Day two of the Cheltenham Festival, known as Ladies’ Day, provides a stacked card from start to finish. The seven-race card features four Grade 1 races, and online bookmakers always crank up the excitement with exciting Cheltenham Festival betting offers for new and existing customers.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the day’s feature race. Running from 15:30, it’s the most prestigious minimum-distance chase in the National Hunt calendar, and this year’s race is set to be an absolute classic.
Keep reading to learn more about all seven races, including who we think will win each race.
Day Two Races – Ladies’ Day (Wednesday 16th March)
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
Queen Mother Champion Chase
Cross Country Chase
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Six-year-olds dominate the list of recent Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle winners, which is a great omen for Three Stripe Life. Gordon Elliot’s charge is adrift from the betting favourites, but he produced a spirited performance at Leopardstown despite losing by six lengths to race favourite, Sir Gerhard. However, Three Stripe Life is not the smoothest hurdler, so he may outrun his betting odds but not the field.
Constitutional Hill and Dysart Dynamo are both track-tested horses, who are sure to mount serious challenges. Although, you may struggle to see value in their short betting odds. Stage Star is flying under the radar. The Paul Nicholls-trained horse has hurdling pedigree with three wins from three runs, proven ability over the 2m½f distance, and the robustness required to win this Grade 1 race.
The 2022 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase is an ultra-competitive Grade 1 race run over 3m½f.
Galopin Des Champs is the clear betting favourite, and with good reason. Last year’s Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle winner enters Cheltenham in fine form with four imperious victories on the bounce, including two at Leopardstown. Galopin Des Champs represents value even at his short betting odds, such is his ability.
Where in the field could an odds-defying challenge emerge from? Ahoy Senor has a fine record on left-handed tracks, Fury Road is a Grade 1 winner over fences, and Bravemansgame has displayed strong recent form. However, keep an eye out for Bob Olinger. The seven-year-old has a perfect chase record, and ran smoothly in a recent victory at Punchestown.
Betting for the 2022 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle is wide open, and there are plenty of runners in this large field who could mount a challenge. With such handicap races, the betting value is often found in horses who are running better than their placings suggest. Grand Roi, who ran wide at Navan, and Al Dancer, who has been travelling untroubled, could both be ready to unleash a performance to match their potential.
After winning the Mares’ Handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival, Party Central has caught the eye of some punters. The six-year-old also has a victory at the 2m4f distance. Good Risk At All, State Man, and Unexpected Party all possess the robustness to withstand a race of this intensity. It’s a very tough race to call, but we’re going to look past the favourites and back Party Central to win.
The latest Queen Mother Champion Chase betting odds suggest the third Grade 1 race of the day will be an epic duel between two eight-year-olds who are very familiar with each other.
Energumene finished a length behind the majestic Shishkin – a heavy favourite with bookmakers – at Ascot in January. However, Shishkin, who has won his last ten races, made a number of uncharacteristic errors in the race, and should have stomped home by a much wider margin. It’s very difficult to look beyond the impressive Nicky Henderson-trained horse, but the short betting odds may put some off.
Chacun Pour Soi, Nube Negra, and Envoi Allen are all good horses that are worthy of a mention, but they’ll have to produce something special to join the list of Queen Mother Champion Chase winners.
The last ten Cross Country Chase Cheltenham winners had all won a race of at least three miles before their victory. This suggests that a horse with proven stamina is needed to outrun the 26-entry field.
Tiger Roll leads the Cross Country Chase betting odds. Gordon Elliot’s legendary charge is looking to sign off in style by making it four Cross Country Chase wins in five years. The 12-year-old’s form is far from sparkling, but he knows how to put on a performance in this race.
Potters Corner has an impressive record in stamina events, as does Lord du Mesnil; although it will be his first entry in this event. Former Irish Gold Cup winner, Delta Work is an interesting prospect. From the same stable as Tiger Roll, the five-time Grade 1 winner has unquestionable pedigree, but claiming victory on his first cross country outing may be a step too far.
Looking at Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase trends, champions are almost always previous distance winners who are aged nine or younger. There are plenty of horses that fit the profile in this wide-open field.
Buddy Rich and Coeur Sublime enter the race full of confidence after recent chase wins, with the latter the favourite to win. Seven-year-old Brave Seasca has also ran well of late, most recently at Warwick, and is likely to mount a strong challenge.
However, looking away from the frontrunners, Dancing On My Own represents fantastic value. The Henry de Bromhead-trained horse beat Buddy Rich earlier in the season for a chase win at Killarney. He won’t be phased by the prospect of bad ground late on day two, and may have what it takes to cause an upset.
The 2022 Champion Bumper betting market is dominated by a strong favourite, but there are a few gems amongst the stacked field.
American Mike is ridden by Jamie Codd, who has an outstanding bumper record, and the five-year-old fits the profile of a Champion Bumper winner. Redemption Day displayed impressive form at Leopardstown in December, with Patrick Mullins previously describing him as their quickest bumper horse. At the same meet, James’s Gate’s performances saw his odds slashed; from an outsider to one of the betting front runners.
They’re all chasing red-hot favourite Facile Vega, who was absolutely imperious at the Dublin Racing Festival. His explosive performances have blown away strong competition in the bumper division this season. Willie Mullins’ five-year-old is the one to beat.