Barry Hill's Cheltenham Tip Guide - Day 2

Resident tipster Barry Hill gives his day 2 Cheltenham Festival tips, including an long shot at 33/1.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

After a thrilling day 1 at the festival we get back underway with the racing. 

1:30 Cheltenham 

Gallagher Novices' Hurdle


The history of this race over the past two decades boasts illustrious names like Danoli, Istabraq, Envoi Allen, and the recent victor, Impaire Et Passe, setting a high standard for excellence. BALLYBURN steps into this legacy with considerable expectations, yet the Flemensfirth progeny is on an ascendant path, making a strong case for himself as a formidable contender. His commanding victory at the Grade 1 event during the Dublin Racing Festival not only marked a significant turnaround from his initial hurdles defeat by Firefox but also showcased his adaptability over varying distances, highlighted by his earlier triumph in a maiden race at Leopardstown covering 2 miles and 4 furlongs.

Willie Mullins, with six wins in this race already, dominates the 2024 field with Ile Atlantique, Predators Gold, Mercurey, and Jimmy Du Seuil, all hailing from Ireland's leading stable. Yet, it's the unbeaten Handstands, another promising talent, who might present the most significant challenge to Ballyburn's aspirations.

2:10 Cheltenham 

Brown Advisory Novices' Chase


Gaelic Warrior fell short against FACT TO FILE in their last encounter at Leopardstown, yet the race's overall time and particularly Fact To File's impressive performance over the final two miles—especially when compared to El Fabiolo's times on the same day—offer many reasons for optimism. Fact To File excels in jumping and has proven himself at the Festival before, finishing a strong second in last season's Bumper. This makes him a particularly thrilling prospect. Although Stay Away Fay is undoubtedly a contender of high caliber, Fact To File seems to possess that extra touch of class that could set him apart.

2:50 Cheltenham 

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

MIGHT - 14/1

Harry Fry’s MIGHT  is a classy horse who looks on a good mark following a mixed campaign over fences. He hasn’t quite taken to chasing as Fry would’ve hoped but has still run like all the ability is still there, mistakes over the bigger obstacles blighting his progress in that sphere.

The good thing is his hurdles mark has dropped from 146 to 142 without him running over timber and you only have to look to his good run in fourth in the Martin Pipe last year (off 145) for evidence that he has a fine chance in this.

You can add a neck second off his Coral Cup mark of 142 in a handicap hurdle at this track as well and crucially this 2m5f trip on the Old Course looks likely to play to his strengths. He’s a strong traveller with some classy back form – his novice hurdling campaign including places behind Constitution Hill and Jonbon, while he was second in an Aintree Grade 1 - and he’ll love the ground given he has winning form on soft and heavy. Lightly-raced with just eight hurdles runs under his belt, the highly likely hell-for-leather pace in this will be right up his street and he can pick plenty of these off up the hill granted luck in the run.

3:30 Cheltenham 

Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase


EL FABIOLO appears to be the standout competitor, showcasing exceptional performance thus far. The only minor concern could be his jumping, which, although not always flawless, showed marked improvement during his most recent outing in Leopardstown compared to his seasonal debut in Cork.

There's room for further growth in his performance. Jonbon, on the other hand, didn't deliver as expected last time at Cheltenham, suggesting he may not have been fully prepared. Edwardstone, having demonstrated his form with a convincing victory at Newbury, seems well-positioned to be the closest contender to El Fabiolo.

4:10 Cheltenham 

Glenfarclas Chase


With a history that includes victories in the Gold Cup and Albert Bartlett, MINELLA INDO stands out as the most distinguished competitor in this extraordinary event. Merely two years removed from a second-place finish in the Festival's marquee race, it seems he's been specifically prepared for this moment following an encouraging fourth-place finish on this course in December, despite carrying the heaviest weight. His success in a Grade 3 race at Punchestown earlier in the season underscores his quality, although the anticipated heavy ground might not play to his strengths. Nonetheless, his remarkable stamina positions him as a potential first-time winner of this race for his team.

Delta Work, having won the last two editions, is expected to be a contender once more after a strategic lead-up to the Festival, with the heavy ground likely working in his favor. However, Coko Beach might pose a more significant threat. Having clinched the Troytown and secured a second-place finish in the Becher this season, Coko Beach, under Sam Ewing, has already proven his mettle in this category, notably winning with ease at Punchestown last month and earning the highest rating in the field. Galvin, last year's runner-up and a previous Festival winner, might find the conditions less than ideal if the ground is too fast, while Foxy Jacks, after an impressive win at this venue in November, should not be discounted.

4:50 Cheltenham 

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase 


HARDY DU SEUILL presents a compelling choice for an each-way wager in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase, covering a distance of two miles. Trained by Jamie Snowden, this horse now embarks on his second season as a chaser, having previously competed over hurdles. His recent performance at Sandown, his first outing after a 293-day break, was particularly noteworthy. Despite a conservative start, trailing behind, he made an impressive push up the hill to secure third place. With a competitive rating of 132 following that effort, Snowden's decision to reintroduce cheekpieces—after notable success with them in hurdle races—signals a confident move.

Hardy du Seuil has demonstrated a strong ability to handle soft terrain, suggesting he'll be comfortable with the track conditions. Additionally, his solid performance in two-mile handicap hurdles indicates he possesses the necessary speed for this challenge, especially with the composed Gavin Sheehan as jockey.

5:30 Cheltenham 

Weatherbys Champion Bumper


Since Ballyandy's victory in 2016, no UK-trained horse has won this distinguished race, suggesting a stronger focus on Irish competitors, among whom Willie Mullins presents a formidable lineup. Considering that three of the last 12 winners emerged from the Grade 2 Future Stars INH at Leopardstown, YOU OUGHTA KNOW, with a second-place finish there, stands out for his strong performance. This Beat Hollow offspring impressed against a notable opponent in his first race at Kilbeggan, and his potential seems boundless.

Meanwhile, Mullins' Jasmin De Vaux left a significant mark by dominating at Naas in January, currently leading the pre-race bets. Gordon Elliott hopes to challenge Mullins' dominance with Jalon D'oudairies, a high-priced acquisition from last March's sales, as his top contender. Romeo Coolio also made a memorable debut, showing promise despite eagerness in a small field, hinting at his capability in a larger competition. Paul Nicholls' Teeshan, a promising Westerner offspring, could represent England well, and Ben Pauling's Sixmilebridge, after a convincing win at Sandown, should not be overlooked, hinting at more to come.