Cheltenham Festival 2021: Five things to look out for on day two


he Cheltenham Festival is in full swing and Wednesday afternoon’s card promises plenty more high-class action.

Here are five stories to follow…

A monkey off Mullins’ back?

Willie Mullins is the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history, having saddled 72 winners since 1995, but remarkably he has never won the Champion Chase. 

The Irishman looks to have as good a chance as ever of ending that hoodoo this year, with Chacun Pour Soi the short-priced favourite for this afternoon’s feature. 

The nine-year-old’s career has been plagued by injury and he was dramatically ruled out on the morning of last year’s race when a leading fancy but, touch-wood, his preparation seems to have been ideal this season, with three wins from three including two Grade 1s. 


No Altior – but plenty of challengers

Of course, Chacun Pour Soi was not the only horse ruled out at short notice last year, with four-time Festival winner Altior another late casualty and, sadly, history has repeated itself, with Nicky Henderson withdrawing his charge on Monday morning following a dirty scope. 

So just who might put it up to Chacun? Nube Negra inflicted Altior’s first two-mile defeat over fences at Christmas last time out, while the defending champion Politologue is looking to retain his crown, but must reverse the form of his Clarence House defeat to another contender First Flow. 

Throw in last year’s Arkle winner, Put The Kettle On and Sceau Royal, who would relish decent ground, and there’s plenty to take a chance on for those out to topple the favourite. 

It could well be a memorable day for Rich and Susannah Ricci, who not only have Chacun Pour Soi carrying their colours, but another Mullins hot-pot in Monkfish. 

Last year’s Albert Bartlett winner goes into the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase – previously known as the RSA – as an odds-on favourite having won all three of his chase starts so far. 

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