*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
A whole host of National Hunt stars take to the track on the second day of Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting. You’ll find everything you need to know about the runners and riders taking part in the seven races at Prestbury Park by visiting our superb race card feature.
If you click on the ‘Racecards’ tab at the top of the page you’ll be able to swot up on today’s contests at Cheltenham – and across the tracks in the United Kingdom and Ireland! We’ve got details of each horse’s form, weights and Paddy’s latest odds. If you like, gallop over there now, otherwise here is a round up of the renewals on Cheltenham’s cracking card.
A big field of 16 are set to go to post in the opening race at 1.45pm – the NHS Vaccinating Heroes Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. Paul Nicholls will be hoping Samarrive can continue his unbeaten form on his seasonal reappearance, with 3lb claimer Lorcan Williams set to ease the burden of carrying 11st 11lb.
Cloth Cap is back in action for the first time since failing to justify his tag as the Grand National favourite in the 3m 1f handicap chase at 2.20pm. Course and distance winner Storm Control is among the principal dangers.
Arguably, the star attraction of the day, Sky Pirate scored in the Grand Annual at this year’s Cheltenham Festival and faces eight rivals in the 2m handicap chase at 3.30pm as he makes his seasonal debut.
We take in a Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier at 4.05pm before a five-runner field including Does He Know tackle the Mick Turner A Lifetime In Racing Novices’ Chase at 4.40pm. The day’s racing is rounded off with a bumper at 5.15pm.
13:45: NHS Vaccinating Heroes Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
14:20: 888Sport What’s Your Thinking Handicap Chase
14:55: Masterson Holdings Hurdle
15:30: 888Sport Handicap Chase
16:05: Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle
16:40: Mick Turner A Lifetime In Racing Novices’ Chase
17:15: Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Open National Hunt Flat
The boffins at Timeform have gone through today’s card at Cheltenham and come up with a best bet for each race.
13:45 – This lacks the strength in depth of some Cheltenham handicaps. SAMBA DANCER arrives firmly on the up for Fergal O’Brien, and with a good-value conditional taking off a valuable 3lb, the hat-trick may well be on.
14:20 – Kerry Lee has her string in great nick so STORM CONTROL looks the one to side with given this bold-jumping front-runner also goes really well round here and has been dropped 3lb in the weights.
14:55 – A small-field and one which STEPNEY CAUSEWAY may be able to dominate. Dan Skelton’s inmate quickly developed into a useful juvenile last term and may not yet have reached the ceiling of his ability.
15:30 – SKY PIRATE proved a different proposition dropped back to 2m last season, signing off with a career-best display when landing the Grand Annual here in March. Returning with his yard in good form, he’s fancied to be firmly in the mix once more from this 7lb higher mark.
16:05 – Given his record here it’s perhaps worth chancing TOBEFAIR, who may not be quite the force of old as he approaches his 12th birthday but is dangerously well handicapped having won this off 14lb higher in 2019.
16:40 – OSCAR ELITE completed a cracking novice hurdling season with a third in the Sefton at Aintree 6 months ago and he’s very much the type to do better in this sphere, so he’s marginally preferred to Does He Know, who made an impressive debut over fences when successful at Chepstow earlier in the month.
17:15 – TOP DOG found only one too good in a competitive Fairyhouse bumper 6 months ago and now makes his first outing for a stable that’s been amongst the winners, so he takes narrow preference over Nicky Henderson’s newcomer Swapped.
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