Cheltenham day 2 tips: Picks from every race at the Festival
The Wednesday of the Festival is Ladies Day and the feature is the Champion Chase where Shishkin and Energumene will lock swords once again following their barnstormer at Ascot in January.
There are also three more Grade One prizes to be handed out, while the crowds that have made the pilgrimage to the Gloucestershire venue will be treated to Tiger Roll’s final appearance before retirement.
Here we pick out some Cheltenham day 2 tips, while we have also provided a further selection of options for all of the handicap action during the week.
This race has been won by some classy operators over the years and the best on show this time could be Sir Gerhard, who attempts to get day two off to a fine start for Ladbrokes ambassador Paul Townend.
The winner of last year’s Champion Bumper has looked the real deal over obstacles this season and the step up in trip should pose few problems – If anything, it will allow him more time to adjust his feet in order to dance over his hurdles with style.
He is a short price at 8/11 for glory here, but it seems foolish to look elsewhere for the first of our Cheltenham day 2 tips.
This race was a procession last year when Monkfish landed the spoils, but this year’s running looks set to be a fascinating clash between three of the best novices Britain has to offer.
Bravemansgame got the better of Ahoy Senor at Kempton over Christmas and will be many people’s idea of the winner, but we are siding with Venetia Williams’ sure-footed L’Homme Presse at 7/2 to strike at Cheltenham for the second time this season.
The ‘Dipper’ winner has looked a complete natural over fences with his aggressive front-foot style of racing and the step up to three miles could unlock further improvement, while avoiding a hiding to nothing in the Turners Novices’ Chase over shorter on Thursday.
As is standard for this 2m5f handicap, there is another ultra-competitive full field of 26 going to post and given Gordon Elliott’s record in the race, it may be wise to side with the lightly-raced Saint Felicien to oblige at 8/1 in the Cheltenham day 2 odds.
An eight-length winner at Auteuil in March last year, he was quickly snapped up by leading owners Robcour and Elliott and made an immediate impression for his new handler when beating the useful Slip Of The Tongue at Gowran in November.
He was quickly upped in class to compete in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas and lost little in defeat when second to the solid yardstick Darasso.
Elliott now switches the five-year-old son of Saint Des Saints to handicap company for just his fourth career start and he could prove a blot on the handicap off a mark of 149 with his best days undoubtedly ahead of him.
Shishkin is a warm favourite for the feature of day two, but we will side with Energumene and our Ladbrokes ambassador Townend to turn the tables on his foe on this occasion.
It could prove to be a fascinating tactical battle and if Townend is able to dictate the pace and kick for home swinging down the hill on the Old Course, then the bird could have flown by the time we reach the closing stages.
Everything will have to drop right for our Cheltenham day 2 tips pick, but at 10/3 it seems foolish to leave him on the subs bench for one of the most intriguing races of the whole week.
Tiger Roll is 13/8 for his fourth win in this cross-country contest and he is the obvious choice for the next of our Cheltenham day 2 tips.
It would bring the house down if he were to make his last visit to Prestbury Park a successful one and it is definitely a home fixture for the two-time Grand National winner, who has won five times at the Cheltenham Festival in the past.
Although failing to sparkle so far this term, this unique course brings out the best in him and he can bring the curtain down on his decorated career in style.
In an open renewal it could be worth siding with 25/1 shot Hansankey to catapult fledgling trainer Laura Morgan into the spotlight.
The Leicestershire handler is proving herself as a fine target trainer having landed plenty of gambles in the past few seasons and it is interesting that she is aiming her four-time winner at the biggest meeting around.
The six-year-old arrives on a three-race winning run having struck up a fine partnership with young jockey Lewis Dobb, who removes a valuable 7lb here, and the versatile performer has a fine chance of hitting the frame off a feather weight.
Day two concludes with two potential superstars facing off and we’ll side with Facile Vega to live up to the hype in his clash with Elliott’s unbeaten American Mike.
Although this is likely to be much tougher than his two Leopardstown romps, the 5/6 favourite can live up to the family name and follow in the footsteps of his dam Quevega, who carried these colours to victory six times at the Cheltenham Festival.