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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018
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Liveblog

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Hello and welcome to today’s Cheltenham liveblog, your one-stop shop to keep on track of all the action at Prestbury Park.

The premise is simple. If your stuck in work or college or just not near a TV to watch the racing, we’ve got you covered.

Just subscribe to our results service using the button below (for mobile devices only) and we’ll send you on the results of each race as they land.

The first day was a successful one for Willie Mullins, even if Getabird and Faugheen disappointed. We also had six terrific finishes from seven races so more of that today would be ideal.

Wednesday’s big race is, of course, the Queen Mother Champion Chase which sees Altior, Douvan and Min fight it out for Grade One honours at 3.30pm.

Here’s a reminder of today’s full schedule, with the Grade Ones highlighted in bold.

1.30pm: Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 
2.10pm: RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase 
2.50pm: Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
3.30pm: Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase 
4.10pm: Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country)
4.50pm: Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
5.30pm: Weatherbys Champion Bumper

If you’re looking for a preview of today’s action, you’ll find it here:

We’re just about 20 minutes away from the first race of the day.

It’s hard to look past Samcro, for many the banker of the festival. But Next Destination will have a say in the outcome while each-way backers will hope Vision Des Flos can get among the places.

Samcro wins the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

The favourites are at it again as Samcro (8/11) wins the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. He never looked troubled at all. What a horse.

Black Op put up a bit of a fight, but that was just so smooth from Samcro.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Full results: 

1. Samcro (8/11F)
2. Black Op (8/1)
3. Next Destination (4/1)

Next up, we’ve the RSA Insurance Chase which sees Presenting Percy go off as the favourite under Davy Russell.

The big danger is from Monalee but don’t rule out Al Boum Photo in this one either.

Presenting Percy wins the RSA Insurance Chase

Another race, another favourite comes home first as Presenting Percy wins the RSA Insurance Chase at a canter.

That was very, very impressive from the favourite and Davy Russell.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Ruby Walsh looked in big trouble after a fall on Al Boum Photo. Remember the Irish jockey is coming back from a broken leg. He’s currently being attended to by an ambulance.

Full results:

1. Presenting Percy (5/2F)
2. Monalee (10/3)
3. Elegant Escape (9/1)

Ruby Walsh stood down for the day

After that fall in the RSA, Ruby Walsh is stood down for the day.

26 go to the post in the Coral Cup next.

William Henry is the 8/1 favourite but keep an eye on Barra at 16/1.

Bleu Berry wins the Coral Cup

It’s another winner for Willie Mullins as Bleu Berry just gets the better of Topofthegame with Barra finishing in third.

That’s a third winner of the day for Ireland and a sixth of the festival in total so far.

It was yet another cracking finish and a great performance from Mark Walsh on board — that’s him in the yellow cap clearing the last — considering he didn’t know he was riding Bleu Berry until 20 minutes before the off.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Credit to Topofthegame and Barr for running him close too.

Full results:

1. Bleu Berry (20/1)
2. Topofthegame (9/1)
3. Barra (16/1)
4. William Henry (8/1F)

Here’s we go. 20 minutes to the biggest race of the day and maybe, just maybe, the best race of the festival.

Altior (evens), Douvan (7/2) and Min (4/1) are dominating the conversation — and the betting — in the build up. But what a fairytale it would be if Special Tiara (28/1), at the ripe old age of 11, could repeat last year’s success in this race.

You called the feature race yesterday, and today you voted Douvan the winner.

Can The42 readers go two for two?

Altior wins the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

Altior wins the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase ahead of Min. It wasn’t the greatest performance of his career but that’s 13 out of 13 over jumps for Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old.

Douvan was a faller when taking them all on earlier in the race.

Altior definitely wasn’t a fan of the ground but he had that extra bit of class over Min coming up the Prestbury Park hill as yet another favourite takes the honours

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Full results:

1. Altior (evensF)
2. Min (5/2)
3. God’s Own (40/1)

The big race of the day might be done and dusted but one of the most popular races of the festival is up next, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.

Cause of Causes (10/3) is the favourite with the ever popular, Josies Orders (8/1) and Bless The Wings (9/1) also towards the top of the market.

We tipped Cantlow (25/1) as our each-way bet of the day last night, so fully expect it to fall at the first.

Tiger Roll wins the Cross Country

Tiger Roll dominates the final stages and takes the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase for Gordon Elliott after four gruelling miles.

Tiger Roll is hopefully okay after that one as Keith Donoghue has to walk back to the parade ring as his mount is checked over.

Source: EMPICS Sport

Urgent De Gregaine just failed to get up at the end but it was still a quality race.

Full results:

1. Tiger Roll (7/1)
2. Urgent De Gregaine (12/1)
3. The Last Samuri (11/4F)

The penultimate race of the day is the Grade Three Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle — for the Fred Winter as normal people call it — which sees 21 go to post.

Gordon Elliott has had a decent day so far and he saddles the favourite Micthouka in this one.

Both Look My Way and Nube Negra are lighter raced, but if Knight Destroyer can get around the course, he stands every chance with his flat speed. .

Veneer Of Charm wins the Fred Winter

Gordon Elliott does make it a treble on the day but it wasn’t the favourite to come out on top, instead Jack Kennedy pilots the outsider Veneer of Charm to the win in the Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

Here we are again, heading into the final race of the day and, once again, there’s plenty of Irish interest.

Blackbow has been favourite all week but Joseph O’Brien’s Rhinestone is the new name with the F beside his odds.

For what’s it’s worth, our own fancy is Acey Milan and not just because it’s the best named horse of the week.

They’re off in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at 5.30pm.

Relegate wins the Champion Bumper

Carefully Selected made all the running in the last but it’s another winner for Willie Mullins as Katie Walsh guides Relegate to victory in the Champion Bumper.

That was a perfectly timed finish from Walsh to chin the horse, Carefully Selected, who made all the running.

Full results:
1. Relegate (25/1)
2. Carefully Selected (6/1)
3. Tornado Flyer (14/1)

And that’s all from us.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of day two of this year’s festival and, the best part is, there are two more days to go.

As Bon Jovi once sang… “This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted, No silent prayer for the faith-departed.”

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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