Cheltenham Tips: Frank Hickey’s fine fancies for Day Two at Cheltenham 2022

You don't have to ask Frank twice for Cheltenham tips.

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Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (13:30) – I Am Maximus (Betting Without Sir Gerhard)

Sir Gerhard is going to be tough to beat but there’s is a small question mark about the trip if they get plenty of rain and the ground turns really soft. I can leave him at his price. Journey With Me is dependent on how Kilcruit runs in the Supreme. Were he to win, it would strongly enhance his chance. Three Stripe Life is very solid for a place. Stage Star is impressive but you could argue that he has beaten nothing of note. I Am Maximus is by Authorized, who is a sire that has a decent strike rate and record at Cheltenham. On his debut in October 2020, he beat My Drogo in a bumper at Cheltenham on soft ground on the old course. They were 7lb clear of the third that day.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (14:10) – Farouk DAlene

Farouk DAlene is 6-9 under rules. He was good enough to beat Vanillier in the Grade 2 novice hurdle at Limerick last season but missed the rest of the campaign. He’s 2-4 over fences. He was good enough to beat Blue Sari over 2m4f at Navan, with Velvet Elvis and Diol Ker behind. He was caught on the line at Limerick in the Grade 1 by Master McShee. I thought he might have beaten Stattler at Naas over 3m1f in a Grade 3 if he had jumped better. He beat Beacon Edge when getting 7lbs last time but the emphasis on stamina will really suit him.

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Coral Cup Hurdle (14:50) – Indigo Breeze

Indigo Breeze carries 10st 12lbs and Jordan Gainford takes off 3lbs. He’s very lightly raced which only four starts over hurdles. He beat Deploy The Getaway at Gowran over 2m in November off a year break and was second to Autumn Evening in Fairyhouse over 2m in mid January. He’s been kept for this and being a half brother to Brindisi Breeze, he surely will improve for going up to two and a half miles.

Champion Chase (15:30) – Energumene

Shihskin is the one to beat but I just think the gap between him and Energumene isn’t too big and for that reason I am with Energumene. He just needs to find a length from his performance in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot earlier this year. There’s value in his price compared to the odds-on Shihskin. Either way, I can’t wait for this race.

Cross Country Chase (16:10) – Shady Operator

The forecast rain isn’t a positive for Tiger Roll. Shady Operator is 2-3 over the banks at Punchestown, winning the Paddy Power Hogan and the Risk Of Thunder and he was just touched off by Midnight Maestro in the Hogan this year. He will be more suited than Midnight Maestro by the trip and Derek O’Connor is no negative. He looks a decent each-way shout.

Grand Annual Chase (16:50) – Embittered

Embittered was the 9/2 favourite last year off 146. He runs off 145 this year off a similar preparation. He was third in the County in 2020 off 146, with Saint Roi and Aramon ahead of him, who have both gone up significantly in the handicap since. He’s a fair each-way price.

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Champion Bumper (17:30) – Redemption Day

I loved the way Redemption Day won at Christmas and Music Drive has come out and won since to frank the form. He’s a strong travelling type that will be suited by the big field and likely decent pace.

    Frank Hickey’s Tips

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