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2019 Cheltenham Festival day two tips – Tips for every race on Ladies’ Day Wednesday

Jonathan Vine in Tips 12 Mar 2019

Our expert, Jon Vine takes a look at all seven races on Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival and provides readers with his betting suggestions on Wednesday 13th March.

It’s quite fitting that, on Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival, the feature race be named in memory of the Queen Mother, who put so much into the sport she loved during her lifetime. Along with the Champion Chase, there are two further Grade Ones on the card, along with two thrilling handicaps and the unique Cross Country Chase.

Our expert has taken a look through all seven races on day two at Cheltenham and provided readers with his tips.

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Two Tips

1:30 - CHAMP (3/1, WIlliam Hill)
2:10 - TOPOFTHEGAME (7/2, Paddy Power)
2:50 - BALLYANDY (25/1, Betway)
3:30 - ALTIOR (2/5, Ladbrokes)
4:10 - TIGER ROLL (11/10, Bet365)
4:50 - COKO BEACH(25/1, William Hill)
5:30 - THE GLANCING QUEEN (20/1, Bet365)

1:30pm Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade One) 2m5f

Easy Game and Brewing’Upastorm are horses I like at each-way prices. Favourites do have an excellent record in the Ballymore, however. It’s been ten years since the SP fav even finished outside the places, so it’s sensible to look towards the head of the betting for my first selection. 

City Island has impressed on all three of his starts over jumps, but he’s severely lacking in experience compared to the two at the top of the betting. Klassical Dream poses a significant danger should he be switched from the Supreme and looks a certain stayer, but this sort of trip remains an unknown quantity and I’d favour those who have proven themselves. 

While there are similarities between the starts both Battleoverdoyen and Samcro – last year’s Ballymore winner – made to life over jumps, I’m not sure this year’s Lawlor’s Of Naas was the strongest of Grade Ones and CHAMP (3/1, WIlliam Hill) is very hard to knock.

I always like to see a horse win in-spite of looking green and immature. Champ did just that on his first start of the new season, pulling Aidan Coleman’s arms out as he scythed to the front of the field with half-a-mile to travel, before staying on strongly to claim a convincing win. The Challow was an extremely messy affair and Champ was forced to sit on the pace for much of the race. Yet, nothing seemed to phase the favourite that day and some excellent jumps down the home straight helped Champ land his first Grade One.

Champ should settle much better in a truly run race, which the Ballymore is sure to be. JP McManus’ horse looks like one who will improve as the season goes on and he should be suited perfectly by the conditions. We haven’t seen the best of Champ just yet.

2:10pm RSA Chase (Grade One) 3m 1/2f

I’m finding it extremely difficult to split two of the top contenders. My head is telling me Delta Work has the experience and class to get the job done. My heart is saying TOPOFTHEGAME (7/2, Paddy Power) is the one with the most untapped potential. I will be backing both horses, but for the sake of this article, I’ll listen to my heart and side with Paul Nicholls’ talented youngster.

The way Topofthegame worked his way back into that race at Exeter, after being spooked by the starters tape, to finish second to Defi Du Seuil was extremely impressive and the winner has franked the form of that race significantly since. Harry Cobden’s mount took a keen hold throughout the first circuit in the Kauto Star, but looked the most likely winner as the leaders jumped the last, only for La Bague Au Roi to get back up in the final 100 yards.

Like Defi Du Seuil, La Bague Au Roi boosted Topofthegame’s seasonal form by winning the Flogas at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out. Nicholls’ charge ran a blinder to finish a neck behind Bleu Berry in the Coral Cup last season, so he has some sort of Festival form. Chasing was always going to bring out the best in this giant of a horse and, if Topofthegame has improved again between runs – like I suspect he will have – the RSA trophy could be on it’s way back to Ditcheat for the first time since Denman’s triumph twelve years ago.

2:50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m5f

Like the Fred Winter later in the afternoon, the Coral Cup has been a graveyard for favourites. Only one SP Fav has managed to reward his backers since the turn of the Millennium. Only three winners have carried single figure odds to victory in that time too, so there’s no value backing those at the head of the market.

Lil Rockerfeller almost ran in this race the year he came second in the Stayers’ Hurdle and I’d be surprised if Neil King didn’t take up the handicap option this time around. He’s one of my favourite horses and looks excellent value at his price. However, I can’t think why BALLYANDY (25/1, Betway) is as long in the betting as he currently is and he looks to be the best each-way bet.

The former Champion Bumper winner returned to hurdling at the start of the year, after finding fences a touch too difficult. Since then, Ballyandy has carried top-weight into three good-quality handicap hurdles – winning comfortably at Uttoxeter in between strong placed efforts at Kempton and Ascot.

Course form here at Cheltenham is vital and Nigel Twiston-Davies’ star has ran well here on several occasions. When Call Me Lord drops out, the whole field will shoot up six pounds, but a mark of 11-6 shouldn’t stop Ballyandy running his race and he has the quality to challenge for the victory.

3:30pm Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One) 2m

Min is clearly a capable chaser and returning to two miles is the sensible plan. He has, however, been well-beaten twice by ALTIOR (2/5, Ladbrokes) here at Cheltenham and there’s no value to be found looking beyond the favoutite.

A wind problem restricted Nicky Henderson’s star to just one seasonal appearance before he arrived at Cheltenham last year. Nico De Boinville had to work very hard to get his mount rolling as Douvan set a hot pace, but Altior finally clicked into top gear coming down the hill, powering past Min on the run to the final fence before streaking to an impressive.

Henderson has clearly got his charge at the peak of fitness this time around and Altior’s jumping has got better with each of his runs this term. It’s a travesty that the three-time Festival winner is not rated in the 180s, but that’s more a reflection of the lack of competition in the division and another comfortable victory would surely help the handicapper see sense.

4:10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (Class 2) 3m7f

Ireland has dominated the Cross Country since its inception and there are three strong Irish challengers at the head of the market. I’d favour Auvergnat to get the win over Josies Order, considering how well he won at Leopardstown in a very competitive handicap. Yet, Enda Bolger’s recent record in the Cross Country at the Festival is surprisingly weak and I don’t think there’s much point looking beyond TIGER ROLL (11/10, Bet365).

Gordon Elliott’s three-time Festival winner made his triumphant return at Cheltenham in November, giving almost a stone to the field when finishing fourth in a handicap version of the Cross Country. Elliott then entered his nine-year-old into the Grade Two Boyne Hurdle as a mere pipe-opener for Cheltenham. Yet, the Tiger proved his class once again, powering to a tremendous four-length triumph, causing odds to retain his Cross Country crown to plummeted across the boards.

I tipped Tiger Roll in this race last year, and at the Grand National, receiving a handsome return on both occasions. I’ve already backed the Tiger at 5/2 to retain his crown, including him in a treble I put up at the start of the New Year. Confidence in Elliott’s charge grew even stronger after that surprise Boyne Hurdle triumph and, although most of the value in his price has dried up, I’m not prepared to side against Tiger Roll.

Could more Cheltenham Festival success await Tiger Roll as he defends his Cross-Country crown?

4:50pm Fred Winter Novices' Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1/2f

I’m going to put this out there now – I hate the Fred Winter. I would love it if they got rid of it from the schedule, as finding a winner here is almost impossible. Never the less, we’ll give it a stab!

The history of the Fred Winter tells us we need to look for handicap debutants in the bottoms half of the weights. French imports also have a very strong recent record. Taking that into account, there are two juveniles I fancy could run big races. Fanfan Du Seuil has some solid form here at Cheltenham and could be a big danger, but I’ll pin my colours to Gordon Elliott’s COKO BEACH (25/1, William Hill).

Following a smart win in France, Elliott threw Coko Beach straight into a Grade Two on his first start in Ireland, where he seemed to struggle for pace on quick-ground at Leopardstown. Jack Kennedy’s mount then registered an improved display behind Band Of Outlaws, staying on well for third after looking very green throughout.

Any cut in the ground will be a boost to his chances and he should settle better in a large-field race. Elliott struck gold with Veneer Of Charm at a big price 12 months ago. Coko Beach could repeat the trick on Wednesday.

5:30pm Champion Bumper (Grade One) 2m1/2f

There’s plenty of opportunity for an each-way punt in this year’s bumper, with Get In The Queue a solid candidate who has bundles of ability. Yet, considering mares have won the previous two editions of the Champion Bumper, I’m more inclined to side with Alan King’s THE GLANCING QUEEN (20/1, Bet365) who carries some strong form into the Festival and currently sits on a hugely appealing price.

Following a successful point-to-point outing for Colin Bowe back in March, The Glancing Queen made the switch to Barbury Castle and King threw his mare straight into a Listed race at Cheltenham on her first start under rules. Wayne Hutchinson held the 16/1 shot up near the rear of the field. The duo made their move at the bottom of the hill before staying on strongly in the final couple of furlongs to score an impressive victory.

Hutchinson then decided to take a more prominent early position as The Glancing Queen carried a penalty into another Listed race, this time at Ascot. Eden Du Houx stayed on well to get the win from the front that day, but King’s mares acquitted herself well on her first start in mixed-sex company, passing the post less than three lengths behind the winner in third.

The form of The Glancing Queen’s Cheltenham win looks very good - Mega Yeats and Danse Idol both won well over hurdles on their following start and several of the other runners who finished behind King’s mare have run with credit in mares hurdles since. Mares can often struggle under a penalty, but The Glancing Queen produced a solid display around Ascot - a quick track which wouldn’t have suited her abilities.

Returning to Cheltenham will be a big plus and good ground will certainly not hinder her chances. Fayonaugh and Relegate proved the weight-for-sex allowance mare’s receive in the Champion Bumper can be an important factor. The Glancing Queen may not have the quality of the two previous winners, but King’s mare will be perfectly suited by conditions and could strike late to win a wide-open renewal of the Champion Bumper.

The Glancing Queen represents trainer Alan King in the Champion Bumper.

2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Two Tips

1:30 - CHAMP (3/1, WIlliam Hill)
2:10 - TOPOFTHEGAME (7/2, Paddy Power)
2:50 - BALLYANDY (25/1, Betway)
3:30 - ALTIOR (2/5, Ladbrokes)
4:10 - TIGER ROLL (11/10, Bet365)
4:50 - COKO BEACH(25/1, William Hill)
5:30 - THE GLANCING QUEEN (20/1, Bet365)

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2019 Cheltenham Festival day two tips – Tips for every race on Ladies’ Day Wednesday

Our expert, Jon Vine takes a look at all seven races on Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival and provides readers with his betting suggestions on Wednesday 13th March.

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