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Cheltenham Festival 2023 – Day 2 Tips

Cheltenham Day 2 - Champion Chase

Written By Rich Mawer

Rich has been in horse racing since a small boy growing up in Yorkshire and heading to the Malton open days. At University Rich shared a house with a bookmakers son for 3 years, in that time he learned how to read form, course stats, use speed ratings and price up a card. In 1996 Rich went full-time with his betting, then with the advent of Betfair in 2002 Rich switched to the exchanges, learning to trade and lay horses.

Another great day ahead on Day 2 with the feature race, the Queen Mother Champion Chase looking set to be one of the most exciting races of this year’s festival. Again I will focus on the Grade 1 races today for my selections but also one I have followed into the Cross Country.


1:30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – 2m 5F

A longer trip for these novices than yesterday’s Supreme and a competitive renewal. Impaire Et Passe heads the market and he has certainly looked stylish in his two hurdles runs so far, the step up in trip should not present too much of a problem and the ground will be perfect for him, but he just lacks the experience of a couple of the others and this may find him out around here. Hermes Allen was really impressive in his Challow Hurdle win at Newbury on New Year’s Eve and his C&D win here in November in a similar race puts him right there for this race. However, I am going with GAELIC WARRIOR who has come on again since last season, when he was travelling like a train in the Fred Winter, only to get grabbed by Brazil at the line. He has won all three outings this season and looks set up for this today. 

SELECTION: GAELIC WARRIOR – 2pts to win at 11/2

Champion Chase 2013 - Sprinter Sacre

3:30 Queen Mother Champion Chase – 2m

A cracking renewal this year with a live hope for the home team in Alan King’s EDWARDSTONE who I backed last year in the Arkle and looked as good as ever when winning the Tingle Creek at Sandown at the start of December, he was unlucky to unseat Tom Cannon at Kempton in the Desert Orchid and only wnet down by a head to Editeur Du Gite in the Clarence House on the New Course here in January, literally headed at the line. Last year’s Champion Chase winner Eurgumene was nearly 7 lengths behind Edwardstone in the Clarence House Chase, so needs to put in a career best to beat him here. Editeur Du Gite is the obvious danger based on that race, but his perfromance in the Grand Annual last year on the Old Course when beaten back in 4th, does lead you to question whether he is quite as effective on this track. The other at a price, is Greaneteen of Paul Nicholls, who finished 9 lengths behind Edwardstone in the Tingle Creek but his win in the Haldon Gold Cup and the Celebration Chase at Sandown at the end of last season would certainly put him in the mix.

SELECTION: EDWARDSTONE – 2pts to win at 13/8

4:10 Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase) – 3m 6f

A race I love at the festival and one of my biggest wins came on Balthazar King in this in 2014. Gordon Elliott has made this his own over the past 6 years, winning it 5 times. I really fancy DELTA WORK to do it again for him this year and his prep has been ideal including a 3rd place over course and distance in the trial in January, despite running off top weight. The stable have another star in Galvin who is a real contender, and his 4th in the Gold Cup last year was no disgrace, but this is his first time over these fences and as we have seen before, they take some getting around and stamina will be key here. The other at prices is Snow Leopardess who would be a good each way bet at 25/1, she looked in top form when 2nd at Haydock in the Grand National Trial and has already got experience around here.

SELECTION: DELTA WORK – 2pts to win at 11/8

5:30 Champion Bumper – 2m

A wide open bumper this year and always a race that Willie Mullins targets with him winning 4 out of the last 5 races, and with no less than 10 of the 24 runners, he is going for it again this year. I am siding with FUN FUN FUN after her win by nearly 10 lengths at Leopardstown in a Grade 2 bumper, she was keeping on strongly at the line and could not have been any more impressive. A Dream To Share rightly heads the market with three wins from three runs, with a good win at Leopardstown also in a Grade 2 last time out. At a price Better Days Ahead could run a big race, after dispatching Chapeau De Soleil who had gone off the 4/6f in November at Fairyhouse.

SELECTION: FUN FUN FUN – 1pt each way at 8/1

Enjoy Day 2 of the festival and let me know how you get on with your other bets, and who your bets are for the rest of the week. Remember to check out my lay systems, which three up 3 winners on day 1.

Talk tomorrow and check back for my latest blog post then.

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