Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips – Picks through the card on day two

A huge field is likely to contest the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at CheltenhamA huge field is likely to contest the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham

Brian Healy gives his Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips and best bets for every race on a top-class day two racecard.

The dust has settled on an exhilarating first day of racing at the Cheltenham Festival; but there’s no time to rest as day two loom large with another seven top-class races which includes another quartet of Grade One contests spearheaded by the Queen Mother Champion Chase which goes to post at 3.30pm as the fourth race of the day.

1:30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Baring Bingham) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5f
2:10 – RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m½f
2:50 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5f
3:30 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m
4:10 – Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m6f
4:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered As The Fred Winter) (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo) 2m½f
5:30 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race) (Grade 1) Cl1 (4-6yo) 2m½f

The ITV Racing cameras will be on hand again to cover the first five races of the Festival live, starting with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, and Ed Chamberlain and the team will have all their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis on the day’s action.

Brian Healy meanwhile looks over all seven races and gives his Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips and best bets for every race.

WEDNESDAY CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL TIPS AT A GLANCE

1:30 – ENVOI ALLEN (5/4, Bet365)
2:10 – COPPERHEAD (9/2, William Hill)
2:50 – CHAMPAGNE WELL (20/1, Ladbrokes)
3:30 – CHACUN POUR SOI (5/2, Unibet)
4:10 – TIGER ROLL (Evens, Paddy Power)
4:50 – NIGHT EDITION (18/1, William Hill)
5:30 – FERNY HOLLOW (12/1, Bet365)

1:30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Baring Bingham) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5f


ENVOI ALLEN has been a talking horse for this race for some considerable time now and the Muhtathir gelding can can justify his position at the head of the market with another success.

Gordon Elliott’s unbeaten star won last season’s Champion Bumper where he beat a field that included Blue Sari, Thyme Hill, Abacadabras and The Glancing Queen who have amassed eight wins between them since and he has gone on himself to win all three starts over hurdles.

Two have those wins have come in Grade Ones, latterly beating Elixir D’Ainay in the Lawlor’s Of Naas where he wasn ‘t extended in registgering a near four lengths’ victory. There’s plenty more under the hood on that evidence and he can continue to progress and cement his place as the season’s top novice.

He’s looked top class in his starts and there was talk of the Champion Hurdle before the decision was made to keep him to novice company. He ought to be hard to beat and every chance he can strike again here.

Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips. Envoi Allen can win the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips. Envoi Allen can win the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

2:10 – RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m½f


COPPERHEAD is improving at a rate of knots and Colin Tizzard’s charge can take another big step here having demolished his field in no uncertain fashion to claim the recent Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot.

The Sulamani gelding is 3-4 over fences, also winning the Mandarin Chase at Newbury before stepping into Graded company latest. The rise in class didn’t faze him on that occasion where he won easily although it is hard to quantify the form given both Pym and Sam Brown failed to deliver their true running.

However it is hard to crib the performance otherwise and despite a last-fence mistake he jumped soundly as was always travelling well. He’s worthy of a crack at this level and on the evidence he presented at Ascot latest there’s likely plenty more still to come.

This is obviously tougher as he takes another step up the chasing ladder into a Grade One; but he was seriously impressive when last seen and with the potential for better still he can make his presence felt.

2:50 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5f


CHAMPAGNE WELL could be well-treated on these terms having ran with plenty of promise in Graded company on his last trio of starts and Fergal O’Brien’s charge can give a good account here.

The Gold Well gelding finished sixth behind Champ on his final start last term in a Grade One at Aintree, and he has returned to action in excellent fettle where he won on his seasonal bow at this venue before registering a trio of runner-up efforts here and at Doncaster latest.

All three of those near misses came in Grade Two company against the likes of Thyme Hill, Redford Road and Ramses De Teillee. The form of his latest two starts here and at Doncaster have both been significantly franked and a mark of 141 switching to a handicap looks workable.

He’s won once over this distance and placed twice more from three starts over this course and it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a big run forthcoming for his local handler.

Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips. Fergal O'Brien's Champagne Well can win the Coral Cup.

Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips. Fergal O’Brien’s Champagne Well can win the Coral Cup.

3:30 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m


Dual-Champion Chase winner and defending champion Altior remains the one to beat, but a recent-day scare is offputting and there’s a chance Nicky Henderson’s charge might be below his best if taking his chance.

Defi Du Seuil has been impressive in notching up three wins this term but Philip Hobbs’ charge was put in his place at Punchestown last term behind CHACUN POUR SOI and might come off worst against that rival again here.

Willie Mullins’ Policy Maker gelding had won at Naas following three years off the track in the wake of his switch from France, after which he brushed Defi Du Seuil aside to win the Grade One Ryanair Novices’ Chase next time. He looked in need of the run behind A Plus Tard at Leopardstown over Christmas but showed the benefit of that effort to demolish Min back at that venue latest.

The eight-year old remains thoroughly unexposed at the top level and could easily have more to offer. With a defeat of Defi Du Seuil already in the form book he could be the one to capitalise on any shortcomings in Altior’s fitness.

4:10 – Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m6f


TIGER ROLL will be a hugely popular winner if he manages to win this race for a third successive year and chalk up a fifth Cheltenham Festival success. Gordon Elliott’s charge could prove a tough nut to crack in his quest to do so and the Authorized gelding can oblige punters.

Both wins in this race over the past two seasons has seen him go on to win the Aintree Grand National and a familiar path again awaits Tiger Roll who’ll be spot on for this following his encouraging return to action in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan last month.

That was his first start for more than ten months and he was entitled to have needed the outing. He’ll be a lot sharper now and he won here twelve months ago on the back of the same race where he was an impressive wide-margin victor over Josies Orders.

He is the standard-bearer in this Cross-country Chase discipline and if turning out at the same level as when winning this race twelve months ago then he can land a hat-trick of wins in the contest.

Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips. Tiger Roll can win a third Cross-country Chase.

Wednesday Cheltenham Festival tips. Tiger Roll can win a third Cross-country Chase.

4:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered As The Fred Winter) (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo) 2m½f


Despite his relative lack of experience it might be worth chancing NIGHT EDITION to find further progress and the Authorized gelding can step up again on his recent success at Ludlow last month.

David Pipe’s charge probably needed the experience when beaten into fourth behind Blacko at Taunton on his hurdles debut in December; but he improved markedly on that first outing to chase home Galahad Quest in the Grade Two Finesse Hurdle here in January, beaten only one length.

The fourth horse home in that contest has won since and he got off the mark at the third time of asking, beating Forever Des Long at Ludlow last month, scoring by only a half-length but value for considerably more than the official winning margin as he only needed pushed out to score very readily.

There’s likely plenty to come from him following his three starts to date and while this certainly a tougher test he could continue to improve and make his presence felt here.

5:30 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race) (Grade 1) Cl1 (4-6yo) 2m½f


Willie Mullins could hold the aces in the Champion Bumper with his runners – a race he’s won nine times – and market leader Carefully Selected treads the same path to this race as Envoi Allen twelve months ago; but it might be worth siding with another of the Closutton rinners in FERNY HOLLOW who had looked a very smart prospect in a pair of runner-up outings before making the breakthrough latest when fitted with a hood for the first time.

The Westerner gelding had won between the flags prior to joining this yard from Colin Bowe’s operation and he might just have needed the run when beaten two lengths behind Eric Bloodaxe at Fairyhouse on his debut.

Having been denied narrowly again at Leopardstown over Christmas he returned from a break fitted with the headgear to register an impressive defeat of On Eagles Wings, scoring by four lengths and he could progress again if the headgear has the same positive effect.

He does need to progress, but there’s every chance he can do so and with Paul Townend in the saddle he can post a big run.