Cheltenham 2024 | Day Two Selections and Naps

Day One was a great start for the Cheltenham punters. Gaelic Warrior, State Man & Lossiemouth all came through in the end, to thrash the bookies. Day Two has three odds-on shots, but are they going to win?

NAP: Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (GRADE ONE) – FACT TO FILE @ 5/6 (William Hill, Betfred)

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Fact To File is one of the best young novices we’ve seen this year. He went and proved that by beating Gaelic Warrior at a canter. The fact that Willie Mullins announced where he was going first also spoke of the confidence he has in this horse. Willie Mullins could notch 100 winners yesterday and this could be one of the most talented, who could end up in the Gold Cup next year.
With the ground as it is, I wouldn’t be going near Stay Away Fay. But Monty’s Star is a little interesting. He was third behind Corbetts Cross on debut, of which he duly delivered yesterday. Then he produced a stunning round of jumping on New Year’s Eve to beat Three Card Brag. It’s a big step up from beginners Chase to Grade One, but he may well be able to handle it. 6/1 (William Hill).

E/W BET: Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle (GRADE ONE) – Handstands @ 14/1 (BetVictor, Unibet, Betfred)

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In a market that is dominated by the Irish, much like the race will be, the British aren’t without hope. Ben Pauling enjoyed a good day yesterday at Cheltenham with Twig finishing second in the Ultima and he could earn another valuable place.

Unbeaten in his career, Handstands beat Grade One winner Jango Baie and Huntingdon in a Listed Novice Hurdle. He also had some dominating victories before his step up to Listed level before. Whilst he hasn’t experienced heavy ground under rules, he has won it on his only run, and win, in point-ot-point. There’s no worry about the ground, but he’ll be bang in there with a chance to place.


Handicap Best: Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Premier) – Built By Ballymore @ 9/2 (Unibet)

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This is another race that could be dominated by favourites. And with the ground as it is, everyone has latched onto the Built By Ballymore train and have slashed his odds. I mentioned in my preview that I though he had a great chance if the rain came, and his prayers have been answered. The handicapper has not been harsh on him at all and comes into mid-division on the weights.

Each-way prices are often double figures, but there’s just something about Sa Majeste and Langer Dan that I can’t escape. It seems like poor punting going for the top three in the market, but when the handicapper says Sa Majeste is the most difficult horse he’s had to handicap, be sure that he’s got it wrong. He beat Noble Yeats, who went and won the Cleeve Hurdle since, on heavy ground at Limerick. 6/1 (William Hill).

Everyone noticed what Dan Skelton was doing midway through the season with Langer Dan. The magic number of 143 appeared, but came in difficult circumstances. When ulcers were found on him, many thought that was Cheltenham abandoned. But the Alcester trainer confirmed he was 100%, just ready enough to turn up to Cheltenham. 8/1 (William Hill).



13:30 – Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle (GRADE ONE) – Ballyburn*^ @ 2/5 (General), HANDSTANDS E/W @ 14/1 (BetVictor, Unibet, Betfred)

14:10 – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (GRADE ONE) – FACT TO FILE (NAP)^ @ 5/6 (William Hill, Betfred), Monty’s Star @ 6/1 (William Hill)

14:50 – Coral Cup (Premier) – BUILT BY BALLYMORE @ 9/2 (Unibet), Sa Majeste @ 6/1 (William Hill), Langer Dan @ 8/1 (William Hill)

15:30 – Queen Mother Champion Chase (GRADE ONE) – El Fabiolo* @ 1/2 (General)

16:10 – Cross-Country Chase – Minella Indo @ 100/30 (William Hill, BetUK), Coko Beach (R/F)

16:50 – Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Premier) – Path D’Oroux @ 12/1 (William Hill), Hardy Du Seuil @ 10/1 (General)

17:30 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (GRADE ONE) – Jasmin De Vaux @ 11/2 (Unibet), Junta Marvel @ 16/1 (Unibet, BetUK), Fleur Au Fusil @ 14/1 (William Hill)

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