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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020

Altior to defend his crown: 3 tips for Day Two of Cheltenham

Thom Malone looks ahead to Wednesday’s racing in Heed Your Hunch.

EACH DAY OF the Cheltenham Festival, Heed Your Hunch will be bringing you tips for the first, the last and the feature race at Prestbury Park thanks to Betway. 

Festival Trials Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Brewinupastorm and Richard Johnson at Cheltenham in January. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The opening race on Wednesday sees three Grade One winners at the head of the market in the shape of Champ, Klassical Dream and the monstrous Battleoverdoyen.

One horse that has been the apple of his rookie trainer’s eye is Brewinupastorm (8/1). Olly Murphy is a former assistant to Gordon Elliot, so he has plenty of experience of winning with good horses. Champion jockey Dickie Johnson is already booked.

He had a novicey fall last time out at Cheltenham when leading and Johnson was
uncharacteristically angry with leaving a winner out there. He has four lengths to find with Champ, but could easily make that up on a stiffer track, and at his current price could be some value.

The Champion Chase is a thrilling spectacle with the best steeplechasers taking flight over the bigger obstacles at the highest speed. It has an illustrious roll of honour including greats like Sprinter Sacre, Moscow Flyer, Sizing Europe and Master Minded.

Nicky Henderson Stable Visit - Lambourn Altior and trainer Nicky Henderson at his Seven Barrows yard. Source: Steven Paston

Altior (2/5) will win this. That is what he does. There is no conversation or argument to be had. He is the best horse in the race. He has no equal at this distance. The opposition is happy to admit they are running scared. He has never been beaten in seventeen attempts over obstacles.

He is looking to win at a fourth straight festival and back-to-back Champion Chases. The only question is how many more Champion Chases can he win.

Willie Mullins has won an incredible nine Wetherby’s Champion Bumpers. As a general rule he is mob-handed here, with the best of the winners of the bumpers he has farmed over the course of the season. Not this year.

The freakishly dry weather has seriously curtailed participation by Mullins in
bumpers this year. The exception is Blue Sari (11/4), who claimed victory at Gowran on Thyestes Day. He was weak in the betting on the day, but won with authority and pulling up was the most difficult part of rider Patrick Mullins’ journey.

He is only four, but so was Cue Card. Blue Sari can end Day Two in celebration.

Get your money back as a free bet if your horse loses in the first or the last race over each day of the Cheltenham Festival with Betway’s Money Back Special. You can also win a prize of £25k each day of Cheltenham on Betway’s Insider Blog with 4 To Win, a free-to-play prediction game. Offer as above. 18+, always gamble responsibly. For more, see BeGambleAware.org

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