Home > Sport > Cheltenham Festival 2017 Racecards: runners, betting odds, tickets, and TV times

Cheltenham Festival 2017 Racecards: runners, betting odds, tickets, and TV times

The world of racing turned its attention to Prestbury Park yesterday as the “Greatest Show on Turf” kicked off.

This year’s Cheltenham Festival promises to be action-packed and eventful as ever with a total of 28 races between Tuesday and Friday with over £4million in prize money at stake.

Friday’s signature Gold Cup race is the jewel in the festival’s crown. But there are plenty of other compelling races to look forward to with seven every day.

ITV will beam the drama to screens in the UK, with their coverage kicking off daily from 1pm until 4.30pm.

Cheltenham will be packed to the rafters for all four days of this year’s festival (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

And, of course, Mirror Sport will bring you all the top tips with our resident expert Newsboy and the latest results as they happen throughout each day.

Here, we run through all the racecards in the countdown to Cheltenham…

Day two: Wednesday, March 15

1.30pm: Neptune Novices’ Hurdle

1. Neon Wolf

2. Messire Des Obeaux

3. Bacardys

Neon Wolf looks a most promising recruit to hurdling and is taken to remain unbeaten.

The winner of his only outing in an Irish point-to-point, the son of Vinnie Roe dotted up in a Uttoxeter bumper at the start of December.

After scoring on his hurdles bow at Exeter on New Year’s Day, Neon Wolf lined up for the Grade 2 Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock Park 20 days later.

The market suggested one horse – and one horse alone – would win it.

And Neon Wolf, in the end sent off the 4-5 favourite, duly did surging away to thrash Elgin by nine lengths.

Fry has been at pains to stress he won’t risk Neon Wolf on fast ground, but there should be enough moisture in today’s surface to show him in his best light.

Messire Des Obeaux and stablemates Bacardys and Bon Papa are the most convincing candidates for the minor medals.

2.10pm: RSA Chase

1. Whisper

2. Royal Vacation

3. Might Bite

Whisper is the value play against better-fancied stablemate Might Bite.

It seems like a lifetime ago that the Nicky Henderson trainee was a top-level performer over timber, progressing through handicaps – he won the 2014 Coral Cup – to register two successes in Aintree’s Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle.

After his 2015 victory on Merseyside, Whisper lost his mojo, but a novice chasing and a link-up with Davy Russell this winter has seen the fire reignite in the nine-year-old’s belly.

Whisper marked his seasonal reappearance with a win over two miles and five here in December, following up over the same course and distance on New Year’s Day.

That Cheltenham know-how will hold Whisper in good stead.

Might Bite was in the process of crushing his Kauto Star Novices’ Chase rivals at Kempton Park on Boxing Day when falling at the final fence, but his Cheltenham hurdles record here doesn’t inspire.

Royal Vacation and Bellshill also enter calculations.

2.50pm: Coral Cup

1. Modus

2. Tombstone

3. Kalondra

Modus is fancied to concede weight all round to provide Paul Nicholls with his second Coral Cup in the last three years.

Having made the frame in competitive handicap hurdles at Ascot and Cheltenham in the first half of the winter, the son of Motivator disappointed behind Brain Power at Ascot eight days before Christmas.

But Modus, racing beyond two and a half miles for the first time, Modus put up his best effort to beat Templeross by a cosy two and three-quarter lengths.

The handicapper hasn’t taken that run lying down – he has reacted with an 11lb rise.

However, Modus is unexposed at the trip and, with Stan Sheppard claiming 5lb off the top weight’s back, he can better his Festival second to Moon Racer in the 2015 Champion Bumper.

Tombstone, installed as favourite after connections decided not to supplement for the Champion Hurdle, is capable of an involvement, along with Supasundae and Kalondra.

3.30pm: Queen Mother Champion Chase

1. Douvan

2. Fox Norton

3. Special Tiara

Douvan is hardly a betting medium – so just sit back and watch a legend at work.

Not long after his arrival from France, the statuesque son of Walk In The Park was described as potentially the best horse he has tutored by Willie Mullins.

And he hasn’t let the trainer down, marking his first season over hurdles with a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle romp in March 2015.

Sent over fences, Douvan has continued in similar vein, beating Sizing John by seven lengths for the Arkle Challenge Trophy before following up at Aintree and Punchestown.

This winter, Douvan has won his three races, all at building-society odds, by a total of 35½ lengths.

Beginning with Cork’s Hilly Way Chase in December, he once again outclassed Sizing John in the highest grade at Leopardstown over Christmas before warming up for today with a head-in-chest triumph in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown last month.

To say Douvan enjoys a class edge over his rivals is an understatement, and Rich Ricci’s pride and joy will surely extend his winning run to 15.

The real task facing punters is to find the horse to chase him home – and Fox Norton fits the bill.

Colin Tizzard reported his seven-year-old to have returned “stiff” after his Newbury humbling by Altior, and Fox Norton has more to offer.

Special Tiara, God’s Own and Garde La Victoire come into consideration for the bronze, with the first-named, third here in 2015 and 2016, preferred.

4.10pm: Cross Country Chase

1. Cause of Causes

2. Cantlow

3. Any Currency

Cause of Causes, successful at the last two Cheltenham Festivals, has an excellent chance of completing the hat-trick.

Gordon Elliott’s stable stalwart was winning for the first time over fences when lifting the National Hunt Chase under Jamie Codd two years ago.

And the combination came good in 2016 as JP McManus’s son of Dynaformer thumped A Good Skin by 12 lengths in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup to register his second success over the larger obstacles.

Switched to the cross country discipline at Cheltenham in January, Cause Of Causes ran fifth to today’s favourite, Cantlow.

But that was my selection’s first try over the banks and hedges, and, after two recent schooling sessions here, he will know much more about what is required this time.

Cantlow and Quantitativeeasing could well pull off a McManus 1-2-3, but Any Currency, disqualified after last year’s win, shouldn’t be written off.

4.50pm: Fred Winter Handicap Chase

1. Prospectus

2. Divin Bere

3. Fadas

Prospectus is already a smart juvenile hurdler – with the promise of more to come.

Successful once from six outings on the Flat for Hughie Morrison, the son of Sakhee joined Co Meath-based Gavin Cromwell, the blacksmith making his name as a trainer, for a career over jumps.

And Prospectus got off to the perfect start, winning by 12 lengths at Fairyhouse in December, before finding Grade 2 company a step too far at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.

But my selection was back in the winner’s enclosure back at Fairyhouse in January, beating Dakota Moirette by a length and a quarter.

The assessor looks to have given Prospectus a chance off a perch of 133, and Cromwell’s booking of Ruby Walsh certainly catches the eye.

Dangers lurk at every corner, with top weight Divin Bere, the Paul Nicholls-trained Dolos and Fadas, saddled by the champion trainer’s former protégé Dan Skelton, all capable of having a say in proceedings.

5.30pm: Cheltenham Champion Bumper

1. Cause Toujours

2. Carter McKay

3. Fayonagh

Cause Toujours created a stirring impression in victory on his Rules debut, and is capable of serving it up to favourite Carter McKay.

The Dan Skelton five-year-old, who unseated his rider on his only start in an Irish point-to-point, was sent off the 5-2 favourite for a Warwick bumper back in December.

Ridden by the trainer’s brother Harry, Cause Toujours travelled powerfully before changing gear to beat Book Of Gold by seven lengths.

Afterwards, Skelton said the winner would not be lining up at Cheltenham, so the fact a man of such firm opinions has changed his mind suggests Cause Toujours has been showing to good effect in the run up to today.

Carter McKay, who humbled West Coast Time at Naas last month, will rightly be popular for his bid to give Willie Mullins a ninth Bumper win, while the mare Fayonagh is also worth throwing into the mix.