Cheltenham 2016 Day 2 – Preview & Tips
Day one was a winning day for the punters and a winning day for racing fans with an exceptional performance from Annie Power and one to remember for many years to come. It’ll be very interesting to see what route she takes in the future.
Wednesday is Champion Chase day and the hope would be that we’ll see another scintillating display in today’s feature and many people feel that if Un De Sceaux gets around, he will be the one to produce it.
Personally, I think he’ll finish the race and jump well enough to win, however with a track record being broken by Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle yesterday, it is clear that the ground is certainly riding plenty quick enough for a horse like Un De Sceaux so I’m not sure I’d be willing to get too heavily involved in him at 4/5.
Few would begrudge Sprinter Sacre 11/2) another win in this race and while Nicky Henderson did a great job to get My Tent Or Yours to finish second in the Champion Hurdle, it would probably have to go down as his greatest ever achievement if Sprinter Sacre could win this.
Of course, if it is a case that Un De Sceaux does fluff his lines on the way around something is going to have to be there to pick up the pieces and what a story it would be if it was Sprinter Sacre. Of course if you do back Sprinter Sacre with BoyleSports and he finishes second or third to Un De Sceaux, you’ll get your money back as a free bet with that very generous offer that is available for all races.
Diamond King (8/1) has long been the fancy for many wherever he turned up this week and the Coral Cup is his final destination for Gordon Elliott but I believe Willie Mullins can claim this race for the first time.
Blazer and Avant Tout were two of Willie’s that I was looking forward to in the handicaps.
The problem here is that both are taking each other on in the one race. I couldn’t have Blazer (12/1) when he came over to England a week after winning at Leopardstown and it remains to be seen if those two runs on heavy ground will have a lasting effect for the rest of this season but he’s definitely a horse who at some stage will exploit his current handicap rating again.
On this occasion, I’m going to stick with Avant Tout. He’s a horse I mentioned a couple of weeks back in my Friday BoyleSports column as his handicap mark seemed fair.
From Tramore to Cheltenham
The six-year-old has won both his maiden hurdle and his beginners chase around Tramore which I’d be almost certain would be a first for any Cheltenham winner were he to land the spoils tomorrow but his last outing over hurdles came at the Punchestown Festival when he won easily under Danny Mullins and he is only running off a 4lbs higher mark today than what he was last rated over hurdles in Ireland.
This is a much stiffer task than that Punchestown race but he has had three runs over fences, finishing second to Outlander at Limerick’s Christmas meeting and then taking a horrible fall behind Smashing at Gowran Park when it would be untrue to say he was going to challenge the winner but he was by no means out of the race at the time and at 20/1, I think he is the horse to back each-way on day two.
The lucky last
When there is confidence surrounding a Willie Mullins bumper horse it can be foolish to ignore and maybe that will be the case again with Avenir D’Une Vie (10/1) in today’s Champion Bumper but the horse that beat him at Gowran Park, New To This Town (10/1) has done little wrong and doesn’t deserve to be overlooked here.
Jessica Harrington’s son of Milan could be a horse still on the up and might prove to be a very shrewd purchase by Ann and Alan Potts by later on this evening. He certainly has the pick of the Irish bumper form.
Augusta Kate has been on the drift and is 8/1 now after Ruby picked Bacardys (10/1) but I don’t think that would turn me off and she may be the filly to follow home Johnny Burke on New To This Town.
*Prices correct at time of publication.