Willie Mullins 100th Cheltenham Festival Win

Cheltenham Festival 2024: Day Two Review

The second day of the festival at Cheltenham Racecourse took place on Wednesday afternoon, and there was some enthralling action on display for all those in attendance.

Style Wednesday has now been and gone, with the action on the second day on Wednesday afternoon being exciting for those on track and in the stands. There was not only great racing, but the atmosphere, as ever, was incredible, and this combination made Wednesday another memorable day of racing at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

Due to adverse weather conditions, the 16:10 Glenfarclas Cross-Country Steeple Chase was abandoned and not to be rescheduled. There were instead just six races that took place on Wednesday afternoon and at different times than what was originally decided. These races were the following: The Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle (13:45), the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (14:30), the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (15:15), the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (16:00), the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (16:50) and finally the Weatherbys Champion Bumper (17:30) to bring the action on the second day, better known as Style Wednesday, to a close.

This day saw some incredible history being made at Cheltenham Racecourse. Willie Mullins is the most successful trainer to have ever taken part in the Cheltenham Festival, and he was targeting his century of victories at the 2024 event. He successfully secured his 100th win on Wednesday to reassert his legendary status.

Now, we are going to review all six races that took place on Style Wednesday at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday, 13th March 2024. We will start this review with the 13:45 Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle.

13:45 – Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle (Winner: Ballyburn)

The 2024 Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse got the action on the second day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival underway. Pre-race favourite, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Jockey Paul Townend, Ballyburn emerged victorious ahead of runner-up Jimmy Du Seuil (Sean O’Keefe) and Ile Atlantique (Patrick Mullins).

It was a powerful run from start to finish from Ballyburn, who was initially behind initial leader Jimmy De Seuil. This was until the final corner of the race, when Paul Townend managed to guide his horse to a considerable lead to win the race. He ended this contest with an incredible 13-length lead ahead of Jimmy Du Seuil in second place.

14:30 – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Winner: Fact To File)

The race that followed was the 2024 renewal of the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase. It was another victory for legendary trainer Willie Mullins. This time, the jockey was Mark Walsh, and Walsh was able to lead Fact To File to victory in the second race on Style Wednesday. Rachael Blackmore’s Monty’s Star had to settle for second, whilst Stephen Mulqueen’s Giovinco came in third place.

This race remained tight until the field approached the bend following the third to last fence, when Fact To File powered through the field to win by a margin of three and three-quarter lengths ahead of Rachael Blackmore and Monty’s Star.

This was Willie Mullins’ 99th win at the Cheltenham Festival. It was also his sixth success in this specific race alone. His previous wins in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase came with Florida Pearl (1998), Rule Supreme (2004), Cooldine (2009), Don Poli (2015), and Monkfish in 2021.

15:15 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Winner: Langer Dan)

Now we come to the halfway point of action the second day of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, with the third of the six races on Style Wednesday being the 2024 running of the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle. It was a second win in a row in this particular race for Langer Dan, who was ridden by Dan Skelton. Rachael Blackmore’s Ballyadam came in second place, whilst Michael O’Sullivan’s Shanbally Kid came in third overall.

Langer Dan is the first horse ever to win the Coral Cup twice. After occupying a space in the middle of the field, Langer Dan would eventually go on to power through the field up the hill to eventually go on to win by no less than three lengths ahead of runner-up Ballyadam.

16:00 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Winner: Captain Guinness)

We have now arrived at the third to last race of Style Wednesday, which was the biggest and most prestigious race of the second day – the 2024 edition of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. This year’s winner was Rachael Blackmore, who rode Captain Guinness to a fantastic victory, finishing ahead of Gentleman De Mee (2nd Place) and Funambule Sivola (3rd Place), who occupied the final two spots in that race’s top three.

Pre-race favourite El Fabiolo pulled up and withdrew from the race, and with the absence of Jonbon, this was an opportunity that Captain Guinness took with both hands to win. After Edwardstone also fell, Captain Guinness and Jockey Rachael Blackmore were able to just about hold off the challenge of Gentleman De Mee to confirm victory.

16:50 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Winner: Unexpected Party)

The penultimate race on Day Two of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival was this year’s renewal of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase. With pre-race favourite Sa Fureur coming outside of the top three in fourth place in the end, it was to be Unexpected Party, ridden by Dan Skelton, who would come away victorious ahead of runners-up Libberty Hunter (Harry Cobden) and third place Path D’oroux (Keith Donoghue).

This was a second win of the day for the Skelton brothers, and Unexpected Party was able to remain ahead of Libberty Hunter to eventually go on and win this race.

17:30 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Winner: Jasmin De Vaux)

We are now moving on to the sixth and final race of Day Two at the 2024 renewal of the Cheltenham Festival at the equally iconic and historic Cheltenham Racecourse. The race to end the action on Style Wednesday was this year’s edition of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Patrick Mullins’ Jasmin De Vaux came away victorious ahead of Romeo Coolio (Keith Donoghue) in second place and pre-race favourite Jalon D’oudairies (Jack Kennedy), who rounded off the top three in this race in third place.

This was Willie Mullins’ 100th Cheltenham Festival victory, the first trainer to ever do so at this prestigious and historic horse racing event. This was also his 13th win in this race, with the other 12 coming in 1996 (Wither or Which), 1997 (Florida Pearl), 1998 (Alexander Banquet), 2000 (Joe Cullen), 2005 (Missed That), 2008 (Cousin Vinny), 2012 (Champagne Fever), 2013 (Briar Hill), 2018 (Relegate), 2020 (Ferny Hollow), 2021 (Sir Gerhard) and in 2022 with Facile Vega.

Excitement and anticipation will now build ahead of the third of four days of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival. Day Three is set to begin with the Turners Novices’ Chase at 13:30 on the afternoon of Thursday 14th March 2024.

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