Cheltenham Festival 2022 Day Two Preview

Cheltenham Stand

James Mackie

Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 13:30
6
Paul Townend

Sir Gerhard

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 151
Days: 38

The first race on day two at the Cheltenham festival is the Grade One Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and the horse we are siding with is the Willie Mullins trained Sir Gerhard.

The seven year old son of Jeremy was a smart bumper horse last term, landing his first three events in taking style including winning the Champion Bumper, he rounded off last season with a tame third at the Punchestown festival.

Sent hurdling this term the £400,000 purchase won a 18 runner maiden at Leopardstown on Boxing Day and then last time out over the same course and distance landed the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

He steps up to 2m5f for the first time in his career but having won over three miles comfortably in his point to point he should get the trip and he looks the class angle against the field.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-123
16/03/22CHL21Sft11-71
06/02/22LEO16Y/Sft11-121
26/12/21LEO16Sft12-01
28/04/21PUN16.5Y12-23
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 14:10
9
Charlie Deutsch

L'Homme Presse

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 159
Days: 39

The first Grade One event over fences on day two is the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase over three miles and we are siding with Venetia Williams trained L'Homme Presse.

He was campaigned very lightly over hurdles last term, obviously going over the larger obstacles was always at the forefront of connections thinking, and that was a brilliant decision made by them.

L’Homme Presse has won all four of his chasing starts by a combined 50 lengths, and he has seen to be getting better with every run.

Making a smart seasonal debut at Exeter over 2m3f, he then went to Ascot and landed a Graduation Chase over 2m5f in emphatic style.

On New Year's Day he put up another career best to take the Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase by 10 lengths giving weight away to the mare The Glancing Queen.

Looking to land Grade One honours last time out he improved once more to take the Scilly Isles Chase by 21 lengths.

He has been a breath of fresh air for Venetia Williams and although stepping up to three miles for the first time in his career, he is expected to get the trip and having won round the course could be very special in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/22AIN25GS11-43
16/03/22CHL24.5Sft11-41
05/02/22SAN20GS11-41
01/01/22CHL20.5Sft11-31
18/12/21ASC21GS11-11
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
13
Simon Torrens

Drop The Anchor

J: Simon Torrens
T: P A Fahy
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-1
OR: 143
Days: 38

Always a tricky event for punters is the Grade Three Coral Cup over 2m5f and with that in mind we have taken two stabs at the race with two horses at each way prices.

The first gelding we like the look of is the JP McManus owned Drop The Anchor with the eight year old looking set up for this race.

A winner last year at the Dublin Racing Festival in a big fielded handicap over two miles, this term, he seems to have been campaigned with a view to getting ready for another go at a big pot.

Running on the flat at Navan in October to blow the cobwebs away he was a good third, then off a mark of 146 he went into a competitive Grade Three Handicap Hurdle at Ascot over two miles and ran no sort of race.

Given a small break he was last seen at the Dublin Racing festival finishing a strong fifth in the race he won last year off 10lb higher.

He stayed on extremely well that day and now getting a step up in trip which he looks to be crying out for he could be very dangerous, having previous big field experience.

Racing off a mark of 143 with a handy 3lbs taken off by Simon Torrens sees him on an attractive mark.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/04/22PUN19Y11-712
16/03/22CHL21Sft10-1214
06/02/22LEO16Y/Sft11-75
18/12/21ASC15.5GS11-29
20/10/21NAV14Y10-03
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
19
Aidan Coleman

Camprond

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Philip Hobbs
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
OR: 140
Days: 122

For the same connections, Camprond for trainer Philip Hobbs looks to have been waited on for this race and has attracted a fair bit of market support in the past few weeks.

A smart hurdler last term when winning at Taunton and then finishing a narrow second in a 22 runner Handicap event at Aintree's Grand National meeting, he carried that on to this term.

Raced through the summer, he was given a small break and returned in September when finishing second at Stratford before going to Chepstow and winning the Grade Two Persian War Novices' Hurdle in taking style.

Sent to Cheltenham after that he was an easy winner of a three runner Novices' Hurdle and that set him perfectly for a crack at the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle.

He finished a very smart fourth of 19 behind some smart horses, also beating home some other decent animals that have gone on to frank the form.

The form of the Greatwood has been well highlighted all season and having not ran since then, keeping his mark of 140 for this, he has every chance of hitting the frame.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/04/22PUN19Y11-41
16/03/22CHL21Sft10-124
14/11/21CHL16.5Gd11-54
22/10/21CHL20Gd11-61
08/10/21CHP19.5Gd11-01
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
7
Nico de Boinville

Shishkin

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 177
Days: 53

The championship race of the day on Wednesday is the Grade One Queen Mother Champion Chase and we can't look past the superstar Shishkin.

The eight year old since falling on his hurdles debut has shown bundles and bundles of ability and plenty of gears when it comes to finishing his races which has seen him land nine events in a row.

His win in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham festival was one of his most noticeable victories as a novice hurdler, finding plenty up the hill to narrowly see off Abacadabras.

On his first start over fences in November 2021 he showed the racing world just how good he is by pinging every fence and showing a startling turn of foot.

On his second start over fences he kept his outstanding unbeaten run going with another faultless round of jumping in the Grade Two Wayward Lad Novices' Chase at Kempton over Christmas, seeing off Tamaroc Du Mathan by 13 lengths.

Henderson's superstar next time out took his unbeaten record to three races over fences at Doncaster landing the Grade Two Lightning Novices' Chase.

He was then sent to the Cheltenham festival where he landed the Grade One Arkle Challenge Trophy with ease and to round the season off he went to Aintree where he again landed a Grade One contest in workmanlike fashion.

Having not been right for his seasonal debut in the Tingle Creek, he was rerouted to the Grade Two Desert Orchid Chase over Christmas and on his first start in open company he saw off the Tingle Creek winner by 10 lengths.

Shishkin was last seen against rival Energumene in the Grade One Clarence House Chase in what was the race of the season.

The gelding got up late on to win in determined fashion and now at a track he has history with, it looks a tough task for his rivals to reverse the form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/03/22CHL16Sft11-10PU
22/01/22ASC17Sft11-71
27/12/21KEM16Sft11-31
10/04/21AIN16GS11-41
16/03/21CHL16Sft11-41
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 16:10
15
Davy Russell

Tiger Roll

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 12
Weight: 11-4
OR: 161
Days: 53

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase every season is either a race you love or you hate and for us it is certainly a contest where we can find value and with that in mind we have two selections.

Our win stance in the race comes from the Gordon Elliott trained Tiger Roll, who will get one of the biggest receptions ever seen at a racecourse if he goes on to land his fourth victory in this race and sixth win at the Cheltenham festival.

The dual Grand National winner is a horse that is held dear to many racing fans and with this set to be his final run he could bring the house down.

He loves this event, staying the trip better than anyone in the field whilst also jumping so well for such a small pocket rocket of a horse.

The gelding has been primed for this race all season long and if anywhere near the same form as he was for winning the race last term, then nothing should beat him.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/03/22CHL30Hy11-42
22/01/22NAV20Y11-514
04/12/21AIN25Sft11-0PU
08/04/21AIN25GS11-74
17/03/21CHL30GS11-41
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 16:10
13
Mr Derek O'Connor

Shady Operator

J: Mr Derek O'Connor
T: E Bolger
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-4
OR: 140
Days: 31

At a bigger price for Cross Country specialist trainer Enda Bolger, Shady Operator could run a huge race at an each price.

In the colours of JP McManus the nine year old looks extremely likeable getting weight off the other runners near the top of the market.

Having been up and down during the last few years, his stand out piece of form came three runs ago when landing a three mile Cross Country Chase around Punchestown.

He was then seen having another blow out when only beating one home in a 17 runner handicap hurdle, two places behind Tiger Roll, it will have been used as a prep run for this event.

In February Shady Operator was seen back over fences at Punchestown when a narrow second to stablemate Midnight Maestro in a Cross Country event over 3m1f.

He has a very likeable profile for this event and could run into a place.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/05/22KLN26Gd11-63
30/04/22PUN25Gd12-73
16/03/22CHL30Hy11-48
13/02/22PUN25Hy12-02
22/01/22NAV20Y10-1116
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 16:50
10
Brendan Powell

Amarillo Sky

J: Brendan Powell
T: Colin Tizzard
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-13
OR: 143
Days: 24

The penultimate event on day two of the 2022 Cheltenham festival sees the Grade Three Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup and we have two pokes at the race with English trained horses.

The first is the Colin Tizzard trained Amarillo Sky with this £280,000 purchase really coming into his own this season and still only on a mark of 143 could go close here.

Being an up and down hurdler showing signs of ability but then never running any races, he has taken much better to chasing this term.

Finishing a fair fourth on chase/seasonal debut at Chepstow in a handicap, he then went to Wincanton and got off the mark for the season in decent style, beating rival in this Thyme White.

He then went to Ascot off a mark of 131 and finished a good second to the progressive Brave Seasca who is in the Arkle.

Looking the likely winner next time out he took a novicey tumble, but got back on track in a big way last time out at Newbury when winning a good handicap event by 10 lengths.

Raised 8lb for that he could still have some room for improvement and we think he is one of the more likely horses to go close.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/22AIN16GS11-46
16/03/22CHL16Hy10-135
20/02/22NBY16.5Sft11-101
19/01/22NBY16.5GS11-8F
17/12/21ASC17GS11-32
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 16:50
6
Sam Twiston-Davies

Before Midnight

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Sam Thomas
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-4
OR: 148
Days: 47

At a bigger price is the Sam Thomas trained Before Midnight who looks to have been laid out for this race all season, being dropped back to two miles over fences and winning some good races.

He was first seen over the larger obstacles last April when winning a Class 2 Handicap at Chepstow in taking style.

Seen again in October this term, he made it back to back wins at Cheltenham, beating last year's winner of this race Sky Pirate by six lengths.

Up to a mark of 144 he landed the hat-trick at Ascot in a very competitive event, which saw his handicap mark go up to 148.

Seen twice more since, he ran credibly in his first Grade Two event, although finishing last of the four he was only 17 lengths behind the superstar Shishkin.

Having his last prep run before this event he was a length second to the smart Funamble Sivola, who has since franked the form, winning the Grade Two Game Spirit Chase.

That form reads extremely well and at a double figure price he can surely hit the frame if staying on his upward curve.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/04/22AIN16GS11-76
28/01/22DON16.5Gd11-82
27/12/21KEM16Sft11-04
20/11/21ASC17Gd10-111
23/10/21CHL16Gd10-31
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 17:30
7
Mr P W Mullins

Facile Vega

J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-5
OR: 138
Days: 39

The final event of the afternoon is the Grade One Champion Bumper and we have two Willie Mullins trained horses that we believe will not be out of the first three.

The first is the superstar Facile Vega who has the least to prove in this race having been seen winning twice on both his starts to date, both in emphatic fashion.

Beautifully bred out of six time Cheltenham festival winner Quevega and Walk In The Park, he made his rules debut on Boxing Day at Leopardstown when easily seeing off a good field by six lengths.

He massively improved for that run when last seen in the Dublin Racing festival landing the Grade Two Future Stars bumper by 12 lengths, showing a turn of foot rarely seen so early on in a horses career.

Facile Vega has the world at his feet and it is going to take a freakish performance to beat him, if he runs anywhere near the level as his latest success.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y12-01
16/03/22CHL16.5Hy11-51
05/02/22LEO16Y11-111
26/12/21LEO16Sft11-111
Cheltenham - March 16 2022
Cheltenham 17:30
16
Paul Townend

Redemption Day

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-5
OR: 126
Days: 78

At an each way price is Redemption Day for Willie Mullins with this horse only being seen once in his life so far, but it was extremely taking.

Racing over Christmas at Leopardstown, he looked all speed and under Patrick Mullins drew clear at Leopardstown with ease.

He saw off Music Drive that day who won well last time out to frank the form and with Redemption Day only expected to improve he could be anything.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y12-02
16/03/22CHL16.5Hy11-513
28/12/21LEO16Sft12-21

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