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The Tipping Tim’s Festival fancies – Champion Chase Wednesday

As a Coral employee I should shout Coral Cup day from the rooftops, but they’ve closed the Service Lift at work for security reasons so the only beings allowed on the roof these days are window cleaners and pigeons. Therefore I will use the blog to promote the second greatest day of the Cheltenham Festival instead.

Coral Cup day kicks off with the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase for amateur riders over four miles, a wise choice to open proceedings because if you are stuck on the M5 and miss the start you still have a fair chance of catching the finish. This race is unique in that the jockeys get tired long before the horses, so you need to find a beast with a decent rider on board. Top of the tree on that front is Nina Carberry, and I will be betting her mount Tofino Bay to get day two off to a flyer.

Next up is the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at 2.05. This used to be a real festival highlight before they tampered with the schedule, but the race has lost its sparkle in recent years and the 2013 renewal is a bit of a shocker. Pont Alexandre is the Irish banker of the week, hence why he’s about four prices shorter than he should be, but I’d rather be a layer than a backer at 6/4 and I fancy the English hotpot (with the French name) Taquin Du Seuil to nail the jolly.

The RSA Chase at 2.40 is basically another Neptune but with bigger obstacles and a couple more furlongs, and I’ll be taking on another Irish banker in Boston Bob here. He hasn’t impressed me this season, despite winning both his chase starts, and I’d be surprised if he finishes in the first three.  You could make a case for a few against him but the one I like most is Hadrian’s Approach now that Dynaste is out the way. Barry Geraghty had a shocker behind Unioniste at Newbury and, provided the jockey opens his eyes this time, I fancy Nicky Henderson’s plodder to gain his revenge tomorrow.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase at 3.20 is a procession and, given that we have been Evens Sprinter Sacre all week, we will be relying on an act of God to stop the greatest steeple chaser in training. Then comes the race of the week; the Coral Cup at 4:00. This is one race that I have a remarkably good record in, and I will be betting Barbatos to keep the ball rolling this season.  He has had his problems since showing smart novice form in 2012, but as a result he sneaks in here off 138 and I can’t see many better handicapped.

To close Wednesday’s action are two proper pin jobs; the Fred Winter at 4.40 and the Champion Bumper at 5.15.  Needless to say I am guessing on both, but my two Percy pick-outs are Milord in the Juvenile and Regal Encore in the flat race. I would give you an explanation for the bets, but unfortunately I don’t have one to hand.

Good luck with all your bets on Wednesday!