2016 CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL – DAY TWO – Will Un De Sceaux Be The New Champion Chaser?
2016 Cheltenham Festival Free Tips – DAY TWO – There’s no let-up though as its full steam into DAY TWO and the highlight on the Wednesday being the Queen Mother Champion Chase – can top Irish trainer, Willie Mullins, win the race for the first time with his classy Un De Sceaux, or will we have a day two shock on our hands?
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13:30 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle 2m 5f
THATSBETTINGTIPS VERDICT: Favourite backers will be looking to get day two off to the perfect start here as YANWORTH really does look like being another of the meeting’s banker bets. This 6 year-old was a fair fourth in the Festival Bumper 12 months ago, but has not looked back since being put over hurdles – winning all four starts – and there should be even more to come. Trained by Alan King, and owned by JP McManus, then the horse has been in great hands during his first season jumping, while the way he won the trial for this race at the track at the end of January suggests he’ll be very hard to beat here. There is a strong chance that he’s improved further since that last run and with now two solid runs at the track then we know the venue shouldn’t pose any problems either. Ground won’t be an issue – having won in a variety of conditions from heavy to good-to-soft, while in Barry Geraghty the horse will have no better man to guide him round. The rest might just be fighting it out for the places, but it would be foolish to ignore any Willie Mullins-trained runner as they’ve won this race 3 times and had 6 placed in the last 11 years. A Toi Phil, who has done little wrong in winning his last two at Leopardstown, might be worth an each-way saver against the favourite.
- 18 of the last 21 win and place horses came from the top 4 in the betting
- The Irish have won 6 of the last 10
- All of the last 10 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
- In the last 5 runnings Irish-trained horses have filled 11 of the 15 places
- 15 of the last 17 were NH bred
- 11 of the last 18 had won a graded race before
- Look for past Irish point-to-point winners
- Respect Willie Mullins – 3 winners and 6 placed in last 11 years
- Only one winner aged older than 6 has won since 1974
- Avoid 4 year-olds too – just one winner since 1991
- Only two of the last 30 winners came from outside the top 5 in the betting
- All 15 Challow Hurdle winners have been beaten
- Avoid ex-flat horses (since 2005 all 26 have been beaten)
14:10 RSA Chase 3m ½f
THATSBETTINGTIPS VERDICT: Looks a match-up between NO MORE HEROES and More Of That, so it’s a race that’s sure to split opinions. The Irish have won 6 of the last 8 renewals, while it’s a race that 7 year-olds seem to do best in – winning 8 of the last 9 runnings. More Of That is a horse that many will remember winning the 2014 World Hurdle at the festival, but he had a few issues since then and only returned from a further year off last November to start his chasing career. He’s actually only had 8 career runs in total, so there should be more to come, while the form of his latest win over fences was franked recently with the second, Sametegal, winning the Greatwood Gold Cup earlier this month. We know the horse loves it here at Cheltenham – he’s actually unbeaten from 4 runs (2 hurdles and 2 chasing), but we are worried that his last race came back in December and horses that ran in the same calendar year have generally gone better in this race. Plus at 8 years-old he’ll be looking to become the oldest horse since Rule Supreme (2004) to land the prize – since 1998 all-bar-one of the winners were aged 7 or younger. With that in mind then NO MORE HEROS is the call. This Gordon Elliott-trained 7 year-old heads here on a three timer after a trio of wins in Ireland and don’t forget he was a decent third in the Albert Bartlett last season – 4 of the last 6 winners ran in that race the previous year. The Gigginstown House Stud also took the prize last year with Don Poli, plus in 2010 with Weapon’s Amnesty, so know what’s required and with not much depth in this year’s race then everything points to a big run from this improving and unbeaten chaser.
- 4 of the last 7 winners ran in the Flogas Chase that season
- Respect 7 year-olds – won 7 of the last 8
- Irish bred horses are 17 from 19
- 5 of the last 7 winners were trained in Ireland
- Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls do well in the race
- 20 of the last 23 were novice hurdling last season
- 4 of the last 6 winners ran in the Albert Bartlett the previous season
- Look for horses that ran that same calendar year
- No winner aged 9 or older since 1992
- Just 4 winners younger than 7 since 1978
- Avoid horses that had fallen before over fences (1 from 34)
- Just 1 of the last 16 winners had run less than 3 times over fences
All 19 winners of the Kauto Star (Feltham, Kempton) have lost
15:30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase 2m
THATSBETTINGTIPS VERDICT:Moving onto the day two highlight as we get a chance to see the best 2 mile chasers around do battle in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. It’s a race that the acca players will have firmly on their radar as we look set to have another odds-on favourite here in the form of UN DE SCEAUX. This classy 8 year-old will be looking to give trainer Willie Mullins his first win in this race, and barring accidents he really should be delivering. The horse won the Arkle very easily 12 months ago so has tasted the festival and the track before, and heads here as the clear form horse after beating several of his rivals here in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot last time out. The winner of that race for the past three seasons has gone onto win the Champion Chase, so the trends are good for Un De Sceaux, while 5 of the last 9 winners were French-bred – another tick for the market leader. 20 of the last 31 had won at the festival before, while ALL of the last 13 winners had run that calendar year – another plus, but a big negative for the 2013 Champion, Sprinter Sacre, who was last seen winning back in December. That said, his participation in the race, as well as the 2014 and 2015 winners Sire De Grugy and Dodging Bullets make this a cracking renewal, but we just feel that the younger legs of Un De Sceaux might just prevail here as we look set to enter a new era in this race. He might not get it all his own way next year though, with the likes of Douvan coming through the ranks. Of those at a price Gods Own, could be the each-way play in the race. He was runner-up in the Arkle 12 months ago here and has finished in the top three in 9 of his 12 chase starts to date – he’ll certainly like it if the ground dried out a bit too!
- 11 of the last 15 winners ran in the Tingle Creek Chase that season
- The last 3 winners also won the Clarence House Chase (Ascot) that season
- 20 of the last 31 had won at the festival before
- Paul Nicholls & Nicky Henderson have won 5 of the last 8 between them
- All of the last 13 winners had run that calendar year
- 33 of the last 34 winners returned 11/1 or shorter
- 5 of the last 9 winners were French-bred
- 10 of the last 13 winners were second season chasers
- 14 of the last 17 winners came from the top 3 in the betting
- Only one winner priced 11/1 or bigger in the last 34 years
- Willie Mullins is yet to win this race
- Just 1 of the last 14 winners hadn’t won a Grade 1 Chase before
- None of the last 10 winners had run in more than 13 chases
- Be wary of horses older than 10 – they are just 1 winner since 1977
Best Of The Rest: The Coral Cup at 2.50 is always a well-contested race and this year is no different. 16 of the last 21 winners had won earlier that season, while 12 of the last 22 won last time out. Look for second-season hurdlers, but also horses that had raced 4 or less times that season – the last 7 winners fell into that bracket. It’s been a great race for the bookies, with no winning favourite in the last 12 runnings, but always respect the Irish here, and especially any JP McManus-owned runners. Nicky Henderson has won 2 of the last 6 runnings so his DIFFERENT GRAVEY (e/w), who caught the eye last time out at Ascot, looks worth considering. The Cross Country race at 4.10 is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s an event the Irish love to win, while trainer Enda Bolger has a great record in these races – his JOSIES ORDERS will, therefore, be popular and did little wrong when winning both trial races here in November and December. Of the rest, Rivage D’Or took the prize 12 months ago and despite doing nothing since would have been trained for this and hails from the shrewd Tony Martin team. The Fred Winter at 4.50 will be another tricky race to unravel, but with 9 of the last 11 winners having raced in the last 25 days this is a decent trend to take into the race. 10 of the last 11 winners were rated between 124 and 133, while the Nicholls, King, Pipe and Elliott yards have done well in this recently. One horse that ticks a fair few of those trends is the Alan King-trained MESSIRE DES OBEAUX (e/w). We end day two with the bumper 5.30 and every year the Willie Mullins-trained horses are always well-touted. He’s had a staggering 8 winners in the race, so we need to respect his runners, but do be wary as he’s had just 2 winners from his last 20 runners. The Irish lead the British 18-5 in the races history, while 21 of the last 23 winners won last time out. Ballyandy will lead the UK charge coming from the Nigel Twiston-Davies team, but might just be a tad exposed with 4 runs now. The betting will give us some clues ahead of the Mullins horses, but the one we’ll take a chance on here is NEW TO THIS TOWN (e/w). This 5 year-old comes from the Jessie Harrington team who won this race in 2007, so know what’s required, plus could really be anything after keeping on well to win both his starts over in Ireland.
Enjoy DAY TWO!
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