2019 Cheltenham Showcase Meeting tips – Race-by-race selections for day two of Cheltenham’s autumn feature

Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look ahead to Saturday’s racecard on day two of the Cheltenham Showcase Festival and gives his selections for all seven races on the card.

Saturday plays host to the second day of the Showcase Festival Meeting at Cheltenham, and following on from a cracking day one on Friday there are seven more cracking contests going to post.

The feature race of the day is the Randox Health Handicap Chase which gets underway as the third race of the afternoon, with tapes up at 3.10pm, and the best of the Saturday action from Cheltenham will be shown live as part of ITV Racing’s coverage.

2:00 – Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+) 3m1f ITV4

2:35 – Masterson Holdings Hurdle Cl2 (4yo) 2m½f

3:10 – Randox Health Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+) 2m

3:45 – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier) Cl2 (4yo+) 3m

4:20 – Randox Health Novices’ Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 3m

4:55 – Matchbook Best Value Betting Exchange Novices’ Chase Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4f

5:30 – Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl2 (4-6yo) 2m½f

Brian Healy looks through the second day racecard at Cheltenham where he gives his race-by-race selections for all seven contests on a fantastic day of jumps racing.

2:00 – Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+) 3m1f ITV4

A cracking contest to get the Cheltenham card underway, and THE YOUNG MASTER (9/1, Bet365) can make the most of his race-fitness having had a recent spin on the flat.

Neil Mulholland’s charge enjoyed a productive season last term, rolling back the years to collect wins at Chepstow and here before failing to fire in an attritional Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury. However, he quickly bounced back following a break to finish third back here in the Kim Muir Chase, and he found only Talkischeap too strong in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

The Echo Of Light gelding comes into this contest on the back of a run on the Kempton all-weather, and he remains well-handicapped on his best form so could well post a big effort stepping out here where he is a dual-winner and he has won two of his four starts at this distance.

Top amateur Sam Waley-Cohen is in the plate once again, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the pair combine for a big run.

The

The Young Master can make a winning return to Cheltenham

 

2:35 – Masterson Holdings Hurdle Cl2 (4yo) 2m½f

QUEL DESTIN (9/2, Bet365) was progressive over hurdles last term having arrived at Paul Nicholls’ yard from France, and the Muhtathir gelding can get back to winning ways here having had a recent spin on the flat at Bath to sharpen him up.

He racked up a five-timer last term, which included a Grade One win at Cheltenham in the Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle, and he also struck over this course and distance when beating the smart Cracker Factory in the Grade Two Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle during the November Festival meeting.

Also a Haydock winner back in February he wasn’t disgraced in finishing fifth in the Triumph Hurdle, and he looks to hold solid claims here having been sharpened up by his recent outing on the level.

Assuming he can continue his upward trend of progression then he could make a winning return to hurdling for a yard which has started the season off well.

3:10 – Randox Health Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+) 2m

KNOCKNANUSS (7/1, William Hill) could be worth chancing dropping back into handicap company to regain the winning thread, and Gary Moore’s charge wasn’t disgraced towards the end of last season taking in Graded races here and at Aintree where he finished fifth in both the Arkle Chase and the Maghull Chase.

The Beneficial gelding wasa faller on his chase debut at Plumpton but quickly showed a good level of ability over fences with back-to-back wins at Fakenham and Newbury prior to chasing home Master Dino back at Plumpton.

Not unfancied for the Irish Arkle, he was an early faller in that race, and while he has finished well-beaten in both subsequent outings, he ought to find this return to handicapping more suitable where he could have scope from his mark of 144.

He has gone well fresh in the past, winning on his stable debut back in May 2017 following a lengthy absence, and he could go well here on his reappearance.

Knocknanuss

Knocknanuss (left) can win the feature Randox Health Handicap Chase

 

3:45 – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier) Cl2 (4yo+) 3m

NEVERBEEN TO PARIS (9/1, William Hill) showed some progressive form last term for David Arbuthnot, winning twice with successes at Ludlow and Kempton, and now with Harry Whittington the Champs Elysees gelding can get back to winning ways here.

He rounded off his time with his previous handler by finishing fifth of seven runners and beaten around nine lengths behind Irish Roe at Aintree; but he arrives here sharpened up having gone close on his seasonal reappearance and debut for his new handler at Stratford earlier in the month where he was beaten less than one length behind Boreham Bill.

Raised 2lbs for that latest effort, he has Bryony Frost back in the saddle for this latest outing and if he can build on that recent reappearance effort then every chance he can make his presence felt here so he ought to be competitive.

4:20 – Randox Health Novices’ Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 3m

THE BUTCHER SAID (7/4,Bet365) showed plenty of progressive form over timber last term, winning four on the spin following his return to action where he finished runner-up at Market Rasen, and Olly Murphy’s charge can pick up where he left off.

The Robin Des Champs gelding has been galvanised by a wind operation, and he built on his reappearance to reel off wins at Huntingdon, Cartmel, Fontwell and Newton Abbot latterly where he ran out an easy ten lengths’ winner over Fleur Du Weld.

He wasn’t always foot-perfect in that contest, and he perhaps made harder work of landing long odds-on than ideal. But he could still have better to come, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him find another jolt of improvement, especially with this step up in trip likely to suit.

Adrian Heskin is again in the saddle having steered the lightly-raced six-year old to all four of his successes, and the pair can combine for further success with both jockey and trainer in good form.

4:55 – Matchbook Best Value Betting Exchange Novices’ Chase Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4f

SECRET INVESTOR (9/4, Ladbrokes) developed into a smart chaser towards the end of last season, and Paul Nicholls’ charge can carry on where he left off to rack up a hat-trick of wins.

A very smart hurdler, winning the Grade Two Persian War Hurdle last October, he found only Bags Groove too good when immediately tried at a similar level over fences on his chase debut, and he lost no caste in defeat subsequently at Warwick when bumping into Ok Corral.

He was disappointing next time out at Kempton, but quickly set the record straight with wins at Wincanton and Ayr, and the Kayf Tara gelding can continue his progression this term.

The highest rated in the field, he has run well when fresh in the past, and his Grade Two hurdles win last term at Chepstow came on his reappearance. If he turns out here in similar fettle, then he ought to go close here and he can press home his chasing experience to put these rivals to the sword.

Secret

Secret Investor can make a winning return to action

 

5:30 – Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl2 (4-6yo) 2m½f

THE NEWEST ONE (13/2, William Hill) could be worth chancing on his racecourse debut, and if Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge proves to have anything like the ability of The New One then the Oscar gelding could go close.

He hails from the same family as the multiple Grade One-winning hurdler who was a bumper winner on his own debut before taking high rank amongst the elite hurdlers at the peak of his powers; while his half-sister was also a bumper winner on debut so there is plenty of pedigree for him to follow.

The yard often does well with its’ bumper runners, and they have started off the season well so it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see him be well forward on his racecourse debut where he can give a good account.

2019 CHELTENHAM SHOWCASE FESTIVAL MEETING – DAY TWO SELECTIONS

2:00 – THE YOUNG MASTER (9/1, Bet365)

2:35 – QUEL DESTIN (9/2, Bet365)

3:10 – KNOCKNANUSS (7/1, William Hill)

3:45 – NEVERBEEN TO PARIS (9/1, William Hill)

4:20 – THE BUTCHER SAID (7/4,Bet365)

4:55 – SECRET INVESTOR (9/4, Ladbrokes)

5:30 – THE NEWEST ONE (13/2, William Hill)