Cheltenham Day One Preview

Cheltenham Day One Preview

Cheltenham festival winner

Cheltenham Day One Tips

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Supreme Novice Hurdle

The Supreme Novice gets things underway for the week and we have both a win and e/w fancy in what doesn’t seem a vintage renewal. Irish powerhouse Willie Mullins has a terrific record in the race, winning three of the last five and was second only to a surprise 50/1 winner in Labaik last year. His main charge this time around is the impressive Moscow Flyer Hurdle victor GETABIRD 13/8, who quickened up nicely in-front of Mengli Khan that day, showing serious speed for a horse who is expected to race over further in the future. He will enjoy the conditions and looks a worthy favourite at the top of the market, although there have been concerns on him going left-handed for the first time under rules with his sole point disappointment coming in this configuration.

For the value seekers we are pointing towards Davy Russell’s mount, PALOMA BLUE 16/1. This horse was very keen when third to the hot Ballymore favourite Samcro last time out, doing well to maintain a place in the frame and we believe he could well outrun his odds at 16/1. Previously, he had done a job on subsequent winner Impact Factor which is form that ties in with Getabird, who has also dealth with Jessica Harrington’s 6-y-o. This looks solid enough form for us so hopefully they get the festival off to a great start.

Arkle Chase

Now for the Arkle, this is sure to be a cracker. FOOTPAD 6/4, Petit Mouchoir and Saint Calvados head the market but it is the former which we will be focusing on. A revelation since sent chasing, Daryl Jacob has been getting a fine tune out of this progressive gelding but now passes him over to Ruby, which could be a key factor to how the race pans out. If he hits a nice rhythm from the front and jumps as efficiently as his recent starts then he could be really difficult to catch. We would outline Harry Whittington’s inmate as the main danger to mount a late challenge, but Petit Mouchoir, who has form over Footpad over hurdles, doesn’t rate the type of horse to make up for any lesser jumps on the ground and it was very questionable on chase debut.

Ultima Handicap Chase

This is a tricky affair but we have found two each-way chances who should be there or thereabouts at the finish. Firstly, GOLD PRESENT 8/1 represents Nicky Henderson and he may just be the classiest horse in the field. Unbeaten this season with wins at both Newbury and Ascot, he looks to have improved vastly and if handling the potentially heavy conditions he should go well. The market leader Coo Star Sivola will have it’s fair share of backers but the demolition job last time out came in a very weak affair, although it isn’t without a chance with conditions set to suit. Our other each way fancy comes at a much bigger price. YALA ENKI 33/1 is a proven mud lover and could well run into a place if things go his way. The race which he won at Haydock fell apart, but he was staying on impressively at the end and certainly has a better chance than his odds suggest.

Champion Hurdle

BUVEUR D’AIR 8/15 isn’t the healthiest of prices but he is going to be a tough nut to crack in the Champion Hurdle. This doesn’t take much explaining, he has been dominant all season and unless Faugheen is suddenly back to his best he is simply the best horse in the race. This is going to be a popular selection for the multiple backers, but for those looking for an e/w angle we are advising the trusty, three-time Champion Hurdle second placed MY TENT OR YOURS 14/1. He has plenty of form in the book and is obviously tried and tested at Cheltenham, admittedly it will be tough for win purposes but he has a cracking chance of making the frame.

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle

Apple’s Jade’s chances are there for all to see in this one but the best bet looks LA BAG AU ROI 8/1 e/w. His trainer has never held back on how highly he rates this horse and champion jockey Richard Johnson, who rides him on Tuesday thinks he has a magnificent chance, especially if something is amiss with the favourite. His form stacks up nicely and the softer conditions will play into his favour with him being 2-2 on soft over hurdles. Willie Mullins’ Benie Des Dieux is a real worry, his jumping so far has been immaculate and he is unexposed meaning he really could produce anything, though lack of experience up against some wise horses could prove costly.

National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase

Gordon Elliot has a fine record in this race so the market leader Jury Duty has to be respected, but it is another one of his horses along with the Phillip Hobbs’ trained NO COMMENT 9/1 that we will be siding with. MOSSBACK 9/1, on jockey bookings admittedly looks second-string but he certainly isn’t without hope at a price and Lisa O’Neill won this last year aboard Tiger Roll for the same connections. He looked the winner before the last at Navan, travelling smoothly, finding a lot less than looked likely off the bridle. He should move into this race nicely and if something extra can be squeezed out he will go close. No Comment is a very interesting runner for JP McManus. The fact that it is his only horse set to run in the race speaks volumes given his liking for it in previous renewals, and his chase debut wasn’t devoid of promise coming back from a layoff. He’s been well supported in the build up and along with Mossback rates a solid e/w bet.

Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase

Now for the final race of day one and another Gordon Elliot trained horse catches our eye. DE PLOTTING SHED 7/1 seems very well handicapped and has been all the rage in recent weeks with the owners being very bullish on his chances. This has resulted in a snipped price, and we imagine he will go off shorter than 7/1 on the day so any e/w backers are advised to take the earlier price. DEMI SANG 14/1 is another Irish raider but for Willie Mullins. He’s a very unexposed type, landing a weak maiden at Naas before throwing away all chances at the first hurdle in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown. He really could be anything and could throw up an upset at 16/1.

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