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Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Day 2 Tips

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the highlight of day two of the Festival and this year’s renewal looks a cracker with the potential superstar Altior taking on the fallen giant, Douvan. Throw Min and Politologue into the mix and we could be set for a classic.

Queen Mother Champion Chase     ITV

Given his poor run in this race last year it is hard to fancy Douvan after such a long lay off, and provided Alitor is over the lameness that nearly caused him to miss the race he should be hard to beat.

MIN is the bigger threat. He was beaten fair and square by Altior when the two were first and second in the Supreme a few seasons back, but he may be able to close that gap over fences, especially with the ground in his favour. He looked really impressive last time out.

POLITOLOGUE looks the solid each-way option as it should be hard to keep him out of the frame. At least one of the big three in the market is likely to misfire and Sam Twiston-Davies can ride this horse quietly and pick up the pieces later on.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
 Min (win)3.30 Cheltenham4/1Betfair 
Politologue (ew)3.30 Cheltenham 14/1Betfair 

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle     ITV

The day starts with the Ballymore Novices Hurdle and with another hugely exacting talent in the shape of Samcro.

He’s been the talking horse in the build up to the meeting and it will be interesting to see how he goes in what looks a high quality renewal.

He doesn’t make much appeal as a betting proposition, given his cramped odds, and there is lots of each way value to get stuck into.

Noel Fehily and Tom George teamed up to win the opener yesterday and lightening can strike twice here as BLACK OP has a big chance of following suit. We tipped him when he was second at this track last time out and he would surely have won that day had he not clattered the last. He can also be ridden with a bit more patience today and, hopefully, compensation awaits.

Another home challenger, VISION DES FLOS, is also worth an interest as things really seemed to have clicked for this horse at last. A wind op may have triggered the improvement and he has always been highly regarded by the Tizzards.

Of those at monster prices, don’t ignore SCARPETA. Willie Mullins’ horses have never been in better form and this ex flat recruit can improve markedly for the step up in trip given he stayed 2 miles on the level.

Another Mullins runner, Duc Des Genievres, is feared most of the rest.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Black Op (ew)1.30 Cheltenham10/1Bet365
Vision Des Flos (ew)1.30 Cheltenham16/1Bet365
Scarpeta (ew)1.30 Cheltenham33/1 Bet365

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

RSA Chase     ITV

The RSA that follows also looks well up to standard and with so much good course form, and strong chase form against more experienced performers like Our Duke, Presenting Percy is the one to beat. However, connections are concerned about the ground and with this race being gruelling for novices at the best of times a surprise could be on the cards.

One horse who will certainly relish a slog is BALLYOPTIC and he has enough good form in the book with the likes of Black Corton to suggest he is up to winning this. He looks to share many of the characteristics of Blaklion who won this for the yard in 2016.

ELEGANT ESCAPE is a similar sort with similar form and should also be backed. There are reasons why he too can reverse form with Black Corton and the fact that connections were considering running him in the four miler here yesterday suggests stamina is his forte.

If there is to be a big shock then Bonbon Au Miel or ALLYSSON MONTERG could be the ones to provide it. Having followed the career of the latter very closely will be having a few quid on him at a huge price as the ground can’t be soft enough for him.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Ballyoptic  (ew)2.10 Cheltenham16/1 Bet365
Elegant Escape (ew)2.10 Cheltenham10/1Bet365
Allysson Monterg  (ew)2.10 Cheltenham66/1Bet365

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Coral Cup     ITV

The first big handicap hurdle of the meeting is the Coral Cup and with 27 runners set to go to post the race sets an almost impossible puzzle for punters to solve, especially when you throw the ground conditions into the mix.

Willie Mullins’ second, third and sometimes even fourth strings are often worth noting in these big fields, and we are going to suggest backing Abbyssial, Bleu Berry and Voix Du Reve.  The interesting thing about all of them is that they look well handicapped on the pick of their past form, but are decent prices because some of their recent efforts haven’t been up to scratch.

Abbyssial was considered good enough by connections to contest the 2015 World Hurdle, Bleu Berry blew up on his first start for a long time last time out, but should be spot on for this, and Voix Du Reve fell at the last in the 2016 Fred Winter when looking the likely winner.

The unexposed As You Were is also worth a look as his connections can ready one for a big day.

Red Indian, Springtown Lake and Topofthegame were also on a lengthy shortlist.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Abbyssial (ew)2.50 Cheltenham 33/1 Bet365
Bleu Berry (ew)2.50 Cheltenham25/1 Bet365
 Voix Du Reve (ew)2.50 Cheltenham16/1 Bet365
As You Were (ew)2.50 Cheltenham 22/1Bet365

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Cross Country Chase     ITV

The Cross Country Chase benefits from the presence of the high class The Last Samuri in the line-up.   He is well treated by race conditions if he takes to the fences.

Felix De Giles probably had the pick of the French raiders and we think he has chosen right in opting to pilot Urgent De Gregaine, whilst Hurricane Darwin has the same connections as As You Were and should be supported.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
The Last Samuri  (ew)4.10 Cheltenham 13/2 Bet365
Urgent De Gregaine (ew)4.10 Cheltenham 18/1Bet365
Hurricane Darwin (ew)4.10 Cheltenham 28/1 Bet365

 

All odds quoted are subject to change

Our tips in the later races are:

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
 The King Of May (ew)4.50 Cheltenham12/1Ladbrokes
  Brave Dancing (ew)4.50 Cheltenham40/1Ladbrokes 
  Casa Tall (ew)4.50 Cheltenham33/1Ladbrokes  
 Carefully Selected (ew)5.30 Cheltenham10/1 Bet365
 Know The Score (ew)5.30 Cheltenham 20/1 Bet365
  Crooks Peak (ew)5.30 Cheltenham25/1William Hill

 

All odds quoted are subject to change