Cheltenham Festival

RECAP: Day two of the Cheltenham Festival

After the news broke about a course inspection ahead of day two, there was some doubt as to whether todays racing would go ahead. Fortunately the inspection was good and we went ahead with the action on ladies day at Cheltenham.

The first race was the Ballymore Novices’ hurdle which was won by City Island at 8/1. Battleoverdoyen was heavy favourite heading into the 1:30 but they pulled up and it has since been revealed that it lost its left shoe.

Winning Jockey Mark Walsh had this to say about his ride after the race.

He said: “This horse, it’s only its fourth run over hurdles. The first maiden it was disqualified. That was it’s first graded race it’s been in. We still don’t know how good he is, because even when he gets to the front he doesn’t lose stroke.”

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The 2:10 was won by Topofthegame who came in at 7/2. Santini was second (3/1) and Delta Work (5/2) was third in the RSA Insurance Chase.

Winning jockey Harry Cobden was full of praise for Topofthegame.

He said: “He’s only just growing into himself, he’s improving all the time. We’ve got a lot of good horse’s back home now. Lovely to see, great for the owners Chris Giles and Mr Barber. What a day huh.”

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The Coral Cup at 2:50 was won by William Henry at 28/1. Wicklow Brave came in second despite leading on the final stretch in a very close finish. Ballyandy was third.

The favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase eventually come through as Altoir took the victory. Politigue pushed him hard and threatened to upset the favoured horse but had to settle for second. Sceua Royal came in third.

Winning trainer Nicky Henderson praised his jockey Nico de Boinville after another great display from Altoir.

He said: “He started with us as a amateur. He had a sprinters work rate, that’s where he made his name. But now he’s made it well and clear at the top.”

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Tea for Two’s rider was unseated as Tiger Roll won the Cross County Chase by a distance. Josie’s Orders came second while Urgent De Gregaine was third.

Tiger Roll jockey Keith Donoghue gave his opinion on whether Tiger Roll can follow the steps of Red Rum, winning back to back Grand Nationals.

“I think so. We’ll leave that to Davey Russel though. I hope that he does it for him.”

Band Of Outlaws picked up the win in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle for trainer Joseph O’Brien after an exciting end to the race. Star Max came in second and Ciel De Neige was third.

Envoi Allen galloped to victory in the final race, with Blue Sari and Cascova finished off the top 3, but watching was a relatively uninterested crowd, with most of the punters eager to get into town and celebrate the whirlwind that is Ladies Day.

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