The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the feature race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival. You can follow all the build-up, significant market movers, tips, and post-race results with the Betfair live blog...
Day two comes to a close with news that Ruby Walsh will miss the remainder of the Festival...
#Breaking Ruby Walsh is out of the #CheltenhamFestival— PA Racing (@PAracing) March 14, 2018
Jennifer Walsh, the jockey's agent and sister, said in a statement: "Unfortunately he has aggravated a recent leg injury and will see his consultant in Dublin next week for further assessment." pic.twitter.com/A73Ntdt3VC
Mullins lands the Bumper with outsider
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: BSP [29.0] / ISP 25/1
Antepost High of Winner: [110.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Relegate [540.0]; Carefully Selected [1.04].
Comments: Relegate guns down Carefully selected to give Willie Mullins a 1-2-3 in the final race, despite trading at [540.0] in-running Katie Walsh gets her mount up to take the race in a photo. Tornado Flyer took the third spot.
Relegate (25-1) flies home to win the Champion Bumper @CheltenhamRaces and provides Willie Mullins with his ninth win in the race. #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
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Veneer brings up treble for Elliott
Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Winner: Veneer Of Charm
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: BSP 50.0 - ISP 33/1
Antepost High of Winner: 40.0
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Veneer Of Charm 70.0. Nube Negra 1.7. Style De Garde 2.34.
Comments: Gordon Elliott brings up the treble with Veneer Of Charm taking the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle in impressive fashion. Despite several having chances turning for home and a slight wobble by the winner before the final flight, the result was never really in doubt coming up the hill.
Veneer Of Charm (33-1) causes an upset in the Fred Winter and completes a treble for Gordon Elliot @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
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Following his fall on Bless The Wings, Davy Russell will be sidelined for the rest of today...
Davy Russell is to sit out his remaining two rides after returning sore following his fall from Bless The Wings. Hopes to be fit to resume tomorrow. Mark Walsh now rides Mitchouka in the Fred Winter and Keith Donoghue rides Felix Desjy in bumper.— Racing Post (@RacingPost) March 14, 2018
Elliott the Cross Country master as Tiger rolls over the opposition
Cross Country Chase
Winner: Tiger Roll
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: BSP [10.5] - ISP 7/1
Antepost High of Winner: [21.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Tiger Roll [11.0]; Urgent De Gregaine [2.2]; The Last Samuri [2.52].
Comments: Tiger Roll impressively wins the Cross Country Chase with Keith Donoghue aboard providing a cool ride to fend off the French raider Urgent De Gregaine who didn't have enough to really challenge in the end.
Tiger Roll (7-1) wins the Cross Country Chase and records his third Cheltenham Festival success @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
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Altior the latest favourite to oblige in classic duel with Min
Queen Mother Champion Chase
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: BSP [2.16] - ISP [2.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Altior [8.4]; Min [1.26]; Douvan [2.86] before falling.
Comments: Altior looked in trouble and touched [8.4] before putting his rivals to the sword up the hill. Willie Mullins' Min looked the likely winner as Altior toiled through the middle stages, touching [1.26] in-play. Outsider God's Own hit [6.0].
Altior gains his third Cheltenham Festival success and maintains his unbeaten record over fences (8-8) with a superb victory in the Champion Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
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Another win for Mullins in Coral Cup
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
Winner: Bleu Berry
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: BSP [32.9] - ISP 20/1
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Bleu Berry [55.0]. The Organist [2.36]. Barra [1.92]. Topofthegame [2.5].
Comments: An exciting end to the Coral Cup sees the Willie Mullins trained Bleu Berry get the best of Topofthegame in a driving finish. Barra put up a great fight to take third place.
Topofthegame man. Barely jumped a hurdle and goes down a head.— Will Hoffmann (@StopwatchRacing) March 14, 2018
Bleu Berry digs deep to win the Coral Cup and provides Mark Walsh with his first @CheltenhamRaces Festival winner. #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
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Suspected broken leg for Ruby Walsh (according to Matt Chapman)— Betfair Racing (@BetfairRacing) March 14, 2018
Paul Townend rides Max Dynamite
Patrick Mullins will ride Douvan
Walsh has been stood down for the day.
No news on Ruby Walsh after that painful fall in the RSA but there have to be doubts about his continued participation at the Festival today and possibly for the rest of the week. His next ride, Max Dynamite, is unsurprisingly on the drift in betting on the Coral Cup.
Percy adds to Festival tally
RSA Novices' Chase
Winner: Presenting Percy
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: BSP [3.7] - ISP 5/2
Antepost High of Winner: [40.0]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Presenting Percy [4.0]. Monalee [2.4]. Black Corton [2.06].
Comments: It would not be Cheltenham without a Davy Russell winner, delivering an extremely patient ride aboard Presenting Percy to absolutely destroy the RSA field. Monalee stays on to be a well beaten second.
A great performance from Presenting Percy— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
who wins the RSA Chase @CheltenhamRaces, his second #TheFestival success, and is now 3-5 over fences.
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The banker pays out in the Ballymore
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
Betfair Starting Price and ISP: BSP [1.81] - ISP 8/11
Antepost High of Winner: [18.5]
Notable In-Running Highs and Lows: Samcro [2.0]; Black Op [3.25].
Comments: Jack Kennedy could not have looked more confident swooping round the field on the final turn aboard the monster that is Samcro. Black Op put up a good fight in defeat but a terrible jump at the last stopped him in his tracks. Despite never travelling well on the quick pace, Next Destination stayed on well for third.
Samcro very good, Black Op too. Next Destination totally paceless. Flew home for 3rd - with hindsight, they'll be annoyed that they didn't go Albert Bartlett.— Will Hoffmann (@StopwatchRacing) March 14, 2018
Odds-on favourite Samcro wins the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces and remains unbeaten over hurdles (4-4). #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 14, 2018
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We're just 15 minutes away from finding out if the 'Irish Banker' of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival is indeed as good as they say he is...
More from @StopwatchRacing on yesterday's action, including clock analysis of Footpad's sublime Arkle performance...
There were two big clock takeaways for me from the first day. One is perhaps obvious, the other less so.
Footpad was the most visually impressive winner of the day, and he put up the best clock performance over the two disciplines to boot. There's no doubt that Coleman and Russell went too hard here: they set strong fractions but, even worse, set one-and-others horses alight, and the result was that they were spent with four furlongs to go.
Saint Calvados totally flopped, not looking on the same planet as in his previous runs - something may come to light with him. Petit Mouchoir jumped well, and ran well, and should really have come second here, with Nico De Boinville riding Brain Power pace-efficiently to pick up second place.
Footpad was really something to behold though, he travelled like a beast, making headway smoothly and jumping very well (bar one notable error). It looked like there could yet be plenty left, and you couldn't rate that performance any lower than 170, for all the margin of victory flattered him.
What a performance! Footpad bolts up to justify favouritism in the Arkle @CheltenhamRaces and remains unbeaten over fences (4-4). #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 13, 2018
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He's apparently going to be aimed for the Gold Cup, which I'd think he's unlikely to stay, but his ability to travel and jump at pace may well make him a fascinating contender for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
I've been adamant, even when "top judges" have been decrying this year's Novice Hurdlers as poor bunch, that this is the best set - strength-in-depth wise - we've had for a long time. Fortunately for me, yesterday's Supreme looked to prove that point right.
On my figures, we had nine horses running to marks of 140 or better in this race, seven of whom ran to 150 or better, with Summerville Boy posting a very smart 160p. That's the strongest Supreme Novices' Hurdle I have since I started collecting my numbers five or six years ago.
Summerville Boy gets up close home to win the Supreme Novices' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces and gains his second Grade One success. #TheFestival— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 13, 2018
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Yes, there's no superstar, but I'd be stunned if we didn't have the 2019 Champion Hurdler and an Arkle winner amongst this field. Western Ryder in particular looks one to follow: he posted near a personal best despite being badly hampered at two out. The Greatrex yard hold him in the highest of regards, and he'll go well next year, whatever route they choose to go down.
A quick look back at BSP v ISP for every race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival...
Our man on course @StopwatchRacing gives his thoughts and best bets for today's action...
I watched day one of the Festival with the prawn-sandwich brigade in the "Front-Runners Restaurant" and, with free alcohol on offer, it was a hard decision to leave the course at 18:30 and get back in time to do some work - hopefully it was worth it!
I'm loathe to lay Samcro in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, for all I have no interest in backing him at odds-on. Yes, on his latest start he shaped like an out-and-out two miler, but his penultimate start (and single best piece of form) saw him take apart a good field over two and a half miles, posting blistering numbers to boot.
That run would leave you in no doubt about his ability to stay the trip, with the ground no concern either. That said, the bet for me in this race is Next Destination. He is a clear second best on my numbers, is a guaranteed stayer, he shapes like a less pacey, tougher sort than Samcro, and his performance in November marked him out as a 155+ horse - only five pounds or so behind Samcro's best. At [5.4], with no question marks over anything other than his ability to beat Samcro, he looks a bet.
Having taken a good (and long) look at the Coral Cup, my strongest view in it is that the winner will come from the first few in the market. Le Breuil feels like a plot-job, having posted some excellent numbers a year ago, and being given a sympathetic campaign since.
The ground has to be a worry for him though. I'll be splitting my money down the same form-line - the Lanzarote Hurdle - and backing William Henry and Topofthegame. These two have both been raised by the handicapper for good wins, but their most recent pieces of form are excellent and stand-out as being "graded-class-in-a-handicap", which is usually you need to win off larger weights here.
The intermediate trip will suit William Henry ideally, and the heavy-ground/greater emphasis on stamina will be ideal for Topofthegame, who you'd have been worried about getting outpaced on faster ground. I'd hope one of them can get the job done before going on to bigger and better things.
Good morning all. Welcome to Ladies Day, and another Betting.Betfair Cheltenham Festival 2018 live blog where we'll be keeping you up to date throughout the day with market movers, pre-race tips, breaking news, and those all important results.
Day 1 Summary
The first day of the Festival had everything; breathtaking winners (we're looking at you Footpad), incredible finishes, emotional scenes after Lizzie Kelly rode Coo Star Sivola to victory, and of course, a bit of Willie Mullins/Ruby Walsh domination.
You can relive it all by glancing through yesterday's live blog, but it's fair to say we didn't get the 'shocks' that many anticipated given the underfoot conditions.
In fact all seven winners returned a single figure starting price, three favourites won on the day, two second favourites and two third favourites.
Of course, the Betfair Starting Price for each winner compared very favourably with the Industry Starting Price, as you can see from the list of winners below;
- Summervilla Boy, ISP of 9/1, BSP of 12.5
- Footpad, ISP of 5.6, BSP of 1.94
- Coo Star Sivola, ISP of 5/1, BSP of 6.8
- Buveur D'air, ISP of 4/6, BSP of 1.74
- Benie Des Dieux, ISP of 9/2, BSP of 11.1
- Rathvinden, ISP of 9/2, BSP of 6.07
- Mister Whitaker, ISP of 9/2, BSP of 10.2
For all the latest Cheltenham betting tips and previews, check out our dedicated Festival category.