Cheltenham Festival 2017: Tips and odds for day two from The Independent

Selections from The Independent's sports desk ahead of the second day

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It was quite the opening day but we have only just begun at Cheltenham.

Day two sees a number of intriguing races and the return of superstar Douvan.

But who should you be punting on this week?

We scoured the cards and analysed the form, coming up with today's Tuesday tips.

1:30pm The Neptune Investment Management (NIM) Novices Hurdle

Our Pick: Willoughby Court 14-1 e/w

Prize fund: £120,000

Willoughby Court was a rank outsider for the early race but the horse comes into this race well rested and in good form with two recent wins, one at the start of the year in the NIM Novices hurdle in Warwick, the second in December last year in the Wrights of Campden Maiden Hurdle. Jockey David Bass has won the last three.

Both wins came over two miles and five furlongs, making this the perfect distance.

2:05pm The RSA Chase 

Our pick: Whisper 13-2 e/w

Prize fund: £150,000

Whisper will head into the chase with a calming confidence about her after recent displays.

She has history at The Festival after winning the Coral Cup in 2014. She does have form over 3 miles but each win has come in the hurdles. For a horse that is usually in contention and has a proven record it could be a good day.   

2:40pm The Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

Our pick: Tin Soldier 17-2

Prize fund: £80,000

Tin Soldier is a regular hurdler winning both of her races early on in the year, at Thurles and Fairyhouse, and has come good whether heavy or soft race conditions, she is a horse that has been profitable in hurdles and the vintage combination of Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins knows how to win at Cheltenham.

3:20pm The Queen Mother Champion Chase

Our pick: Douvan by 8+ lengths 6-4

Prize fund: £350,000

Douvan is the prohibitive favourite to take the prize as a regular chaser over two miles with an average distance win of 12.3 lengths from the last five races, the largest of 22 at Cork in December 2016.

Last time out in Cheltenham, exactly a year ago Douvan won by seven lengths in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase. He is, simply, too good.

4:00pm The Cross Country Chase

Our pick: Cantlow 4-1

Prize fund: £45,000

Cantlow should be another Ruby Walsh winner at Cheltenham in a race that could well be dominated by Bolger horses. Auvergnat's win at Punchestown strengthens his claims. 

4:40pm The Fred Winter Juvenile Novices Handicap Hurdle

Our pick: Dino Velvet 16-1 e/w

Prize fund: £75,000

Dino Velvet is an up-and-coming horse worth keeping an eye on, with just one win in six races so far but a game second at Ludlow last month and a price that will only get shorter as we approach the off.