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Cheltenham Festival Day 2 Tips: Hermes Allen looks the real deal
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Enda McElhinney
Racing Post
Hermes Allen is looking to make it five wins in a row
Hermes Allen is looking to make it five wins in a row

- Cheltenham Festival Day 2: Best bet, each-way selection and treble including: 
- Hermes Allen to win the Ballymore 
- Epson Du Houx each-way in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase

It is day two of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday and we are once more marking your card for all the action in the Cotswolds as the hottest jumps racing ticket in the calendar revs up to full speed via the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Day 2 - Key info

First race: 13:30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

Feature race: 15:30 Queen Mother Champion Chase

Day two in the Cotswolds will be headlined by a spell-binding triple-threat clash in the Queen Mother Champion Chase as Editeur Du Gite, Edwardstone and Energumene lock horns once more following their Clarence House Chase battle here in January.

Editeur Du Gite won that day, battling on resolutely having led the field around, with Edwardstone in second and odds-on favourite Energumene only third.

The Willie Mullins-trained inmate did not look himself that day and faces a major battle to cling to this crow now.

Alan King's Edwardstone followed Energumene that day and it might have been his undoing as he was forced to make up ground on Editeur Du Gite when the favourite faltered, using up plenty petrol in doing so.

Tom Cannon may adjust his tactics on the back of that run and Edwardstone is fancied at odds of 6/4 with LiveScoreBet to become the fifth Arkle winner since 2010 to return 12 months later and win this race.

Edwardstone is seeking back-to-back Arkle victories
Edwardstone is seeking back-to-back Arkle victories

Taking on a strong Irish squad could be dangerous here. Impaire Et Passe has been the darling of the preview night circuit and the Mullins camp are confident in his chances, while Good Land impressed at last month's Dublin Racing Festival for trainer Barry Connell and is due plenty respect.

That said, the manner in which HERMES ALLEN dispatched his rivals in the Challow at Newbury in December was inspiring.

He jumped with fluency in a race that was run at a good pace throughout and he absolutely sauntered away when Harry Cobden asked him before easing down late on. There was cut in the ground that day, too, which bodes well now.

Paul Nicholls' previous Challow winners haven't managed Festival wins here the same season, despite being top-class, but Hermes Allen looks special at this stage in his career. The Irish challenge is strong, but this British runner is a serious weapon.

The Grand Annual is a fiercely competitive contest over the minimum two-mile trip and it requires some luck in running.

There are plenty of exposed horses lining up and top-weight Andy Dufresne is proving popular for Gordon Elliott. It's a strong Irish challenge in a bid to win this race for just the second in five years and Henry De Bromhead has Coeur Sublime at 11/1 and, more interestingly, EPSON DU HOUX at almost twice the price with Rachael Blackmore on board.

The Gigginstown House runner was second to Energumene in a Grade 2 at Cork on his comeback and has since finished third in a Fairyhouse handicap behind Rebel Gold in January, form advertised by the winner in both runs since.

Epson De Hous gets in here off the same mark of 147 and could be some value with six places on offer.

Day 2 acca

Everybody loves a Cheltenham Festival accumulator and we will be pointing towards one on each of the four days this week. On day two, our treble pays over 13/1 return with LiveScoreBet.

Winner of last month's Grade 1 Scilly Isles at Sandown and remains unbeaten for trainer Gordon Elliott. Sure to improve upped in distance and looks hard to stop.

Arkle winners have a brilliant record coming back for this race and the Tingle Creek winner can be expected to reverse form with Clarence House conqueror Editeur Du Gite, while that race exposed a chink in Energumene's armour too.

Won this last year, denying stablemate Tiger Roll a fairytale finale. He wasn't popular with punters then, but he can be now as this has been the target all season.

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