Cheltenham Festival: Wednesday race schedule, start times and Ruby Walsh’s tips

One day down, three to go

Chacun Pour Soi Cheltenham

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The 2021 Cheltenham Festival continues on Wednesday with the Queen Mother Champion Chase taking centre stage at Prestbury Park.

The 1m7f Grade 1 contest is the feature race on what has traditionally been known as Ladies Day and is set to be a cracking renewal with Politologue looking to defend his title against dual winner Altior and a host of formidable challengers.

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase catch the eye on the supporting card while punters also have the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase to look forward to as well the Coral Cup, the Grand Annual and the Champion Bumper.

You can check out all the day’s runners and riders by taking a look at our snazzy racecards. Meanwhile, generous Uncle Paddy is giving away FREE £/€5 bet to every Paddy Power punter for the opening race of the day – and we’ve also got you covered with top tips from Ruby Walsh, the greatest jockey in Cheltenham history. Don’t forget, you can watch all 28 races at this year’s Festival live on paddypower.com and through the Paddy Power app.

Wednesday March 17 – Ladies Day

13:20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f

Ruby Walsh: “I’m a big fan of BOB OLINGER. He was good at Naas and I loved him at Navan. He was second to Ferny Hollow at Gowran Park and there is so much to like about him. If you were offering me a ride I would take Bob Olinger.”

13.55 – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y

Ruby Walsh: MONKFISH is a very polished chaser already, and he does everything that you would want a horse to do. He’s a good jumper, he travels nicely and his times are favourable compared to the Savills Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas. You have to like what he’s done.”

14.30 – Coral Cup (Grade 3) 2m 5f

Ruby Walsh: “The one I would give a chance to at a price is BIRCHDALE. He was eighth in the race last year off 146, and he is down 2lbs to 144. He came in last year off the back of just one run in November, but he’s had a couple of runs this time.”

15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y

Ruby Walsh: “It has been a stop-start career for the supremely talented CHACUN POUR SOI. He’s a very, very good horse but he just has to go and deliver on the biggest stage at Cheltenham to be considered a great horse. I hope he gets the chance to do it. Chacun Pour Soi’s in great form and he looks the best in the field.”

15.40 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y

Ruby Walsh: “EASYSLAND has only had one run this season at Cheltenham back in November when he was no match for Kingswell Theatre in a handicap. He had 11st 8lb and Kingswell Theatre was carrying 10st. They’ll reoppose on level weights so there’s a huge swing and Easysland is the one to beat.”

16.15 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y

Ruby Walsh: “I was hoping The Shunter would turn up here, but he hasn’t so the one I fancy is CHOSEN MATE. He’s 9lbs higher than he was last year when he bolted in, but Jordan Gainford claims 7lbs so that’s essentially a penalty of 2lb. He won the race with ease last year and it looks to me like he’s been laid out for the race this year.”

16.50 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y

Ruby Walsh: “I have been a SIR GERHARD fan since I watched him winning at Down Royal and I don’t have any reason to change my mind. I think he’s rock solid. The Navan performance was every bit as good as Kilcruit’s performance at Leopardstown.”

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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