With the first day at Cheltenham done and dusted, the second day promises to be another absolute humdinger, with plenty of tricky races to pick the bones out of.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the centrepiece of the day 2 and it is always a sight to behold, with the top two-mile chasers in the British Isles fighting it out to win the top prize.
Much like day one, there are some highly competitive races to get your teeth into so read on to find out more about Cheltenham 2020.
Here are our expert tips for Cheltenham day 2:
1:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle (Grade One) 2m5f
Like most of the novice hurdle races at the meeting, the Irish have a very strong hand to play. However, SPORTING JOHN could make it a win for the UK as Philip Hobbs’ five-year-old has been so impressive in his three hurdle runs to date. At 4/1, he looks a sure-fire bet.
His main danger could be Willie Mullins’ THE BIG GETAWAY at 6/1. He won his last race at Naas in January, flying home to record a wide-margin win and he could run our selection close.
Ballymore Novices Hurdle tip: SPORTING JOHN – 4/1
2:10 RSA Novices Chase (Grade One) 3m 1/2f
This has the potential to be one of the best races over the course of the four days, with some young stars mixing it with the old brigade. Can FAUGHEEN produce one of the most incredible wins of all time at Cheltenham? So many times he has bounced off the canvas to prove his doubters wrong. At the age of 12, he looks as good as ever but surely a younger horse will be prove too strong. Even though, he is a 9/1 shot and can’t be ruled out.
CHAMP looks a worthy favourite at 3/1 but his jumping has been a bit sketchy on the odd occasion and in a race of this magnitude, it could let him down.
So go with COPPERHEAD to win a sterling renewal at the price of 11/2. He has won his last three races including a demolition of his opponents at Ascot last time. Colin Tizzard’s horse has no real question marks and looks like he could be the one to side with.
RSA Novices Chase tip: COPPERHEAD – 11/2
2:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three) 2m5f
Another conundrum for punters to get their heads round. It is 17/2 the field, which just shows the competitiveness in this race. The joint favourites are BIRCHDALE and PROTEKTORAT. The former hasn’t shown much sparkle in his last two runs for Nicky Henderson, including a novice chase at Ascot last time when third of four.
Dan Skelton’s PROTEKTORAT boasts much more solid form and has won around Cheltenham before. At the age of five, he looks open to improvement.
However, Gordon Elliott’s CRACKING SMART looks a big price at 16/1. He won well at Navan last time and looks well treated on that run. He could be another winner for the Irish.
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle tip: CRACKING SMART E/W – 16/1
3:30 Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One) 2m
Another absolute corker of a race in prospect with ALTIOR (13/8) and DEFI DU SEUIL clashing over two miles for the first time.
Nicky Henderson’s ALTIOR has been brilliant for many years but was beaten soundly by Cyrname at Ascot last time. There are question marks over whether he is past his peak. Time will tell if that is the case but he could be vulnerable to a younger horse.
DEFI DU SEUIL ( 9/4) has got better and better over fences and is improving all the time. He could be the one to get the 2m crown. MIN looks a big price at 11/1 and could run well.
Queen Mother Champion Chase tip: MIN E/W – 11/1
4:10 Cross Country Chase (Class 2) 3m6f
Probably the most famous horse in training, TIGER ROLL, bids to defend his crown here. The two-time Grand National winner is going for a hat-trick of wins in that race but is pencilled in to run here first. He is 1/1 and a short price but he ran very encouragingly last time after sustaining an injury.
MIGHT BITE could be the value to be on though. He is a 10/1 shot and was a credible contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup a couple of years ago. The unusual nature of this contest could invigorate Nicky Henderson’s charge, with the trainer set for a great meeting.
At a longer price, JOSIE ORDERS could run very well at 16/1 odds.
Cross Country Chase tip: MIGHT BITE – 10/1
4:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three) 2m i/2f
Another big field is expected to line-up here and we think it could be wise to side with MICK PASTOR who is 15/2. He was soundly beaten by Triumph Hurdle hopeful Allmankind in November but won handsomely at Ludlow on his last run. Paul Nicholls is a master with younger horses and he looks sure to run a big race.
CERBERUS is another who could run well. He has continually run well all season against the four-year-olds and at 11/1, he should belie those odds and be prominent.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle tip: MICK PASTOR – 15/2
5:30 Champion Bumper (Grade One) 2m 1/2f
A hot race on paper, with Willie Mullins having, as expected, some very fancied runners in the field.
Mullins has the favourite, APPRECIATE IT, at 13/8 and he couldn’t have been more impressive this season with his trio of wins and he has the second favourite, FERNY HOLLOW, who won decisively at Fairyhouse. His odds are 15/2.
However, Mullins might rue the fact that PANIC ATTACK moved from his stable to David Pipe recently. He won impressively for Mullins on his only start at Market Rasen and could come back to haunt Mullins. At 8/1, he looks good value.
Pipe’s other chance, ISRAEL CHAMP, is a tough frontrunner and should also be in the shake-up at 10/1.
Champion Bumper tip: PANIC ATTACK – 8/1