Day two of the Cheltenham Festival will see the hotly-anticipated clash between superstars Altior and Douvan in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which is the feature race on Wednesday afternoon, while Irish hotpot Samcro will aim to enhance his already lofty reputation further by bounding to glory in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, which will kick off the day’s racing at 1:30pm.
Altior had been given an injury scare earlier in the week, but Nicky Henderson has expressed his delight that last year’s Arkle winner should be 100% to take his chance in the Grade 1 Championship event at 3:30pm, where he will face last year’s beaten favourite Douvan, who hasn’t been seen on a racecourse since finishing down the field last season’s renewal.
Willie Mullins, who bagged a treble on the opening day of the festival will not only unleash Douvan in the Champion Chase, but Min will also fly the flag for the Closutton stable, with shock 2017 winner Special Tiara trying to retain the crown in what is one of the most exciting races of the entire week.
Samcro has been hailed as the next superstar in the National Hunt sphere, and Gordon Elliott’s charge will be a red-hot favourite for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, which opens the seven-race card, but Next Destination will be a lively foe in the Wednesday curtain-raiser.
The second Grade 1 of the afternoon takes place at 2:10pm as Presenting Percy and Monalee do battle in the RSA Chase, but can Bryony Frost follow in the footsteps of Lizzie Kelly and ride a winner at this year’s festival, and she will partner Black Corton for Paul Nicholls, while at 2:50pm the most competitive race of the afternoon will take place as the Coral Cup sees a whole host of handicap hurdlers bid for glory.
There will be the unique Cross Country Chase taking place at 4:10pm, as a whole host of differing obstacles will be jumped, and Cause Of Causes will attempt to retain his crown, while the afternoon concludes with the Fred Winter at 4:50pm, and the Champion Bumper at 5:30pm, which is always a race jam-packed with future stars of the jumping sphere