We have another brilliant day of racing in store with action for day two set to get the blood pumping after a great first day. Fingers crossed, we can dig out some more value picks at nice prices after a challenging day one which saw us go close with some good placed efforts at big prices.
Envoi Allen to win
We kick off with the two-mile five novice hurdle that has probably one of the most exciting prospects of the week.
Envoi Allen has been a very popular ante post selection with punters and is in our top five for most picked festival bets. Gordon Elliott knows what it takes to claim this race having won it with Samcro back in 2018.
The six-year-old looks to hold an untold amount of potential and arrives here unbeaten, and has Cheltenham form in the book having won the Champion Bumper at the Festival last year.
He has only run once at the trip under rules but resulted in a grade one win at Naas in easy style. His chief dangers look to be Sporting John and The Big Breakaway but in truth, neither are going to be in his league. Sporting John looks a nice prospect and the Tizard horse looks a chaser in the making.
Today, Envoi Allen can continue to enhance his growing reputation.
Minella Indo to win
RSA Chase (14.10)
It was a mixed day one of the Cheltenham Festival for BetVictor ambassador Rachael Blackmore but Minella Indo will offer her a brilliant chance of scoring a second winner this week in the RSA Chase.
A winner at the Festival last year, the seven-year-old scored a great win over hurdles in the Albert Bartlett. He has since progressed well to make up into a lovely chaser.
Whilst he has had just the two starts over fences, both have displayed an attitude which seems to prove the further he goes, the better he will be.
Threats in the race will come from the famously named Champ who finished second behind Minella in the Bartlett last year. Whilst he is clearly talented, he has shown some wayward tendencies at times and I don’t like him coming here off the back of a fall.
Copper Head and Allaho are also likely to prove popular with punters but Henry De Brodhead’s Minella Indo will prove ideally qualified to take to this staying chasing test.
Dame De Compagnie to win
Coral Cup (14.50)
Safe to say this race looks as tricky as ever with a huge field set to charge round over the two-mile four trip. Trends suggest both Nicky Henderson and Gordon Elliott are the men to follow given recent renewals.
The first is responsible for the favourite in Dame De Compagnie. The mare was dropped two pounds on appeal and has course form having won a listed novice on good and a handicap back in December. Given a break since then, she sets a fair standard. I am more than happy to have her on my side but at a bigger price I want to chance Willie Mullins’ runner Sayo.
Chasing has not gone well for the six-year-old and a recent return to hurdles was fairly moderate when trying an extended trip. Back to two-mile four, you just have to wonder if Mullins has seen something we have not in running him here. It is a bit of a shot in the dark but considering he was third in a triumph here, he could sneak a place at a massive price.
Defi Du Seuil to win
Champion Chase (15.30)
We have been robbed of a classic here with Altior not showing which is a huge shame. The clash between Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi should still offer us a mouth-watering clash. I have to declare a vested interested in Chacun having backed him prior to him beating Defi Du Seuil at Punchestown last May.
Plenty of water has passed under the bridge since that day and looking at the race now, I think I would be inclined to back Defi who has been exceptional this season, and I am concerned about the fragile nature of Chacun which means we have seen him once less this season by comparison.
His Dublin racing festival win divided views but I was more than impressed. This is a close one to call but Defi gets the nod.
Tiger Roll to win
Cross County (16.10)
I could sit and write endless copy about how and why Tiger Roll will win this en route to his Grand National history-making attempt next month but in truth, most of you reading will know why he seems such a good thing in this race.
On ratings, he is miles clear; on course form, he hacks up and on what we know about the horse, he will gain yet another Festival win.
Palladium to win
The Boodles (16.50)
New name but still a race that looks as hard as ever to work out the winner of. We offer five places and I think an each-way bet is an advisable option.
Palladium will be the selection for me. A winner on heavy and also a fair horse on better going from his flat days, he looks a lovely type for Nicky Henderson who made a fast start yesterday when claiming the Supreme Novice.
Appreciate It to win
The Bumper (17.30)
Always a fun race to try and get involved with, the Bumper this year has a red hot market leader who was last seen winning in imperious fashion at the Dublin Racing Festival.
The Mullins team have always done well in the race having landed it nine times. The six-year-old has plenty of talent and providing he handles the occasion, he could give favourite-backers another winner here.
If you wanted to look elsewhere for something at a bigger price, I will also be backing Darling Daughter each way. Gordon Elliot has won this race with a mare previously and this two-time winner could represent some value in a competitive heat.