Champ to live up to his name in the Ballymore?
Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival means sharp suits, fabulous frocks and dazzling dresses. Oh, and seven more mouthwatering races to get stuck right into.
Awesome Altior is the star turn in the Champion Chase, while Grand National favourite Tiger Roll goes in the Glenfarclas Chase.
Add in the Ballymore and a tip-top RSA Chase, and we’re all set for another cracking afternoon of action. Enjoy it all on ITV with the help of our Cheltenham Festival Tips.
1:30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – Champ (NAP)
Champ is one we’ve been keen on for a long time. Named after legendary jockey AP McCoy, Nicky Henderson’s star is looking for the five-timer after a spectacular season so far.
The seven-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength this term, following up a comfortable at Newbury in early December with a convincing victory in the Grade 1 Challow 28 days later.
He quickened well that day to win a competitive renewal and is capable of even better here going fresh under the guidance of Barry Geraghty.
2:10 RSA Chase – Delta Work
Make no mistake; this should be a three-way battle between Santini, Topofthegame and Delta Work. Our preference goes with the latter to come out on top for Gordon Elliott.
The Network gelding hasn’t put a hoof wrong since switching to bigger obstacles, landing back-to-back Grade 1 prizes over 2m 4f at Fairyhouse and 3m at Leopardstown in his last two starts.
He’s beaten some serious names in those runs, including long-time Arkle favourite Le Richebourg and Mortal. Elliott’s star has already won once at the Festival and Davy Russell should pilot him to another here.
2:50 Coral Cup – Cracking Smart (Lively Longshot)
Uradel looks strong at the top of the betting for the Coral Cup. But favourites don’t have a great record in this big-field handicap, which requires a bit of luck as well as stamina and pace.
That’s why we’re going for another Elliott horse in Cracking Smart. The seven-year-old ran well to finish third behind Tiger Roll on his second start back after a long lay-off.
The feeling is that he’s capable of further improvement, and with the weather god’s set to rule in his favour, we reckon Cracking Smart can get up and give Elliott his third win in nine years in the race.
3:30 Champion Chase – God’s Own (each-way)
There’s not much point in trying to take on awesome Altior. So it’s God’s Own who is taken to hit the frame in a contest where he has previous form figures of 453.
Tom George’s raider looks better than ever this term after winning the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup ahead of San Benedeto and Diego Du Charmil in November.
He followed that up with a runner-up berth behind the highly-rated Charbel in the Peterborough Chase. Based on that form and his history in the race, he looks the play on each-way terms.
4:10 Glenfarclas Chase – Tiger Roll
Tiger Roll surprised everyone to take the Bookmaker Boyne Hurdle down in trip at Navan last month. No one would be shocked if he landed this renewal for the second year in a row.
The Authorized gelding has proven time and again that he has what it takes to stay the mammoth trip, following up his win here last year with a Grand National success at Aintree.
It’s difficult to look beyond the 2019 National favourite again this time around, as he bids to become the third horse to win this 3m 6f slog on two separate occasions.
4:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap – Dogon (each-way)
Forget the form. You’re looking for a big-price selection here. Six of the last seven winners of the Fred Winter – now the Boodles – have gone off at 25/1 or longer.
That leads us to interesting French import Dogon. Paul Nicholls has won this race three times and will fancy his chances with the versatile outsider who has form on soft ground in France.
A tongue-tie may help the raider’s chances as he bids to improve on a promising run when third at Wincanton last time.
5:30 Champion Bumper – Envoi Allen (NB)
It’s not only Envoi Allen’s form which makes him an enticing prospect here. It’s his experience too. Only long-odds poke Some Detail has more runs under his belt than our selection.
That could be crucial in a rough-and-ready old race over 2m ½f, where nous and cleverness hold the key.
Jamie Codd’s mount is looking for a five-timer and should be able to get it after impressing in Grade 2 company last time out.
Click here for the latest Cheltenham Festival odds.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication
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