The Winners Enclosure Podcast: Day One's Key Clips

Llewellyn on what it takes to win the Supreme Novices'

Cheltenham Festival will get underway with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle Race and two-time Grand National winner Llewellyn spoke of what it takes to win the opening race on Champion Day. The former jockey touched on the importance of jumping in this one and how quick things are, forcing the emphasis on jumping.

"A good jumper can make a big difference.

"They need some miles on the clock," said Llewellyn

The Welshman believes the good jockeys will sit with their horses at a comfortable state, which allows a big finish from the horse towards the end.

Carl & Emma Spencer debate Shishkin at the Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Llewellyn and Emma Spencer discussed Shishkin, who will be racing in the opening event at the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. However, Llewellyn has spoken of how he doesn't believe that Shishkin should be the favourite, as he hasn't had the match practice compared to Asterion Forlonge.

Emma Spencer did, on the other hand, touch on how Nicky Henderson is very keen on Shishkin when the two spoke, stating that Henderson's confidence was exceptionally high about the six-year-old. Emma Spencer also stated how the trainer has won this race three times before and how his horses are operating at a 40% strike rate at the moment.

This incredible confidence from Henderson seems to have persuaded Emma Spencer to jump ship.

NAP's selections

NAPS TWE podcast

McInally a big fan of Epatante

Epatante will be racing in the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge on Champion Day in what is the biggest race of the opening day at Cheltenham Festival. Keen racing fan, Alan McInally, is a huge fan of Epatante and expects the horse trained by Nicky Henderson to win at the 15:30 event.

The Barry Geraghty led horse has had a very impressive few months, winning each of her two starts this season and is being backed by the former Celtic FC star to reign supreme after a disappointing Cheltenham Festival last season.

Llewellyn fancies Cepage for Ultima

The Ultima is set to be the third race of day one at Cheltenham Festival, and it looks as if the two-time Grand National winner has his eyes on one horse; Cepage. The eight-year-old, led by jockey Charlie Deutsch, is also trained by Venetia Williams who Llewellyn believes the trainer does "very well" and that Williams' horses enjoy the very soft ground.

As Llewellyn alluded to, Cepage is great value at Ultima and is his personal tip for a bit of value in the 14:50 race.

Llewellyn's outsider for day one, Darver Star

Llewellyn has picked out Darver Star as his outsider for the opening day at Cheltenham Festival 2020. Darver Star will be racing in the Champion Hurdle at 15:30, in what is billed as the biggest race on day one.

The ex-jockey believes it will be an open race, but backs the eight-year-old led by Jonathan Moore to be an outside chance at winning the prestigious prize money on opening day.

McInally also touched on how much of the Irish faithful have backed Darver Star as a real good outside chance after such a great race last time out.

Emma Spencer on Imperial Aura

Emma Spencer speaks of her admiration for Imperial Aura in the Handicap Chase. The Novices' Handicap Chase will take place at 16:50 as the second to last race of the opening day at Cheltenham Festival 2020.

Imperial Aura, a strong two-miler, according to Emma Spencer, and is one of her standouts on day one. The horse has won two hurdle races; a National Hunt flat race and a chase from 2m to 3m on ground varying from good to soft and looks set to have a great race at the Novices' Handicap Chase.

Jockey nerves at Cheltenham

As is the case with any sporting competition of such a magnitude, nerves will linger, no matter who you are. They can make or break a jockey and sometimes be the difference between winning and losing.

"Some jockeys handle the nerves better than others," Llellewyn stated. At the same time, McInally alludes to the nature of nerves also involved in football and how such gargantuan events fuel some competitors, but destroy others.

"The best jockeys make the least mistakes," said the Welshman. Llewellyn also touches on how the nerves are sometimes just too much for some jockeys, with the excitement too much to contain. Others, however, are simply immune to the occasion.

Race Card predictions

Cheltenham race card

How Jockey's feel with the roar

The first race, day one, there is only way one to start the Cheltenham Festival. The goggles go down, the nerves either amplify or the occasion forces greatness to the top, and then, the Cheltenham roar explodes into action.

"You can hear them, it gets you going even more," Llewellyn added. The Cheltenham roar kicks off proceedings for four days of the biggest week in horse racing and the ex-jockey talks of how it is such a frantic, yet incredible way to start day one at Prestbury Park.

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