After a fair start, to put it mildly, in yesterday’s tipping, let’s hope we can get back on form today and start picking some decent Cheltenham day two tips for our loyal punters!
As ever, we’ve got all the odds for day two for the Cheltenham Festival live on site now, best of luck with your bets!
1.30 Cheltenham – Neptune Investment Management Novices´ Hurdle
Willie Mullins’ Faugheen will prove tough to beat in this, but at a price of 6/4 or so he is worth opposing on value grounds. He’s a horse that has struggled with his jumping and can be keen so his technique will come under the microscope today. Don’t get us wrong, this horse looks to hold any amount of ability, but there are enough question marks to take him on at that price.
With Royal Boy out leading the chasing pack are Red Sherlock, another Mullins horse, Rathvinden and Dessie Hughes’ Lieutenant Colonel. The first two mentioned clashed in January on heavy ground and both had tough races so with LIEUTENANT COLONEL comings in a fresher horse with a different form angle, and basically twice the price he’ll get the nod.
One look at his pedigree and it will tell you the son of Kayf Tara has been crying out for this step-up in trip. We also feel the better ground will improve him and he’s a good jumper. His form is looking quite strong considering he’s been running over the wrong trip and if he can improve he may cause a small shock. The one worry we have is his head carriage, it can be a little high. Maybe that’s through inexperience, but he’s a horse with plenty of ability so he’ll get the value call.
1.5pts each-way LIEUTENANT COLONEL @10/1
2.05 Cheltenham – RSA Chase
A race we’ve got down to Ballycasey, Carlingford Lough, Just A Par and Smad Place. Willie Mullins holds another leading contender in the grey Ballycasey, but he never struck us as an RSA type horse. This is a brutal examination of stamina and although Ballycasey’s pedigree suggests it will suit, he looks quite speedy to us and his schooling fall last week can’t be taken as a positive.
Carlingford Lough will put his experience to good use, but can be slow at one or two of his obstacles and that is a little worry on the quickest ground he’s encountered in a while. We put him up in the ante-post piece at 12/1 so the value appears gone.
Just A Par is too big a price at 33/1 and he’s another we advised an ante-post bet on so we’re happy to let that ride.
At the prices the one we want to be on is SMAD PLACE. Alan King has his string in good form at the moment and this classy grey has twice been placed at a Festival. He jumps really well, travels nicely and has a touch of class. He can hopefully run a big race.
1pt each-way SMAD PLACE @11/2
2.40 Cheltenham – Coral Cup
Just the 28 runners go to post for the Coral Cup so this should be easy! We won’t waste any time, the three we like are COTTON MILL, FAR WEST and CALCULATED RISK.
All three have experience around Cheltenham which is always a positive. Five-year-olds have a decent record in the race and that is a plus for Far West and Calculated Risk. Far West has yet to win over this trip, but it may well improve him.
Calculated Risk stepped-up to two-and-a-half for the first time last time out and scored nicely and comes into the race in form. The first mentioned, Cotton Mill, has some smart handicap form to his name and he should be capable of going close of this mark.
1pt each-way FAR WEST @20/1
1pt each-way COTTON MILL @25/1
1pt each-way CALCULATED RISK @33/1
3.20 Cheltenham – Queen Mother Champion Chase
The day’s highlight race and one of the most sought after prices in racing, the Queen Mother goes to post at 3.20. Arvika Ligeonniere may find this ground a bit too quick while the likes of Baily Green, Hinterland, Kid Cassidy and Wishful Thinking need to up their game.
The ones to beat are Captain Conan and Sire De Grugy and at the prices we’d like to be on the former given the course. The quickening ground may be now counting against Sire De Grugy too.
Of the bigger prices, Somersby and Special Tiara catch our eye. We put Special Tiara up at a much bigger price so we’re happy to watch him run at his current price. So it boils down to Captain Conan and the unreliable, but talented Somersby.
Given CAPTAIN CONAN is the better jumper, a younger horse and probably s bit more dependable we’ll side with him.
2pts each-way CAPTAIN CONAN @9/2
4.00 Cheltenham – Glenfarclas Handicap Chase
We’ve got this race down to Balthazar King, Big Shu and Star Neuville. The latter represents a trainer that does extremely well in this discipline, but we’re not sure about him seeing out the trip. Big Shu took this race last year, but now runs off an 11 pounds higher mark and meets a genuine cross-country horse in BALTHAZAR KING, who won this race two years ago. It’s a battle of previous champions and we fancy Balthazar King to come out on top, despite top-weight.
1pt each-way BALTHAZAR KING @11/2
4.40 Cheltenham – Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Twenty-four runners go to post for what looks another minefield race. There’s no point going in to any great detail with some of these as our original ‘short’ list had 11 runners on it. Again we’ll look for a bit of value against the favourites. Ivan Grozny, Dawalan and Goodwood Mirage all have question marks about them so we’re going to suggest a play on Gary Moore’s VIOLET DANCER. He’s a horse that likes good ground, but his last two efforts have come on going far too soft for him. He’s won at Sandown so the hill shouldn’t faze him. He has an each-way chance in an open race.
1pt each-way VIOLET DANCER @16/1
5.15 Cheltenham – Weatherbys Champion Bumper
We had this down to Black Hercules, Golantilla, Joshua Lane, Shaneshill and Value At Risk. It’s hard to oppose Willie Mullins runners here, but in terms of value, ironically, VALUE AT RISK gets the nod in an open race.
1pt each-way VALUE AT RISK @12/1
If these Cheltenham bets don’t work as as well as we hope they do for us, we’ve got the BetBright Kempton night to look forward to tonight! Fear Or Favour heavily tipped for success in the 8.15 at Kempton Park this evening.