Hi there and welcome to our Day Two review,
It was another decent day for us with a profit of 7.7 points which brings our festival tally to almost 17 points which is a great place to be with 2 days to go. Today is particularly tricky so we're not counting our chickens but hopefully, we can dodge any potential bullets and keep the momentum going.
We kicked off with Battleoverdoyen in the Ballymore and it's no understatement to say he was very disappointing. Strongly fancied to get Gordon Elliot off the mark he never travelled and was on and off the bridle up the back and came under strong pressure coming down the hill and was ultimately pulled up before the last
We weren't long out of the winner's enclosure as Topofthegame landed a thrilling RSA that also looks to be
Altior went off the prohibitive 4/11 fav for the Champion Chase and although he didn't hit a flat spot like last year, he also jumped straight as a die for most of the race. However odds-on backers must have had their hearts in their mouths as both Politologue and Sceau Royal looked massive dangers at the last and Altior traded at evens on the exchanges. But the hill brought the best out of him last year and it was the same story again as he drew away from them bit by bit and was ultimately well on top at the line. Connections are talking about stepping him up in trip next year and he is now the ante-post favourite for
Tiger Roll is a true Cheltenham legend and looks better than ever as he simply hosed up to land his second Cross Country chase and his 4th festival race in total. He seems to have been around so long it's hard to believe he is still only 9. Oh and he won the small matter of the Grand National as well last year and looks as though he looks like he will start a very hot favourite at Aintree in just over 3 weeks time and the bookies are already running scared as he's quoted at 6/1 biggest price. He'd also be interesting for next years Gold Cup if he was entered unfortunately I can't see that happening.
Next was the Fred Winter that looked very competitive on paper but that wasn't the case on the track with Band of Outlaws proving to be a big blot on the handicap and he looks well up to graded class. JJ Slevin always looked confident and although he looked in a bit of trouble when squeezed up in between the last two it was a mark of how much horse he felt he had underneath him as he reigned him back, switched him to the inside and quickened away from them up the hill. He may well turn up in the juvenile Grade 1 at Aintree and his success underpins the claims of stablemate Sir Erec who is the hot favourite for tomorrow's Triumph.
Finally came the Champion Bumper and the long-term ante-post favourite was initially usurped at top of the market by the Willie Mullins trained Blue Sari, but a late avalanche of money forced him from 7/2 to 2/1 fav. Rumoured to have cost Cheveley Park in the region of £400k and he is a point to point winner and now unbeaten in 4 bumpers and looks like he could go right to the top. He was ridden with great confidence by Jamie Codd who kept him wide an out of trouble and he always looked like he felt he was on the best horse in the race. Blue Sari came with a rattle to challenge half a furlong out but Envoi Allen stayed on well and won with something in hand. Always thought of as an embryonic staying chaser he is very exciting.
Back tomorrow with the Day 3 review...