Cheltenham tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s best bets for day 2 of the Festival

Mick’s back for more and his got a play in every race on the St Patrick’s Day card at Prestbury Park.

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13:20 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – Bob Olinger

BOB OLINGER won The Lawlors of Naas Novice Hurdle easily from Blue Lord in January and Blue Lord looked to be heading for second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Tuesday before tipping up at the last. Rachael Blackmore loves him, and she is a pretty good judge.

Bravemansgame is the apple of his Paul Nicholls’ eye and there is no doubt this is a very smart horse, as he showed when winning the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury late last year. No winner of the Challow Hurdle has gone on to win this in the past, so he will be defying history were he to win.

Nicholls believes he is similar to Denman, but even he got beat in this when favourite. Bear Ghylls is one I love, but I worry he may just come up short. His jumping is getting better, but still isn’t as good as it could be and with only a small field, there is no each-way value.

TODAY AT CHELTENHAM

13:55 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase – Monkfish

I have been a huge fan of MONKFISH from the get-go and I see no reason to change my mind. The Big Breakaway is one that we have not seen the best of yet and the trip will bring out improvement in him. He can chase the favourite home.

14:30 Coral Cup – Sneaky Getaway

Trainer Emmet Mullins has done us a good turn with The Shunter in the past and when I spoke to him the other day, he gave SNEAKY GETAWAY a mention, who has cheekpieces on for the first time.

It is a wide-open contest with Monte Cristo having a chance, but his 12lb rise is far from ideal here after his win at Kempton. Garo De Juilley is worth an each-way bet at the prices with Paddy paying extra places and won nicely at Pau in France recently.

15:05 Champion Chase – Chacun Pour Soi

This race has lost some of its appeal with the 11th hour withdrawal of Altior, but it is still a good contest. Last year’s winner Politologue lines up for Paul Nicholls while Nube Negra is there for the Skelton team and we also have Put The Kettle On running for Henry de Bromhead.

She won the Arkle Chase at the track last year and is also three-from-three in runs at Cheltenham. However, this is the ideal opportunity for CHACUN POUR SOI to get a first Champion Chase win on the board for Willie Mullins.

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Chacun Pour Soi

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15:40 Cross Country – Easysland 

Tiger Roll was very ordinary here last season in soft ground and hasn’t shown the same sort of zip or sparkle recently that we’re used to seeing from the two-time Grand National winner. He’s not getting any younger and is in the twilight of his career, so I’ll swerve him and stick with last year’s winner  EASYSLAND. He was a revelation over track and trip in this race last year and hopefully it brings out the best in him again for French trainer David Cottin.

16:15 Grand Annual – Chosen Mate

Jordan Gainford is a young jockey with a bright future on what we have seen of him. He is a relative unknown to punters in the UK, but he has been causing quite a stir in Ireland and has managed to ride six winners this season.

He has picked up a choice ride now with last year’s winner CHOSEN MATE. Gainford’s 7lb’s claim almost gets this horse back to the mark he won this race off last year and I’m going to take a chance on him to win it again.

16:50 Champion Bumper – Kilcruit

KILCRUIT represents the Willie Mullins team who have a few chances in this contest. It’s hard to get a handle on all of them, but Patrick Mullins is in no doubt Kilcruit is the best of them so let’s trust him!

Mick Fitzgerald tips summary:

13:20 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – Bob Olinger
13:55 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase –
Monkfish
14:30 Coral Cup –
Sneaky Getaway
15:05 Champion Chase –
Chacun Pour Soi
15:40 Cross Country –
Potters Corner
16:15 Grand Annual –
Chosen Mate
16:50 Champion Bumper –
Kilcruit

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