Cheltenham Festival Day Two Preview - Altior The Star Attraction On Champion Chase Day
Officials at Cheltenham decided to abort their planned 8am inspection and announced that racing would take place on Wednesday afternoon after the strong winds forecast failed to reach speeds that would affect Wednesday's racing at Prestbury Park.
With the green light given it's time to look at day two of the Cheltenham Festival, and Wednesday's action will be all about Altior, who is bidding for a fourth Cheltenham Festival success and is a red-hot favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at 3:30pm.
Unbeaten over fences, Altior is one of the stars of the modern era and Nicky Henderson's pride and joy is aiming to retain his Champion Chase crown he won in fine style 12 months ago, and he is entitled to be a warm order, but the Willie Mullins-trained Min is a class act in his own right and he could pose a few problems for the Seven Barrows contender.
The action begins at 1:30pm with a fascinating renewal of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and it will see Henderson's Champ aim to build on a fine win in the Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury, but the Seven Barrows inmate will face some notable adversaries including the Gordon Elliott-trained Battleoverdoyen and Olly Murphy's Brewin'upastorm, who have some smart form on their CVs.
Elliott will unleash a stellar squad at Prestbury Park on Wednesday and he will saddle Delta Work in the RSA Chase, but last season's Pertemps Final hero will face a lively rival in the shape of Santini, who is looking to show his best form at 2:10pm, but will need to show he is 100% after picking up a slight niggle in the lead-up to the festival.
An ultra-competitive handicap hurdle will be third on the card at 2:50pm, but the Uradel is a warm order for Willie Mullins, but with a bumper field lining up in the Coral Cup then he will need to produce his best to hand the Mullins team a third win at this year's festival.
While Altior will be the standout runner at Cheltenham today, Tiger Roll is aiming to also pick up a fourth Cheltenham Festival winner as he looks to retain his Cross Country Chase title at 4:10pm. Not only has Gordon Elliott's raider won three times at the festival he was also a stunning winner of the Grand National last April, so if he can replicate that effort then he is entitled to be a warm jolly for the unique jumping test.
Joseph O'Brien is making a name for himself in the National Hunt arena and the former Derby-winning jockey will saddle the exciting Band Of Outlaws in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at 4:50pm, while the final race of the day will see the Flat contenders go to post and Blue Sari and Envoi Allen are two exciting young prospects, who could battle it out for glory in the Champion Bumper at 5:30pm.
Have a great day!
2019 Cheltenham Festival Day Two Races
1:30pm - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
2:10pm - RSA Chase
2:50pm - Coral Cup
3:30pm - QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
4:10pm - Cross Country Chase
4:50pm - Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
5:30pm - Champion Bumper