17:36 Well the score today was 4-3 to the Irish, giving them an 8-5 lead as we reach the halfway point in the 2009 Festival.
Today's highlights, well Master Minded, even though he was not at his best and Dunguib a very impressive winner of the bumper.
The runner-up in the Bumper Some Present is also one for the notebook.
Well that's it from day two at Cheltenham - we will be back for more tomorrow, hopefully you can join us.
In the jockeys title Ruby Walsh leads with four winners, whilst Barry Geraghty with two is the only other rider with more than one winner,
From Chelters good evening.
17:34 Well a year ago it was Master Minded who produced the draw dropping performance of the Festival, today the draw dropping performance came in the Bumper.
As expected it was an Irish winner, however unexpectedly the winner did not hail from the stable of Willie Mullins, nor indeed any of the “fashionable” trainers, but that of former jockey Philip Fenton.
The horse to attract the superlatives is Dunguib, promising on debut at last years Punchestown Festival, then a winner there and a Navan bumper this season.
Jockey Brian O’Connell, incidentally riding his first Cheltenham winner, swept to the front as they turned for home, making the favourite Rite Of Passage look static.
The further they went the further his margin of victory and he is better value than the ten length margin of victory.
Some Present was also eye catching running on for second place, with the favourite not really disgraced back in third.
17:12 It is 3-3 going into the Bumper - I hate to say it but I think this will be one for the Irish.
17:05 Some comment on the big race earlier on, won by Master Minded (who is 4/7 to make it a hat-trick of victories in next years contest)
Trainer Paul Nicholls said, "We just wanted him to win the race today, which he has done. He's got a little lazy now because he does everything so easily. "He jumps great and does everything really well, but what a wonderful run by Well Chief.”
Ruby Walsh Walsh was exuberant about his mount, "He's the best chaser around, as I'd say he wasn't as good today as he can be.
"He got worked up in the parade and the false starts were messy.
"What makes him so good is that good horses always win on an off-day."
Clive Smith, Master Minded's owner, said had praise for everyone,: "He seemed to take it easier. He didn't go out in front like he did last year but it's great to win.
"Ruby is the very, very best and Paul is a sensational trainer and a great chap.
"He could go to Punchestown."
Well Chief's owner, David Johnson, was thrilled with the effort of his runner. "It's been a tremendous training achievement because the horse has legs like glass.
"He's run into a superstar today and if his legs are OK, we would take the winner on again if he went to Aintree."
Trainer David Pipe commented, "He will probably be remembered as the horse never to have won the Champion Chase, but this effort shows you what a great era it was when he was competing against Moscow Flyer and Azertyuiop."
16:57 Another big field, this time for the Fred Winter, a 2m ½f handicap hurdle.
The Irish only had two challengers in this contest, although one of them – Alexander Severus was sent off the 5/2 favourite.
Turning for home it looked as though we were going to have yet another Irish victory as the favourite has swept into the lead under Andrew McManara, much to the delight of the crowd.
However Silk Affair, ridden by Tom O’Brien and trained by Mick Quinlan and Ski Sunday, trained by Tim Vaughan and ridden by Seamus Durack both seemed to emerge from nowhere to mount challenges and the jolly looked to be in trouble.
It was Silk Affair who ran on the better to claim a three length victory from Ski Sunday. The favourite couldn’t even manage third as he was pipped for that spot by the running on Saticon.
Silk Affair looks to be a good recruit to jumping, having been modest on the flat she had won her last three races over timber, however today was a big step up in class and she looks to have a bright future.
16:23 One of the big races in terms of field size is the Coral Cup with twenty seven going to post and, I hate to say this, another win for the Irish as Tom Taaffe’s Ninetieth Minute took the race in quite a convincing manner albeit with a 1½ length margin of victory.
Lough Derg who normally front runs was unable to dictate in this large field, leading early on David Pipes brave runner was soon headed by Kirbybroguelantern, although by the time they set off on their final circuit Copsale Lad had taken up the running. At this stage the field were pretty well bunched.
However it was in the latter stages that the complexion of the race change as Ninetieth Minute came to the fore, along with Pause And Clause looking to be the main challenger. Mirage Dore was also about to join in the action along with the running-on Star Of Angels.
The victory was jockey Paddy Flood's first Festival winner.
Flood said: "You can't describe the feeling, it's just 'wow'. "People say it's the best feeling ever, but you don't understand until it happens. It's powerful."
Emma Lavelle trainer of third-placed Pause And Clause was not too disappointed, she said: "It was only his fourth run over hurdles and he put his heart and soul in it today.
"I probably won't run him again this season but I really think he's a very exciting prospect."
15:46 Well Master Minded duly won the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, giving Ruby Walsh a treble on the day, however the manner of his win was nothing like as convincing as last years effort.
Having said that he still came home seven lengths clear of his rivals, who were led home by Well Chief.
It didn’t help there were two false starts before they eventually got underway with the rank outsider Marodima twice charging the tape in an attempt to get a flyer.
Needless to say the Marodima charged off in front when they were finally away, however the others left the gelding to it.
Briareys, under AP McCoy led the remainder with Santa’s Son and Petit Robin to the fore.
Ruby Walsh settled Master Minded mid-division before making progress at the top of the hill, by which time Marodima was out of the way of his rivals having run his race.
This left Petit Robin in front but if Barry Geraghty had cared to look over his shoulder he would have seen both McCoy and Walsh on his quarters.
At the second last Master Minded jumped into the lead and the race was over although Petit Robin did try to make a race of it.
At the last the defending champion had a couple of lengths on Petit Robin. Briareus took a tired fall and Well Chief was running on well, despite a 698 day absence.
On the run-in Master Minded ploughed on to record a second successive victory, OK not as impressive as last years but a good achievement nonetheless.
Runner-up Well Chief returns
14:58 I think the band playing next door to the press room at something like 200 decibels here should start playing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” as Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins have a quick fire double as Cooldine convincingly wins the RSA Chase by sixteen lengths.
As he usually does Carruthers set the pace and it looked as though he was going to go for a pillar to post victory until he clouted the last really hard, giving Cooldine the chance to grab the lead.
In truth Cooldine was so convincing that even without Carruthers mistake he would probably have run the contest.
Ruby Walsh settled the favourite nearer last than first for most of the first circuit before starting the final round in about fifth place. By the water he was on Carruthers quarters and looking a fresh horse who was just waiting to pounce.
More of a shock was the runner-up Horner Woods, who came home a 66/1 shot in the most amazing colours (see photo below).
Massini’s Maguire came home third.
Horner Woods and crazy colours ................A double for Ruby Walsh as Cooldine wins
14:26 After the 4-2 drubbing by the Irish yesterday the home contingent were smiling after the home team took the opener.
However the smiles were short lived as the well backed favourite Mikael D’Haguenet, who missed yesterday’s Supreme Novices to run here today, took the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in good style under Ruby Walsh.
The bookmakers had it as a twothree runner race with the home challenger Karabak, an impressive winner at Ascot in January, and Diamond Harry his main market rivals.
In the race itself Quweto set the pace with Richard The Third and Ruthenoise well to the fore as well.
The market leaders were settled fifth and sixth respectively.
Quweto made a mistake at the sixth, handing the lead to Ruthenoise, with Mad Max challenging and the market leaders both running on.
Karaback seemed to hit a flat spot coming down the hill, whilst at the same time Mikael D’Haguenet ran on to take up the running, jumping into the lead at the second last.
Diamond Harry looked booked for second at this stage. However the champion jockey AP McCoy was not going to go down without a fight and he managed to galvanise Karabak into life again. The favourite however had taken too much of a lead and although McCoy was looming the line came in time for Ruby Walsh to ride his second winner of the festival.
Diamond Harry came home third.
So the score so far today is UK 1 Ireland 1, Ireland lead 5-3 on aggregate.
Ruby Walsh on Mikael D'Haguenet
13:55 A marathon 4m mile contest to get us under way on day two with the 139th year of the National Hunt Cup for amateur riders.
It was always going to be a slog in these testing conditions and the race saw Can’t Buy Time, sent off the 4/1 favourite, tackling four miles for the first time, having never previously run beyond 3 miles before.
Turning for home he was in with every chance but it turned out the four miles was too fat and he quickly tired in the final quarter mile.
The same cannot be said of the winner Tricky Trickster, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by City broker Sam Waley-Cohen.
Settled tracking the leaders for most of the race he and the favourite both ran on at the top of the hill on the final circuit. Taking up the running at the final ditch he never looked to be in any serious danger.
Hennessy was another who came prominent at this stage but like the favourite seemed to find the four miles too far.
Drumconvis was very lucky to be involved in the final stages after making a bad mistake four out.
Coming home 10 lengths second it is unlikely he would have run, even if jumping fluently.
Nine De Sivola came with a late run under Rose Davidson to claim third and that runner along with the winner must be potential National runners.
Can’t Buy Time finished fourth.
Tricky Trickster and Sam Waley-Cohen return after their Hunt Chase win
12:33 Well an hour away from our first race and I am munching a very tasty, hot, chilli Burrito - it will be the last chance to get something to eat before racing begins.
I would not like to say if the crowd is larger than yesterday but it seems more lively – especially in the Guinness Village.
11:32 We have just had the final declarations for the Gold Cup on Friday and the only defection is War Of Attrition who suffered a training setback earlier in the week.
So we have Denman vs Kauto Star Mk2, but without all the hype this time - if the 2008/2009 form is to be believed then Denman should not even be here on Friday - let us see what happens on Friday afternoon?
11:23 Having a look through the card the following are suggestions for this afternoon's races.
1:30 2 Can't Buy Time
2:05 5 Karabak (Nap)
2:40 2 Carruthers
3:20 2 Big Zeb (betting without Master Minded market)
4:00 1 Lough Derg and 5 The Polomoche
4:40 7 Alexander Severus
5:15 20 Sicillian Secret
Whatever you may back have a great afternoon.
11:02 We have two more non-runners Altilhar in the Coral Cup (self cert - temperature) and Love and Glory in the Fred Winter (self cert - lame)
10:38 I forgot to mention the wind today is much lighter than it was yesterday.
10:21 Some facts about this afternoons big race.
The National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase was first run in 1959 and the Queen Mother’s name was added to the race title in 1980.
Irish-trained runners have won 19 of the 49 renewals
Irish frainer, Tom Dreaper has the best record of any trainer in the race, winning six times.
Flyingbolt was the shortest-priced winner when succeeding at 1/5 in 1966, while Another Dolly, who was awarded the 1980 race at odds of 33/1, was the biggest outsider
Pat Taaffe is the most successful rider with five wins, whilst Barry Geraghty and Ruby Walsh are the only current jockeys to have won more than one Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The oldest horse to have won was the 12-year-old Skymas in 1977, while the youngest winner was Master Minded last year
The largest field for the contest was in 1999 when 13 runners ran, while only five runners lined up on no less than six occasions.
10:08 My unofficial assessment is the ground is not as soft as yesterday but is stickier, mainly because it has opened up after yesterdays racing.
We have two non-runners Wichita Lineman misses the opener after his winning efforts yesterday and Simarian in the Fred Winter, out with colic and a vets certificate.
For those interested in these things today's commentators are Mike Cattermole and Mark Johnson.
09:44 Good morning from day two of The Festival where, after a dry night with a slight frost, the going remains good to soft, soft in places.
I'm off to grab a bacon roll then I will walk the course and report back.
Racing on Day Two will be on the Old Course
The highlight of day two is the Seasons Holiday Queen Mother Champion Chase. Last year the race was run on the Thursday, following the abandonment of Wednesday's card due to high winds.
When it was eventually run it turned out to be one of those "I was there" moments as the five year old Master Minded destroyed a high class field by an incredible 19 lengths, hardly breaking sweat in the process. He returns again to defend his title and will probably go off the shortest priced Festival runner since the great Arkle was sent off at odds of 1/10 to win the 1966 Gold Cup.
For many it is not a question of if Master Minded will win but how far will he win by? Eleven rivals line up against him.
We will be on-course early on Wednesday morning bringing you all the build up to all the action, which begins at 1:30, with the feature race at 3:20.
We will have full coverage, results, reports and reaction to all the afternoons action.
Return to race archive:
18 Wichita Lineman (ran yesterday)
22 Altilha (temperature - SC)
2 Simarian (colic - VC)
23 Love And Glory (lame - SC)
Results Old Course
1:30 National Hunt Chase 4m
1st 17 Tricky Trickster 11/1
2nd 5 Drumconvis 22/1
3rd 19 Nine De Sivola 16/1
19 Ran NR 18
Distances 10 & neck
Fav 2 Can't Buy Time 4/1 (4th)
Places £3.40 £7.40 £5.20
Time 8' 27.44"
2:05 Ballymore Properties Hurdle 2m 5f
1st 8 Mikael D'Haguenet 5/2 fav
2nd 5 Karabak 4/1
3rd 2 Diamond Harry 4/1
Distances 1¾ & 3¾
Places £1.70 £2.20 £1.90
2:40 Royal and Sun Alliance Chase 3m 110yds
1st 4 Cooldine 9/4 fav
2nd 7 Horner's Wood 66/1
3rd 11 Massini's Maguire 10/1
Distances 16 & 9
Places £1.50 £15.70 £3.30
Time 6' 22.31"
3:20 Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase 2m
1st 6 Master Minded 4/11 fav
2nd 12 Well Chief 12/1
3rd 8 Petit Robin 12/1
Distances 7 & 2
Places £1.10 £2.60 £2.20
Time 3' 58.3"
4:00 Coral Cup Hurdle 2m 5f
1st 7 Ninetieth Minute 14/1
2nd 13 Mirage Dore 14/1
3rd 20 Pause And Clause 9/1
4th 25 Star Of Angels 40/1
27 Ran NR 22
Distances 1½ , ½ & 7
Fav 5 The Polomoche 6/1 (upl)
Places £2.90 £3.80 £3.60 £9.60
Time 5' 13.16"
4:40 Fred Winter Hurdle 2m 110yds
1st 18 Silk Affair 11/1
2nd 4 Ski Sunday 20/1
3rd 3 Saticon 20/1
4th 7 Alexander Severus 5/2 fav
22 Ran NR 2 & 23
Distances 3, ¾ & 1 ¾
Places £2.50 £3.60 £4.60 £1.80
5:15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper 2m 110yds
1st 7 Dunguib 9/2
2nd 21 Some Present 25/1
3rd 18 Rite Of Passage 5/2 fav
Distances 10 & ¾
Places £2.30 £10.50 £1.90
Time 3' 57.16