Cheltenham Festival tips: Day Two
Guest tipster Tony Keenan reveals his picks for Ladies Day at Prestbury Park
For the second day of Cheltenham guest tipster Tony Keenan recommends betting on Tin Soldier, Sir Valentino and Auvergnat
2:50 – Tin Soldier
Apparent plot horses tend to be overbet in the festival handicaps, the whiff of conspiracy often exciting punters more than solid form picks. You won’t go wrong backing progressive, last-time-out winners in races like the Coral Cup and Tin Soldier is just that. He won the Michael Purcell at Thurles despite early front-running tactics backfiring; he seemed to resent leading but looked much better going past horses so this race should suit. Connections had him in the Martin Pipe on Friday but despite this being a classier race, there might actually be fewer well-handicapped runners.
3:30 – Sir Valentino (without Douvan)
Speed is the key to the Champion Chase and on time figures Sir Valentino has run as fast as anything this season, bar Douvan who seems to be a Frankel of the Jumps. Much improved this term, he won the Haldon Gold Cup in November and was the best horse at the weights behind Special Tiara at Christmas when not helped by a mistake two out. That one shouldn’t be half his price in the without market while Fox Norton is short enough having been flattered in the Shloer Chase.
4:10 – Auvergnat
The Cross Country is all about adaptability to the course. The quirky Cantlow looks underpriced while Cause of Causes was ill-suited to test in January and talk of him schooling here during the sales could be a red herring. Though younger than the typical winner, Auvergnat has thrived since taking up this discipline and pulled clear of decent horses like Ballyboker Bridge in winning a key trial, the PP Hogan at Punchestown. He gets a sizable jockey upgrade with Adrian Heskin booked.
Tony Keenan writes a weekly Irish racing tipping column for Betfair as well as data-driven racing analysis on Geegeez.co.uk. He will be a guest tipster for The Irish Times during the Cheltenham Festival.