We’re over halfway through the meet as the action on the track continued to excite at The Greatest Show on Turf.
Day two saw Tiger Roll, well, roll back the years his the 11-year-old dual Grand National winner returned to his best form to storm to a fifth Cheltenham Festival victory and his third in the Glenfarclas Chase.
That was after Bob Olinger and Monkfish underlined their favourite tags by cleaning up earlier in the day. Heaven Help Us at 33-1 surprised many in the Coral Cup.
Today’s highlight is Paisley Park’s attempt to regain the Stayers’ Hurdle, first won in 2019 before a heart problem last year saw her finish seventh behind Lisnagar Oscar.
Hot favourite Envoi Allen is widely expected to kick off Thursday with a win in the opening Marsh Novices’ Chase. One punter has already pocketed £275,000 from a £5 accumulator bet after accepting a cash-out offer.
Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below…
How are the bookies faring?
Honours between backers and bookmakers remain level-pegging at the half-way point of the Cheltenham Festival.
After Appreciate It and Shishkin on day one, it was another dream start for punters with Bob Olinger (6-4) and Monkfish (1-4) rewarding favourite-backers, although the latter not totally in the manner expected, in what was a messy race. Betfair went 9-2 about next year’s Gold Cup for Monkfish, with Coral a slightly more conservative 6-1.
In a mirror image of Tuesday, race three threw up a big-priced winner – this time Heaven Help Us at 33-1 in the Coral Cup – but in a twist from the opening afternoon, the feature Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase was also a great result for the layers.
Chacun Pour Soi had been all the rage as the 8-13 market leader, but he did not get up the hill as last year’s Arkle heroine Put The Kettle On (17-2) continued Henry de Bromhead’s spectacular week.
In contrast to previous years Tiger Roll (9-2) had bookmakers smiling in winning the cross-country chase, at the expense of Easysland, while 14-1 shot Sky Pirate was another good result for the layers in the Grand Annual.
The card finished with the Champion Bumper – and although it was a Willie Mullins-trained one-two, Sir Gerhard at 85-40 got the better of the odds-on Kilcruit.
More from that punter
The accumulator kicked off with Golden Horde (12-1) and Hello Youmzain (10-1) winning the Commonwealth Cup and Diamond Jubilee Stakes respectively at Royal Ascot, before Shishkin, who he had backed at 4-1, claimed the Arkle and Bob Olinger, who he had at 25-1, lifted the Ballymore.
Dean said: “This year I really fancied Golden Horde and Hello Youmzain at Royal Ascot. Shishkin was an obvious one, while Bob Olinger looked so good in his bumper.
“I also love his trainer, Henry de Bromhead, and Bob Olinger’s sire, Sholokhov, plus the Ballymore is my favourite race in the world. I’ve backed all the big winners of the race over the years.
“I just love Envoi Allen and want to be able to cheer him home today, that’s why I have partially cashed out. Come on Envoi.”
Asked what he will do with the money, Dean said: “I’ll be going on a lot of holidays!
“It’s my mum and dads 70th this year, so we’ll be going to New York and to some of the best golf courses in the world. I really want to play Bethpage and Sawgrass. And I think I’ll buy a horse.”
Lay of the land
The going is ‘good to soft’ today.
It looks to be yet another largely dry day in the Cotswolds.
Here’s what the Met Office are predicting.
- Cloudy skies
- Chance of rain: 5 – 10%
- Temperatures: 9-10 degrees Celsius
- Wind speeds: Up to 11mph, with some gusts of up to 20mph
Day three tips
Here’s expert Johnny Ward with his best bets.
Punter cashes out
You will have seen Paul Dean’s remarkable acca on the line ahead of today. He stood to win £511,000 if Envoi Allen at 4/9 won the first race.
Well, he’s accepted Betfair’s improved cash-out offer of £275,000. Will he regret that?
Race card today
Here’s the order of the day.
1.20pm: Marsh Novices’ Chase
1.55pm: Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
3.05pm: Stayers’ Hurdle
3.40pm: Festival Plate Handicap Chase
4.15pm: Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
4.50pm: Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
Good morning and welcome to Day Three of Cheltenham Festival!
That’s our lot for day two. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you for day three!
A superb ride from Rachael Blackmore, who was arguably on the second-best horse. She dictated a muddling pace and Kilcruit, ridden by Paul Townend, probably gave her too much rope. That takes her to three winners, with Willie Mullins on three and Henry de Bromhead on three.