Dave Nevison's top tips for day two of the Cheltenham Festival

By Dave Nevison
Tue 12 Mar 2019

Three selections for day two of the Cheltenham Festival on what could be a fabulous day for Nicky Henderson.

1.30 Cheltenham: Champ at 11-4 with BetVictor

Beating Getaway Trump possibly does not look as good as it did at the time, but I certainly have no doubt that this horse is still the real deal and could be very well named.

I was seriously impressed in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury, as at the foot of the home straight it looked, momentarily, as if he was struggling for pace, yet between the last two he had quickened clear of what was still a strong field.

Henderson has decided that there was nothing to be gained by not running him again since Christmas and I am happy to believe that.

It may be a reason why sentiment seems to be moving against him. Given his colours, we will probably find out the real regard he is held in a few moments before the off and I am definitely hoping for a positive market move.

2.10 Cheltenham: Santini at 4-1 with Betvictor and SkyBet

Santini stayed on strongly to finish third in the Kauto Star

I decided last year that Santini would win this race and I am firmly of the view that nothing I have seen has changed that opinion.

Views are very much divided about his latest effort in the Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day, but he was staying on brilliantly at a track that will never play to his strengths and I thought the run boosted rather than detracted from his chances in this.

Others differ. I hope they are wrong.

The factors we cannot control are the opposition and Delta Work is unbeaten in three Chases including two Grade Ones.

A recent setback for Santini is also a worry and it was unnerving to see Henderson expressing concern about Santini on Racing TV on Friday.

He will not run if he is wrong though so, if he runs, I am assuming all is well and will definitely be sticking with him and ignoring his recent market drift.

4.50 Cheltenham: Fanfan Du Seuil each-way at a general 20-1 (take best number of places)

It would have been no surprise if this four-year-old has run in the Triumph Hurdle instead of this handicap as I feel, with a bit more luck, he could easily be unbeaten in four juvenile hurdles so far.

He won in France and then fell over when staying on well on his debut for Tom George. He won easy after that and then threw the race away by idling last time at Cheltenham.

He has not been seen since and I am reasonably convinced that is because he has a Festival winning rating of 136 here.

I believe Paddy Brennan rides the hurdles tracks at Cheltenham better than anyone and he can steer this one into the frame at least.

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