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Five horses you’re backing off the boards on day two of the Cheltenham Festival

Here are the top five horses punters are getting stuck into on Wednesday at Cheltenham

by Josh Powell | March 12, 2014

It was an up and down day for punters yesterday with Cheltenham legend Ruby Walsh getting everyone off to a flyer on the co-favourite Vautour. Paddy’s bananas idea to refund punters who came 2nd, 3rd or 4th came back to spank him as he forked out €5.5m on the opening race alone. Champagne Fever got pipped on the line in the second race, and although Jezki sprung a surprise in the Champion Hurdle, the super-mare Quevega got everyone back on track.

Punters will be hoping to get Wednesday off to a flying start and to help them out, we’ve put aside our morning pastries to delve into Paddy’s book for the day. Here are five gee-gees that are getting an absolute battering on the boards, and if these start clicking, the bank of Paddy will be getting emptied again.

1.30pm Neptune Novices’ Hurdle
Faugheen 7/4

A massive 45 per cent of the book is on the red-hot fancy Faugheen from the Willie Mullins stable. Plenty of tipsters – including our very own John Parrott – are more than happy to back the unbeaten star and if Ruby Walsh and Faugheen do oblige it would be a nightmare start for Paddy. David Pipe’s Red Sherlock is the only other runner to attract any kind of solid dough.

Faugheen and Ruby Walsh

3.20pm Champion Chase
Sire De Grugy 10/3

There’s no Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase on Wednesday but there is six times more cash on the new favourite Sire De Grugy than either Sizing Europe or Arvika Legionnaire. There’s no doubt who Paddy Power punters think will win this Championship showdown despite what Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty say.

4.00pm Cross Country Handicap Chase
Big Shu 5/1

14 of the last 16 winners of the Cross Country race were in the first three of the betting, so it is no surprise to see around 40 per cent of punters’ cash in this book on the shoulders of reigning champ Big Shu. The champ also won the La Touche Cup at Punchestown last year and despite being beaten by Love Rory on his reappearance last month, there is only one horse punters want to be on.

Big Shu La Touche Cup

5.15pm Champion Bumper
Black Hercules 8/1

Mullins’ Black Hercules is unbeaten in three starts and the Irish trainer is going for an incredible ninth Champion Bumper crown. Mullins’ Killultagh Vic has also seen support but the majority of punters’ cash in this market is heading for the Mullins team. Eight of the 21 favourites have finished runner-up, so punters’ who follow trends will be hoping Mullins’ Shaneshill keeps his place at the top of the market.

2.40pm Coral Cup
Dunguib 12/1

Dunguib is the one punters appear to be siding with in a wide-open Coral Cup. Philip Fenton’s 11-year-old is the oldest horse in the race but was a good winner at Navan in February and 11 from the last 20 winners of the Coral Cup had won last time outs o that’s a positive. Worryingly for punters, 25 horses aged 10 or older have run in this race since 1999 and just one of them has placed. There are plenty of punters’ pennies hoping Dunguib can buck that trend.


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