Brian’s Picks for Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival

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Brian Hughes gives you the inside track with his picks for every race on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival.

Brian Hughes' betting tips for Day 2 of Cheltenham 2021

Six of Brian’s seven picks finished in the top 3 yesterday, so if you can’t #BeatBrian it might be time to join him! Check out his top tips for Day 2 of Cheltenham.

13:20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

There’s not a lot between the top three in the betting or their ratings; Bravemansgame, Bob Olinger and Gaillard Du Mesnil, all have been very impressive in their trials but I have a slight preference for Paul Nicholls’ horse, Bravemansgame. When someone like Paul refers to a horse in the same light as Denman, it makes you prick your ears and take note – I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be throwing comments like that around lightly.

I think we could see the three of them jumping the last upsides but Bravesmansgame looks a powerful big horse and I think he’ll be the one to come out on top. Bear Ghylls might be one to look at a bigger price, but with only seven in the race it’s not great for an each-way bet.

13:55 – The Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 3m½f

A very unoriginal selection but Monkfish has done absolutely nothing wrong. He’s been very impressive and looks top class. On everything he’s done, you can’t really see him being beaten but it’s horse racing though, so anything can happen. The Tizzard’s horses, The Big Breakaway and Fiddlerontheroof, are very good horses in their own right but have maybe run a bit below expectations the last couple of times. I like the chances of Sporting John, winner of the Scilly Isles, to chase home Monkfish at a bigger price. It looked like he was only getting going in the last furlong the last time he ran, so you’d think 3m won’t be an issue.

If all goes well for Monkfish and he wins, there’s a fair chance he’ll be favourite for next year’s Gold Cup.

15:05 – The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (Grade 1) (feature race) 2m

It’s disappointing that Altior isn’t in the race but it’s still a great renewal. Chacun Pour Soi deserves to be favourite. He’s got a big reputation and has the ability to back it up. The only slight concern is he’s not been to Cheltenham but he’s so far ahead of the others in the handicap.

You could make a case for several others; Nube Negra won well at Kempton last time out and is an unbeaten horse, Politologue, last year’s winner, and First Flow, winner of the Clarence House. I like the filly, Put The Kettle On, maybe as an each-way bet to Chacun Pour Soi – she’s run three times at Cheltenham and won every time, including the Arkle last year. She’s getting the allowance, there will be plenty of pace on and this filly stays all day. I think though if the same Chacun Pour Soi turns up, he’ll be difficult to beat.

16:50 – The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1) 2m½f

Looks a competitive renewal – typically this race is dominated in the betting by the Irish runners. Kilcruit, trained by Willie Mullins, was a very impressive winner at Leopardstown on his last start and has always had a big reputation. Sir Gerhard, who used to be trained by Gordon Elliott but is now also in the care of Willie Mullins, is coming into the race off the back of two wins. The only negative would be that he changed stables two weeks ago which is never an ideal prep. Three Stripe Life has always been well thought of but I actually like the Skelton’s filly, Elle Est Belle – I think she looks the best of the English and is a good each way alternative at 14/1. I think Kilcruit is probably the most likely winner.

Brian’s Wednesday picks in full:

13:20Bravemansgame7/2
13:55Monkfish2/5
14:30Blue Sari9/1
15:05Chacun Pour Soi4/5
15:40Easyland5/6
16:15Sky Pirate15/2
16:50Kilcruit13/8

Think you can Beat Brian by picking more winners at Cheltenham today? Search for #BeatBrian on Twitter and reply with your seven selections; if you get more winners correct than Brian you enter the draw to win a £20 Free Bet.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Brian Hughes is the 2020 Champion Jump Jockey and he writes exclusively for the MansionBet Blog every week with previews and tips for upcoming races.

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