Cheltenham Festival Day Two: Three course specialists form a massive 1754-1 accumulator

Course form is an essential part in the process of picking winners. Some horses will only perform at specific venues, while certain tracks are extremely difficult to navigate and course experience becomes necessary. For Cheltenham, the latter statement is very much correct.

Cheltenham is a specialists venue, with its stiff fences, undulating nature and testing up-hill finish. Looking for horses with previous Cheltenham form is ideal this week and it’s even better if you can dig out prior Festival form too. We’ve done the hard work for you on Wednesday. Here are four horses set to relish their return to the colosseum of national hunt racing.

If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.

2.30 – Thomas Darby

Given the promise he showed earlier in his career, it’s perhaps disappointing that Thomas Darby has yet to win a Grade 1. Olly Murphy’s charge made a winning debut at Cheltenham in October 2018, with a subsequent run at Prestbury Park resulting in a great second in the 2019 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Both his hurdling runs this season have been very promising, finishing third to Summerville Boy on return at Aintree. That was followed up by a Grade 2 second at Kempton in the rescheduled Relkeel, his first try of the 2m 5f distance. He clearly relished the extra distance and further improvement should be forthcoming at this trip.

Top weight in a handicap is never easy, but he sports cheekpieces for the first time and his cruising speed will have him placed in the perfect position throughout. With all that in mind, he has an excellent chance under Aidan Coleman.

3.05 – Put The Kettle On

It’s cheesy, but the Put The Kettle On boils quickest at Cheltenham. Henry De Bromhead’s mare is unbeaten in three starts at Prestbury Park, including victory in last year’s Arkle.

She returned this season with a comfortable success at Cheltenham ahead of Duc Des Genievres, before a very respectable third behind Chacun Pour Soi over Christmas. She does have eight lengths to find with him on that running, but she thrives on the hallowed Festival turf.

Chacun Pour Soi lacks any course knowledge and the venue isn’t sure to suit him, with the vast majority of his recent wins coming on flat tracks. That’s not the case for Put The Kettle On. She can be expected to raise her level on Wednesday and really serve it up to the short-price favourite.

4.15 – Chosen Mate

Winning last year’s Grand Annual, Chosen Mate landed an impressive success. He tanked into the contest and although he didn’t find much under pressure, he won with authority. His subsequent form has been below that standard, but a return to Cheltenham could do him wonders.

He’s seemingly a horse who thrives on spring ground and the good to soft conditions have come just in time for him. Granted, the nine-pound higher mark than last year demands a career-best, but he’ll have the race run to suit and has to be given a huge chance with Jordan Gainford taking seven pounds off his back.

Check out the myracing experts’ Cheltenham Festival tips every day of the festival, and don’t forget to check out the latest Cheltenham free bets and offers to get a headstart on your festival punting. 

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