The second day of Cheltenham Festival was given the go ahead despite concerns of bad weather, and it was certainly a day full of excitement! Ladies Day is a highlight of both the social and sporting calendar. 59,209 avid racing enthusiasts flocked to Cheltenham Racecourse for the stylish event. Despite the bad weather the glamour of the day still shone brightly. Fashion conscious attendees donned vibrant colours, feathered hats and huge fascinators. Famous faces too made an appearance, including royalty. It wasn’t all about style and who was best dressed. On day two we witnessed incredible racing. Much of which was to be expected from Cheltenham. History was made and we can’t wait to relive it all again over the next two days.
Let’s recap on yesterday’s incredible races and see what made day two of The Festival such a highlight.
Cheltenham Ladies Day Races
The first race got the day off to a flying start. The Ballymore Novices chase was a spectacle worthy of your bets. The final length came down to the two favourites Champ and City Island as they battled it out to be the first winners of the day. However, it was City Island ridden by jockey Mark Walsh who came out on top winning the race at odds 8/1. The two length victory secured walsh his second Cheltenham Festival win this season.
Grand national winning trainer Martin Brassil was delighted with the win and spoke of how great it is to have a Festival winner on his CV.
Just after 14:00 pm the second race of the day kicked off and it was another thriller. A strong performance was shown by three of the lineups top novices. Santini and Delta Work all put up a fierce race, however it was Topofthegame who took the victory. Trainer Paul Nicholls spoke of plans for the Gold Cup race next year. Topofthegame is certainly one to watch and showcased pure talent on the field. We are looking forward to seeing what he does next.
As we got further into the afternoon the races got more and more exciting. The Coral Cup was no different and certainly matched the level of excitement and thrill felt around Cheltenham. William Henry stunned fans as he outperformed favourite Wicklow Brave. Many doubted the Nicky Henderson trained horses abilities and his season thus far didn’t allude to what was to come. Despite his 28/1 odds the Henderson trained horse was cheered on by echoing crowds when his number was called. This highlights how popular a Henderson trained horse is and it comes as no surprise that Henderson and the team pulled this surprise win out of the bag. A narrow but well deserved win that stunned the crowds.
Following that race it only got better. The impressive racing was on top form. The Champion Chase was a highlight of the entire day if not The Festival. Champion horse Altior did not disappoint his backers and lead to victory. Despite it not being his strongest performance it was still more than enough to make his victory tally up to an impressive 18 races since 2015. A world record he now shares. History was certainly made and the atmosphere around Cheltenham was truly electric. The fears of backing the wrong horse soon went away and everyone felt confident in backing the champ. Truly an extraordinary horse, can Altior ever be beaten?
Grand National royalty came through in the Cross Country Chase. 2018 National winner Tiger Roll dominated the field and appeared to be “the best he’s ever been”. The well raced cross country saw Tiger Roll storm to victory miles ahead of the other runners trailing behind. Josies Orders and Urgent De Gregaine came in at second and third place. The race was electric and of course, geared everyone up for a thrilling Grand National next month. With many having high hopes that Tiger Roll is more than capable of repeating his 2018 victory.
The penultimate race of the day saw a top of class performance from bookies favourites. The Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle was a true showcase of resilience and stamina. Band of Outlaws came out on top with a two length finish. Outperforming the Gordon Elliot trained Coko Beach who came in second place at odds of 14/1. The victory awarded Joseph O’Brien his first Cheltenham win and the Irish their third.
The final race of Ladies Day certainly didn’t disappoint. The Champion Bumper is run over flat ground and it was a spectacle worth remembering. Favourite Envoi Allen did not disappoint the Cheltenham crowd and put on a strong performance throughout. This awarded Gordon Elliot with another Cheltenham win to add to his tally and it was thoroughly deserved. The horse showed strength and stamina throughout as he managed to stay ahead of a fiercely competitive Blue Sari and come out on top.
What’s Up Next at Cheltenham Festival
Next up is St Patrick’s Thursday and we can’t wait. A real highlight of The Festival. Thursday’s racing will too offer showstopping performances from some of the best. Many are hoping for much of the same luck from Ladies Day and hoping favourites can come out on top. The day features some of The Festivals most popular races including the Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle. Who will you be betting on? We can’t wait to see the action unfold over the next two days.