The second day of the Cheltenham Festival was expected to have winds with speeds of up to 80km/hour. It is for this reason that the activities of the day had been postponed to Saturday. Nevertheless, after an early inspection at around 7:00 in the morning, the racecourse was given a clean bill of health and thus the races were allowed to happen. The Ladies Day (The second day of the festival) was witnessed by over 65,000 people at Prestbury Park and millions of others were following from home. Most of the horses that seemed favorites did not really perform as expected. Below are the results of the day with brief recaps of what really transpired.
For the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Grade 1, City Island was the first to the finish line with an odd of 8/1. The horse is trained by Martin Brassil who has never registered a win at Cheltenham before. The victory was jockey Mark Walsh’s second this year and in the second and third position were Champ (9/2) and Bright Forecast (25/1) respectively. Paul Nicholls’ Topofthegame lived up to his name in the RSA Insurance Novices. The horse together with Santini took the lead by squeezing out Delta Work after which Topofthegame summed up all his energy and powered himself away. He was being ridden by jockey Harry Cobden who was very impressed. Santini and Delta Work took the second and third position respectively. The Coral Cup Grade 3 posted the most unexpected results of the day. It was perhaps the hot cake of betting companies as the favorites chosen by most people did not even make it to the top three. The winner was 28/1 William Henry followed by Wicklow Brave (28/1) in the second position and Ballyandy (14/1) the third.
If betting for Thursday’s races is your greatest concern, the best thing you can do is look at the stats. For the JLT Novices Chase, the winning ages have been 6 and 7 years in the last 8 races. Seven horses out of the last eight winners had 7/1 odds and less at most betting platforms. In the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, out of the last 6 winners, 5 were either six years old or less. The ratings for the last 7 winners were all in the range of 138 to 148 and since the year 1983, there has never been a novice winner in this race with a rating greater than 146. In this race, you should also settle for horses whose hurdle runs are between six and ten. The Ryanair Chase is one of the races that require horses that are thoroughly prepared and in their best forms. Out of the last 11 winners, 10 had a rating greater than 160. 5 out of the last 6 winners were chasing this victory for a second time having failed in the first and they were either 7 or 8 years of age. In the Gold Cup, in the last 20 competitions, 85% of winners were below 10 years of age and this shows how age is an important factor when placing a stake.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase Grade 1 was one of the greatest investments for the punters on the Ladies’ Day. Altior, although not in his best form, defended his crown and extended the number of his successive victories to 18. He was followed by Politologue (11/1) and Sceau Royale (16/1) in that order. Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll (5/4) also proved his worth in the gambling industry after topping the Cross-country Chase having been one of the favorites for the race. In the second position was Josies Orders (15/2) and Urgent de Gregaine (17/2) managed to secure the third position for himself. In the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle Grade 3, the first three positions were occupied by Band of Outlaws (7/2), Coko Beach (14/1) and Ciel De Neige (17/2) respectively. The final race of the day, the Champion Bumper was won by Envoi Allen followed by Blue Sari and Thyme Hill in that order.