It’s day two at Prestbury Park, which means it’s Ladies Day! Yesterday served up a breathtaking return of the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ for 2023. Constitution Hill made sure his hype was justified with a nine-length win in the feature race before Honeysuckle signed off her stunning career with an emotional Mares Hurdle victory under jockey Rachael Blackmore.
Day two is headlined by the Champion Chase at 3.30pm as Energumene looks to defend his crown for Willie Mullins. Edwardstone, last year’s Arkle winner, looks to be the biggest threat to the double. The first race is the Novices’ Hurdle (1.30pm), for which Impaire Et Passe leads the market but British hopes lie with Hermes Allen.
Elsewhere, the likes of Gerri Colombe (2.10pm), Delta Work (4.10pm), Andy Dufresne (4.50pm) and It’s For Me (5.30pm) are all fancied to triumph in Gloucestershire, though the weather forecast is expected to play more of a part today, with rain likely later in the day. Follow all the action from Prestbury Park with our dedicated blog below!
Fairytale ending for Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle bowed out in the style as she won the Mares’ Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.
The two-time Champion Hurdle winner teamed up with Rachael Blackmore for one last ride, looking to make it four from four at Prestbury Park, and did just that after a final push up the hill to get past Love Envoi.
It was a fairytale ending to a remarkable career, and an emotional Blackmore paid tribute to Jack de Bromhead in her post-race interview. The 13-year-old, son of Honeysuckle trainer Henry, died after a fall in a race last year.
“We all wish a very special kid could be here today but he’s looking down on her,” Blackmore said.
De Bromhead told BBC: “It’s the fairytale ending that doesn’t normally happen. I am so happy for everyone. You dream of it but this is what she deserves. She is an unbelievable mare. She is so special.
“I think we have had a terrible year with Jack but the support everyone has given us we are really grateful for that.”
The going remains soft at Cheltenham for the second day of the Festival.
After dry and relatively mild weather yesterday, it’s going to be a bit more patchy this afternoon. Some light rain expected this morning, with heavier spells to come late in the afternoon.
Day two tips: Nube Negra appeals in Champion Chase
Day two of the Cheltenham Festival perhaps lacks the talking points of the other three days — but the key races are fascinating from a betting perspective.
The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30) will divide opinion. With Shishkin having left the two-mile division, Energumene picked up the pieces and, having been so impressive in this race last year, he remains the horse to beat.
The concern is how laboured he was here in January behind Editeur Du Gite, and it is a concern for backers of Edwardstone that Alan King’s charge still failed to win, so an alternative is possible and, perhaps, Nube Negra is the one.
1.30pm: Impaire Et Passe
2.10pm: Gerri Colombe
2.50pm: An Epic Song
3.30pm: Nube Negra
4.10pm: Delta Work
4.50pm: Coeur Sublime
5.30pm: Better Days Ahead
Wednesday’s card in full
1.30pm: Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
2.10pm: Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
2.50pm: Coral Cup Hurdle
3.30pm: Champion Chase
4.10pm: Cross Country Chase
4.50pm: Grand Annual Chase
5.30pm: Champion Bumper
How to watch Cheltenham Festival
TV channel: The only place to watch the Festival in its entirety is on Racing TV, which will broadcast all seven races on each day of the meeting. Racing TV is a subscription channel available through Sky and Virgin Media and online via website and app. Build-up coverage starts at 12.30pm every day and coverage concludes after the final race.
ITV will broadcast the first five races, with coverage beginning at 1pm every day. Today’s coverage begins on ITV4 before continuing on ITV1 from 2pm
Live stream: Racing TV subscribers can stream the action live via the website or app, or cast to their TV, while ITV viewers can do likewise via the ITVX website and app.
Live coverage: You can also follow all the action LIVE right here with us!
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of the second afternoon of action at the Cheltenham Festival!
It was a memorable day yesterday, with Constitution Hill delivering an imperious display and Honeysuckle providing an emotional win for Henry de Bromhead and his family.
Lots more to come today, with the Champion Chase taking centre stage as Energumene looks to go back-to-back. More on that later.
We’ll have all the latest updates and build-up, before full coverage of all seven races this afternoon. Stay with us!