The second day of Cheltenham has more brilliant Grade 1 action, headlined by the Queen Mother Champion Chase at 3.05. However, this is not the only epic spectacle on day 2 and we start here with the Ballymore Novices hurdle over 2 miles 5 furlongs. It’s a race that has provided us with some superstars of the game, the most recent being Envoi Allen in last years event.
We also have a classy looking field this year and I believe Bob Olinger will be the next superstar to emerge from the race. He has been rapidly impressive and I have been backing him ante post for the event for quite a while now.
He caught the eye last November when he followed Ferny Hollow (last years bumper winner) home at Gowran Park, and only went down by a length come the line. We know that form alone stands up very well against many of these, but it doesn’t stop there for our selection Bob Olinger – as he followed up with three straight emphatic wins and has been given a rating of 152. There is no stopping this boy and I can’t see anything beating him in this event. Bravemansgame may prove best of the British contenders but he has a lot to find with our selection for the win purposes.
WIN: BOB OLINGER (Day 2 Nap)
Many peoples banker of the festival comes in the shape of Monkfish, who has gone from strength to strength since winning last year’s Albert Bartlett in that epic cluster finish. Hard to argue against him winning this as he has been flawless all season.
He has comprehensively beaten Latest Exhibition on more than one occasion this year – and that is serious form. I feel Monkfish will be one of the 2022 Gold Cup favourites after he wins this, Moreover, none of his opposition have ran a race anything near what he has done previously making him the obvious winner.
The Champion Chase is the race we’ve all been waiting for, and we have another one of the Irish Hotpots in the name of Chacun pour soi. He’s no doubt very smart and has a huge engine, but he also has a fragile profile. He has failed to get to Cheltenham twice in as many years, and I personally have a huge doubt about him handling the Cheltenham track. He has won 6 of his 7 Chase starts for Willie Mullins over in Ireland, but Cheltenham is a different ball game and he is one I’m looking to take on.
The first and second in the Clarence House are my ideas of the first two here, also and in that order. First Flow has been highly progressive and comprehensively beat last year’s Champions Chase and Tingle Creek winner Politologue. He has gone from strength to strength this year and is very likely to enjoy the Cheltenham track and will relish the conditions.
He is a very good speed fence jumper, and this is a vital weapon to hold in a race like this. I think First Flow holds all the aces and will be our new 2 mile Champion Chaser, with Politologue sure to give his running in second
WIN: FIRST FLOW
Good Luck and come back tomorrow to see our preview for Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival!!