Wednesday at Cheltenham: Our guide to the top tips

With the first day out the way it’s probably just about a draw between bookies and punters, with the layers getting some improved results as the day went on.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 8:00 am

Wednesday looks like more of the same with some short priced favourites followed by some tricky large handicap races.

The Ballymore Novices Hurdle (13:20) looks a much more competitive race than the Supreme was on Tuesday.

The top three in the betting all look potentially very smart and it will take a good one to be victorious. I really liked the look of Willie Mullins’ GAILLARD DU MESNIL when it won the Golden Cygnet at Leopardstown last month.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The scene on the opening day at Cheltenham

It could be anyone of the top three, who all hail from powerful yards though the Mullins hope at 3/1 is in my bets.

The Brown Advisory Novices Chase (13:55) sees another well fancied Irish hotpot in MONKFISH.

This will be very hard to beat as it’s looked different class all season. If you do want to have a bet in the race, there is always the without Monkfish market where Colin Tizzard’s THE BIG BREAKAWAY looks the best bet to chase the favourite home.

He can be backed here at 2/1 where you will be collecting should he win the race or come second to Monkfish.

The Coral Cup (14:30) is very much a race for the Bookies, with punters mainly backing horses each way given the large number of runners.

A handicap like this doesn’t normally have a clear cut favourite and this is the case here.

I like the look of Willie Mullins’ KOSHARI at 7/1 who found the step up in trip not to his liking last time though posted a decent win over this distance in January.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase (15:05) is one of the flagship races of the meeting and the short priced favourite CHACUN POUR SOI is another banker at 4/5 that should win given its form.

It hasn’t had a run around here yet due to an abscess last year though you would expect it to take to the place given its cruising style.

It looks like a race worthy of an each way punt, and his stablemate CILAOS EMERY could be the best of the rest and give his colleague something to think about at odds of around 14/1.

The Cross Country Chase (15:40) is a real test of stamina over 3miles 6 furlongs. These fences really are tough, almost Grand National like and you need a bit of luck to get your horse round here.

I’ve always liked taking a decent enough price in this and Ben Pauling’s LE BEIUL has had a decent season in good company. He has a National entry though connections could be rewarded with a try at this, where sound jumping and a clear way round should see him in the frame here at 16/1.

The Grand Annual (16:15) is a tricky race to back a winner with confidence.

It isn’t a long race at just under two miles though with 19 runners and a handicap it can be a bit of a cavalry charge. Jonjo O’Neill’s SKY PIRATE has won around here before and at 12/1 looks a solid shout each way

The Champion Bumper (16:50) is another race for the juveniles of the game and with two at the head of the betting it’s Willie Mullins KILCRUIT that I fancy to get across the line first.

There is only one in the race with course and distance form so a lack of a run isn’t much of hindrance, and with the way KILCRUIT won its last at Leopardstown it looks a nice prospect which should prove hard to beat at 6/4.