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Day Two Cheltenham Preview: Douvan the star, but Taquin the value

Wed, Mar 15, 10:16am by Senior Writer

After a mildly successful Day One at Cheltenham, where we snagged a decent place dividend of around $4.50 in the Champion Hurdle, we move on to Day Two, commonly known as Ladies Day.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the headline event and we have a very short-priced favourite engaged in Douvan ($1.22). Unbeaten in 12 starts, Douvan prevailed here at a similarly short quote 12 months ago in the Arkle Challenge Chase, while he was also a winner here two years ago in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.

Willie Mullins star warmed up for this assignment with an effortless win at Punchestown and only bad luck will prevent him from completing a Cheltenham hat-trick in this race.

Fox Norton ($10), God’s Own ($12) and Special Tiara ($21) are the only ones given any hope of beating him, but they would appears to be racing for second.

His rider Ruby Walsh is looking for a better second day after four unsuccessful rides on Day
One and he also rides the favourite in the opening race, the Neptune Novices Hurdle.

Bacardys is currently the $4 favourite for Mullins and Walsh, having won at a nice price at Leopardstown last time out. He was third in the Champion Bumper (flat) last year at this festival and looks well placed here.

He’s close to our best of the day, but on pure value we can’t go past one in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle, Taquin Du Sueil.

This top chaser has dropped back to the smaller obstacles and performed reasonably well over the hurdles at Chepstow in October. His previous run over hurdles before that was at this festival in 2013.

In fact, this is a remarkable fifth time at Cheltenham for Taquin Du Sueil, who won the Novices Chase here in 2014. At $21, he’s a great value each-way show in the massive field.

The other one worth considering is Cantlow in the Cross Country Chase. 6000m is a long trip for a $3.50 top pick, but he should atone for his poor run in this race last year having won easily over this course and distance in December.

Suggested Bet: Back Taquin Du Sueil each way at $21

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