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Cheltenham Festival 2023 - Day 2 Preview

Brian Hayes for Bookies.com

Brian Hayes  | 7 mins

Cheltenham Festival 2023 - Day 2 Preview

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Cheltenham Festival 2023 Day 2 Tips

HorseRaceOdds (click to bet)Bet With
Champ Kiely Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
Adamantly Chosen (EW) Brown Advisory Novices' Chase
Run For Oscar Coral Cup Handicap Chase
Bet UK
Energumene Champion Chase
William Hill
Delta Work Cross Country Chase
Dinoblue Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
Chapeau De Soleil (EW) Champion Bumper
Bet UK

*Odds correct as of March 14, 2023

Champion Chase Day at the Cheltenham Festival

What a brilliant first day at the festival that was! I was delighted to see El Fabiolo win so well and what a ride that was from young Michael O’Sullivan on Marine Nationale! Constitution Hill was definitely the star on the day, though. He is something very special. Honeysuckle winning for Henry and Rachael was so special too. What a day!

I ride three nice horses at Cheltenham on Wednesday and hopefully with a bit of luck, they could go close.

Champ Kiely - 1:30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

I like Champ Kiely in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the prices on horse racing betting sites.

I was very impressed with his victory last time in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas. He was very tough that day and showed he stays this trip very well. He beat a good horse in Irish Point, who has franked that form since. I think he is overpriced here.

Adamantly Chosen (EW) - 2:10 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase

I ride Adamantly Chosen oven three miles in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase on Wednesday and hopefully he can put up a good showing here.

I rode Adamantly Chosen in a Grade 1 over Christmas at Limerick when we weren’t far behind the favourite, Gerri Colombe, who obviously re-opposes. I will ride him to get the trip so we will try to come late, and he could be a decent each-way bet at 16/1 with some horse racing betting apps. The ground is a bit of a concern, and we definitely wouldn’t want it getting any softer. The ground will, however, suit both the favourite, Gerri Colombe, and Sir Gerhard. 

From a win point of view, I would probably sway towards Sir Gerhard, but Adamantly Chosen has every right to run a big one and grab a place.

Run For Oscar - 2:50 Coral Cup

Run For Oscar looks like he could be on a very attractive mark here when you consider what he has achieved on the flat. 

He was very impressive in August last year when taking the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket off a mark of 90, which is very strong form. If he can translate that ability to hurdles, he should go very well for the father & son team of Charles and Philip Byrnes in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle.

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Energumene - 3:30 Champion Chase

This is the highlight of day two, and this really does look like a match between Edwardstone and Energumene.

I feel like both trainers have campaigned their horses with this race in mind, and both may have a decent amount of improvement to come. I think there isn’t much between them, but I will take a chance on Energumene. Last year he proved he handles very soft conditions, and that looks like it may be the case again.

Delta Work - 4:10 Cross Country Chase

This looks like a very decent renewal of the Cross Country Chase with top-class horses like Delta Work, Galvin and Franco De Port running.

I am, however, going to come down on the side of Delta Work for Gordon Elliott and Keith Donoghue. Delta Work, crucially, has plenty of experience over this specialist course, and his main market rivals at betting sites in Galvin and Franco De Port don’t have this. It is just not at all simple to win over this course on your first go. I think on that basis, Delta Work takes a good bit of stopping.

Dinoblue - 4:50 Grand Annual

This is a great race that will be run at a frantic pace, and I have a nice ride here in Dads Lad for Willie Mullins and the Whitegrass Racing Syndicate.

We won here at Cheltenham in November, and I think we could run a big race with that experience behind him. However, from a win point of view, I do like Dinoblue here, who does look well handicapped on her best form. She has run some big races this season, such as when behind the likes of Magic Daze and Impervious. 

This is very good form, and she has the pace to be effective in this sort of a test.

Chapeau De Soleil (EW)- 5:30 Champion Bumper

This is a brilliant old school edition of the Champion Bumper with the full field of 24 runners. The last couple of editions of this race, there has been smaller fields, so it should be very entertaining viewing as there will be a real cavalry charge over the first two furlongs as we all look for a good position.

Willie Mullins has 10 in the race, and I ride Chapeau De Soleil for Willie and Mrs Susannah Ricci. I like him, and while he is a bit quirky, as he showed last time when he did everything wrong when being beaten by the re-opposing Better Days Ahead, I think he can go well. If he does things right in settling and not hanging, then he definitely has the ability for this type of contest. He could well be a very decent each-way bet.

I am a big fan of the favourite, A Dream To Share, for John Kiely. However, I just think he has loads of flat speed, and I don’t think the soft ground helps his cause. If the Champion Bumper does turn into a stamina contest, which I think it will, I can see why Patrick Mullins picked Fact To File. He could well overturn form with A Dream To Share on this basis. However, I’m very happy to be on Chapeau De Soleil.

About the Author

Brian Hayes for Bookies.com
Brian Hayes
Brian Hayes is a leading Irish jockey based with the Willie Mullins yard and regular rider at all the big national hunt racing festivals including Galway, Punchestown Aintree and Cheltenham. The Cork native has ridden high in the riding ranks despite not hailing from a racing background and quickly becoming a relied on partner for some of the best horses in top training yards.