Cheltenham Festival: Serious challenge awaits Altior in Queen Mother Champion Chase

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Even O'Leary and Elliott's Gold Cup-winner Don Cossack didn't conjure the same expectation as this horse.

"I think he proved there that he is a better horse than a year ago".

"I missed one down the back, which I didn't expect. Operators that offer a great user-experience across both desktop and mobile, to cater to the growing demand for betting in-play, will see the greatest gains this coming week". Patrick Kelly has targeted this race and while Monalee is also heavily fancied I think he should be running over a shorter distance in the JLT. He has since added three wins to his CV and he appears to have the right mix of speed and stamina to go close in this for trainer Anthony Honeyball.

With the exception of Altior, the Irish dominated day two of the Festival with trainers from the Emerald Isles taking the remaining six races on the card and it was Samcro who stole the show.

NINA Carberry is usually the one to follow over the cross-country fences with four wins and it would be another feather in her cap if she can come back from missing last year's Festival - to give birth to her first child - to take this on 2016 victor Josies Orders.

Charbel took Altior on two out and looked like he was going to run a big race before falling at the second last.

At his best, Douvan would push Altior to the limit but with doubts lingering about that pair, Min may pick up the pieces in the hands of Paul Townend. "It was a long year last year, but I've had great years here so I can't complain".

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He said: "I was concerned after they turned in, but the further up the straight I was going, the happier I was going, and I knew I could let Buveur D'Air pop the last and fill up in the process". Gordon Elliot has been bullish about this horse and targeted the Glenfarclas Chase.

Emmanuel Clayeux is an extremely shrewd trainer and he has had a win at the Festival as his aim for a very long time.

Favourite Blackbow galloped into the picture for Mullins with back-to-back wins at Leopardstown but the best of the Irish may prove to be Elliott's Felix Desjy.

"I'm delighted with him as it's vindicated what we have always thought about him". However, the ground is a bit of a concern and despite him winning on soft before is factored into the slight drift to 10/1.

However, the horse I fancy is Oxford Blu for Richard Johnson.

The win was a seventh Champion Hurdle for Henderson who had been forced to rule out Top Notch, We Have A Dream and On The Blind Side and scratch My Tent Or Yours earlier that day, plus endure a late injury scare for his champion chaser Altior. Al Boum Photo looks sure to improve for the greater stamina test and looks the value Irish option.

A horse I like, Rhinestone, was second to Blackbow that da in Leopardstown and stayed on very well throughout. At 8/1 each way with as many as 5 places available out there he could run a big race.