Former Gold cup winning jockey Robbie Power has spoken to BoyleSports direct from the Cheltenham Festival and ruled the roost over the action on day two.
Gordon Elliott’s Envoi Allen is set to go off the hot favourite in the opener, but Power believes he has a ‘big chance’ on the Colin Tizzard-trained The Big Breakaway.
1.30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
“Envoi Allen is still unbeaten and sets a very high standard. But I like my horse a lot, The Big Breakaway. He’s a horse with an awful lot of potential. He just might lack a bit of experience for a race of this nature but he’s a very exciting horse and I think he has to have a big chance.
“Sporting John is a very good horse of Philip Hobbs’ too, he’s won his last three. Son Of Camas, a horse of Nicky Henderson’s was third behind Fiddlerontheroof in the Tolworth and is a decent horse as well. Envoi Allen should be hard to beat but if things don’t work out for him, hopefully The Big Breakaway will pick up the pieces.”
2.10 RSA Chase
“Slate House was a very impressive winner of a Grade 1 in Kempton at Christmas. He was disappointing in the Cotswold but probably shouldn’t have run in that race. He’s been freshened up well and his homework is very good. A lot of people are surprised I’m riding Slate House instead of Copperhead, but it was the trainer who advised me to ride Slate House. He thought that he was in very good form. He’s a Grade 1 winner so he has to have a big chance.
“Champ needs to improve his jumping, he had a fall in the Dipper Chase and needs to leave that behind him. Allaho is probably the solid form in the race, second to Easy Game on her first start over fences. That form is rock solid. Then he was a very impressive winner on soft ground at Fairyhouse. He probably needs to step up again but that was a good performance and he sets the standard for me.”
2.50 Coral Cup
“I have picked up a nice ride on Stratum. He was a very decent horse on the flat but needs to improve on some of his hurdle form. He’s a very nice horse if things fall right for him but this is an ultra-competitive race. Dame De Compagnie of Nicky Henderson’s for Barry Geraghty, number 21 on the card, would be my each-way selection here.”
3.30 Champion Chase
“Tactically it’s going to be fascinating to watch. There’s no real confirmed pace in the race so it will be interesting to see what makes the running. I was blown away by Chacun Pour Soi when I won on him in Punchestown last year.
“The last time Defi Du Seuil tasted defeat was by Chacun Pour Soi so I’m going to side with Chacun Pour Soi again, especially now that Altior is out of the race. He has progressed lovely from his first run this season to his win at the Dublin Racing Festival. He will love the soft ground and tactically I think he’s adaptable as well.”
4.10 Cross Country Chase
“Easyland is a very decent horse, it’s interesting that JP McManus bought him as well, but I think Tiger Roll is in a different league. He’s an unbelievable horse. I thought his comeback run was perfectly satisfactory in Navan, he travelled with great enthusiasm. Neverushacon, who was a winner over the banks in Punchestown three weeks ago, would have an each-way chance, but for me Tiger Roll is the Day 2 banker.”
4.50 Boodles Handicap Hurdle
“I think it’s interesting that Davy Russell rides Recent Revelations of Gordon Elliott’s when Gordon has four runners in the race. I’d nearly side with him each-way based on that but it’s ultra-competitive. Aramax of Gordon’s as well, Mark Walsh for JP McManus, was a good winner the last day in Naas, so it’s probably between those two. Gordon has a good record in the race so I think Aramax and Recent Revelations will be laid out for this.”
5.30 Champion Bumper
“Good Time Jonny is a nice horse and a nice ride to pick up. He was second in a bumper for John McConnell back in Punchestown earlier in the season, then was sold to Tony Martin and was third in a good bumper in Leopardstown before winning very impressively in Musselburgh. He would need to improve a little bit, but he would appreciate the soft ground as well which should be good.
“Willie Mullins looks to have a very smart horse here in Appreciate It. He was very impressive the last day. David Pipe’s Israel Champ is a winner of a listed bumper which is very good form as well. He’s got course and distance form so he’s an exciting horse.
“All the talk has been about Appreciate It. Patrick Mullins didn’t even have a decision to make, he was always going to ride him. Usually when Willie only runs two or three in the bumper it means he has a good one and I think Appreciate It could be just that.”
Listen to Robbie Power’s full preview of day two on the BoyleSports blog
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
8/11 Envoi Allen
7/2 Sporting John
7/1 The Big Getaway
8/1 The Big Breakaway
11/10 Defi Du Seuil
6/4 Chacun Pour Soi
14/1 Dynamite Dollars
16/1 Sceau Royal
50/1 Bun Doran