Thousands gather for first day at Cheltenham festival
The Cheltenham Festival is back for 2023 with a thrilling week of racing lined up in the Cotswolds for what is known as ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’, as racegoers descend on the iconic course.
The Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup bookend the four-day meeting as perhaps the two highest-profile Grade 1 races, with Constitution Hill triumphing in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday, showing his class to win at a canter after starting as the overwhelming, heavily-backed favourite.
Meanwhile, Rachael Blackmore returns to Cheltenham looking to create more history after an astounding win to retain the Gold Cup in 2022 –a victory that helped the Irish trainers triumph handily over their British counterparts to easily land the prestigious Prestbury Cup, with a mighty 18 wins compared to just 10 for the home horses.
The festival provides a massive £274m boost to the local economy, a study from the University of Gloucestershire has found, and while organisers will be hoping the rain holds off, it promises to be an exciting week of racing regardless.
Follow all the Day 2 action from Cheltenham below:
14.50pm – Coral Cup Hurdle: Captain Conby (Ruby Walsh, each-way)
Walsh has tipped Captain Conby each-way. “I thought I’d pulled one out of the fire as I was going through these this morning and I was with Captain Conby as well.
“I was going through and Captain Conby on the last run behind San Salvador. Icare Allen ran too badly for me in Newbury and Scaramanga wants fast ground. Tax For Max is hard to fancy.”
Chris Wilson15 March 2023 11:55
14:10 – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Broadway Novices’ Chase): The Real Whacker (Alex Hammond, 11/2)
Sky’s Alex Hammond is backing The Real Whacker for the second race of the day.
Hammond: “[He] Won the Dipper on New Years Day and represents a yard that are flying along. Also entered in the Gold Cup!”
For Paddy Power, Ruby Walsh is “with Gerri Colombe.
“The race will set up for him – The Real Whacker will go forward as I said, so will Galia Des Liteaux, but he’s Gerri Colombe solid jumper.
“He looks like a horse that’s crying out for three miles and I think he’s the right favourite.”
Chris Wilson15 March 2023 11:40
Cheltenham Day 2 Tips
With the favourites for each race nearly finalised, some will undoubtedly want the insider knowledge when betting today.
Tips are part and parcel of a day’s horse racing and can be the difference between a good day and a great day.
Below is the first tip for today’s races as Ladies’ Day begins at 1.30pm.
13:30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Registered as The Baring Bingham): Hermes Allen (Oli Bell, 10/3), Impaire Et Passe (Ed Chamberlin, 13/8), Good Land (Alex Hammond, 6/1)
Oli Bell: “[On Hermes Allen] Really impressed in the Challow and it’ll take a seriously good Irish horse to beat him.”
Ed Chamberlin: “[Impaire Et Passe] Word on the street is that this horse is very good.”
Alex Hammond: “[On Good Land] Won at a high standard at the Dublin Racing Festival and has barely put a foot wrong to date. More to come.”
For PaddyPower, Ruby Walsh is “with Impaire Et Passe – he was very good in the maiden hurdle at Naas before Christmas, he was good in the Moscow Flyer where he dropped back to two miles”.
Chris Wilson15 March 2023 11:22
Cheltenham Day 2: who are the favourites?
With just over two hours until today’s racing begins, it may be handy to remind you of the favourites for each of today’s races (odds via Betfair).
Racing starts at 1.30pm today with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Impaire et Passe is favourite there at 2/1.
For the Brown Advisory Novices Chase at 2.10pm, the 8/5 favourite is Gerri Colombe.
Next up is the Coral Cup at 2.50pm, where Captain Conby is tipped at 9/1.
Then we have the biggest race of the day, the Champion Chase at 3.30pm. Energumene is favourite here at 7/5.
Delta Work comes in at 7/5 for the 4.10 Cross Country Chase, while both Dinoblue at 11/2 for the Grand Annual Handicap Chaseat 4.50pm.
Ladies’ Day comes to an end with the Champion Bumper at 5.30pm, where A Dream to Share is at 9/2.
Chris Wilson15 March 2023 11:13
Cheltenham Festival 2023
Follow latest updates from Cheltenham Festival here.
Lawrence Ostlere15 March 2023 11:08