The feature race on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival is the Champion Chase and our Cheltenham tip for this race comes in the form of the favourite.
Similarly to the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase boasts an odds on favourite from the Mullins battalions. Un De Sceaux is a slightly more backable 8/11 at the moment with very little to beat besides Sprinter Sacre who despite getting his head back in front this season has been a good stone short of his best.
Cheltenham Day 2 Tips – Champion Chase
Un De Sceaux has hit the deck twice in his seven starts over fences but both of those were on his reappearance and as a keen going sort that is probably a viable excuse, that he was just too fresh. He jumped well round Prestbury Park last season in the Arkle and again jumped with aplomb at Ascot when last seen. He really should just have to jump round to win.
There would not be a dry eye in the house if Sprinter Sacre were to score in the Champion Chase again but despite a pair of victories this season, it is hard to argue that he was at his spectacular best in either win. He had to knuckle down to beat Sire De Grugy at Kempton over Christmas and while he will come into the race in tip top condition, he will have his work cut out to beat Un De Sceaux on what he has shown this year.
Sire De Grugy has also returned to some semblance of form this season, winning the Tingle Creek again in December when dourly holding off Special Tiara up the hill. He can probably be excused the distance he was beaten by Un De Sceaux at Ascot as it was his third hard race in only seven weeks. For my Champion Chase tips it's hard to see him turning the form round however and even if getting sufficient cut in the ground, a place is probably the best he can hope for.
Dodging Bullets did not exactly enhance his chances of retaining the crown over the weekend when well and truly beaten off in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. He will naturally come on for the run but he has a mountain to climb in just four weeks to be able to get back to the form he showed when winning the race last year.
Special Tiara who is game as a pebble on decent spring ground and God's Own who chased home Un De Sceaux in the Arkle in 2015 can also be given some sort of a chance in a race where there are a lot of question marks and the places look wide open.
Given it looks fairly open behind Un De Sceaux and with plenty in with an each-way chance it seems easier to put up the Mullins star for my best bet on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival 2016 although Sprinter Sacre looks a clear second best.
Champion Chase 2016 Betting Tip
Un De Sceaux to win – 8/11 with Paddy Power.
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