The seven-year-old won the Challow Hurdle in extremely impressive fashion on his last start, but all 16 winners of that contest to run in the Ballymore have been beaten, so it may pay to focus on his market rivals, given that 31 of the past 33 winners of the race have come from the first six in the market, with 14 of the past 20 winners having already won at grade level.
Those statistics suggest that Battleoverdoyen and Beakstown should run particularly well.
For those looking for a quirky angle, horses wearing hoods have been placed in the past four Fred Winter Hurdles, with French-bred runners also performing well.
Only one horse happens to be wearing a hood in this year’s race and he also happens to have been bred in France.
Torpillo is around 25-1 and could go well, especially if Cheltenham’s ground conditions remain soft.
Cheltenham day two tips and best bets by Marlborough
1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Watching the victory of BATTLEOVERDOYEN at Naas in January, I was convinced he was a high-class hurdler. He was so slick and professional and subsequent analysis of his time confirmed the visual impression. Sams Profile chased him home that day but appeared comfortably held. Champ is expected to be a worthy adversary, having improved with each outing. This strong traveller has little to fear from Brewin’upastorm on their Challow Hurdle encounter in December.
- Marlborough’s tip – Battleoverdoyen
- Marcus Armytage’s tip – Battleoverdoyen
- Ross Clarke’s tip – Sams Profile
- Charlie Brooks’ tip – Champ
2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase
While there has been some uncertainty surrounding which race DELTA WORK would contest this week, I have had no doubt that whichever event he turned up in he would carry my support. He had enough speed to beat Le Richebourg, favourite for Tuesday’s two-mile Arkle until being injured, yet stays three miles well. He won over hurdles at the Festival a year ago and it is hard to fault his chance. Topofthegame may not have won a chase yet but will certainly win plenty and the ground is in his favour. I am prepared to take Santini on as, for me, he has never quite fulfilled expectations.
- Marlborough’s tip – Delta Work (nap)
- Marcus Armytage’s tip – Topofthegame (nap)
- Ross Clarke’s tip – Topofthegame
- Charlie Brooks’ tip – Topofthegame
2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
ERICK LE ROUGE has a decent weight and arrives in peak form, having won his past three races. He could prove the answer to a tough race. Scarpeta, Killultagh Vic and Farclas represent the class angle but all have question marks over them to some degree. Ruby Walsh has chosen Uradel and that must be respected.
- Marlborough’s tip – Erick Le Rouge
- Marcus Armytage’s tip – Bleu Berry
- Ross Clarke’s tip – Diamond Cauchois
- Charlie Brooks’ tip – Uradel
3.30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
ALTIOR is the nearest thing to a certainty that Cheltenham can offer. Of course, good things are beaten. However, he is a class apart from these rivals and let us hope we are treated to yet another masterclass. Min seems the most logical one to chase him home. No doubt Walsh, a master tactician, has formulated a plan of action but surely it will need Altior to underperform for them to succeed. The ground should suit Politologue better than Sceau Royal although a place is likely to be their best prospect.
- Marlborough’s tip – Altior
- Marcus Armytage’s tip – Altior
- Ross Clarke’s tip – Altior
- Charlie Brooks’ tip – Altior