Thursday, May 30, 2024

Runners & Riders – The Cheltenham Festival 2023, Day 2, ‘Festival Wednesday’

‘The Steeple Times’ examines the tipsters’ selections and offers options for ‘Festival Wednesday’ at the Cheltenham Festival 2023 including a 45/1 outsider

The first day of the Cheltenham Festival 2023 saw success for not only Nico de Boinville and Nicky Henderson with a nine-length victory for Constitution Hill – who completed his sixth win on his sixth outing and was described by his trainer as “a freak” – but also a very fine career ending “fairytale” win for Honeysuckle also with a fourth success at the Festival.


We did not get any first-place winners with our selections yesterday, but did secure money returning place positions for Jonbon, Facile Vega and Saint Roi; what saved us from ruination, though, was the perfectly respectable each way double we recommended on Monberg Genius and Constitution Hill.


Today and again with soft ground for ‘Festival Wednesday,’ though everyone will be watching Edwardstone vs. Editeur Du Gite and Energumene in the big race that is the Champion Chase (3.30pm), we suggest EACH WAY BETS on:


1.30pm Cheltenham – ‘The Baring Bingham’ Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2m 5f, 10 hurdles(10 runners, 3 places)

Danny Mullins – W. P. Mullins combo Champ Kiely at 8/1 from 15/2 earlier (Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’, At The Races ‘Watch Out For’)

Racing Post remarks: “Gamely won Naas Grade 1 from the front in January and has a significant role to play here.”


At The Races adds: “Willie Mullins saddled the winner of this contest 12 months ago and appears to have a cracking chance this time around, firing four bullets at the race. The form of Champ Kiely’s Lawlor’s Of Naas success took a timely boost when the runner-up, Irish Point, struck at Naas on Sunday and he is in danger of going under the radar.”


Also in the same race, Michael O’Sullivan – Barry Connell combo Good Land at 17/4 from 4/1 earlier (Radio 4, Daily Mail ‘Gimcrack’, The Sun ‘Fiver Flutter’, Sporting Life)

Racing Post remarks: “Held on well to land Grade 1 at Leopardstown last month; well worth place in this line-up.”


The Sun ‘Fiver Flutter’ says: “He won well at Leopardstown last time at Grade 1 level when jumping brilliantly. He’s right in the mix for trainer Barry Connell.”


At The Races observes: “Good Land comfortably won a Grade 1 contest at Leopardstown last month and is by no means out of this either.”


4.10pm Cheltenham – Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase) – 2m 5f, 32 fences (16 runners, 4 places with Ladbrokes ‘The Grid’)

Our ‘safe selection’ in this race would be the Davy Russell – Gordon Elliott combo Galvin (Daily Mail ‘Main Danger’, ‘Gimcrack’ and ‘Peter Scudamore’,, Sporting Life, Racing Post ‘The Punt NAP’, At The Races ‘Watch Out For’, RP Ratings, Mirror) at 21/10 over his widely favoured stablemate Delta Work at 11/8.

Racing Post muses: “The Gordon Elliott-trained DELTA WORK is taken to win for the second year running. Stablemate Galvin could be a big danger… Festival and Grade 1 winner who is entitled to considerable respect on cross-country debut.”


Stuart Langley (‘The Punt NAP’) for Racing Post adds: “National Hunt Chase winner in 2021, fourth in last season’s Gold Cup. He returned this season with a cosy win in Grade 3 company. First go around this unique track but, he has apparently schooled well, and on ratings, he is the class horse in the race.”


Robin Goodfellow for Daily Mail observes: “GALVIN acquitted himself with credit in the Gold Cup 12 months ago and ought to find this test and change of discipline to his liking. He disappointed in the Savills Chase but the prospect of better ground on the X-Country course should suit.”


At The Races comments: “Delta Work’s main danger may come in the shape of stable companion Galvin, who proved his stamina for this trip when winning the Challenge Cup here in 2021, but he is tackling these Cross Country fences for the first time today.”


Our ‘favoured option’ is Sean Bowen – Martin Keighley combo Back On The Lash at 20/1 from 18/1 earlier (Radio 4, The Sun ‘Fiver Flutter’, WEST COUNTRY)

Racing Post offers: “Two-time C&D handicap winner; each-way contender if handling the forecast soft ground.”


The Sun ‘Fiver Flutter’ suggests: “Has a good record at this track and beat Delta Work in a handicap here last time. Even at level weights he should be thereabouts.”


Robin Goodfellow for Daily Mail adds: “BACK ON THE LASH would have preferred the rain to have missed Cheltenham, but he loves this track.”


Also in the same race, Rachael Blackmore – Henry De Bromhead combo Gin On Lime at 13/1 from 12/1 earlier

Racing Post concludes: “4th in Kerry National when last seen; worth each-way respect with 7lb mares’ allowance.”


Also in the same race, our ‘wildcard’ is the Harry Bannister – Richard J. Bandey combo Diesel D’Allier at 45/1 from 40/1 earlier

Racing Post finishes: “Has won two C&D handicaps and may have needed his last run; not ruled out for a place.”


SUMMARY – Our choices and options for ‘doing a double’

1.30pm – Selection: Good Land; Outsider: Champ Kiely.


4.10pm – Safe Selection: Galvin; Selection: Back On The Lash; Wildcard: Gin On Lime; Even Wilder Wildcard: Diesel D’Allier.



Selection: Each way double on Good Land (1.30pm) and Galvin (4.10pm) at 14/1.


Happy racing and don’t forget to join in and ‘ROAR’ – even if watching at home on ITV Racing.


Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party.


To join our racing followers – who receive a FREE tipping service occasionally by email – please send your relevant details to [email protected].


Pictured Top – Nico de Boinville on Constitution Hill after his victory in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday 14th March 2023.


Johnny Beardsall dress code
Of the newly relaxed dress code at this year’s Festival, Yorkshire Dales milliner Jonny Beardsall told ‘The Guardian’ that he thought the easing of restrictions to be “a dreadful idea.” He added: “It encourages mediocrity. You shouldn’t have your shirt hanging out if you’re over 35. It just looks as if you’ve forgotten to tuck yourself in. And old men in skinny jeans with their arse hanging out the back is a very bad look.”
Nico de Boinville Constitution Hill 2023 win
Tweeting after his epic victory on Constitution Hill yesterday, jockey Nico de Boinville enthusiastically mused: “Constitution Hill proved today what a very special horse he is! I’m so pleased for his owner Michael Buckley, the guvnor and all the team at home at Seven Barrows.”
This morning, ‘The Telegraph’ reported that an e-scooter trial in the Cheltenham area has had to be banned during the Festival and until 17th March after drunken festival goers were caught causing “all sorts of accidents” on them last year. Recalling the antics of last year’s festival-goers, Chris Nelson, Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, told the BBC: ‘I saw people, and they were clearly intoxicated, getting on these things, more than one person, and then scooting down Evesham Road weaving in and out of the public.’”
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


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