Cheltenham Festival 2024 – Day 2 Acca


Cheltenham Festival 2024 – Day 2 Acca


There's a fair chance that the Irish will be celebrating on each of the four days of the Cheltenham Festival - and given the extreme levels of Guinness consumption, it would take a brave man to try and stop them – but the Wednesday afternoon card looks particularly rosy for those making the trip across the Irish Sea. As ever, seven races make up the card, with all seven featuring an Irish-trained favourite.

It would be nice to see the home team hit the scoreboard in at least one of the events, and here, we pick out our best betting options in each contest on another cracking card. All odds quoted are taken from Betfred.

1:30 Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle

The Willie Mullins-trained Ballyburn sits atop the market in the opener but also holds an entry in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the opening day, whilst second favourite Slade Steel seems set to run in whichever contest Ballyburn doesn’t line up in. None of which is much help when picking out an early bet. With slight doubts about the top two, we will look further down the list.

Sticking with the yard of Willie Mullins, Ile Atlantique has several efforts in the book to suggest he may be hard to keep out of the frame. His narrow second to Firefox in a Bumper last season reads pretty well now, whilst he impressed with his jumping on hurdles debut at Gowran Park. His effort last time out - when going down by just a neck to Readin Tommy Wrong in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle - was a fine performance, having made all his own running. Likely to be ridden more patiently here, he is fancied to stay on well up the hill.

  • Selection - Ile Atlantique @ 4/1

2:10 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

Another Cheltenham Festival Novice event, and another short-priced Willie Mullins-trained favourite. Fact To File is the horse to dominate the betting this time, and it’s hard to argue with that assessment. Second in the 2023 Champion Bumper and already a Grade 1 winner, he stays further than this and seems to be held in the highest regard. There are, however, a couple of factors that just put us off taking so short a price. Firstly, all three of his wins have come on soft going, and secondly, that Grade 1 success came in a match race in which sole rival Gaelic Warrior lost the plot with his jumping.

Fellow Irish runner Monty’s Star looks like a horse on the up but bombed out at last year's festival, whilst Grey Dawning can be expected to run a big race for Dan Skelton, but the one for us is Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner Stay Away Fay. Hailing from the yard of Paul Nicholls, this son of Shantou has taken well to fences, with two wins and a staying on third in the Cotswold Chase at this track. That proven ability to handle the hill is a big factor in his favour, and Nicholls can be counted upon to have him in peak condition on the day.

  • Selection - Stay Away Fay @ 3/1

2:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

Wherever Sa Majeste turns up, he may prove tough to beat, with the Willie Mullins runner having caught the eye when dispatching former Grand National hero Noble Yeats last time out. Unfortunately, he seems equally as likely to run in this as in the Martin Pipe event for Conditional riders. He's one to bear in mind for closer to the time, but we will leave him out for now.

Nicky Henderson’s Doddiethegreat looks likely to be suited by this test and can go well, but the one to get the vote is the defending champion, Langer Dan, who gets in off the same mark as when successful 12 months ago. Ignore his recent form, as he never does anything over the winter months. There are few better at readying one for an assault on a major handicap than Skelton, whilst recent treatment for a troublesome ulcer issue may spark improvement.

  • Selection - Langer Dan @ 7/1

3:30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

Much like the Champion Hurdle on the opening day, the Day 2 feature of the Queen Mother Champion Chase features a red-hot favourite, who we aren’t particularly keen to take on. El Fabiolo is the horse trading at odds-on across the board this time.

Magnificent when slamming the reopposing Jonbon in last season's Arkle Chase, he has been equally good in three starts since – most recently when sauntering clear to land the Grade 1 Dublin Chase at Leopardstown. One of the bankers of the meeting for many, he looks set to be incredibly tough to beat.

  • Selection - El Fabiolo @ 1/2

4.10 Glenfarclas Chase

The most distinctive event of the meeting up next as the runners tackle the cheese wedges, hedges, banks, and standard fences that make up the twisting and turning Cross Country Course - an unusual layout but a high-class field, with a number of the current entries having competed in last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Henry De Bromhead’s Minella Indo is included amongst that number and appeared to have no trouble with these obstacles when fourth here in December. He’ll be better off at the weights under these conditions, but we prefer the claims of a runner who has been there and got the t-shirt in this event. Breaking the heart of Tiger Roll when successful in 2022, Delta Work again stayed on best to deny Galvin last season. Likely to have this as his big target for the season, he can emulate Tiger Roll by winning the race for a third time.

  • Selection - Delta Work @ 7/2

4:50 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

The penultimate race on the second day sees one of the most frenetic contests of the meeting as a big field goes full steam ahead in this 2m handicap. My Mate Mozzie heads the betting for the excellent Gavin Cromwell and makes obvious appeal, but with the trainer having half an eye on the Arkle for this eight-year-old, we will look elsewhere.

Noel Meade’s Flanking Maneuver looks interesting at a big price, if dropping back down in trip for this, but we fancy the one to be on is Saint Roi. Representing the JP McManus and Willie Mullins combo, this horse is a Grade 1 novice chase winner at around this trip and boasts form figures of 133 at the last three Cheltenham Festivals. Dropping back into a handicap, this classy sort can go close to landing the prize.

  • Selection - Saint Roi @ 7/1

5:30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper

Rounding off the action, we have the only flat contest of the meeting, as a field of the most talented up-and-coming youngsters does battle in the Champion Bumper. The race features a vast list of entries at present but we will immediately cut that down by drawing a line through all of the British-trained contenders – the past seven editions of this have been won by the Irish, and in 2023, only one British runner finished in the first 11.

Having recorded no fewer than 12 winners in the race, we will narrow the list further by focussing solely on those hailing from the Willie Mullins operation. Of the Closutton battalion, the two who stand out are Jasmin De Vaux and Maughreen, each of whom won by a wide margin last time. It’s tough to split the pair, but we will side with Maughreen, who looked all class when smoothly moving through the gears to power right away at Punchestown.

  • Selection -Maughreen @ 9/2

A £1 each way acca returns £58.94 if all seven runners place. Seven winners pay out at a handsome £47,578.94!


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