CHELTENHAM DAY TWO TIPS: Alan Thomson, former racing editor of the Daily Record, reckons Rite Of Passage can lead the charge back to riches for favourite backers on day two at Prestbury Park.
RITE OF PASSAGE (2.05) can strike back for favourite punters on the second day of the Cheltenham festival.
My selection has picked off his last four races (split between the Flat and National Hunt) and he was impressive on his last run at Punchestown last month. Rite of Passage will appreciate this better ground and handled the track well enough when third to Dunguib here last year.
It could be a red letter day for Dermot Weld who saddles two in the bumper. I prefer ELEGANT CONCORDE (5.15), who has plenty of speed in his pedigree and there was much to admire about the way he quickened to score at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.
The opening 4m National Hunt Chase could fall to PETTIFOUR (1.30), a smart ex-hurdler who finished fourth behind promising Burton Port (runs in RSA Chase) last time. He won a chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting as a novice and beat Gone To Lunch in a Grade 1 hurdle at Aintree on good ground. Pettifour brings a touch of class into the race if his fencing stands up under pressure.
HUNTERVIEW (4.40) was a good middle-distance handicapper on his day for Michael Jarvis but has been a bit expensive to follow since switching to David Pipe. However, the blinkers which worked such a treat on the level are reapplied and he could be well handicapped.