Cheltenham 2019: Lucky Luke's Day 2 Tips

12/03/2019

 

After a fascinating opening day at Cheltenham, we're back for even more on day two. 

Our resident racing fan 'Lucky Luke' is in the saddle once again to cast his eye over another top seven-race card. 

Altior and Tiger Roll are some of the names in action on day two, but will they add to previous Festival success?

It's time to find out...

1:30pm - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

By the time you are reading this, City Island may no longer be under the radar, as he’s certainly had a few mentions on the Cheltenham preview circuits in the past few weeks.

Owned by the people behind Ballymore (the sponsors), City Island has been trained just for this by Martin Brassil and his racecourse outings have gone completely to plan during that process. Victories have come over 2m at Leopardstown and 2m3f at Naas this season, winning by three lengths and seven lengths respectively.

Amateur jockey Jamie Codd mentioned the other day that he had been doing a bit of work with the trainer and that he will only run his horses if he has them in good shape. He seemed pretty sweet on his chances at the Final Furlong podcast preview night, and that makes him a good bet for me in a race that looks wide open.

2:10pm - RSA Insurance Novices' Chase

Gigginstown won this race back in 2015 with Don Poli and I've a feeling they could be finding themselves in the winners' enclosure again with Delta Work

Festival form counts for a lot in these big races and Delta Work is following a similar path to Presenting Percy, who also won the Pertemps before landing the RSA last season. 

Delta Work arrives in fantastic form as well. Unbeaten in three Chase starts so far this campaign, including an impressive 8 length victory in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas. 

His trainer Gordon Elliott describes him as "bone idle", but given he has proven himself to be the best novice chaser in Ireland, he should be able to do the same at Cheltenham.

2:50pm - Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

10 of the last 12 winners of the Coral Cup have had at least 1 win that season. That should help to rule out a few of these, including the favourite Uradel. A stat I'm well aware could come back to haunt me. 

Instead, it has led me to one at a bigger price in Canardier, who should be treated with some huge each-way respect. 

He landed a C&D novice win back in October and hasn't been seen since then. He might prefer slightly better ground, but given this will be his handicap debut, he's one to keep an eye on. 

3:30pm - Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

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Altior has quite simply got everybody running scared of him in the two-mile division this season, meaning this is his to lose. A win over Un De Sceaux at Sandown, on conditions he didn’t like, has proved his credentials this campaign, and he hasn’t stopped winning since.

He’s quickly become a superstar of the sport and is arguably the best National Hunt horse in training.

Min will pose a threat, but he had a great chance as they jumped the last together in 2018, yet Altior still powered away up the Cheltenham hill. It appears only Altior can stop himself from winning.

4:10pm - Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase

If there was a fan favourite heading to Cheltenham this year, it would most definitely be Tiger Roll.

After winning the Cross Country at the Festival last March, he went on to be a well-supported winner of the Grand National at Aintree, and I for one, was well on the bandwagon after backing him in both.

“Tiger Roll’s for everybody” was the shout from the stands and they could be echoed around Prestbury Park again, with the three-time Festival winner lined up to make it a fourth.

A supposed blow-out at Navan last time resulted in victory, and if trainer Gordon Elliot reckoned he was only 70% fit for that, I can’t wait to see the horse that could rock up this week.

4:50pm - Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Paul Nicholls has had an excellent recent record in this race, winning it three times in the last decade with Sanctuaire (2010), Qualando (2015) and Diego Du Charmil (2016). 

He has Dogon in the race this year and he could be another potential winning candidate for Nicholls. His best is certainly still ahead of him after disappointing at Cheltenham in January, but he was better when 2nd at Wincanton last time. 

His form in France would suggest he prefers softer ground so he might just have his ideal conditions come race time. 

5:30pm - Weatherbys Champion Bumper

I've had an eye on Envoi Allen since he was featured on the point-to-point programme on At The Races. 

He was mentioned due to his connections playing a part in Bacardys and Getabird prior to them racing under rules. Of course, Envoi Allen impressed in that sphere and was bought by Cheveley Park Stud and sent into training with Gordon Elliot. 

The rest, as they say, is history, with Envoi Allen landing a hat-trick of bumpers in Ireland, including a Grade 2 at Leopardstown. He beat Meticulous that day, who is also well fancied for this, and that makes him the pick of these in this. 

Selections

1:30 – City Island

2:10 – Delta Work

2:50 – Canardier (EW)

3:30 – Altior – NAP

4:10 – Tiger Roll

4:50 – Dogon (EW)

5:30 – Envoi Allen

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