CHELTENHAM DAY TWO: SHAMROCK recommends a NAP, next best and two place bets on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival. A huge day in prospect for Irish trained runners.

No joy on the opening day. The writing was on the wall in the first race when the next best Abacadabras was just bobbed out of it in the Supreme.

The nap, Carefully Selected, was backed as if defeat was out of the question both pre-race and in running on BETDAQ – odds-on with a circuit to go.

Despite the compressing price I was never confident, he struggled to peg back the leaders and took a tired unseat at the last.

Moving on to Wednesday’s cards and it all looks very straight forward for the Irish trained hotpots – on paper at least !!!

Envoi Allen, Tiger Roll and Appreciate It all leap of the page with very obvious chances.

Gordon Elliott had to wait until the final race of Tuesday to a get winner whilst Willie Mullins is still looking for a win so it hasn’t quite been business as normal – but Henry de Bromhead ensured a good day for Ireland with a notable double of Honeysuckle and Put The Kettle On.

Honeysuckle’s battle with Benie Des Dieux in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle is the clubhouse leader for race of the week and I think it will take something extraordinary to knock if off that perch. A thriller.

Envoi Allen (pictured) has long been touted by many as the banker of the week. The only doubt was whether it would be the Supreme or Ballymore. It’s worth remembering though that the Ballymore was always the intended target and I think it’s the right option.

Like a lot of the best horses, distance and going can come alike but it makes sense to stick to this distance after he made it 7 from 7 under Rules last time out over this trip in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle. He’s a real class act and holds Longhouse Poet who was third.

Sporting John is also unbeaten and has done absolutely nothing wrong but hasn’t yet reached anything near the form levels set by Envoi Allen.

By all accounts Tiger Roll will be much more wound up today as he goes for a hat-trick in the Cross Country and even if you think the unbeaten (and course winner) Easysland can be given a chance – it’s a sobering thought that there is 19lb between the pair on ratings.

Willie Mullins has a formidable record in the Champion Bumper and the vibes are strong for his Appreciate It who is already a Grade 2 winner. At bigger prices Adrimel and Panic Attack look place alternatives.

NAP: Envoi Allen (1.30 Cheltenham)
NEXT BEST: Tiger Roll (4.10 Cheltenham)
PLACE BETS: Adrimel and Panic Attack (5.30 Cheltenham)

2020 NAPS: 21/44 +59.23 (to a 10 unit daily level stake)

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