By Andrew Atkinson
ALTIOR is set to be the star turn on day two of the Cheltenham Festival – Ladies Day – in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30).
Altior, successful 17 times, trained by Nicky Henderson, is a short priced odds on 4-11 favourite to land the Queen Mother. Willie Mullins trained Min, ridden by Ruby Walsh, is set for a place. *Footpad (non runner).
History beckons for the reigning Queen Mother Champion Chaser Altior, nine years old, if he successfully defends his crown, extending a three-year-plus winning streak, to a record-equalling 18 consecutive races.
Altior, ridden by Nico de Boinville, is undefeated in five hurdle-races and 12 steeplechases.
Cheltenham’s Prestbury Park racing gets underway with the Ballymore Novices hurdle (1.30) and Leader selection, Champ (3-1) trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty is a leading contender, with Elliott trained Battleoverdoyen (4-1) yet to encounter soft ground, set for a place.
“Battleoverdoyen is in good form, he jumps very, very good. He might lack a little bit of experience – but I’m happy that he jumps well enough – he’s done all he can do,” said Elliott.
Brewin’upastorm (8-1) ridden by Richard Johnson is worthy of each way support which you can find at top sports betting websites.
The RSA Chase (2.10) is a big test for staying talent – with previous festival winner and selection Delta Work (9-4) the Leader’s nap tip, trained by Gordon Elliott, selected ahead of Nicky Henderson’s Santini (3-1) and Top Of The Game. Top Ville Ben (33-1) trained by Phil Kirby and ridden by Sean Quinlan gets Leader each way support.
“Delta Work has three runs over fences under him – he doesn’t lack for experience,” said Elliott.
“Delta Work won at the Cheltenham Festival last year – and looks a very solid horse for the RSA Chase,” said Elliott.
The Coral Cup Hurdle (2.50) features Farclas (12-1) trained by Gordon Elliott; Uradel (5-1) trained by Willie Mullins, and Vision Des Flo’s (12-1) trained by Colin Tizzard, all worthy of Leader each way support. *Old Guard and Whisky Sour (non runners).
The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (4.10) is a marathon race, won last year by Tiger Roll, who went on to win the 2018 Grand National at Aintree.
Leader selection Tiger Roll (5-4) a three times winner at Cheltenham; with French trained Urgent De Gregaine (9-1), Ultragold (10-1) trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by Harry Cobden, Leader each way tips.
“To win at three Cheltenham Festivals and win a Grand National just shows how good a horse he is,” said Elliott.
“His enthusiasm is unbelievable – it puts a smile on your face -looking at a horse like him,” enthused Elliott.
The Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (4.50) sees Leader selection, Joseph O’Brien trained Band Of Outlaws (5-1); each way tips Naturelle (20-1) and Coko Beach (14-1) trained by Gordon Elliott, amongst the noted runners. *Friend Or Foe (non runner) Belargus (may not run).
Gordon Elliott trained selection and Leader tip Envoi Allen (3-1) is a leading contender in The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (5.30); with Willie Mullins trained Blue Sari (5-1) ridden by Barry Geraghty, Ask For Glory (10-1) and Joseph O’Brien trained Meticulous (7-1) Leader each way selections.
“I thought Meticulous ran very well behind Envoi Allen at the Dublin Racing Festival – he should have learned from the experience,” said O’Brien.
“We’re looking forward to him running at Cheltenham – getting decent ground would be a help to him,” said O’Brien.