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Aye Aye Captain

17 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Aye Aye Captain

With Sprinter Sacre out of the frame, conditions could favour Captain Conan in today's 3.20 Champion Chase...

It’s day 2 of the festival, and after a rip-roaring start to proceedings at Prestbury Park yesterday, we’re anticipating another thrilling day of action.

Yesterday saw plenty of highlights, and though they may call Wesdnesday at Cheltenham Ladies Day, it’s a title that may have been more appropriate to Tuesday on this occasion, as Quevega thundered her way into the history books with an incredible sixth-straight victory in the Mares Hurdle. Elsewhere, Jezki claimed the win in the much-anticipated Champion Hurdle, holding off more fancied challengers The New One and My Tent or Yours, whilst also preventing 11/4 starting favourite Hurricane Fly a Champion Hurdle hat-trick.

In the Festival curtain raiser, we tipped you Vautor for the victory, and he duly delivered with an assured finish in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

So on to Wednesday’s order of play.

We get underway with the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at 1.30, and although it’s usually no fun to tip the favourite, we simply cannot oppose Faugheen (11/8) in this one. The Willie Mullins trained 6yo has been claiming odds-on wins all season with little difficulty, and has adapted wonderfully to hurdles with three wins in three.

Red Sherlock should run him close though, having claimed two first place finishes on this course back in January and November.

In the 2.05 RSA Chase, Ballycasey will go off as the 6/1 favourite but in this open field, his fall at Leopardstown a fortnight ago may affect his jumping and his proneness to error suggests the value lies elsewhere. Take Black Thunder each way at 22/1, who has produced his best performances on this kind of going and has staying power down the stretch.

There are plenty of options in the 2.40 Coral Cup, which is where Betway’s extra place payout will come in handy. Bayern may have dispatched Arsenal in the Champions League last night with minimal fuss, but will be a similar success story for 11/1 favourite Bayan here? We’re more inclined to put our money with Whisper, who we are, let’s say, quietly confident is a strong each way shout at 25/1. After victory at Newbury he was just edged out by Saphir De Rheu in his last outing and can mount a challenge here.

With notable absentee Sprinter Sacre unable to defend in the marquee 3.20, the Queen Mother Champion Chase is an interesting proposition. 2011 winner Sizing Europe will hoping to emulate former glories but having been left back in the field last time out at Leopardstown, has a lot to find. The ground may be suited to Special Tiara, who has struggled on heavy surfaces but has proven a contender with the ground a little drier.

Another who’ll like this ground is Captain Conan, with Barry Geraghty on board, who’s set for a big race here and is my pick at 9/2.

In the remaining three races of the day, we favour Balthazar King to defend the Cross Country Handicap Chase, Goodwood Mirage in the Fred Winter Juvenile, and Willie Mullins, who loves a victory in the Champion Bumper, to saddle up another winner in Killultagh Vic.