Cheltenham Festival Day Two: Preview and tips for Champion Chase, Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and more

Cheltenham Festival 2021 continues on Wednesday, but which horses should you back on the second day? Ireland’s Jamie Codd has won at Prestbury Park multiple times and gives Sky Sports Racing his preview of the Champion Chase and the rest of Wednesday’s races

By Jamie Codd

Get expert tips for the second day of the Cheltenham Festival from 10-time Festival-winning rider Jamie Codd, who tipped four winners and two seconds on the opening day.

1.20 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

We have another small field in the Ballymore, but it’s all quality. There are five horses here that have a very good chance. Bob Olinger is the horse I have followed a lot and one I really like.

He won a point-to-point for Pat Doyle and he was bred by Ken Parkhill. It’s going to be hard but I do think he is a very good horse, who should have the beating of Bravemansgame and Gaillard Du Mesnil.

You can put Keskonrisk in there and Bear Ghylls is a horse that has been improving all along and is unbeaten. However, I do think it is going to be between Bob Olinger, Bravemansgame and Gaillard Du Mesnil and I am hoping Bob Olinger will come out in front.


1.55 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

The interesting stat about this race is that there are six runners and all six came from the Irish point-to-point field, which is a great advertisement that we can produce horses good enough to line up in a race of this quality.

On his rating, on all known form, and last year’s Albert Bartlett win, Monkfish looks very good. He seems to have improved for a fence. He is very hard to oppose barring a mistake. Colin Tizzard has both The Big Breakaway and Fiddlerontheroof who are good horses in their own right and are not without a chance.

Sporting John ran ordinary enough behind Envoi Allen in the Ballymore last year and is another to improve for a fence. But this should be all about Monkfish.


2.30 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

The Coral Cup is very competitive with 26 runners. There are plenty of horses at the bottom like Sneaky Getaway, Palmers Hill and Dans Le Vent coming in off low weights. A horse I really like is Nicky Henderson’s Craigneiche.

He seems to be improving. I thought his Ascot run the last day where he beat Arrivederci and Kateson looked very strong. I think he is on the improve, he’s a Flemensfirth with a good pedigree who is coming in with a nice weight on 10st 10lb.

Grand Roi came from Nicky Henderson’s and won a couple of novice hurdles last year. I thought he did well in Limerick at Christmas and his last run behind a seasoned campaigner like Bachasson was very good. He has a lot of weight. He’ll be ridden for a bit of luck but I could see him being in the money.


3.05 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

It’s a pity Altior is a late defection. I still think there is plenty of quality to take on Chacun Pour Soi with the likes of First Flow, Nube Negra and Politologue, last year’s winner. The filly I really like is Put The Kettle On.

She won the Arkle last year and came back to beat Duc De Genievres in November. She has course form and she was running on really well behind Chacun Pour Soi at Christmas. I think she is going to give Chacun most to do here.

If Chacun Pour Soi does everything right, then on form he wins. But there is a lot to like about Put The Kettle On and I think she can put it up to him.


3.40 Glanfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase)

This is all about the French horse Easysland. He was giving away the guts of a stone and three quarters to the three horses that finished in front of him in November. Back here on level weights if the same Easysland that turned up last year is going to be very hard to beat.

Tiger Roll is coming in here too and I think these jumps and drying ground will improve him. But I would have liked to have seen him finish off his race a bit better in Navan last time. He wouldn’t have liked that real heavy ground so there is a chance we should see him back to a little bit of form on nicer ground.

Balko Des Flos is a highly-rated chaser and Le Breuil is a previous National Hunt Chase winner who will have to be respected if he takes to the fences.


4.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

Last year’s winner Chosen Mate is coming back into this race again with a really good claimer in Jordan Gainford. I am sure he will give him a really good ride around.

The horse I like down the bottom is Dan Skelton’s Not That Fuisse. He has had a couple of spins on the all-weather. He wants a bit of nicer ground. Dan’s given him some jumpers bumper runs to keep him sharp while the ground has been so heavy.

Not That Fuisse has a really nice racing weight and I think he can do really well. He was sixth behind Warthog in a chase here so has plenty of course experience.


4.50 Weatherbys Champion Bumper

The Bumper is a race that has been really good to me thanks to Fayonagh and Envoi Allen.

It’s another good renewal with Willie Mullins holding all the aces with the likes of Kilcruit and Sir Gerhard, the highest-rated horses in it. On all form, it’s hard to oppose either one.

I have had more to do with Sir Gerhard. I won two bumpers on him, one in Down Royal and he was very good in Navan in December where he beat Letsbeclearaboutit, who has been a good yardstick. Kilcruit also beat him, albeit a little more impressively in Leopardstown.

I am going to stick with Sir Gerhard as I know him. I also think Three Stripe Life, who I won on in Navan in January, can run a really big race if the early part of the race goes well and he gets settled and relaxed.


Follow the final three days of the Cheltenham Festival 2021 on Sky Sports’ digital platforms with updates and analysis on Sky Sports Racing.

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