2020 Cheltenham Festival Day 2 Results
The day’s racegoers were disappointed to wake up to the news that Chacun Pour Soi was joining Altior in missing the Champion Chase, however, they still had Tiger Roll in the Glenfarclas Chase to look forward to. But first up was the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 2020 – Envoi Allen
The race got us off to a good start with no non-runners in the field of 12. Envoi Allen was the clear favourite before the race at 8/11 with Davy Russell on board. However, Sporting John and the second most successful Cheltenham jockey of all time, Barry Geraghty were out to cause an upset at odds of 10/3.
From the off Shakem Up’arry led and was keeping a good pace. Just behind was Easywork and Big Getaway. As they came to the final five fences, Big Getaway took over from Shakem Up’arry with the favourite Envoi Allen still restrained in the middle of the field.
As they approached the final three fences, Russell made his move and Envoi Allen shifted up a gear. Jumping well they took the lead and managed to stay on, under stiff competition from Easywork.
There were no fallers in the race and everyone made it home.
RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase – Champ
10 horses lined up in the RSA Chase. The pre-race favourite was shared between Allaho and Minella Indo both at 3/1. This was a long race at just over 3 miles.
From the start of the race, the two favourites led from the front. The pair kept a distance from the chasing pack for the first circuit with Champ towards the back. As they came into the second circuit they started to close up and Allaho hit the fence seven out.
With three fences to go Allaho and Minella Indo started to pull away. On the home straight it looked like it was two-horse race until Champ came from nowhere. He found an extra gear and came through the middle of the front pair to win in dramatic style.
The win returned Barry Geraghty to the top of the jockey’s table, taking the armband off Davy Russell.
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle – Dame De Compagnie
Mister Blue Sky was the only non-runner in the race as 25 horses made up the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle. Dame De Compagnie, trained by Nicky Henderson, was the favourite, looking to give Barry Geraghty his second win at 7/2.
Alpha Mix took the lead from the off, priced at 14/1 with Birchdale just behind. The field stayed together for the majority of the contest before Top Moon pulled out in front.
As they came over the second to last Alpha Mix went in front, but Dame De Compagnie, the 4/1 favourite made a move and brought home Barry Geraghty’s second win of the day.
Five horses pulled up.
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – Politologue
The fourth race of the afternoon, the Champion Chase, was billed as one of the most exciting of the week. That was until Altior and Chacun Pour Soi both pulled out due to injury. Defi De Seuil then became the outright favourite at odds of around 2/5.
At just two miles long this was one of the shorter races. Politolouge went out at the front with Defi De Seuil seeming to want to stay back and time his run. All the horses jumped well but Defi Deu Seuil was still at the back.
Sceau Royal made a move for Politologue with three to go as Barry Geraghty tried to get Defi De Seuil going but it didn’t seem to have any effect. As they jumped the last Politologue pulled clear to win convincingly with Defi De Seuil not even landing in the top three.
There were no fallers.
Glenfarclas Chase – Easysland
At three miles and six furlongs long, this is the longest race of the day. The infamous Tiger Roll was going for his third Glenfarclas Chase and fifth festival win in preparation for the Grand National. At 4/5 he was the favourite for the race with Easysland second favourite at 3/1.
After a false start, Arlequin D’Allier took the lead. Tiger Roll kept in the middle whilst Easysland was nearer the front.
As they came over the 16th fence, the field closed up with Easysland in second place. With three lengths to go, it was a two-horse race between the two favourites. However, Tiger Roll jumped badly with Easysland winning by half a furlong.
There were two non-runners and Yanworth was a faller.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Aramax
22 horses lined up for the second to last race of the day. Paladium and Blacko both went off as the joint 5/1 favourites.
Paladium looked to set the pace early on and was clearly out at the front. As the race progressed Paladium was joined by Zoffee and the pair created a two-length gap from everyone else. Blacko made a charge to keep up with the front runners as they came down the hill.
With three to go Paladium had run his race and was caught by everyone at which point Nico De Boinville decided to pull him up. The lead was now being contested between four horses as they reached the final straight. With the last fence to be jumped Aramax pulled away and was neck and neck with Night Edition for the final furlong, but Aramax fought off the challenge and won by a length.
Zoffee, Blacko and Gerolamo Cardano also joined Paladium in pulling up during the race.
Weatherbys Champion Bumper – Ferny Hollow
The final race on Ladies Day 2020 saw 23 horses contesting for the prize of £42,000. Appreciate It was the race favourite (15/8) and was ridden by Patrick Mullins, son of trainer Willie Mullins.
Israel Chap was the most eager to get going and took the lead from the off. Just behind was the 14/1 priced Darling Daughter. The field kept together well, with just 14 lengths separating first to last.
Ferny Hollow was in the middle of the field as Israel Chap set the pace. With half a mile to go, Five Bar Brian made a move with the favourite Appreciate It looking to pull away from the field. As they approached the final furlong, Appreciate It pulled ahead but it was Ferny Hollow who had timed his run to perfection and won by a length.
Appreciate It came second, giving Willie Mullins a smart one-two in the race.
No horses pulled up or fell in this race.