Cheltenham 2020 - Day 2

And that means Queen Mother's Champion Chase day.

EPATANTE winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy in Cheltenham, England.
EPATANTE winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy in Cheltenham, England. Picture: (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Starting off there are two races for the Novices – the Hurdle (Baring Bingham) and the RSA Insurance Chase.

The going is likely to be soft.  There are 12 runners in the hurdle with Envoi Allen looking to extend his run of wins.  Davy Russell will be on board for Gordon Elliott as they try to do so and he's odds-on 4/6.

There are some challengers here – Sparkling John is on 4/1, and two with similar names The Big Breakaway 6/1 and The Big Getaway 7/1 but they come from different yards – Tizzard and Mullins respecrively.

There are 10 lining up in the Chase with Nicky Henderson's Champ and Henry de Bromhead's Minella Indo equal favs on 7/2.  The former has Barry Geraghty on board and the latter Rachael Blackmore.  Copperhead is 9/2.

The Queen Mum's now has 6 starters and it looks like being a mano-a-mano between Defi du Seuil 11/10 and Chacun Pour Soi 11/8.  We are leaning slightly towards Defi but it is sure to be a great race.

And the results from Day 1.  Nicky Henderson scored the first points when Shishkin won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle from Abracadabras and Chantry House, with favourite Asterion Forlange only fourth in the field of 16.

Henry de Bromhead scored the first of a double when Put The Kettle On was the 16/1 winner of the Arkle.  Fakir d'Oudairies was second and our roughie Rouge Vif third.  Brewin'upastorm parted company with Richard Johnston and Notebook disappointing.

The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy went to the favourite Epatante for a Henderson double with one of Mullins's "others" Sharjah coming second on 16/1.  Darver Star was third at 17/2 and Cilaos Emery fourth.

The Mares Hurdle was one of the highlights for us due to the brilliant ride by Rachael Blackmore on Honeysuckle.  She managed to get through along the fence and get to the lead and although Benie des Dieux came chasing after her Honeysuckle was able to keep on going and get the result,  giving Henry de Bromhead his second winner of the day.

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