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Irish Pointers in action on day two of the Cheltenham Festival

Irish Pointers in action on day two of the Cheltenham Festival

Day two of the Cheltenham Festival sees another strong line-up of runners who have graduated from the Irish point-to-point field. 

The Willie Mullins-trained Rathvinden, flew the flag for Irish pointers on the opening day of the festival when he took the Grade two national hunt challenge cup for amateur riders'.

The Grade one Ballymore novices' hurdle will open proceedings on the second day of the festival which Irish pointers hold a good record in with the likes of Yorkhill, Faugheen and Simonsig amongst the recent roll of honour in this race. This year there is no fewer than nine Irish point-to-point graduates declared for the race.
 
The eagerly anticipated Samcro (pictured), which many people have considered the banker of the meeting, heads the market for the Gordon Elliot and Gigginstown house stud team. The former Colin Bowe-trained gelding, who won his four-year-old maiden at Monskgrange, has created a big impression since he made the transition to track racing and claimed his first grade one victory at Leopardstown in February when he won the Deloitte novice hurdle. 
 
Next Destination is already a Grade-one winner this season and this Quakerstown maiden winner has definite each-way claims. A winner of the Lawlors of Naas novice hurdle in January, the son of Dubai Destination began his career in the famous Costello academy and finished fourth at last year’s festival when he ran in the Weatherbys Champion bumper and is now three wins from three wins over hurdles.
 
Ahead of The Curve, Black Op, Coolay, Diablo De Roulet, Go With The Flow, Knight In Dubai and Minds Eye are the remaining Irish pointers who feature in the opening race on the card.
 
Templenacarriga maiden winner Monalee is the current second favourite in the Grade one RSA novice chase and connections will hope the son of Milan can claim his second grade one success following his win at Leopardstown when he out battled the Willie Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo who will also line-up in the 3m contest. The Henry De Bromhead-trained seven-year-old ran a big race at last year’s festival when he finished runner-up to Penhill in the Albert Bartlett novice hurdle.
 
Elegant Escape-runner up to Samcro on his debut represents the Colin Tizzard yard and enters the race off the back of a win at Exeter having finished runner-up to Black Corton in a Grade one chase at Kempton on St. Stephens’s day and he is joined by former Punchestown maiden winner Dounkios as well as Kirkistown maiden winner Ballyoptic. 
 
27 runners will line-up for the Grade three Coral cup of which four are ex-Irish pointers. The former Donnchadh Doyle-trained Topofthegame, who won his four-year-old maiden at Belclare two years ago, is one of the leading contenders having won a Grade three hurdle at Sandown at the beginning of February for his new trainer Paul Nicholls who will be hoping to record his second win in this race with his charge.
 
Liscarroll maiden winner Stowaway Magic, Glenbane runner-up Springtown Lake as well as the former Peter Fahy-trained Flemcara also represent the Irish pointers. 
 
The feature race of the second day at the Cheltenham Festival is the Betway Queen Mother Champion chase.  Boulta runner-up Special Tiara is bidding to record back-to-back victories in this race having returned home a head in front of Fox Norton last year.
 
Three-time Grade one winner Gods Own, who began his career with Declan Prendergast where he finished runner-up at Athlacca as a four-year-old, will run in his fourth Cheltenham festival for the Tom George team.
 
The Glenfarclas cross country chase is one of the most popular races of the week and of the 16 declared to run in this year’s race, four are ex-Irish pointers. 
 
Dromahane placed Josies Orders, winner of this race in 2016 is one of four J P McManus-owned horses which include Lingstown runner-up Cantlow who finished third in this race last year behind Cause of Causes. Also declared is the former Sean Doyle-trained The Last Samuri in the Paul & Clare Rooney colours who finished second to Blacklion in last year’s Aintree Grand National as well as Rathcannon maiden winner Beeves who is also owned by the Rooneys.
 
The final race on day two is the Grade one Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Of the twenty four declared runners for this year's renewal, six began their racing careers in Irish points with the Willie Mullins-trained Carefully Selected one of the main fancies for the 2m race. The son of Well Chosen who won his maiden at Monksgrange, has two bumper wins added to his tally following his success at Leopardstown and Naas. 
 
Know The Score, who made a big impression on his debut at Ballinaboola in November for Sean Doyle and was then subsequently sold for €380,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham November sale, is representing the David Pipe team following his 13 length win at Towcester in February.
 
Felix Desjy, Colcreevy, Herecomestheboom and Doc Penfo complete the Irish Pointing representatives in the race. 
 
To view a full list of Irish Pointers in action today, please CLICK HERE.
 

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