Cheltenham Day 2 Review: Mega day for Mullins
Day two of Cheltenham proved to be a fruitful one for trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott with Energumene stealing the headlines with a brilliant run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Energumene lives up to favourite tag in feature
The feature race of the day at Cheltenham was the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the result went as many may have expected with Energumene powering to a second successive victory in the two-mile contest.
Prior to the race, his closest challengers were expected to be Edwardstone and Editeur Du Gite.
The latter looked to be the chief rival for much of the race while Edwardstone never truly got going on the soft surface, with the rain lashing down by this stage.
It was more proof of Energumen's class as he put the Albert Bartlett Grade One disappointment from January behind him.
Captain Guinness put up a valiant effort to finish second with Greaneteen in third but the race belonged to Energumene, for jockey Paul Townend and trainer Willie Mullins.
Impaire Et Passe dominates Novices' Hurdle
An unbeaten record was retained in the first race of the day as Mullins secured another victory thanks to the talent of Impaire Et Passe, going off at 5/2 after Hermes Allen was backed into 9/4, with his stablemates completing the top three.
The five-year-old Impaire Et Passe was racing for just the fourth time and first time in the UK after previous runs in France and Ireland.
He certainly lived up to his pre-race favourite billing after pulling away from challengers Gaelic Warrior and Champ Kiely, priced at 9/2 and 13/2 respectively prior to the race starting.
It turned into another astonishing race for Mullins as he seeks to become the leading trainer for a fifth consecutive year.
Langer Dan clinches Coral Cup thriller
One of the most unexpected results of the Festival so far came in the Coral Cup with Langer Dan just about holding on for victory from An Epic Song, and Camprond.
Pre-race favourite Sa Fureur was pulled up before the end of the race while the well-supported HMS Seahorse could only finish in midfield.
A blanket could have been thrown over the first three with Langer holding on for victory in a fabulous race for the Skelton family.
Grand National hopeful Delta Work wins Glenfarclas Chase
Delta Work, priced at 12/1 to win the Grand National with LiveScore Bet, did his Aintree chances no harm at all with a fantastic preparation win at Cheltenham, fending off competition from Galvin.
The conqueror of Grand National hero Tiger Roll in last year's race, was again the strongest in a 16-horse field over the steeplechase-style course.
Galvin, 20/1 for the National, pushed Delta Work all the way but was unable to overhaul the Gordon Elliott-trained 10-year-old.
Lots of excitement elsewhere
There was another Elliott win in the Brown Advisory Novices' Hurdle as The Real Whacker edged out pre-race favourite Gerri Colombe — 16/1 for the King George Chase on Boxing Day with LiveScore Bet — in a photo finish following a mad dash for the line.
Following on from Honeysuckle's fairytale send off on Tuesday, Henry De Bromhead was celebrating again as Maskada sprang a surprise at 22/1 with a storming run to win the Grand Annual.
Favourite Dinoblue (7/2) was a little errant at the final two fences to surrender the advantage but she may not have been able to live with the winner's finish anyway as she settled for the runner-up slot, some six-and-a-half-lengths back, ahead of Global Citizen and Third Time Lucki.
Willie Mullins' 10-strong challenge was beaten off in storybook fashion in the closing race of day two, with teenage jockey John Gleeson steering A Dream To Share to Champion Bumper glory for veteran trainer John Kiely.
Fact To File did finish the best of the rest for Mullins as the 16/5 favourite, while there was some big prices filling up the minor places with Captain Teague (40/1) finishing third ahead of 80/1 shot Lecky Watson.
Cheltenham Festival 2023 Day 2 results:
- 13:30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle won by Impaire Et Passe (5/2)
- 14:10 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase won by The Real Whacker (8/1)
- 14:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle won by Langer Dan (9/1)
- 15:30 Queen Mother Champion Chase won by Energumene (6/5f)
- 16:10 Glenfarclas Chase won by Delta Work (11/10f)
- 16:50 Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase won by Maskada (22/1)
- 17:30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper won by A Dream To Share (7/2)
- Cheltenham Festival 2023 Day 3 Tips
Cheltenham 2023 on LiveScore Bet...
LiveScore Bet has a fantastic offer for new and existing customers this Cheltenham - a £1 FREE BET ON ALL FOUR DAYS (T&Cs apply).
Make sure you keep an eye out for the huge PRICE BOOSTS and EXTRA PLACE races each day.
And whoever you are backing this year, you can WATCH EVERY CHELTENHAM RACE FOR FREE on the LiveScore Bet app (18+, funded account required) and cheer your horse on to victory.