I’m really sweet on his chances.
Of the others, Longhouse Poet who was 7 lengths behind Envoi D’Allen 2 starts ago, is the most likely to run into a place.
Back The Big Breakaway (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-3)
2.50 Cheltenham: Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
It’s time for the lucky pin as 26 runners contest the Coral Cup, the annual 2 mile 5 furlong cavalry charge. 6 of the last 10 winners have started at 16/1 or bigger with only 1 going off in single figures. The angle here is to look at a horse with experience that remains unexposed over hurdles in a bid to protect its mark. This leaves us with 2 bets.
Willie Mullins saddles 7 and the first bet is one of his in Bachasson. He has a good win record over the smaller obstacles, winning 50% of his 10 starts. Sandwiched in between was a chase campaign and since being returned to hurdles, he’s beat Darasso who ran in the Champion Hurdle on Day 1. That was over 15 months ago and, after disappointing next time out, he was found to have a breathing problem which kept him off track for a year. His comeback run was full of promise, going as well as any in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle before fading into 3rd late in. Stripping fitter here, he should turn the tables on the winner Cracking Smart as he’s also 5lbs better off. This is his first time in a handicap and I strongly suspect he’s been underestimated by the handicapper.
The second bet is similar in that he’s done a lot of racing over fences. Traffic Fluide has raced 21 times over fences since coming to Britain as opposed to once over hurdles. That was a novice hurdle 12 months ago which he won easily enough. His chase form is pretty good, rated 154, whilst he gets in here with a mark of just 142. If he’s as good over hurdles, this lightly raced type is another that could be well weighted.
PLACED at 33/1 – Back Bachasson (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 21.00 Paddy Power BOG (⅕ odds 1-7)
Back Traffic Fluide (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 29.00 Ladbrokes BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
Open up an 888sport account and bet £10 on the first race of any day of the Cheltenham Festival and get a £5 free bet on EVERY OTHER RACE on the card!! That’s £30 in free bets!! Click the image below to bet. New accounts only. Use code RACE888. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
4.50 Cheltenham: Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
As if one big handicap hurdle isn’t enough, here’s another but this time for the unexposed juveniles. At the time of writing they are going 8/1 the field which tells you how competitive this race is, and how much of a minefield it promises to be. Tronodor and Aramaz are vying for favouritism while Mick Pastor will be looking to win the race for Paul Nicholls, but will have to lug around top weight in order to do so.
The first bet is Repetitio from a small stable but with a big future. He won a handicap hurdle at this track last time out, beating older horses in the process. Previous to that, he ran Triumph Hurdle leading fancy Allmankind to 9 lengths, finishing 3rd in the process. He also finished in front of Mick Pastor that day who is half the price here and our selection is 5lb better off despite finishing over 30 lengths in front of the better fancied opponent. He likes the track and will stay & battle all the way to the line so he represents a good looking each way bet.
The second selection is one of 5 from the Gordon Elliott yard in Saint D’Oroux. It’s his price that attracts me especially judged on a facile big field hurdle victory last time out. Admittedly it wasn’t the best of races but he couldn’t have done it any better and looks potentially smart. It took him 4 starts to get off the mark but now he has, I feel he can go on to bigger and better things. 3 starts ago, he was 4th in a Grade 3, not far behind 2 more fancied Triumph Hurdle contenders and, with the improvement he’s shown, his price looks too big.
Back Repetitio (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 15.00 Betway BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
PLACED – Back Saint D’Oroux (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 21.00 Boylesports BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
Back it here:
5.30 Cheltenham: Champion Bumper
Yet another massive field, this time with 23 running in the Bumper, Appreciate It is a very warm order but I’m not for taking 2/1 at Cheltenham in a field of this size. That 2/1 shot is Appreciate It for Willie Mullins, winner of its last two starts and is the highest rated horse in the race. Better value lies elsewhere though.
Instead, I’ll side with his nearest market rival in Queens Brook but at a decent each way price. She won her point to point before being sold for £160,000. She then won her only bumper by over 20 lengths, only scooting clear just over a furlong out. Add to that the 2nd horse home was a further 12 lengths clear of 3rd, that’s looks like impressive form despite the fact it was raced on bottomless ground. His trainer has won 2 of the last 3 runnings of the race and this one could well make it 3 from 4.
I’ll also throw a dart at Adrimel at a much bigger price who has won both his bumpers in good fashion. The manner of his victories is hard to ignore, he won his first by over 25 lengths and, whilst only prevailing by less than 2 lengths on his next run, the pair came 20 lengths clear of 3rd. He could be anything and therefore I couldn’t leave him out of calculations.
PLACED – Back Queens Brook (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 Betfair Sportsbook BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
Back it here:
Back Adrimel (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 29.00 BetVictor BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)