Day Two of the Festival got the green light early doors as the Cotswolds woke to a balmy two degrees this morning.
Nicky Henderson brought up his 48th winner at the Festival when first Simonsig gave supporters a fright but still proved too strong in the Arkle Chase and then Sam Waley-Cohen ridden Rajdhani Express (16/1) won the last.
Both stables look set to dominate the Grade One races again today with Mullins and Walsh teaming up with what many regard as the Irish banker in Pont Alexandre in the (2.05) but the big story of the day will revolve around Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase.
To win snugly by three or more lengths is 2/5 with Paddy Power but if you think Geraghty will open the engines at the top of the hill you can get 12/1 that he wins by 30 lengths or more or take the top price 4/11 with Paddy Power that he wins outright.
Geraghty popped into Power Tower last week and won’t entertain talk of defeat for the Frankel of National Hunt racing.
Dynaste’s absence in the RSA Chase has left the door open for one of the other top novice chasers like Unioniste or Boston Bob to step up to the plate while the Coral Cup has more plots in it than your average episode of Hollyoaks and Paddy Power are paying 1/4 the odds the first 5 home in the 4pm where Abbey Lane and Pendra are vying for favouritism.
Paddy’s also giving an extra-place special by going 1/4 the odds the first 4 home in the Champion Bumper where it’s 8/1 the field.
It was Ruby Tuesday yesterday as the Mullins/Walsh combo combined for 26/1 treble on Champagne Fever, Hurricane Fly and Quevega but Henderson and Geraghty have an ace in the pack with Sprinter Sacre today.
Ruby’s treble hit the bookies hard but the Money Back All Losers payout on Hurricane Fly was a knock-out blow for Paddy Power which led to a day one payout of £2.2m (€2.5m).