Cheltenham Day 2 Selections
The 2022 Cheltenham Festival got off with a bang on Tuesday and the greatest show on turf continues on Wednesday with seven fantastic races for punters to enjoy. Here at Racing Tips, our racing editor has identified selections for all seven races on the Day 2 card, which includes reasoning and the main dangers to look out for.
Sir Gerhard (1.30 Cheltenham, Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle) 4/5
The Irish have taken seven of the last eight renewals of the Ballymore and that trend can be continued here courtesy of SIR GERHARD.
Last season’s Champion Bumper winner has landed both hurdles starts to date, backing up a Leopardstown maiden win when landing a Grade 1 at last month’s Dublin Racing Festival.
That produced an RPR figure of 152, which is head and shoulders above anything achieved by these rivals, and it’s, therefore, no shock to see Sir Gerhard trading at prohibitive odds. This looks like a modest renewal of the day 2 opener and it would be a big disappointment if Sir Gerhard was unable to brush this field aside.
Beacon Edge (2.10 Cheltenham, Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase) 14/1
Bravemansgame has done nothing but improve over fences yet it remains a lingering doubt that he was well held in the Ballymore last season and until he proves it at the track he looks worth opposing at the forecast prices. Ahoy Senor and Capodanno have jumping concerns so L’Homme Presse looks likeliest of those at the head of the market, albeit his stable is going through something of a cold spell at present.
In what looks like one of the more open renewals of the Brown Advisory, a chance can be taken on BEACON EDGE.
Noel Meade’s charge was arguably the best of these over hurdles, finishing fourth in the Stayers’ Hurdle at last season’s Festival.
He claimed Grade 1 honours in the Drinmore back in November and bounced back from a fall when runner-up to the reopposing Farouk D’alene at Navan last time. That Navan run came on desperate ground and Beacon Edge will be far more at home on this spring surface, so at healthy odds, he looks well worth chancing.
The Shunter (2.50 Cheltenham, Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle) 12/1
A typically competitive Coral Cup with owner JP McManus holding a strong hand, and it is his THE SHUNTER that is favoured.
The 2020 Greatwood Hurdle winner landed his connections a £100,000 bonus when landing the Paddy Power Plate Chase at the Festival last year, just a couple of weeks after taking the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso. That showed him to be equally adept over hurdles and fences, yet he finds himself on a lower hurdles rating than that of his chase mark and appears to have been campaigned this season with a big pot in mind.
Intermediate distances on good ground appear to be The Shunter’s optimum conditions, and connections have been quick to enlist the services of Mark Walsh for the ride this afternoon.
Shishkin (3.30 Cheltenham, Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase) 10/11
SHISHKIN prevailed in a Clarence House classic clash with Energumene last time, despite pecking on landing at one of his fences. Barring incident he should confirm that form and back at his favourite track looks difficult to oppose in his bid to land a third consecutive Festival race.
This has been the plan for Shishkin ever since he took the Arkle last spring, and jockey Nico de Boinville keeps the partnership intact.
Chacun Pour Soi failed to land a far weaker renewal of this race last year but with that course experience under his belt he could provide the selection with most to think about.
Tiger Roll (4.10 Cheltenham, Glenfarclas Chase) 7/4
Arguably the most popular horse in training, TIGER ROLL makes what could well prove to be the last race of his career in Wednesday’s Cross Country – a race that he has won in three of the last four seasons.
Those victories supplement Triumph and National Hunt Chase successes, putting Tiger Roll’s winning tally at the Cheltenham Festival to an impressive five.
Tiger Roll has shown little in two starts this season yet that can be almost expected now and back on some better ground at his favourite time of year expect a new Tiger Roll to appear at Prestbury Park.
Editeur Du Gite (4.50 Cheltenham, Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase) 14/1
A typically competitive renewal of the Grand Annual is in prospect here, but the horse in this with the profile of being one better than a handicapper is EDITEUR DU GITE.
This Saddex gelding has now won his last four completed starts, being last seen running out a 4l winner of a competitive handicap chase over the new course here in December.
Freshened up since then, connections of this bold front runner had been leaning towards a run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase ahead of this prize, which seems to show the regard in which Editeur Du Gite is held, and whilst a mark of 153 is no gimmie his price of 14/1 looks just a shade too big.
Facile Vega (5.30 Cheltenham, Weatherbys Champion Bumper) 13/8
There have been some big reputations born with victory in the Champion Bumper, but in the case of FACILE VEGA, he already arrives with plenty of noise surrounding him.
Just the second foal out of the exceptional six-time Festival winner Quevega, this gelding announced himself on the scene with a facile Leopardstown Boxing Day success.
That was bettered by a remarkable showing at the Dublin Racing Festival, where Facile Vega powered clear to score by 12l in a field full of last time out winners.
This looked the obvious port of call for Facile Vega on the back of that success, and he looks the number one string for trainer Willie Mullins, who has landed this on no less than eleven occasions.