Today honour the man who brought Christianity to Ireland. And judging by the crowds lining the streets of every town in the country, underage drinking. Of equal/more importance [delete depending on what side of the Irish Sea your heart belongs to] is Day 2 of Cheltenham.
It was a disappointing day 1. Of course in terms of the big names flopping, but more crucially in terms of the low number of Hell Of A Horses we got. Likewise, we didn’t see much of Paddy after Dunguib lost out in the Supreme Novices’. He is missing, presumed naked and hungover somewhere in the Cotswold. We’ll keep you up to date with all the major events and a lot more minor events happening throughout the day at Cheltenham.
Hell Of A Horse Total: 0
Sightings Of Paddy Enjoying Corporate Hospitality At Cheltenham: 0
Humourous Freudian slips: 1
5.45pm: Well that’s it for Day 2 of Cheltenham. I don’t why it’s taken me twenty minutes to realise that, but it’s just been that sort of a day. Another tough day all round – we didn’t spot Paddy, no-one said Hell Of A Horse and worst of all, John McCririck’s Freudian slip was a false dawn in terms of amusing sex-related slip-ups. come back tomorrow where I’ll be licking my wounds by slagging off anyone I don’t like.
Slan leat and raise a glass to St. Paddy if you get the chance.
5.26pm: Wow, it’s time to re-evaluate everything we hold to be true. The Irish are denied in the Champion Bumper. Cue Card wins it for the Tizzard combination and at 40/1 it sounds looks they’re about the only people happy with the result around Cheltenham. Well, the bookies are too, but shouting and screaming in the betting rin isn’t the done thing – they save it until they’re in the hotel room with beautiful hookers and mountains of cocaine.
Champion Bumper Result
1st Cue Card @ 40/1
2nd Al Ferof
5.05pm: I’m going to back Tavern Times in the Champion Bumper. I don’t know if he’s any good, but Davy Russell is riding him and I’d like to see him have another go at someone in a post-race interview. Who’ll he ask for an apology from next? Ashley for treating Cheryl so badly? Sony for not giving Jedward a real chance? Actually, me backing the horse is probably the best way of guaranteeing he won’t have a post-victory interview to give.
4.55pm: Spare a thought for Paddy(unlikely I know). Not only does he have to pay out on a well backed favourite, but he has to pay his staff double for working a bank holiday! Except the ones over in the UK. Stinger. Get yourselves some more bank holidays, UK. Say you love God or something – it seems to work over here.
4.50pm: A commanding performance from Sanctuaire sees Ruby Walsh ride into the the record books. He’s now the most successful jockey in the history of the Cheltenham Festival and more importantly for when he goes to dinner with the family tonight, the joint most successful Walsh of the day.
Fred Winter Hurdle Result
1st Sanctuaire 4/1F (that F means favourite in case you’ve forgotten)
2nd Notus De La Tour
4th Son Amix
4.31pm: There’s not much time to look ahead to the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle, which given my record is no bad thing. I’m going to blindly plump for Baccalaureate.
4.24pm: GRATUITOUS PLUG ALERT!!
Did I mention we’re got a Free Bet Special on tonight’s Barcelona v Stuttgart match? Oh, I didn’t? How careless of me. Place a Wincast bet of £/€20 on the Barcelona v Stuttgart match and we will give you a free £/€10 bet on any race at this evenings meeting at Kempton.
*CREEPY/CHEESY SALESMAN SMILE*
4.20pm: More bad news for Christina in our Pun v Punter competition. Sachin Tendulkar has claimed Top Runscorer honours for Mumbai in their IPL match with Delhi, just edging out Sarubh Tiwary who got run out when one run behind the Little Master. It looks like she’ll need to be spot on with her scorecast in tonight’s Barcelona v Stuttgart match to overturn the deficit. Lovely poem though.
4.10pm: It’s Spirit River uber alles and as far as I know that’s not a song that’s ever been used to assert the genetic superiority of any race. It’s another winner for Barry Geraghty and using the platform of his post-race interview with Tommo, he demands a public apology from John McCririck from all the stupid hats he’s been wearing so far this week.
Coral Cup Result
1st Spirit River @ 14/1
2nd Tullamore Dew
3rd James De Vassy
4th Michael Flips
3.58pm: Just doing a bit of research in case a certain horse wins the next race – apparently it’s fine to say Deutschland Uber Alles because although it’s not the official name of the anthem, it’s widely known by that title and not Das Deutschlandlied. Plus, the Hitler only used the first verse while now they only use the third. Nazi-free bonus.
3.45pm: There’s lots happening in the Coral Cup betting . Quantitativeeasing is being well backed as well as Wishfull Thinking and Hampshire Express who was 25/1 earlier and has been trimmed to 16/1.
3.25pm: And Big Zeb is the Champion Chaser! I tipped up a bet on the Betting Without Master Minded and that’s pretty much what we got as the dual Champion Chaser was never a factor in the race. The big prize on Paddy’s Day goes to Ireland.
Champion Chase Result
1st Big Zeb @ 10/1
3rd Kalahari King
2.53pm: It’s one for both brief previews and our puns as Weapons Amnesty was the subject of our pun/tip for the RSA Chase. Christina has it all to do now and to make matters worse for the budding poet, Sachin Tendulkar has made a good start for Mumbai against Delhi. The result of the race:
1st Weapons Amnesty @ 10/1
2nd Burton Port
3rd Long Run
2.48pm: Forget about the result for a second! Davy Russell – having just won the RSA Chase with Weapons Amnesty – declines to go through the platitudes and uses the post-race interview to demand a public apology from John McCririck for his criticism of Brian O’Connell’s ride on Dunguib yesterday. Good man, Davy.
2.22pm: There’s money for Punchestowns in the RSA Chase. Possibly because every time he opens his mouth people think he’s going to tell a joke about Northern Ireland they don’t really understand, the punters aren’t listening to Paddy Kielty and Long Run is on the drift. I’ve only just realised I didn’t preview this race and given my record so far, that’s no harm. I’m going for Weapons Amnesty.
2.15pm: The 3rd Cheltenham Katchphrase of the day is up and running.
2.10pm: An eventful ‘really long name’ race is won by Peddlers Cross.
The i’m Not Typing The Whole Name Race Result
1st Peddlers Cross
2nd Reve De Sivola
3rd Rite Of Passage
2.07pm: Quel Esprit’s tumbles like property prices.
2.03pm Continuing the random array of Northern Irish celebrities we’ve seen so far at Cheltenham, Paddy Kielty is tipping up Long Run for the RSA Chase.
1.58pm: In the next race (i’m not typing the entire name out) Quel Esprit is on the drift for Willie Mullins. There’s been money for Manyriverstocross all morning.
1.52pm: Calling Cheltenham ‘the Olympics of jump racing’ isn’t fair in this day and age. I’m starting the movement to get the Olympics labled the ‘Cheltenham of drug-taking’.
1.40pm: Different Walsh, similar result. Katie Walsh battles it out to claim the National Hunt Chase on board Poker De Sivola. Mobaasher went of as favourite, but was hampered by a faller midway through the race although probably wasn’t going to win anyway.
National Hunt Chase Result
1st Poker De Sivola 14/1
3rd Prudent Honour
1.27pm: They’re down at the start for the opener on Day 2, but Becauseicouldntsee needs a new shoe. And not because he spotted another horse wearing exactly the same pair as him.
1.10pm: With around 20 minutes to go before the start of day 2, Mobaasher and Becauseicouldntsee are vying to go off as favourite for the National Hunt Chase. Becauseicouldntsee is vying slightly better at the moment, but there’s been a lot of money for Mobaasher all morning.
12.51pm: Sorry about those crappy ads we’ve got on Channel 4 where the exceptionally smug man or the exceptionally smug woman look at the camera just look at the camera. Here’s some funny ones to make up for it. Carlton Palmer – Shower – That mad one with Richard Dunwoody
12.40pm: It’s back to Channel 4 and they’re talking to Tony McCoy in one of those dangerous weighing room interviews that’s only a badly tied towel away from thousands of complaints. He’s sweet on Forpadydeplasterer as you’d expect.
12.30pm: Coral Cup Hurdle – My Two Cents
It’s a very open race. Yes, I appreciate the irony of me saying something innane like that when only a few minutes ago I was berating others for being so cliched. We’re paying five places on the race which is a big help and with so many horses having decent claims, I’ll keep it short. Shadow Dancer goes off a feather weight and a slight improvement from him could be enough to win it.
12.19pm: The declarations are in for Friday’s Gold Cup. Kauto Star, Denman and 9 no-hopers are set to take their chance. Use the medium of our poll to tell us who’s going to win.
12.08pm: What do Michael Jackson and our first Cheltenham Katchphrase game of the day have in common? Nothing to do with touching children, that’s for sure. They both came to a disappointingly premature end. But that’s where the similarity ends because at least we’ve got a second chance. Game 2 of Day 2 has started.
12.05pm: Champion Chase – My Two Cents
Since winning his second Champion Chase, Master Minded has looked mortal. Still a very good mortal, but mortal nonetheless. There seems to a growing swathe of people willing to take him on. His defeat to Well Chief earlier in the season was put down to a broken rib and as long as you don’t think Paul Nicholls is a dirty stinking liar – and despite all my ridiculous nose-touching theories there’s no reason to think he is €“ his run last time out showed he’s – if not back to his best – at least back to full fitness. If not has his ultimate peak, he's still good enough to win and I’ll be going for Forpadydeplasterer in the betting without Master Minded.
11.48am: Right, all we can deduce from that round of interviews is that no-one really wants to call a spade a spade. But we know someone who will. Here’s Racing Post tipster and shy and retiring flower, Mark The Couch Winstanley giving his Cheltenham Tips for Day 2 and probably a lot more.
11.45am: In more ‘people saying exactly what you’d expect them to say’, Robert Thornton says he’s confident about his ride on Twist Magic in the Champion Chase. In fact, he’s confident about all his rides today.
11.41am: right, after all that, wilie tells us he rates Quel Espirit in the Neptune Investement Novice Hurdle as his best hope of a winner today.
11.37am: Willie does say Golden Silver is “in the form of his life.”
“He’s bucking and squealling and really enjoying himself.” Generally doing what most Irish people are doing today so.
11.32am: At the last count Willie Mullins has 116 runners at Cheltenham today. He’s being interviewed on Racing UK. He’s waxing lyrical about Quevega which – unless you’ve mastered time travel – isn’t going to be much use for us today. Quel Espirit is “fine” he reveals with his poker face.
11.10am: Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle – My Two Cents
Ghizao for me in this one. Considering he’s a Paul Nicholls horse, he’s good form at the track and he looks like he can improve, he looks like great value. He’s being upped in trip, but as the ground’s good, I don’t think it’s as big an ask as it normally would be. Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle Betting
10.56am: Christina East is the punter taking on the puns of our homepage in today’s Pun v Punter competition. Not only has she given her tips for today, but she’s has penned this delightful poem:
When Paddy's odds are smiling,
Sure, ’tis like the morn in Spring.
In the promise of the future
You can clearly see a win
When punters’ hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And with Paddy's mobile dialling,
You can bet home and away.
She’s just like Yeats but less of a stalker we’d imagine.
10.39am: Still no sign of Paddy enjoying the hospitality at the Festival today, but I have found evidence of what he got up to yesterday.
10.33am: Rob’s started game 1 of today’s Cheltenham Katchphrase which promises to be equally if not more head-wrecking than yesterday’s headscratchers.
10.23am: Patrick is the patron saint of midweek pints and baton twirling, so I’ve been trying to find some topical and more likely tenuous links to St. Patrick’s Day.
There’s no doubt about it, most of the Irish treat this day as one giant piss up but as with all great sessions, they need to be carefully Master Minded with friends making sure they're nice and Synchronised. This should involve some research into the local Tavern Times as no-one likes to get turfed out of the pub just when they’re having the Day Of A Lifetime. Most people expect to have a nice day, but some will harbour hopes of a spot of patriotic pulling. That's just Wishfull Thinking for the majority. Getting a little tipsy while at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is often seen as a Rite Of Passage for younger folk and whilst maybe a bit of underage dabbling in alcohol might be ignored, sometimes the youngsters overindulge and that is Far More Serious. With the Irish celebrating across the globe, there’s every chance a few of them will misbehave and quite possibly end up contacting the Consulate for legal assistance. Of course there’s a price to pay for all this revelry, so don't be surprised if a large number of the workforce have to Ring The Boss on Thursday morning to explain how they’ve suddenly been struck down with this flu that’s been doing the rounds before crawling back to their Sleepy Hollow to recover.
9.55am: The National Hunt Chase – My Two Cents
A four mile marathon kicks off the action on day 2. Obviously stamina’s going to be important, but what was noticeable about yesterday was the way in which a lot of the finishes involved horses that were bounding up the hill rather than hanging on for the line. The ground is good and the stamina may not be test as much as it has at other Festivals. It’s a tough race to call, but I’m going to go with Mobaasher who’s run consistently well at the Cheltenham seveal times in the past.
9.36am: If on the off chance you’re on the hunt for something stylish yet informative to decorate your computer’s desktop with, then you’re in luck. Check out our even more snazzy than normal Cheltenham Wallpapers
9.25am: Disappointingly, Will and Grace don’t have tips for Cheltenham, but Grace is insecure about something or other and Jack is continuing relentlessly with the stereotype of the selfish and overly camp homosexual. However, the Morning Line team did leave us with their bets of the day:
Tanya: Rite Of Passage in the Neptune Investment Hurdle
Sam (the Waley-Cohen one I think): Long Run in the RSA Chase
Jim: Kalahari King in the Champion Chase
Sam: Mamlook in the Coral Cup
Nick: Wishful Thinking in the Coral Cup
Hell Of A Pundit: Drumabaloo in the Champion Bumper
9.15am: John McCririck comes up with a Freudian slip that almost makes watching this edition of the Morning Line worthwhile. He calls glamourous bookie, Ellen Martin ‘melon’. We know what’s on his mind – if there was ever any doubt.
9.03am: Jockeys are always moaning about not being able to eat, but that looked like a pretty decent fry Paul Carberry was tucking into! Races are only won on the racecourse, but they could be lost in the canteen.
8.54am: Sam Whaley-Cohen is the guest on the Morning Line. Come back James Nesbit! All is forgiven. Except those Yellow Pages ads.
8.52am: Did you spot the bit of Hollywood Paddy Power brought to the Festival yesterday?
8.23am: Let’s get the useful information out of the way good and early. The going for Paddy’s Day at Cheltenham is being given as good, good to soft in places. In a bonus bit of conditions news, Mick Fitzgerald reveals it “cold and breezy” at the track. Quality meteorlogical work, Mick. He’s also given Finians Rainbow in the 2.05 as his nap of the day.
8.05am: There’s an awful smug looking fecker on Sky Sports News right now. No, it’s not Paddy, it’s the only slightly less suave, Jose Mourinho.