Cheltenham Day 2 Tips – Queen Mother Champion Chase & Full Betting Preview
A touch of stardust descends on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival with Tiger Roll out to further rubber-stamp his place among the all-time greats with a third victory in the Cross Country Chase, while Altior’s absence opens up the field for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in the day’s feature race.
Queen Mother Champion Chase (15:30)
The absence of Altior means all eyes will be on Defi Du Seuil (1/1) to capitalise by claiming a maiden Queen Mother Champion Chase. Philip Hobbs’ seven-year-old looks in irresistible form heading into this one after sweeping away the opposition in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January and has previous at Cheltenham after his classy run to win last year’s JLT Novices’ Chase.
With Chacun Pour Soi a non-runner, Politologue (14/1) could feature prominently in the places. Paul Nicholls’ livewire often saves his best form for Prestbury Park – finishing runner-up in ths race in 2019.
Cheltenham Day 2 Tips – Full Betting Preview
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Race (13:30)
With Tiger Roll expected to hog the headlines on Day 2, Envoi Allen (4/5) could be the latest horse to become a multiple Cheltenham champion as he bids put the Ballymore alongside last year’s breakthrough Champion Bumper title. Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old hasn’t looked back from that point. Hassle-free wins at Down Royal, Fairyhouse and Naas suggest he’s in prime condition for another Cheltenham career-best.
WIlie Mullins will be hoping The Big Getaway (7/1) travels well as he makes his debut here after a bright winter across the Irish Sea that included a notable 17-length victory in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle at Naas back in January.
Envoi Allen’s stablemate Easywork (22/1) could offer the each-way value after three wins from four in Ireland, although a less-than-assured run at Leopardstown means he’ll have to rediscover his best form here.
RSA Insurance Novices’ Steeple Chase (14:10)
Champ (7/2) didn’t quite live up to his own billing last year as he finished a comfortable second to CIty Island in the Ballymore, but he’s back for a second swing at Cheltenham glory this time around in the RSA. Aside from an uncharacteristic fall when leading in an outing here in January, recent form suggests he’s a heavyweight contender – provided he can make the step up to 3m 1/2f.
Henry De Bromhead will be pinning his hopes on Minella Indo (14/5) who looks to be one of the trainer’s strongest cards at this year’s festival. The seven-year-old was a shock winner of last year’s Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham but has kicked on since then, warming up nicely for this one with fluent runs at Gowran Park and Navan.
Slate House (14/1) could sneak into the reckoning if any of the favourites fade, with his strong tendency to blow hot and cold giving him intriguing each-way potential. Wins at Kempton and Huntingdon in December make him worth a second look.
Coral Cup (14:50)
Protektorat (12/1) looks in good shape to state a claim here. Co-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, he’s impressed twice around this course in recent months, including a New Year’s Day win in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson secured a first Coral Cup in five years in 2019, but the wait to add to that tally might be a lot shorter this time around if Birchdale (12/1) can find his best form around Prestbury Park on Wednesday. The six-year-old looks ready to shine after disappointing in last season’s Albert Bartlett and should fare better over the shorter distance provided by this outing.
If Birchdale’s bid hits the rocks, Stratum (11/1) could provide some value after putting a marker down with a signature win over a similar distance in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October.
Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase (16:10)
Cheltenham welcomes back one of its true greats as defending two-time Cross Country champion Tiger Roll (4/5) returns for a third tilt at this race ahead of a likely third defence of the Grand National in April. Gordon Elliott’s superstar made a low-key return to action with a fifth place finish in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan in February, but he’ll undoubtedly raise his game here.
Unpredictable is the watchword when it comes to Might Bite (12/1) – but that could make him the one to watch in this race. The 2017 King George VI winner rediscovered some of his old magic with a third-place finish in the Denman Chase at Newbury in February which suggests he could have one last hurrah in him if conditions fall for him here.
If Tiger tears into the opposition, Josies Orders (33/1) could be worth an each-way look. Enda Bolger’s 12-year-old hasn’t posted his best form in 2020 but relishes the Cheltenham Roar, finishing second behind Tiger Roll last March.
Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (16:50)
Aramax (5/1) could be all set for his breakthrough moment at Cheltenham in the Fred Winter after a flying start to 2020. A decisive eight-length win in a Novice Hurdle at Naas in February sets him up perfectly for this one, and he won comfortably over this distance at Vittel last July in just his second outing.
The rapidly-improving Thyme White (10/1) could inject some flavour into this race after a maiden win on UK soil at Musselburgh in the Scottish Triumph Hurdle. He’s yet to be tested over this slightly longer distance but has a proven record as a stayer in his hurdle outings to date.
Could Group Stage (16/1) spring a surprise and deliver a knockout performance in this race? Alan King’s four-year-old will have to raise his game to be among the places here after being edged out by Thyme White at Musselburgh, having previously landed an impressive win at Ludlow on his hurdles debut.
Weatherbys Champion Bumper (17:30)
Some stars of the future could emerge in Day 2’s final race. King George VI winners Florida Pearl and Cue Card both exploded onto the scene with wins in the Bumper – and Appreciate It (6/4) could be a worthy successor if he can convert his early promise to deliver a signature Cheltenham win.
Two notable wins at Leopardstown this season make him a worthy pre-race favourite, but Panic Attack (10/1) also has the potential to create havoc for David Pipe. She posted a stunning debut at Market Rasen in January, storming to a 10-length victory over The Getaway Star.
Dan Skelton’s Third Time Lucki (18/1) also has the credentials to be a first-time winner at Cheltenham after dominating the fields at Market Rasen and Huntingdon over the winter.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.