Once again we have partnered with the team at @tips4punters to bring you analysis and betting tips for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival in the UK. The T4P boys know their jumps races so we thank them for their efforts as we enjoy some late-night UK racing!
Race 1 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
Starting off Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. A field of 7 in this one. The Henry De Bromhead / Rachael Blackmore partnership could strike again today (after yesterday’s historic win with Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle) with Bob Olinger. His last start was a win in a Grade 1 race at Naas in Ireland. Back to back wins and could well win again but my pick in the race is the Willie Mullins trained GAILLARD DU MESNIL who was a recent winner of a Grade 1 race at Leopardstown, keeping on strongly to win by 5 lengths. In that race was another Mullins horse Stattler (who heads the betting for the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle on Friday). Another worthy of a mention is Bravemansgame for the home team, trained by Paul Nicholls. Won the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle back in December winning by 10 lengths. Could go very close.
Race 2 – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
I can not see past MONKFISH in this race who will be a BIG favourite to win today. Winner of the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle at last years Festival and a recent win in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown should set him up nicely for this. Would be disappointing for many if this one failed to score today.
Race 3 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
26 runners in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle with plenty in with a chance. CRAIGNEICHE is the pick, he’s up in the weights following a 7 length win in a good Grade 3 race at Ascot in January. His trainer Nicky Henderson has a fine record in this race winning it 4 times (2010, 2014, 2019 and 2020). For each way fans I really like the look of DYSART DIAMOND. Not so good in her previous race (was badly hampered) but was a winner the race before that over 2 miles.
Race 4 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
Irish trainer Willie Mullins looks set to win another big prize on St Patricks Day with CHACUN POUR SOI who will be a BIG favourite to win this. Was unable to take part in this race last year due to a last-minute issue (stone bruise) and looks set to make amends this year. Recent winner of the Grade 1 Dublin Chase at Leopardstown, winning by 8 lengths. Highly rated and will be hard to beat. 10 runners in this so looking at the each way option I like the look of FIRST FLOW trained by Kim Bailey. Beat the grey horse Politologue (who is a runner today) by 7 lengths in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January. Unbeaten in his last 6 races. An issue might be the ground as appears to prefer softer conditions. Cheltenham may well be much more dry come race day.
Race 5 – Glenfarclas Chase
The Cross Country race, for many the marmite race (you either love it or hate it). Easysland bids to win this race again after easily winning it last year. Grand National hero Tiger Roll was 2nd in the race last year. He has no Grand National this year but goes again in the race this year, although disappointing lately he may well go well again with blinkers returned. The pick for me is SOME NECK who is being looked at by some for each way money but I believe he can take this race under Richard Johnson. Winner of a Cross Country race at Cheltenham back in December and was 3rd on his Cross Country debut over in Ireland.
Race 6 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
19 runners in this years Grand Annual. Embittered, Zanza and Amoola Gold are all certainly worth mentioning for the win but I am looking at the each way angle in this race. So each way the pick is GLEN FORSA for trainer/ex footballer Mick Channon. Smart novice back in 2018/19, he’s lightly raced now days but with a recent wind op could run well at big odds.
Race 7 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1)
Last race of the day is the Champion Bumper (Flat race). This looks set to go to Willie Mullins either via Kilcruit or Sir Gerhard. Kilcruit was last seen winning a Grade 2 at Leopardstown impressively by 12 lengths but today he will have Sir Gerhard (who very recently joined Mullins from the Gordon Elliott yard) to deal with. Winner of 2 bumpers for Elliott he looks set to give Kilcruit a lot to think about. In this one though I am siding with KILCRUIT to get the better of his stablemate.