Day One Tips at Cheltenham – Festival Opening Day

The opening day at the Cheltenham Festival, starts today!

Its one of the most famous roars in UK and we are sure to hear it once more as the Cheltenham Festival comes flying out of the stalls on Champion Day, as we horse racing punters and the nation as a whole braces itself for a bonanza of top quality Grade One Racing.

Here are my tips for today. They are with Bet365.  If you don’t have an account get one below…I also like Paddy Power’s offer below which gives us a saver if our horse finishes second.

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Bet: Super Heinz
Stake: 5c Each way
Total Stake: 12.00

Tuesday Cheltenham Selections:

    • Ballyandy 3/1 1:30 Cheltenham →
    • Ordinary World 12/1 W/O Altior 2:10 Cheltenham →
    • Singlefarmpayment 13/2 2:50 Cheltenham →
    • Buveur D’air 11/2 3:30 Cheltenham →
    • Apples Jade 5/1 4:10 Cheltenham →
    • Champers On Ice 8/1 4:50 Cheltenham →
    • Its’afreebee 9/1 5:30 Cheltenham →
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The wait is over, the Cheltenham Festival is upon us! Day 1 of the festival is known as Champions Day with the Champion Hurdle, Arkle and Supreme Novice Hurdle being the feature races.

First we start with the Supreme Novices Hurdle, a race that has thrown up plenty of superstars in recent years such as Vautour, Douvan and Altior.

This years race doesn’t look like the strongest of renewals but it should be a great race. On form there isn’t much between these and their are some relative unknown types in the race.

Trends are a major factor into my selections for the Cheltenham festival.

The trends are a really good guide that shows which horses fit the build for each race.

The top trends for the Supreme are age, recent form, race tactics, breeding and what sphere these horses started in. The last 8 winners were either 5 or 6, 18 of the last 20 winners all won last time out and 17 of the last 20 winners were ridden prominently.

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Get 20/1 on MELON to win the Supreme Novices

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Ex flat horses have done poorly, Irish and French horses do best.

From race trends Ballyandy came out on top.

He ticks most of the main boxes and on trends alone he looks to have a very good chance of winning this race.

There isn’t much between him and some of the others though on trends.

On form Ballyandy is rock solid.

This horse won the Champion Bumper at this festival last year and he ran Champion Hurdle contender Moon Racer close on two starts this season before taking the betfair handicap hurdle last time out.

That race is a decent trial for this race and his trainer thinks this horse has a tremendous chance in this.

The horse comes into his own at this stage of the season and the ground will really suit him. Based on form and trends he is my selection for the race.

Many believe Melon to be the winner of this race but for me I can’t have him. He may well place like Min did last year but I don’t think he’ll win.

The form of his one run has not worked out at all. He will lack experience at a vital part of the race and come up against a few battle hardened horses.

Given that Ruby left it til the last minute to make the decision who to ride tells me that their isn’t much between Melon and some of Willie Mullins other horses.

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Cilaos Emery based on his 6l win over Joey Sasa would have a good chance in this. First time headgear is off putting in this race though.

The last 15 winners of this race did not wear headgear. Crack Mome may well be the best of the Mullins horses. This horse won well on debut and was running a good race until blundering the last on his last run. His owner who won this race before belives the horse has improved greatly since and will love the ground.

I think Crack Mome will be the one to put it up to Ballyandy. Capital Force who is 100/1 doesn’t deserve to be that price. I think he could make the top 5 but BALLYANDY is my pick for this race.

The second race on the card the Arkle Novice Chase looks a one horse race on trends, form and ratings.

Altior who won the Supreme novice hurdle last year has been even better over fences this year.

He is by far the best horse in this race as everyone knows.

He is not backable though at 1/4 unless you are a heavy hitter. Charbel is going to make the running and I think Cloudy Dream will be right there too.

I think any horse that takes on Altior will suffer late on in the race. Davy Russell said at a preview night that he is going to hold this horse Ordinary World and ride it for a place.

When the ones up front suffer for taking on Altior falter I think Ordinary World can pick up the pieces in this.

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He’s got a good trends rating for this race and I think ORDINARY WORLD at 12/1 E.W 3 places Without Altior is good value.

The 3rd race on the card is the 3 mile 1f Ultima Handicap Chase. This is a race in which the trends can be profitable to follow. I’ve had the last 6 winners of this race and I usually have two bets in the race.

Had the first and second last year in Un Temps Pour Tout and Holywell. The winner is much higher up the weight this year but the 2nd Holywell is better off at the weights. The trends to follow for this race are rating, weight, breeding, age, price, confirmed stamina, and number of runs over fences.

There has not been a winner rated higher than 150 for 30 years plus. That takes the top seven horses in the race out of the equation from a win point of view. 11 of the last 16 winners came in the first 4 in the betting but the favourite has a bad record.

Suggests 2nd, 3rd, 4th favourite have big chance. 5 of the last novices 15 novices won this and 2nd season chasers won most of the other races in that period. Horse aged 7 to 10 have the best record and so do Irish bred horses.

Horses that have won over 3 mile also run well. Confirmed stamina is needed for this race as the go quick and there’s an uphill finish.

Above are the final results of my trends guide for the race. Singlefarmpayment is a horse that I’ve always liked. He won a decent handicap hurdle at this track a few seasons back and this season he has taken really well to fences.

He won a novice chase over this course and distance on his 2nd chase start beating Arpege D’Alene. That horse is fancied for the National Hunt Chase.

Singlefarmpayment was travelling very well last time out in a novices handicap chase at this course until being brought down 3 out. He looked like the winner at that stage of the race. I think he could be on a very good mark.

His connections thought he would be an RSA contender but given his handicap mark they’ve decided to run here instead. 13/2 is short price though in a 24 runner handicap.

Favourites don’t have a great record in this as I said earlier.

The Irish could get stuck into Noble Endeavour and make that favourite though.

I don’t like the price on Singlefarmpayment but on form and trends alone it has a great chance.

Holywell won this race in 2014 and finished 2nd in the race last year off 5lb higher. The year in between he was 4th in the Gold Cup.

This race has been his target all season and I wouldn’t worry about his form figures.

He hasn’t been fully fit and hasn’t had his ground. Has a live chance again today on ground he loves and at a course he loves. Henri Parry Morgan and Pilgrams Bay are given a great chance based on the trends.

Henri Parry Morgan would have a great chance based on his 2nd to Gold Cup hope Native River at Aintree last season. He has not shown the same form this season though.

Has come down the weights though and should be bang their.

I’m surprised Pilgram’s Bay got into this race.

He was incredibly impressive in his last run. If you didn’t see the race, the jockey was motionless on it for all of the race bar the last few yards of the race when he asked it to extend.

Might have only won in the end by a ½ length but it underlies how impressive he was. This is another step up for him in this but at 25/1 he’s worth a small each way bet.

The Druids Nephew won this race in 2015, he’s another that has a good chance in this open looking race.

Measureofmydreams could well be the best of the Irish horses in this race, that is if he runs up to the form he showed in last years National Hunt Chase.

I can see The Druids Nephew and Holywell filling out the places in this race and Pilgram’s Bay could sneak one at a big price but the one I really like is SINGLEFARMPAYMENT.

He fits the build as the most likeliest winner of this race, he stays well and has a really nice racing weight.

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The Champion Hurdle at 3:30 is the feature race of the day.

This years race is not as strong as it has been in recent years. Faugheen and Annie Power are both missing from this race due to injury.

Barry Geraghty had the pick of 3 rides in this race but he unfortunately got injured too.

The main trends for this race are: 5 year olds do poorly which isn’t good news for Footpad or Sceau Royal followers. 84 of last 86 winners of this race were 9 or under. Not good for My Tent or Yours.

One other key stat, the horses that were unplaced in last years race nearly always run bad. Not good news for The New One.

The trends are just a guide, they’re there to be broken but I don’t look good for the aforementioned horse’s in this race. Below are the results of my trends guide:

The Neptune is a great trial race for this and Yanworth was 2nd in that last year to Yorkhill. Yanworth did win the Christmas Hurdle though and only 2 of the last 25 winners of that race did the double, that being the mighty Hurricane Fly.

Yanworth seems to take an age to warm up and for me he looks a stayer. I think he wouldn’t be out of place in a Stayers Hurdle.

A fast pace in this race is guaranteed though and that will bring his stamina into it. Bar Buveur D’air and Petit Mouchoir he looks the best up and coming horse in the race.

Moon Racer finished in front of it in a Champion Bumper but that horse has had its problems in recent years. He goes for this instead of the Supreme which I think is a bad decision.

He loves the track and could place but he could be found wanting at the finish. Petit Mouchoir may be the best Irish hope in this race but I don’t fancy him.

Buveur D’air has beaten Petit Mouchoir twice and Petit didn’t get up the hill in the Supreme last year. Buveur D’air was 3rd in that race behind Altior and Min.
He was unlucky not to get 2nd. He was given a bad ride. He won nicely at Aintree festival after that.

Chasing was the plan this season and he was 2 from 2 in that sphere until being switched back to hurdling due to Faugheen and Annie Power not running.

He won very easily on his only hurdle start this season. He was going to be Barry Geraghty’s ride for this race but he’s on the sidelines and Noel Fehily has chosen this horse over Yanworth which is a big pointer.

He’s a great each way price at 11/2 and he came out top in my trends guide for this race.

His stablemate Brain Power has come the handicap route but he’s been rumored to have improved an awful lot since his last run.

This is a big step up in grade though. I think both the McManus owned horses Yanworth and Buveur D’air will battle this out up the hill.

I think Buveur D’air could get first run on Yanworth and inject pace into this race off the final bend. BUVEUR D’AIR is the one for me in the Champion Hurdle.

The 5th race is the Mares Hurdle, a race in which many a punter would like to forget given the fall of Annie Power in 2015.

This isn’t a great race for trials as Willie Mullins has dominated it. Limini and Colins Sister come out on top of the trends.

This years race is a cracker and I think it will be the race of the day for sure.

Stablemates Limini, Vroom Vroom Mag and ex stablemate Apples Jade will do battle in this race run over 2 mile 4f. Vroom Vroom Mag won this race last year but that race was a cakewalk for her.

I think she’ll find this much tougher.

Ruby has decided to ride Limini and that is a major pointer to deciding which of these has the best chance.

Limini could have been supplemented in the Champion Hurdle but goes here instead. This is a race in which Willie Mullins has dominated.

Quevega won it 6 times on the trot. I think he’s chucking 2 of his best mares at the prize. Limini won nicely last time on seasonal reappearance beating Apples Jade.

The runner up was not herself that day though. Her trainer said that she wasn’t fully fit and that the ground did not suit. She has her ground today and this horse who won by 41 lengths at last year’s Aintree Festival has to have a big chance in this.

She looked top class that day and I don’t think he’s been that tuned up since.

She comes alive at this stage of the season and I think she’ll put up a big fight to both of the Mullins trained mares. I’ve fancied this mare for this race for some time now, I didn’t think the competition would be as stiff but I still like her chances.

Jers Girl skipped Cheltenham last year but won two graded races at the Irish Spring Festivals. She is decent value at 10/1, I wouldn’t underestimate her.

She’s the apple of her trainers eye and should run a big race. Another mare in this that I’ve liked for some time is Colins Sister.

This horse is the only unbeaten hurdler in this race and the fact that she’s 28/1 is astonishing.

She may not come from a top yard or won anything of great stature this season but she is tough as nails and she stays really well.

I think she could be the surprise package in this race. It’s a tough race to call as there’s five with top chances but APPLES JADE at 5/1 is my selection for this race.

I’d also recommend backing COLINS SISTER each way at 28/1.

The final two races on the card the National Hunt Chase and the Close Brothers Chase are incredibly tough to crack and I wouldn’t invest much in those races.

The best jockeys are often the ones to follow in the 4 mile National Hunt Chase.

Jamie Codd on Genie in a bottle, Derek O Connor on Edwulf, Robbie Quinlan on Champers on Ice, Patrick Mullins on Haymount, Katie Walsh on Arbie De Vie Stephen Clements on Martello Tower and Sam Waley-Cohen on Beware the Bear are the ones to follow as they have the best jockeys on board. Edwulf has jumping issues and also stamina doubts.

Arbie De Vie lacks the experience and has stamina doubts. Genie in a Bottle has the best jockey on board in the race and is a decent sort but can’t be backed at 5/1.

It’s too short for me in such an open race. Martello Tower won the Albert Bartlett at the festival a few seasons back. He’s had a few nice runs over fences this season. He beat Genie in a Bottle and Accapella Bourgeois earlier in the season.

That looks the best piece of form in the race. Both Martello Tower and Champers on Ice who was 3rd in last years Albert Bartlett look to have the best chances for me.

CHAMPERS ON ICE could have run in the handicap earlier on the card off a nice weight but comes here instead. I think that’s a big pointer and he’s my selection for the race.

The 5:30 the last race on the card is a novice handicap chase.

There isn’t much between all of these on form and it’s always one of the toughest races of the festival to find the winner in.

One major trend in this race is that horses that wear 1st time headgear such as cheekpieces, blinkers have a great chance.

Two Taffs, Its’afreebee and Sizing Tennessee are the only horses in the race with first time headgear. Stablemates Two Taffs and Its’afreebee have a great shout on form and trends.

They are the two I like in the race. Its’afreebee was 3rd Yorkhill and Yanworth in last years Neptune. That is by far the best form in the race and he has shown himself to be a capable chaser.

ITS’AFREEBEE is my selection in the getting out stakes aka the last race.

I’ve suggested my main bets above and a few each way but for those who like to do multiples it might prove profitable to put some of my selections in a multiple bet:

Bet: Super Heinz
Stake: 5c Each way
Total Stake: 12.00

Selections:

Ballyandy 3/1 1:30 Cheltenham
Ordinary World 12/1 W/O Altior 2:10 Cheltenham
Singlefarmpayment 13/2 2:50 Cheltenham
Buveur D’air 11/2 3:30 Cheltenham
Apples Jade 5/1 4:10 Cheltenham
Champers On Ice 8/1 4:50 Cheltenham
Its’afreebee 9/1 5:30 Cheltenham

Cheltenham Tips