Cheltenham Festival: Ruby Walsh back among the winners after injury comeback

Paola Ditto
Marzo 14, 2018

The highlight of day two of the four-day Festival will be the clash of star chasers Altior, Douvan and Min in the Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion Chase over two miles.

However, his trainer Willie Mullins is no stranger to producing horses fit and ready to run after such long absences.

One race-goer was spotted carrying another man on his back while walking down the street as they continued their boozy celebrations.

He will now be set to become the sixth triple victor of the Champion Hurdle as an eight-year-old next year.

Altior, admittedly, would be an odds-on chance today had it not been for a last-minute injury scare earlier in the week, when he was found to be lame on Monday morning.

Unbeaten prior to heading to the Festival, connections had been attempting to play down the hype surrounding the Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old, but plenty of punters made him their banker bet of the week.

After that, comes the RSA Novices' Chase for which Presenting Percy is a short odds favourite.

G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper and will be partnered by Patrick Mullins, who already has a victor on the board this Festival. So I will skip to the G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper where my speculative choice is ACEY MILAN (IRE). "The last weeks of preparation aren't a lot of fun".

In the wake of Storm Emma, teams had to shovel 250 tonnes of snow from the course at Prestbury Park by hand to avoid damaging the ground.

Martin backed a victor on the opening day of the Festival, with Footpad winning the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase, while his other nap, an each-way punt on My Tent Or Yours, was a non-runner in the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

"We were anxious last week with the snow that it might even have been cancelled but I think it's going to be busier than ever", he said. His slight setback after Kempton might end up being a blessing in disguise as I was concerned that he had already had a busy season.

"They were two very courageous horses, with two fearless jockeys".

Winning trainer Tom George said: "He must have a huge engine".

"It was terrific performance from Melon and it's vindicated what we thought of him". His rider Felix de Giles is very good, so why not a long-awaited French win in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase?

My final selection is MITCHOUKA (Fr) in the G3 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

The Scout is the principal tipster for the Daily Express and Sunday Express, and for the last 25 years he has been acknowledged as one of the top private handicappers in England. "It may well be that by 1.30pm when we kick off with the first race that we change the going to soft all round, but we will just have to see how things dry out over the next few hours". I will also keep my eye on King of May (Fr).

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