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Cheltenham day 2 tips: The best bets for Wednesday at the Festival

| 14.03.2023

Cheltenham Day 2 tips

The Cheltenham Festival is under way and after day one there is hardly time to draw breath as we take a look through the Cheltenham betting and search for a winner of every single race on day two of the Prestbury Park showpiece. 

The highlight of the second day is the Queen Mother Champion Chase and three other Grade One prizes will be handed out on day two, while the handicap action is headlined by the ultra-competitive Coral Cup as we pick out some Cheltenham day 2 tips.

1.30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 

Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the opener to day two – saddling four – and could win this red-hot contest for the fourth time in the last 10 years with IMPAIRE ET PASSE.

The five-year-old has been the talking horse of the pre-Festival preview circuit and is getting rave reviews from those inside Closutton. It is not all bluff and bluster from the talking heads, though, as the evidence on track also makes a compelling case.

Arriving on the back of a victory in France he made a smooth introduction to life with Mullins when an 18-length winner at Naas in November and was immediately thrust into Group Two company for the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle – winning that by a comfortable six and a half lengths.

Mullins often runs his best novice in that contest, and it would be no surprise if we’re about to witness a contender for next year’s Champion Hurdle striding out at Prestbury Park.

2.10 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase 

It is very difficult to get away from the unbeaten GERRI COLOMBE – especially now the rain has come – and he could give Gordon Elliott his first victory in this race.

Soft ground has proven crucial to the talented seven-year-old so far in his career. The manner in which he won the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown over an inadequate trip and in conditions quicker than ideal, suggests there could be bundles of improvement to come now upped in distance and given his optimum under foot.

It is a big day in the saddle for young Jordan Gainford who has struck up a good relationship with the son of Saddler Maker but he is more than up to the task and already has a Festival victory on his CV.

Dan Skelton’s Galia Des Liteuax makes appeal in opposition, but Gerri Colombe could be returning for the Gold Cup in 12 months’ time and simply cannot be ignored.

2.50 Coral Cup  

An almost impossible puzzle to solve, but the answer may be CAPTAIN CONBY, who can ensure the prize goes to Ireland for a third straight year.

Eamon Sheehy’s consistent operator has been unlucky not to hit the target this season with his runs in defeat looking rock-solid form in the subsequent months.

The fact he hasn’t won yet this term could actually prove a blessing in disguise here, and although he has not been missed by the UK handicapper who has taxed him with a mark 6lb higher than his Irish figure, he could still have enough in hand off a rating of 143 to make his presence felt.

Coral Cup: All you need to know

3.30 Queen Mother Champion Chase 

Defending champion Energumene and last year’s Arkle hero Edwardstone are disputing favouritism for the day two feature and their respective positions at the top of the market are highly justified.

However, it is proving difficult to definitively side one way or the other and with that in mind, it may be worth taking a swing at NUBE NEGRA, who is overpriced for his achievements over this course and distance and could have a big run in him.

He was somewhat unlucky when second in this behind Put The Kettle on in 2021 and has twice won the Shloer Chase over course and distance in both 2021 and 2022.

Good ground is preferential for Dan Skelton’s charge, but if matters don’t get too testing, he is more than capable of giving a solid account.

At his best when fresh, he has been primed to the minute for this big day by his handler and could be one swimming under the radar.

4.10 Glenfarclas Chase 

Delta Work played the role of pantomime villain when denying Tiger Roll the fairytale swansong when winning this 12 months ago and could take some stopping judged on his third here on Trials Day when conceding heaps of weight to rivals who will now reoppose off level weights.

However, Gordon Elliott has made a habit of using this race to revitalise chasers who have lost their way and therefore Delta Work’s biggest danger could prove to be stablemate GALVIN.

Both are following the Cullentra House handler’s tried and tested path to the Grand National, but it is easy to forget that Galvin finished fourth in the Gold Cup only last year, and if he takes to this unique challenge, could put his slightly younger legs to good use.

4.50 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual

When a horse arrives at Cheltenham with a string of ‘ones’ next to its name it often pays to take serious attention and with that in mind FINAL ORDERS can’t go unbacked in this two-mile handicap chase.

He has looked to have plenty left in the tank when racking up five straight victories over fences this term and his latest success off a mark of 140 at the Dublin Racing Festival was one of real authority.

The seven-year-old is 10lb higher here, but trainer Gavin Cromwell knows how to ready one for the Festival and has assembled a small but select squad for this meeting.

The fact he was considering the Arkle for Final Orders suggests he is held in the highest regard by those at Cromwell’s Danestown base and he is fancied to extend his winning thread at a fair price.

5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper

It looks business as usual in the finale to day two with Willie Mullins responsible for 10 of the 24 heading to post.

It’s For Me makes plenty of appeal judged on his taking victory at Navan on rules debut, but it is noteworthy that Patrick Mullins has plumped for Leopardstown runner-up FACT TO FILE and he is backed to reverse Dublin Racing Festival form with John Kiely’s A Dream To Share as the last of our Cheltenham day 2 tips.

A Dream To Share is likeable in his own right, but it was his Flat speed that sent him to the front last time and there is a fair chance that will be blunted by the stamina-sapping finish up the Cheltenham hill.

In contrast Fact To File already has a win over two and a half miles to his name and his stamina is assured.

If his jockey is able to use those strengths in a race that is often run at a hot pace, then this strapping six-year-old could be putting his best attributes to good use in the closing stages.

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Adam Morgan