we're back with our review of day two of the festival and after leading the Prestbury Cup 2 - 1 after the first 3 races on day one it looked like we had done nothing but anger the Irish dragon and were on for an embarrassing drubbing as they took the last 4 races. And so it came to pass as they won day two in a canter by the score of 6 - 1 to give the Irish an aggregate lead of 11 - 3... a theme that would come back to haunt us on each of the last two days.
Although we started day 2 on a wave of euphoric stories about Rachel Blackmore and Honeysuckle winning the Champion Hurdle, day 2 saw my favourite narrative of the week when Heaven Help Us won a fiendishly competitive County Hurdle, and at an SP of 33/1 he was the joint-longest priced winner of the race.
Trainer Paul Hennessey is better known in the world of greyhound racing having won the English, Irish and Scottish greyhound derbies. He only has 3 horses in training and bred Heaven Help Us at home and raised him from being a foal. The winner of 5 of his 20 races was partnered by 7lb claimer Richard Condon... who amazingly was having his first ride at the Festival. He took it up from the start and made every post a winning post kicking clear as they came into the home straight and she just ran away from the field to win by nine lengths!
We had no luck with our selections with the only one to trouble the judge being Craignieche who was a distant second to the aforementioned Heaven Help Us. Bravemansgame was third to one of the horses to take out of the meeting: Bob Olinger in the Ballymore... a horse we may see line up in the Gold Cup in a couple of years time. Zanza can be excused as he was badly hampered by a faller and had to be pulled up but both Monte Cristo and Us and Them were ultimately disappointing.
Our ratings had 6 winners from the 7 races including Sky Pirate at a BSP of 20.0. Monkfish was less than impressive as a 1/4 favourite but is surely better than he showed. Put The Kettle showed real guts under Aiden Colemen to give our ante-post Yankee a 14/1 winner and you couldn't keep Rachel Blackmore out of the headlines as she rode a double on Bob Olinger and Sir Gerhard.
I'll be back in a couple of days with a look at day 3...
the team at Cleeve