Cheltenham Festival 2018 - day two as it happened!

Wed 14 Mar 2018

By Racinguk.com staff

Headlines:

  • Altior soared in an incidnt-packed Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
  • Ruby Walsh was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg following a fall in th RSA Chase
  • Samcro lived up to the hype in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
  • Patrick Kelly registered his third Festival winner in two years when Presenting Percy turned the RSA Chaase in to a procession.
  • Katie Walsh won the Weatherbys Champion Bumper aboard Relegate
  • The Irish struck once again when Tiger Roll won the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.
  • Wille Mullins won the Coral Cup for the first tim with Bleu Berry
  • Veneer Of Charm won the Fred Winter

Cheltenham Festival 2018 live blog

Wed 21:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#TheFestival day two - what was your highlight?
Wed 20:13
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Willie Mullins recorded his ninth win in the Champion Bumper @CheltenhamRaces thanks to Relegate (25-1) who flew home to land the spoils under Katie Walsh. #TheFestival
Wed 20:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Cheltenham day two, for all the latest from the Festival go to racinguk.com
Wed 19:56
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Willie Mullins recorded his ninth win in the Champion Bumper @CheltenhamRaces thanks to Relegate (25-1) who flew home to land the spoils under Katie Walsh. #TheFestival
Wed 19:50
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#RUKQuoteOfTheDay: An emotional Katie Walsh reflects on her success aboard Relegate in the Champion Bumper and Ruby Walsh’s injury @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Watch all the key interviews from today in our interviews section. ➡️ bit.ly/2xE5mpt
Wed 19:45
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"After 12 straight knockouts, he was up against the ropes and seemingly struggling to keep up with his rivals."

Altior the "freak" finds punch that knocks out Champion Chase rivals | By Andy Stephens at @CheltenhamRaces

➡️ bit.ly/2FEwYDC
Wed 19:41
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#RUKMomentOfTheDay: Altior maintains his unbeaten record over obstacles in the Champion Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Form: 13/611111/111111-11
Watch all the finishes from Cheltenham & Huntingdon today for free in our results and replay section ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Wed 19:33
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Veneer Of Charm (33-1) completed a Day Two #TheFestival treble for Gordon Elliott @CheltenhamRaces. 👊
Wed 19:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
2014 Triumph Hurdle ✅

2017 National Hunt Chase ✅

2018 Cross Country Chase ✅

Tiger Roll now a triple @CheltenhamRaces Festival winner! 👏 #TheFestival
Wed 19:18
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"We were in trouble all the way round." - Nico de Boinville reflects on Altior's success in the Champion Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Wed 19:07
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Never in doubt....?🤔 Champion Chase winner Altior certainly looked in trouble at one stage before the home straight @CheltenhamRaces! #TheFestival
Wed 19:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Was this the finish of the day on Day Two of #TheFestival @CheltenhamRaces? Bleu Berry battled bravely to provide Mark Walsh with his first Cheltenham Festival success. 👏 #BrilliantBleu
Wed 18:47
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
I'd be seriously concerned about him making @AintreeRaces. Might nip in to Punchestown? twitter.com/Racing_UK/stat…
Wed 18:47
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Presenting Percy is now a general 8-1 chance for the 2019 Gold Cup @CheltenhamRaces after an impressive win in the RSA Chase. Do you see him as a leading contender? #TheFestival
Wed 18:44
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"My leg is in a cast."

Ruby Walsh out of #TheFestival with recurrence of leg injury.

➡️ bit.ly/2tP7Fte
Wed 18:24
Racing UK@Racing_UK
How impressed were you with Samcro in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces today? It wasn't all plain sailing for him in the early stages of the race.... 👀 #TheFestival #SuperSamcro

Wed 18:22ELLIOTT READY FOR ACTION

Look out for Gordon Elliott on the town tonight in Cheltenham after he followed a blank Tuesday with a treble on Wednesday.

"Last night I was trying to get a Ryanair flight home, and I was in bed by half past nine," he said. "It won't be the same tonight!

"It's been a brilliant day - I can't believe it.

Wed 18:13RECORD DAY TWO CROWD

A new record crowd of 58,932 for the second day of has been announced

This was 1,251 more racegoers than the previous record, 57,681, seen last year.

The 2016 attendance came to 57,093, up 1,734 on the 55,359-strong crowd in 2015.

Yesterday's crowd of 66,109 was the second highest-ever on the opening day of The Festival.

Ian Renton, Regional Director of The Jockey Club South West, said: "Ladies Day has really developed over the last few years and it is very pleasing to have a new record attendance.

"The racing has been superb again, with the Irish dominating except in the in feature Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in which Altior once again showed his tremendous class at The Festival.

"We look forward to the final two days of The Festival when the action switches to the New Course.

"Those who have not booked tickets for tomorrow can turn up on the day and purchase them at the gates, though Gold Cup Day on Friday is sold out and will be attended by 70,000 racegoers."

Wed 17:57
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It's not as bad as it first seemed." -
Katie Walsh emotionally discusses her success aboard Relegate in the Champion Bumper @CheltenhamRaces and brother Ruby's injury. #TheFestival
Wed 17:50
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"Mum was the most outstanding mum. She reared six kids and a business along with my dad. They will be in floods of tears at home."

Power-packed Presenting Percy routs RSA field to hand @_Davy_Russel_ poignant #TheFestival victory

➡️ bit.ly/2pi58Cv

#TheFestival
Wed 17:46
Wed 17:39
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Relegate (25-1) flies home to win the Champion Bumper @CheltenhamRaces and provides Willie Mullins with his ninth win in the race. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 17:23
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"We had a rough day yesterday with Apple's Jade running below par and Mossback but in this game you just have to pick your head up and go again."

Samcro lifts the spirits - full replay, video reaction and report ➡️bit.ly/2FDMBvi
Wed 17:14
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I was in bed at half nine last night and anybody that knows me knows that's not my style!" - A change of luck for Gordon Elliot @CheltenhamRaces today. He spoke to us after Veneer Of Charm completed a Day Two treble for him. #TheFestival
Wed 16:58
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Veneer Of Charm (33-1) causes an upset in the Fred Winter and completes a treble for Gordon Elliot @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Wed 16:50OFF FOR THE FRED WINTER

Good luck in finding the winner of the Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, which is probably as tricky a betting race as exists during the week.

There seems to be a little late money for Gary Moore's Eragon de Chanay

Wed 16:46
Wed 16:44
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Davy Russell stood down for the day after his fall from Bless The Wings in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. #TheFestival . twitter.com/BHAStewards/st…
Wed 16:42
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Anybody fancy winning a Racing UK mug? #TheFestival twitter.com/Louchepunter/s…
Wed 16:38
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Tiger Roll joins a select group of six horses to have won three different #TheFstival races.

Quiz: Who are the other five?
Wed 16:33
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"This is a family pet now!" - Winning owner Michael O'Leary is quick to praise Tiger Roll after his success in the Glenfarclas Chase and admires the eight-year-old's love for @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Wed 16:28TIGER ON A ROLL

Quite a treble for Tiger Roll, now a winner of the Triumph Hurdle, National Hunt Chase and now the Cross Country.

Gordon Elliott's 7-1 chance was tired afterwards but is now being walked back in without jockey Keith Donoghue on top.

Owner Michael O'Leary said: "He just loves Cheltenham - hates everywhere else mind you.

"He's a rat of a thing but he's got the heart of a lion."

Wed 16:24
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Tiger Roll (7-1) wins the Cross Country Chase and records his third Cheltenham Festival success @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 16:22
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The last two races of #LadiesDay at @CheltenhamRaces are live ONLY ON Racing UK. #CheltenhamCovered #TheFestival
Join now ➡️ bit.ly/2EVQryx
Wed 16:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Report: Altior soars to Champion Chase triumph
➡️ bit.ly/2Gry5nu

#TheFestival
Wed 16:05
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's a freak." - Nico de Boinville says Champion Chase winner Altior hated the ground @CheltenhamRaces and was in trouble throughout the race. #TheFestival

Wed 16:02AINTREE FOR POLITILOGUE

Paul Nicholls is not sure Cheltenham quite brings out the best in Politilogue, who was fourth behind Altior

"It wasn't a bad run - I thought he could have been third but he just didn't quite seem to finish off the race," he said.

"He never seems to quite be at his best here, so perhaps it's worth trying the two and a half at Aintree.

"That winner is a superstar."

Wed 16:00
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Extraordinary.
Looked finished and then roared back after the last.
Sprinter used to win races from the three to the two. This one waits even longer before the coup de grace. twitter.com/Racing_UK/stat…

Wed 15:56HENDERSON ON FOR THE TREBLE

Nicky Henderson was fairly dumbfounded by the incredible performance of Altior in the Champion Chase.

"You think it isn't going to happen," he said. "He's just got gears and Nico was great. He's electric.

"It's 90% relief and 10% pleasure," said Henderson, who was asked on his thoughts of an unprecedented treble in the features in the Gold Cup with Might Bite. "OK," he said.

"It's funny how these champions come along at the same time, they do seem to help each other."

Wed 15:47
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Nicky Henderson admits to nervous moment or three watching Altior in the Champion Chase “but when he saw daylight, he was electric wasn’t he?” #TheFestival
Wed 15:46
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Great to see Douvan and Patrick Mullins up okay after their fall in the Champion Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Wed 15:45
Wed 15:36
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Altior gains his third Cheltenham Festival success and maintains his unbeaten record over fences (8-8) with a superb victory in the Champion Chase @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 15:36
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Douvan up fine. Patrick Mullins also fine. #TheFestival
Wed 15:29
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It looks like the same injury again."

Ruby Walsh taken to hospital with suspected broken leg:

Latest: ➡️ bit.ly/2GqY4vj

#TheFestival
Wed 15:25
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Altior calm and collected before the Champion Chase.
Hurdle form: 111111
Chase form: 111111
10-11 favourite.
#TheFestival

Wed 15:24A CHAMPION STORY ALREADY

Quite a race in store here, as part of a story for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase over the last week.

Ante-post favourite Altior was lame on Monday morning but was treated at Nicky Henderson's and ready to run.

Douvan was thought to be off to tomorrow's Ryanair, then back in this race. He was supposed to be ridden by Ruby Walsh, who is now injured, and Patrick Mullins is now on board. Bookmakers cannot give him away, he's about 5-1.

Then there is Min, whose jockey Paul Townend missed one winner just now when switching to Max Dynamite from Bleu Berry.

Good luck if you have followed all that, and have made your selection

Wed 15:23
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Welcome back Douvan. Will he win the Champion Chase? #TheFestival
Wed 15:18
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I'm going to cherish this." - A relieved Mark Walsh spoke to Lydia Hislop after riding his first #TheFestival winner aboard Bleu Berry in the Coral Cup @CheltenhamRaces.
Wed 15:15
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Paddy Power reportedly next bookmaker to give back money. #TheFestival twitter.com/Louchepunter/s…
Wed 15:02
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Boylesports have refunded stakes on Ruby Walsh to be top jockey at #TheFestival.

Any other bookmakers out there prepared to do the same?
Wed 14:59
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Bleu Berry digs deep to win the Coral Cup and provides Mark Walsh with his first @CheltenhamRaces Festival winner. #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Wed 14:57WALSH HURT

Rich Ricci, the owner, says Ruby Walsh has suffered a suspected broken leg after his fall two out in the RSA Chase aboard Al Boum Photo.

It will be brutal news for Walsh, 38, if confirmed as he only returned from four months on the sidelines last week after a fall at Punchestown on November 18.

"It doesn't look good, I have to say," said Ricci.

The 11-time top jockey at The Festival had been due to ride Douvan in this afternoon's Champion Chase.

Walsh was stood down for the rest of day two.

The British Horseracing Authority's stewarding team tweeted: "Following examination by doctors, Ruby Walsh has been stood down for the rest of the day. He would need to pass a further medical examination by doctors before taking any further rides at the Festival."

Walsh rode two winners on Tuesday - aboard Footpad in the Arkle Trophy and Benie Des Dieux in the Mares' Hurdle.

“He’s going for X-rays - it looks as if it’s the same injury again,” added trainer Willie Mullins.

“The same place. Obviously things could change in a few hours and the X-rays will be clear but I do know he’s very, very sore.”

Wed 14:54
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It doesn't sound good." - Rich Ricci discusses Ruby Walsh's injury @CheltenhamRaces and riding arrangements. #TheFestival

Wed 14:52TOWNEND COULD BE DYNAMITE

It's a bit difficult to take in the Coral Cup being about to be on after the dramatic RSA Chase, with Paul Townend aboard Ruby Walsh's ride Max Dynamite following the top jockey's fall and subsequent visit to hospital.

"He'd probably like the ground to be a bit better but on his Flat form he must be well-handicapped," said owner Rich Ricci of the dual Melbourne Cup runner.

Wed 14:46EMOTIONS RUN HIGH AFTER PERCY

It's a good job Philip Reynolds, the owner of RSA winner Presenting Percy talks as trainer Pat Kelly is a man of few words but great talent.

Even Reynolds, interviewed on Racing UK earlier, admitted to being "in bits".

"I never worry about the horse. Every day he wins, I'm happy," said Kelly.

It was an emotional moment for jockey Davy Russell, who lost his mother recently.

"She was an exceptional woman and she'd be very very happy today," said Russell.

"Pat Kelly is a genius."

The winner would look an obvious contender for next year's Gold Cup, given his achievements at the track so far.

Wed 14:43
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Ruby Walsh has been stood down for the rest of the day @CheltenhamRaces with a suspected broken leg. Jockey changes:

Paul Townend - Max Dynamite (2.50)
Patrick Mullins - Douvan (3.30)

#TheFestival
Wed 14:40
Racing UK@Racing_UK
“Genius” says 20-time champion jockey AP McCoy to Davy Russell after his victory on Presenting Percy in the RSA. #TheFestival
Wed 14:37
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I'm in pieces." - Philip Reynolds, owner of RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy, emotionally reflects on the seven-year-old's performance @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Wed 14:33
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Our Duke a sea of blue for Friday's Gold Cup after Presenting Percy's RSA win. #SeaOfBlue #TheFestival
Wed 14:28
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Presenting Percy 8-1 for next year’s Gold Cup with @betway. #TheFestival
Wed 14:22
Racing UK@Racing_UK
A great performance from Presenting Percy
who wins the RSA Chase @CheltenhamRaces, his second #TheFestival success, and is now 3-5 over fences.

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 14:11
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Report: Samcro proves super in Ballymore triumph at #TheFestival

➡️ bit.ly/2FDMBvi
Wed 14:09
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I don't like red heads!" - Michael O'Leary tells us his thoughts on Ballymore Novices' Hurdle winner Samcro @CheltenhamRaces. 😂 #TheFestival

Wed 14:03OPTIONS OPEN FOR SAMCRO

Gordon Elliott admitted that "we can keep dreaming" after Samcro justified the hype in the Ballymore.

Interestingly, he did not say the chestnut will definitely head over fences, althought it looks more likely.

"I know Michael (O'Leary, owner) likes his staying chasers but I'd have no problems staying hurdling with him or dropping him back (in trip)," he said.

O'Leary added: "Let's just enjoy today. Hopefully he'll go on to Punchestown and then come back to Gigginstown for the summer.

"We'll have a chat with Eddie (O'Leary, brother) and Gordon and see."

Wed 14:01
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Gordon Elliott says no chance of Samcro running at Aintree. Would not be adverse to dropping him back in trip. #TheFestival
Wed 13:54
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
"If you're feeling pressure there would be a sense of relief. I wasn't." #TheFestival #Samcro
Wed 13:47
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"There was a lot of pressure today." - A delighted Gordon Elliot reflects on the performance of Samcro who maintained his unbeaten record in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival
Wed 13:47
Wed 13:46
Wed 13:38
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Odds-on favourite Samcro wins the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces and remains unbeaten over hurdles (4-4). #TheFestival

New Betfair customers get up to £100 in free bets: bit.ly/2xDAQkw (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 13:29
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Ruby Walsh and Next Destination ahead of the opener on day two of #TheFestival. Trainer Willie Mullins says Rathvinden fine after his win yesterday and travelled home last night.
Wed 13:20
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's not the next coming of Jesus Christ."

Samcro is 8-11 for the Ballymore -his first run in Britain.

#TheFestival

Wed 13:17NO SAMCRO PLUNGE YET

Samcro no doubt features in plenty of ante-post coupons, some of which might have ended up in the wastepaper basket when Apple’s Jade and Getabird fell by the wayside.

Bookmakers, perhaps with renewed confidence, are not exactly making Gordon Elliott’s horse an unopposable favourite in the Ballymore, which is off in 20 minutes time.

The powerful, handsome-looking chestnut still 8-11 with most firms while Next Destination, whose form can be considered on a par with Samcro’s, is next best at between 7-2 and 4-1.

I’d love to find something against the top two but it takes a creative mind to find one, so good luck if you’re up to it.

Wed 13:16
Racing UK@Racing_UK
What is your best bet on Day Two of #TheFestival @CheltenhamRaces? The Racing UK team tell us theirs.

Bet £20 on the first race at Cheltenham and get a £10 free bet for every other race here today bit.ly/2FAKvfI (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 13:14
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Join Coral today for #LadiesDay at Cheltenham >>> bit.ly/2p7ZYtb
New customers can bet through the card - bet £20 on race on and £60 for the rest of the card
All Coral 7 places on the Coral cup, plus moneyback back as a free bet if your horse falls at Cheltenham!
Wed 13:07
Racing UK@Racing_UK
If you missed Ruby Walsh's run through of today with @RishiPersad1 you can watch the whole interview here
➡️ bit.ly/2IsuhmI

#TopJock #TheFestival
Wed 12:59
Wed 12:33
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Nick Lightfoot believes William Henry will provide James Bowen with his first @CheltenhamRaces Festival victory in the Coral Cup. #TheFestival

Bet £20 on the first race at Cheltenham and get a £10 free bet for every other race here today bit.ly/2FAKvfI (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Wed 12:31KENNEDY RELAXED AS SAMCRO’S TIME LOOMS

What a big day this is for Jack Kennedy, the young jockey sensation who is aboard Samcro in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in an hour’s time.

He certainly appeared cool, calm and collected in the paddock just now.

“Hopefully it all goes well, anyway,” he said.

Samcro Ltown 7

“He jumps well, he’s always where you want him to be. He has to improve a bit but I feel he is improving and hopefully he can keep going into next year.

“He’ll be a three-mile chaser in time.”

Kennedy is also aboard Dounikos for Gordon Elliott in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase

“He ran well at Leopardstown when Monalee beat him. He’ll have to improve but I feel he’s an improving horse. He’ll be doing his best work at the end.”
 He offered some encouragement for Barra in the Coral Cup: “She ran well here last year but lost her way a bit - but it was a better run the last day.”

Kennedy was not quite so excited about Veneer Of Charm in the Fred Winter, who has “probably got his work cut out”.

Wed 12:28
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Wasn't he Sizing John's goat that De Bromhead didn't want to give up to Jessica Harrington when he switched yards? @sagrassick @StevoGG twitter.com/sagrassick/sta…
Wed 12:22
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Day 2 of Cheltenham and @Coral have some great offers today
A cracking price boost on the hotpot Samcro
Paying 7 places on the Coral cup
Moneyback as a free bet if your horse falls at Cheltenham
New to Coral? Get price boosts all week by joining here >> bit.ly/2p7ZYtb
Wed 12:17
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Really is quite windy outside #TheFestival
Wed 12:11
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I'm confident!" - Fighting talk from Great Britain's Betbright Cup Captain Phil Tufnell @CheltenhamRaces! 👊 #TheFestival
Wed 11:59
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Who will win the RSA Chase this afternoon? The Racing UK team tell us their thoughts @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Bet £20 on the first race at Cheltenham and get a £10 free bet for every other race here today bit.ly/2FAKvfI (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 11:37
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I think his work at home has been good." - Ruby Walsh discusses Champion Chase contender Douvan @CheltenhamRaces. #TheFestival

Bet £20 on the first race at Cheltenham and get a £10 free bet for every other race here today bit.ly/2FAKvfI (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 11:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He has a chance." - Ruby Walsh tell us his thoughts on Al Boum Photo and their rivals in the RSA Chase @CheltenhamRaces.
# TheFestival

Bet £20 on the first race at Cheltenham and get a £10 free bet for every other race here today bit.ly/2FAKvfI (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 11:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
We take four National Hunt trainers out of their comfort zone and put them in the #RUKMastermind chair! Tune in now so you don’t miss the second part of our Racing UK Mastermind challenge. #TheFestival
Wed 11:25
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Cheltenham Festival day two.

#Altior v #Douvan

RT for Altior
Like for Douvan
Or tell us who beats them both 👇

Wed 11:24FENCE OMITTED IN CROSS COUNTRY

Fence four, known as the Aintree fence, is being omitted from the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase due to waterlogging.

The obstacle would be jumped twice during the race but clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: "It seems that the waterlogged part of the landing has got bigger over the last couple of days and that can happen after intense rainfall.

"It's an obstacle we'd need to bypass even if something happened on the first circuit so that shouldn't be a problem."

Claisse added that up to 10mm of rain is expected through this evening.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we ended up soft, good to soft in places before that rain comes tomorrow and we'll just have to see tomorrow what impact it has, but I suspect that soft will remain the predominant ground condition."

Wed 11:24
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Join Coral today for #LadiesDay at Cheltenham >>> bit.ly/2p7ZYtb
New customers can bet through the card - bet £20 on race on and £60 for the rest of the card
All Coral 7 places on the Coral cup, plus moneyback back as a free bet if your horse falls at Cheltenham!

Wed 11:22MONALEE HEADS DE BROMHEAD CHALLENGE

Henry de Bromhead was very downbeat yesterday talking about Special Tiara defending his Champion Chase title on the heavy ground - “we’re going to struggle I imagine” - and against some very stiff competition but he did report that the old favourite was “brilliant” in terms of wellbeing.

One would imagine he will go closer with Monalee in the RSA Chase, as he was a Grade 1 winner at Leopardstown last month and a potential alternative to Presenting Percy.

“He seems well,” he said. “We’ll go out and do our best. I think he’s a three-mile horse, a lot of people think he should have gone for the JLT but it was two miles five at Leopardstown and he needed that. There’s hardly been a discussion.”

Wed 11:20
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"There's just something about the horse." The Racing UK team believe Samcro will be hard to beat @CheltenhamRaces today. Do you agree? #TheFestival

Bet £20 on the 1st race at Cheltenham & get a £10 free bet for every other race here today bit.ly/2FAKvfI (T&Cs apply 🔞)
Wed 11:11
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"The handicapper doesn't make many mistakes." - Claude Charlet tells us two big-priced horses who he fancies @CheltenhamRaces today. #TheFestival

Bet £20 on the first race at Cheltenham & get a £10 free bet for every other race here today bit.ly/2FAKvfI (T&Cs apply 🔞)

Wed 10:5750p PUNTER SCOOPS £11,364.76

Not wanting to dwell too long on yesterday's action, espcially with 21 races over the next three days to get stuck in to, but one punter made all his dreams come true yesterday.

A William Hill customer defied the odds after correctly predicting the winner of all seven of the races on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Lucky bugger. There are people out there who will be lucky to get seven winners across the week, let alone the whole lot on the day.

The customer in his early fifties placed the 50p sevenfold starting with Summerville Boy in the Supreme and they bookended day one with Mister Whitaker in the Close Brothers. He trousered a cool £11,364.76. Actually he didn't. The thousands went straight into his App account, which is nver as fun as ral, cold, hard cash, is it?

“Tuesday was an okay day for the bookies but there were a couple of smaller fish that slipped through our net including this gentleman who despite only placing a 50p e/w bet on his selections, has managed to defy odds of 33,058/1 - a truly astonishing feat,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

The Jackpot was only £10,399.20 to a £1 stake, incidentally. Not the greatst advertisement for the Tote...

Wed 10:52
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Day 2 of #TheFestival
Enter our Cheltenham Festival tipping competition to win £50 free bets with Sky Bet >>> bit.ly/CheltenhamTipp…
Wed 10:45
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's not going to lack for fitness." Is Altior's recent injury scare a worry? Donn McClean tells us his thoughts @CheltenhamRaces #TheFestival

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Wed 10:45

Wed 10:44GROUND DRYING OUT

Welcome back to the second day of the 2018 Festival, where it was dry overnight and the ground is currently soft, heavy in places on all courses.

There's a bit of a wind whipping around Cheltenham today, which should have more of an effect in drying out the ground a little than the temperature, given it is still a bit on the chilly side

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: "It may well be that by 1.30pm when we kick off with the first race that we change the going to soft all round but we will just have to see how things dry ouy over the next few hours."

Wed 10:44PUNTERS AHEAD ON DAY ONE

The British are leading the Irish 4-3 in the BetBright Cup but more importantly us punters took the bookmakers’ trousers down yesterday.

The layers managed to avoid the pain of an opening day four-timer thanks to the defeat of Getabird in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, won by Summerville Boy, and had the bonus of the surprise demise of Apple's Jade in the Mares' Hurdle.

However, two bankers - Footpad in the Arkle Trophy and Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle - helped punters put their foot on the throats of the old enemy. Coo Star Sivola was another winning favourite in the Ultima Handicap Chase, while all the other winners - Benie Des Dieux, Rathvinden and Mister Whitaker - were well-backed.

Footpad was the first big result to go in favour of the punters, with Ladbrokes reporting the 5-6 favourite was the best-backed horse of the day.

The firm's Nicola McGeady,said: "Day one has gone in favour of the punters, but just about. It was swings and roundabouts throughout the afternoon, but victories for Footpad, Coo Star Sivola and Buveur D'Air has given punters the lead.

"Had Apple's Jade won, we would have been looking at one of the worst opening days in Festival history. There was a four-million pound swing on Gordon Elliott's star, so the cheers from the trading floor raised the roof when she was beaten."

Coral also heaved a sigh of relief when Apple's Jade was turned over. "This year's Festival kicked off with a bookie-friendly result in the Supreme, with Getabird well beaten, but three successive winning favourites meant we were facing a multi-million pound hammering if Apple's Jade won her second Mares' Hurdle," said David Stevens.

"However, for once it was the combination of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh who came to our rescue with Benie Des Dieux, and although Rathvinden was a popular winner of the four-miler, we've no complaints about finishing a close second to the punters on a day that could have been so much more costly."

William Hill, too, were grateful to Walsh for that result as it just turned the tide in their favour.

"We have gone from losing well over a million to just shading the opening day," said spokesman Rupert Adams.

"It is not often that a Ruby Walsh winner saves us a seven-figure payout."

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "Three favourites, including odds-on Footpad and Buveur D'Air, winning wasn't ideal, especially as we were money back all losers if the SP favourite won in all races.

Wed 10:32

Wed 10:32
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Wed 10:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"The times were suggesting it was soft ground." - Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course @CheltenhamRaces, updates us on the ground conditions ahead of Day Two of #TheFestival.

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