LiveCheltenham Festival live blog: Day 2

First published in Sport
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York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

This live event has finished


Silver Concorde has won the Champion Bumper and that brings to an end today's meeting.

What a day for North Yorkshire! Great Habton's Tim Easterby wins at the Festival with Hawk High claiming the Fred Winter.

Join me tomorrow for the third day of action.


Fantastic once again for Tim Easterby. You can hear his thoughts on the win by clicking the link below.


A fabulous display for Easterby, who said: "It is everything. Cheltenham is the best - better than everywhere."


Hawk High has only gone and done it! He's won the Fred Winter for Tim Easterby.


Dawalan is the narrow 13-2 fav, ahead of Ivan Grozny at 7s. Hawk High is available in the ring at 33-1.


The races come thick and fast at the Festival. It's the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle at 4.45pm and Ryedale is represented by Great Habton's Tim Easterby and Hawk High.


We've just had the Cross Country chase, a near four mile marathon, and it's been won - by the narrowest of margins - by Balthazar King (4-1) from Any Currency.

Richard Johnson's mount won this race two years ago.


Sire De Grugy has answered all the Cheltenham doubters. He has won the Champion Chase in some style.

The 11-4 fav was roared home and, after the final flight, he accelerated away for a stylish success. Somersby was second and Module third.

The best horse in the race won. Captain Conan didn't travel and was pulled up.


Now we come to the feature contest of the afternoon. The Queen Mother Champion Chase.

There's little between Sire De Grugy and Captain Conan in the betting - 11/4 against 3/1. Can Sire De Grugy finally get that Cheltenham win?


Son Of Flicka's trainer Tony Coyle was pleased with his horse's run. He said he didn't want to get a soft lead and believes his lad is getting a bit long in the tooth for these quicker handicaps.

He said he will look to take him over a longer trip now with some summer events in mind.


Photo between Whisper and Get Me Out Of Here. Whisper gets it. Son Of Flicka led for a long time but ran out of petrol in the end.


North Yorkshire time now and the Coral Cup. Four runners for the county, three of whom are trained in Norton, and here's hoping one of them makes the frame.

Son Of Flicka was tipped up by Pricewise this morning but, following an initial flurry of money, is now out to 25-1.

Ifandbutwhynot, saddled by Nawton's David O'Meara, is the same price while Calculated Risk, John Quinn's runner, is 33-1.

Yesyoucan, brought here by Brian Ellison, is 40-1.


That was a right scrap. O'Faolains Boy has just got up to beat Smad Place and win the RSA Chase.

it was an attritional contest, with a few fallers, but Rebecca Curtis' runner battled on well up the hill to take victory as a 12-1 shot.


RSA Chase up next. Ballycasey and Carlingford Lough are the 13/2 joint favourites.

It looks a pretty open race, though. Take Samingarry, at 100-1, out and you can make a case for most of these.


Mullins said: "He took the last as he met it, flew it and flew up the hill."


Wow. Faugheen absolutely destroyed them there.

Just like Vautour yesterday, the Willie Mullins-trained horse blew his opposition away to win the Neptune.

He could even afford to make a mistake at a couple of flights and still win by four-and-a-half lengths. It was pretty impressive.


York Press:

It's turning into a cracking day now in Cheltenham. This is the view of the parade ring from the Media Centre. The horses for the first are parading. Not long until day two gets under way.


And just before the start of today's action, a quick look back at the performances of yesterday's North Yorkshire runners:


Yesterday, Vautour swept home for the Irish duo of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh in the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

In the Neptune, they have got an even warmer favourite in Faugheen, who is currently around 11/8 to win the two miles and five furlong contest.

Will it be deja vu for those punters from across the sea?


Half an hour until we get the second day of the Festival under way with the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.


The concerns about Sire De Grugy and his record at Cheltenham seem to be growing as the morning goes on.

The eight-year-old has drifted out to 4-1 now in the Champion Chase market, while Captain Conan has been cut into 9-2.



Son Of Flicka is the selection of the venerable Racing Post tipster Tom Segal, otherwise known as Pricewise.

He was available at 33-1 before the bookie basher got to work. He's 20-1 now.



North Yorkshire hopes are largely concentrated this afternoon on the Coral Cup (2.40pm).

The county has four runners in the hugely competitive handicap, which has a big field of 28.

Son Of Flicka, who represents Norton's Tony Coyle, has crept in right at the bottom of the handicap at 10 stone 7lbs and will be ridden by Dougie Costello.

He won this race two years ago when trained by Donald McCain and Coyle has been running the ten-year-old over fences this season in a bid to protect his handicap mark.

That mark is exactly the same as when he soared up the hill to glory in 2012.

John Quinn saw Cockney Sparrow finish fifth in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle yesterday and he will be hoping Calculated Risk can get him in the money.

He won a hurdle last time out at Sedgefield on Boxing Day and was clear of most of his rivals in what looked a competitive outing. He was put up 7lbs for those exertions.

Brian Ellison and Wayne Hutchinson team up on Yesyoucan. The Norton trainer almost won this race in 2011 when Bothy finished behind Carlito Brigante.

He did well over hurdles last season and has won a couple of races over fences this time around. Ellison, yesterday, was keen on him and said he was in good order.

David O'Meara has been plundering big prizes on the Flat from his Nawton base for a couple of years and he changes codes to run Ifandbutwhynot.

He's in a hood for the first time and if that settles him in the same way it calmed Jezki before yesterday's Champion Hurdle then who knows what can happen?


York Press:

This is the gargantuan prize that awaits the winner of the Foxhunters' Chase. You'd need a van to get this home!


York Press:

Some of the trophies being contested this week. The big gold one is, obviously enough, the Gold Cup.

Underneath is the Champion Chase trophies which will be handed out this afternoon.


Of course, greater punting minds than mine have been looking at this race for weeks so, if you've got the time for it, why not solidify your bets by watching this race preview from At The Races?


It was, of course, remiss of me not to mention in that video that Sizing Europe won this race in 2011 and has finished second the last two years.

The more I look at it, the more I like him. It's only his age that puts me off. Hurricane Fly couldn't do it yesterday at the age of ten in the Champion Hurdle and Sizing Europe has got two years on him.

But he's a tempting each-way price.

Captain Conan will head up Nicky Henderson's team as he bids to land this contest for the third successive year but we can't count out Kid Cassidy. Both of these horses have been Sire De Grugy at Cheltenham.

I normally swear by Festival form and Gary Moore's horse not having won here before has to be a negative. The ground is drier than he would like too.

Sprinter Sacre might not be here for Henderson, but he might still pull off another victory.


Today's big race is at 3.20pm - the Queen Mother Champion Chase - and you can hear me rattle on about it (very briefly you will be pleased to note) below...


Good morning everyone from a foggy Prestbury Park.

Cleeve Hill is completely submerged at present but the track is starting to get clearer and, hopefully, it will all have burned off by the time we get under way at 1.30pm.

It was a cracking day for North Yorkshire yesterday. We didn't get the winner we were after but Attaglance ran a huge race to finish second for Norton's Malcolm Jefferson in the Rewards4Racing Novices' Chase.

His next door neighbour, John Quinn, saw Cockney Sparrow run a decent race to finish fifth in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

Will today bring the breakthrough. We are mob-handed in the Coral Cup (2.40pm) with four runners. More on that later.

I'll do my best to guide you through all the action and reaction today but why not get involved as well?

You can use the comments facility below to send in your views, your best bets, and anything else that takes your fancy.

Or contact me on twitter too at @scarrollpress. Use the hashtags #cheltenham or #cheltfest

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:48am Wed 12 Mar 14

Justin7 says...

Why is coverage of the murder of horses above City's great win on the front of the Press site?
Why is coverage of the murder of horses above City's great win on the front of the Press site? Justin7
  • Score: 1

1:49pm Wed 12 Mar 14

piaggio1 says...

Yup.did wonder that mesen.
Yup.did wonder that mesen. piaggio1
  • Score: 0

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