Cheltenham Day 2 Lucky 15 Tips: Willie the bumper king – but with which one?

 | March 12 | 

5 mins read

Cheltenham Lucky 15

Day 2 - and weather Gods - please stop raining on our parade! Another fabulous raceday in prospect, with some very big guns in action. It's going to be a straight win L15 today, so we can include some of the week's warmest orders.

Centrepiece is the Champion Chase, but there are four Grade 1 contests. How good is that? Arguably the whole meeting's hotpot Ballyburn goes in the opener, and we close with the stars of tomorrow in the Champion Bumper. Something for everyone - so let's get to it with Cheltenham Day 2 Lucky 15 tips.

Cheltenham Day 2 Lucky 15 tips

  • 13:30 Cheltenham - Ballyburn @ 1/2
  • 14:10 Cheltenham - Fact To File @ 10/11
  • 15:30 Cheltenham - El Fabiolo @ 1/2
  • 17:30 Cheltenham - Jasmin De Vaux @ 6/1

13:30 Cheltenham - Ballyburn @ 1/2

I'm looking to hugely-fancied Cheltenham bankers today - famous last words - with some irresistible big fish looking to fulfil what's seen as their Festival destiny. Time will tell whether that's an inspired, sensible deliberation or a massive own goal. You'll have your own views about all that!

First up - arguably the novice hurdler of the season. Proverbial torrents of words have flown about whether Ballyburn would contest the opening day's Supreme, or this longer test - and connections have opted for the Gallagher, which kicks off day two.

I said in a preview piece that Willie Mullins' charge had gears we probably haven't even seen yet, and I'm hoping they'll be clearly visible soon after 13:30 on Wednesday.

This gelded son of Flemensfirth has ploughed through the winter ground thus far like a Rolls-Royce tank, and in six career runs including his point he's been defeated just once, on seasonal reappearance in December. Making his hurdling debut he was second to Gordon Elliott's Firefox at Fairyhouse, but his subsequent two spins have been entirely different affairs.

Sluicing up on both occasions, he seems suited to both 2m and half-a-mile further, and this 2m 5f test should be perfect. The improvement between that timber-topping start and the last Grade 1 day at Leopardstown was enormous, and marked him out as potentially exceptional. Testing ground today shouldn't be an issue.

Willie actually fields four against him, with Ile Atlantique most likely to get closest. It's Ballyburn's to lose for me, and I'm looking for an imperious start to the day for Willie, stable jockey Paul Townend and owners R A Bartlett & David Manasseh.

14:10 Cheltenham - Fact To File @ 10/11

More Cheltenham royalty, as owner JP McManus bids to see those famous green and gold silks in the winners' enclosure once again. WP Mullins trains, and JP's retained pilot in Ireland, Mark Walsh, is on board.

Won his point in February 2022, fared well in three bumpers including a second here in the Champion at last year's Festival, and was committed directly to a fencing career in November.

American Mike, who re-opposes today, beat chasing debutant Fact To File at Naas, but in two subsequent runs Willie's seven-year-old has improved significantly. This encompasses a bloodless Grade 1 triumph at Leopardstown 38 days ago against a lacklustre Gaelic Warrior.

Now it's the Brown Advisory, at just over 3 miles, and his destiny beckons. I think he's potentially very smart, and hope to see that confirmed beyond argument.

15:30 Cheltenham - El Fabiolo @ 1/2

The Queen Mother Champion Chase. One of THE great races of the season, and won by some of National Hunt's most fabled talents. Sprinter Sacre, Moscow Flyer, Flyingbolt back in the day, Altior; there are some sensational names etched upon this coveted trophy.

One horse dominates discussion this term - El Fabiolo. Another WP Mullins superstar who's unbeaten since April 2022. It's become a fruitless pastime, looking to get this one cooked.

Many good 'uns have tried - Jonbon (who has another go today), Dinoblue, Fil Dor, Dysart Dynamo - all and more have been repelled, invariably by comfortable distances.

Dotted up in last year's Arkle, from Jonbon, and though he can jump out to the right a wee bit (not ideal here), such is the size of the engine that it tends not be crucial. Looks to hoover up another Grade 1, and who's brave enough to oppose him?

17:30 Cheltenham - Jasmin De Vaux @ 6/1

The closing Champion bumper. A look at some of tomorrow's stars; Florida Pearl-class maybe? Cue Card? Some absolute belters have taken this - Envoi Allen for example in 2019.

Willie Mullins and son Patrick are astonishingly potent over in Ireland in this arena. National Hunt flat horses, learning their craft before taking on hurdles and/or fences. They've been doing it for years.

That dominance has certainly started to seep into this contest - Willie has taken six of the last twelve runnings. I'm hoping for another in the shape of Jasmin De Vaux, wearing the double green of Munir/Souede, and ridden by Patrick.

Has so far easily taken a point, and a solitary bumper at Naas 45 days ago. The five-year-old gelding didn't beat much then but visually it was most impressive. One imagines he was pencilled in for this seconds after crossing the line, and though Willie saddles a further seven challengers, I suspect Patrick will have had the pick.

I respect another Mullins family affair in You Oughta Know, with Danny on board. I'll be having a separate each-way tickle, at odds of around  9/1. Always a fascinating contest, and what a closer to savour.

If you're playing today, have fun, and good luck.

Cheltenham lends itself beautifully in my eyes to creating a Lucky 15 - white-hot competition, and often some additional places on offer. If you can improve upon my selections (of course you can), then go for it!

The odds can fluctuate between publishing our pieces and race-time. As a guide, a £0.50p win Lucky 15 on today's selections, at the prices, and assuming all four won, would return around £72 for your total £7.50 stake.

Fred, 'The Bonus King,' invented the 'Lucky' series of bets and their bonuses. My colleague Adam has set out all you need to know with this handy guide - take a look by clicking here.

Cheltenham tips from Betfred Insights.

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