Cheltenham Day Two tips: Altior could join all-time greats in Champion style
Altior bids to join esteemed company like Moscow Flyer, Master Minded and Sprinter Sacre as a two-time winner of the Champion Chase, with Nicky Henderson's imperious chaser the standing dish on day two at the Cheltenham Festival.
The all-conquering nine-year-old has scared off most of the opposition as the home team look to cement their domination on the Champion Chase having won six of the last seven renewals.
1.30 GRADE ONE BALLYMORE NOVICES' HURDLE 2M5F
HENDERSON may have the favourite in Champ - named after legendary Ulster jump jockey AP McCoy and unbeaten in four starts this season including a smooth Grade One win at Newbury over Christmas - but the Irish challenge is formidable.
Gordon Elliott - winning trainer with Samcro 12 months ago - relies on Battleoverdoyen and Galvin. However, the value choice is Mouse Morris' Sams Profile.
Verdict: Sams Profile can reward each-way punters.
2.10 GRADE ONE RSA NOVICES' CHASE 3M80YDS
THERE'S much to like about Delta Work, unbeaten in his three chase starts for Elliott and improving with every run over fences.
A winner at last year's Festival when landing the Pertemps over three miles, there looks to be no end to his engine and his form stands up to close scrutiny having outbattled subsequent dual Grade One winner Le Richebourg in the Drinmore Chase.
Verdict: Delta Work will relish conditions under Davy Russell.
2.50 GRADE THREE CORAL CUP H'CAP HURDLE 2M5F
THE high-class Killultagh Vic - which ran in the Gold Cup 12 months ago - is one to note.
The home team may wrestle back supremacy, with 2016 Champion Bumper winner Ballyandy - fourth in the 2017 Supreme - the choice for Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.
Verdict: Ballyandy can place in a difficult riddle for punters.
3.30 GRADE ONE BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE 1M7F199YDS
THERE'S a fair argument to be made that Mullins' Min is the second best chaser in training and, had he not encountered Altior, he would be a two-time Festival winner.
When push comes to shove, it's very hard to see anyone serving it up to Altior when the famous 'Hill' has to be climbed.
Seeking back-to-back victories and his 18th successive victory over obstacles, Henderson's stable star is eyeing his fourth straight Festival win and should do so barring a major mishap.
Even though Nico de Boinville's mount is short, he should be the first name in every Festival accumulator as he stands one off equalling the record for consecutive triumphs over jumps set by Big Buck's.
Verdict: Min should be second but Altior cannot be opposed.
4.10 GLENFARCLAS CROSS COUNTRY CHASE 3M6F37YDS
EVERYONE was left in no doubt about the class of Tiger Roll when Elliott's charge blew any cobwebs away with a scintillating performance in the Grade Two Boyne Hurdle despite being only being 75pc fit.
But the nine-year-old scarcely represents any value at short odds as he bids for his fourth Festival victory.
Bless The Wings may prove a profitable each-way option though.
Verdict: Tiger Roll will be hard to stop but Bless The Wings has place claims.
4.50 GRADE THREE BOODLES JUVENILE H'CAP HURDLE 2M87YDS
Fine Brunello is a tentative selection.
Joseph O'Brien has a cracking Festival team with Band Of Outlaws also fancied in this but Barry Geraghty can help Fine Brunello lose his maiden tag.
Verdict: Fine Brunello.
5.30 GRADE ONE WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER 2M87YDS
Jamie Codd's mount, the imposing Envoi Allen, may prove best in a contest which Irish raiders should dominate again having taken five of the last seven runnings.
Envoi Allen has justified his lofty €465,000 price tag with each of his impressive victories and there may be more to come en route to a promising career over obstacles.
Verdict: Envoi Allen could be an aeroplane in equine form.