CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2019

 

Day 2 – Wednesday 13 March

 

 

 

 

Picture of the Day

 

 

 

The Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1):

 

The winner returns – Altior

trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville

 

 

 

My alarm sounded just before 06:00 but I turned over and decided to snooze on for a while; finally getting up to have a shower at 06:45. 

 

I also checked social media for news of the racecourse inspection; racing was to go ahead, as the windy conditions hadn’t been quite as bad as predicted.  In other words, no repeat of 2008 when Wednesday’s card had been called off and those races distributed into Thursday’s and Friday’s cards.  If today’s card had been called off, racing on Saturday had been mentioned.  

 

I was ready to go to breakfast, in the main hall, at around 07:25.  This year, the 2-seater tables had been set up in the library.  I ate a full English breakfast, plus two yoghurts, and drank two cups of tea before returning to my hotel room.

 

I was far too chilled out, as I didn’t set off for Cheltenham until 09:25.  The journey was good, as the rush-hour and school day traffic had already cleared from Witney by the time I drove through the town; although there were road-works, with temporary traffic lights, situated on the road out of town. 

 

Having arrived at Cheltenham, I also popped into the Sainsburys situated in Priors Road in order to fill up the petrol tank of my car.  I parked up at around 10:30, again within the lower section of the North car park.

 

Having cleared through the turnstiles, I purchased a race-card, visited the ladies’ loo and decided that I’d take a look at the retail outlets in the shopping village too.  I wanted a cobalt blue hat ... but these weren’t available in the style I wanted, or at a price I could afford!  I settled for a very pleasant purple one instead; £45.  I wore it for a while, but then decided to put it in a bag and wear a knitted hat instead; just in case it was too windy on the upper level of the steppings. 

 

Yet again, I didn’t bother to head to the course-side rails; there seemed little point in getting muddy again besides, since last year, have been converted to a ‘Winners’ Enclosure watcher’. 

 

Today’s Toteplacepot selections were are follows:   

 

Toteplacepot selections

1st race

4.   Brewin’Upastorm

2nd race

10. Topofthegame

3rd race

13. Brio Conti

4th race

1.    Altior

5th race

7.   Fact Of The Matter

6th race

8.   Fanfan Du Seuil

 

 

The time of the first race of the day was 13:30 and the favourite was the Gordon Elliott-trained Battleoverdoyen, ridden by Jack Kennedy; price 3-1

 

The race was won by the Martin Brassil-trained City Island, ridden by Mark Walsh.

 

Yet again, I was knocked out of the Toteplacepot in the first race; Brewin’upastorm was overtaken on the run-in, thus relegated to 4th position.  Drat!

 

Race 1:

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

16 ran

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

1st

City Dreamer

Martin Brassil

Mark Walsh

2nd

Champ

Nicky Henderson

Barry Geraghty

3rd

Bright Forecast

Ben Pauling

Nico de Boinville

4th

Brewin’upastorm

Olly Murphy

Richard Johnson

 

The favourite for the next race was Delta Work, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Davy Russell; price 15-8.

 

And the race was won by Topofthegame trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Harry Cobden.  I like Topofthegame, he reminds me of Pride Of Pemberley; both sired by Flemensfirth, although Topofthegame is a very big horse!

 

Race 2:

RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

12 ran

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

1st

Topofthegame

Paul Nicholls

Harry Cobden

2nd

Santini

Nicky Henderson

Nico de Boinville

3rd

Delta Work

Gordon Elliott

Davy Russell

4th

Mister Malarky

Colin Tizzard

Robbie Power

 

The favourite for the Coral Cup was the Willie Mullins-trained Uradel, ridden by Ruby Walsh; price 13-2.

 

One runner of interest for me, Monbeg Theatre trained by Jamie Snowden and ridden by Page Fuller.

 

The race was won by the Nicky Henderson-trained William Henry who collared Wicklow Brave in the dying strides of the race.  The first two had both been held up at or towards the rear of the field until the closing stages of the race; their jockeys judging the pace to perfection.

 

Race 3:

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

25 ran

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

1st

William Henry

Nicky Henderson

Nico de Boinville

2nd

Wicklow Brave

Willie Mullins

Mr Patrick Mullins

3rd

Ballyandy

Nigel Twiston-Davies

Sam Twiston-Davies

4th

Brio Conti

Paul Nicholls

Harry Cobden

Additional runner(s) of interest:

Pulled Up

Monbeg Theatre

Jamie Snowden

Page Fuller

 

The favourite for the feature event, was the Nicky Henderson-trained Altior, ridden by Nico de Boinville; he was the odds-on favourite at 4-11. 

 

It was a brilliant race, with Saint Calvados making the running until three out; after which Altior took up the advantage.  However the favourite had made an uncharacteristic mistake at the water-jump.

 

Altior was ridden after two out and headed narrowly by Sceau Royal as they cleared the last. However, the latter’s challenge faltered on the run-in and it was left to Politologue to make the final move, but Altior stayed on strongly to claim the race by 1¾ lengths at the line. 

 

Altior was brilliant and it was a joy for everyone to welcome him back to the Winners’ Enclosure following the race.

 

Race 4:

Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)

9 ran

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

1st

Altior

Nicky Henderson

Nico de Boinville

2nd

Politologue

Paul Nicholls

Harry Cobden

3rd

Sceau Royal

Alan King

Daryl Jacob

4th

Hell’s Kitchen

Harry Fry

Barry Geraghty

 

The favourite for the Cross Country race was last year’s winner, and subsequent winner of the Grand National, Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Keith Donoghue; price 5-4.

 

Jamie Snowden had a runner in this race, Fact Of The Matter, ridden by Gavin Sheehan. He’d won over course and distance earlier in the season, but today was a conditions race with all horses carrying 11 stone 4 lbs.

 

And it was Tiger Roll who won the race again ... by a commanding 22 lengths!

 

Even though I’m not a fan of his owner, far from it, and prefer members of the home team to win races, I had to give credit to this tiny but very talented and versatile horse!

 

Race 5:

Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country)

15 ran

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

1st

Tiger Roll

Gordon Elliott

Keith Donoghue

2nd

Josies Orders

Enda Bolger

Mark Walsh

3rd

Urgent De Gregaine

Emmanuel Clayeux

Felix de Giles

4th

Ballycasey

Willie Mullins

Mr Patrick Mullins

Additional runner(s) of interest:

8th

Fact of the Matter

Jamie Snowden

Gavin Sheehan

 

As yesterday, I left after the fifth race of the day.

 

The favourite for the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle was the Joseph O’Brien trained Band Of Outlaws, ridden by JJ Slevin; price 7-2. 

 

Alan King had three runners in this race – Praeceps ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, Our Power ridden by Tom Cannon and Cracker Factory ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.

 

Band Of Outlaws duly obliged.

 

Race 6:

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

21 ran

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

1st

Band Of Outlaws

Joseph O’Brien

JJ Slevin

2nd

Coko Beach

Gordon Elliott

Jack Kennedy

3rd

Ciel De Neige

Willie Mullins

Ruby Walsh

4th

King D’Argent

Dan Skelton

Harry Skelton

Additional runner(s) of interest:

6th

Praeceps

Alan King

Wayne Hutchinson

9th

Our Power

Alan King

Tom Cannon

13th

Cracker Factory

Alan King

Sam Twiston-Davies

 

It was a small field of only 14 for this year’s bumper and race favourite was Envoi Allen, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Jamie Codd; price 2-1.

 

Alan King also had a runner in this race, namely The Glancing Queen ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.

 

The race was won by the favourite, with The Glancing Queen in 5th place.

 

Race 7:

Champion Bumper (Grade 1)

14 ran

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

1st

Envoi Allen

Gordon Elliott

Mr Jamie Codd

2nd

Blue Sari

Willie Mullins

Barry Geraghty

3rd

Thyme Hill

Philip Hobbs

Richard Johnson

4th

Abacadabras

Gordon Elliott

Ms Lisa O’Neill

Additional runner(s) of interest:

5th

The Glancing Queen

Alan King

Wayne Hutchinson

 

 

The Irish continued to have the upper hand today, winning 4 of the 7 races; thus they now held a two race lead over the GB at close of play.

 

 

Prestbury Cup

Score at the end of Day 2

GB

Ireland

6

8

 

 

And my placepot results:

 

Toteplacepot selections

Placings

1st race

4.   Brewin’Upastorm

4th

2nd race

10. Topofthegame

Won

3rd race

13. Brio Conti

4th

4th race

1.    Altior

Won

5th race

7.   Fact Of The Matter

8th

6th race

8.   Fanfan Du Seuil

5th

 

So that was two wins; plus three nearly but not quite good enough - 4th out of 16, 4th out of 25, and 5th out of 21. 

 

 

Having left early, I was already outside the grounds by 17:00.  My route took me back via Prestbury, Harp Hill and Greenway Lane.  I then travelled back along the A40 to Witney.  I now encountered the first hold-up of my journey, within the town; this was due to traffic from my right having priority over the traffic exiting from the Burford Road. 

 

I arrived back at my hotel at 17:55, so it was still daylight; always a bonus!  It was Pot Noodle for supper again ... but, having not eaten since breakfast, I was looking forward to my evening meal!  I’d not even eaten any sweets during the day, because I’d forgotten to place them in my handbag!!!

 

 

 


 

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