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Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Tips: Selections For Every Tuesday Race Including The Champion Hurdle

Monday 11th March 2019
Apple's Jade Is One Of The Favourites For the Champion Hurdle On Tuesday
Apple's Jade Is One Of The Favourites For the Champion Hurdle On Tuesday

The best four days of sport anywhere in the world with day one Cheltenham just a matter of hours away and Steve Ryder has made his picks for each race on Tuesday...

Skybet Supreme Novices Hurdle

The Dai Walters owned pair of Al Dancer and Angels Breath are both of interest in this race but my idea of a selection in this race changed when Willie Mullins declared Klassical Dream for this race. He arrived at Closutton having run five times over hurdles in France so has plenty of experience and is 2/2 for new connections. He won a strong 20 runner maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on Good to Yielding ground on Boxing Day before following up in the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival in February.

Klassical Dream was headed by stablemate Aramon after the last hurdle but showed a gutsy attitude and plenty of stamina to fight back at the finish and he looks a strong selection in the opener.

Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase

In a previous article I put up Defi Du Seuil NRNB for this race at 10/1 and I still believe he should be running here but as a result I have been able to look at this race without a previous opinion. Paloma Blue ran well at the festival last season to finish 4th in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and despite the form of the race not looking as strong as many years, this doesn’t look the strongest of races. He was disappointing on chasing debut at Navan when only fourth as a 10/11 favourite but his jumping was a lot better when winning at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Paloma Blue has some of the best form on offer over hurdles and should run well in an open renewal of the Arkle.

Ultima Handicap Chase

Coo Star Sivola won this race last season off a mark of 142 as a novice and runs in it this year off only a 3lb higher mark. He has dropped 5lb in the ratings this season after three disappointing runs but you can imagine connections have only had one day in mind al year. He has plenty of course form including when fourth in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle in 2017 and as a novice chaser and with bookmakers offering up to six places, I find it hard to see Coo Star Sivola out of the frame.

Unibet Champion Hurdle

This is going to be the race of the festival and all that any horse racing fan should want is for the top three in the market to run to form as it will be some spectacle but on the form this season though I would find it difficult not to be in the Apple’s Jade camp. She has previous festival form having been second in the Triumph Hurdle before winning a strong renewal of the Mares’ Hurdle in 2017. She disappointed when favourite in that race last year but had excuses and has furthered her form this season.

Apple’s Jade has won by 11, 20, 26 and 16 lengths so far this season including an impressive victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle when dropped back to 2 miles last time.

Buveur D’Air and Laurina also bring good form into the race but Apple’s Jade looks an improved mare this season and getting that 7lb from Buveur D’Air may swing it in her favour.

Champion Hurdle Odds

Apples Jade J W Kennedy / G Elliott 9/4 9/4 2 2 9/4 5/2 9/4 2 2
Laurina R Walsh / W P Mullins 5/2 5/2 5/2 5/2 5/2 11/4 5/2 5/2 5/2
Buveur DAir B J Geraghty / N J Henderson 11/4 11/4 11/4 11/4 11/4 3 11/4 11/4 11/4
Espoir DAllen M P Walsh / G P Cromwell 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Melon P Townend / W P Mullins 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Sharjah Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
Brain Power Nico de Boinville / N J Henderson 33 33 33 33 33 40 33 33 33
Verdana Blue D N Russell / N J Henderson 33 33 33 33 33 40 33 33 33
Global Citizen D Bass / B Pauling 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Silver Streak Adam Wedge / Evan Williams 66 66 80 80 66 66 66 80 80
Each Way Terms 3
1/5
3
1/5
- 3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/4
3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/5

Champion Hurdle Odds

BEST ODDS
1. Apples Jade J W Kennedy / G Elliott
5/2
FREE BET ODDS
5/2
9/4
9/4
9/4
9/4
2
2
2
2
2. Laurina R Walsh / W P Mullins
11/4
FREE BET ODDS
11/4
5/2
5/2
5/2
5/2
5/2
5/2
5/2
3. Buveur DAir B J Geraghty / N J Henderson
3
FREE BET ODDS
3
11/4
11/4
11/4
11/4
11/4
11/4
11/4
4. Espoir DAllen M P Walsh / G P Cromwell
16
FREE BET ODDS
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
5. Melon P Townend / W P Mullins
16
FREE BET ODDS
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
6. Sharjah Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins
20
FREE BET ODDS
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
7. Brain Power Nico de Boinville / N J Henderson
40
FREE BET ODDS
40
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
8. Verdana Blue D N Russell / N J Henderson
40
FREE BET ODDS
40
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
9. Global Citizen D Bass / B Pauling
50
FREE BET ODDS
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
10. Silver Streak Adam Wedge / Evan Williams
80
FREE BET ODDS
80
80
80
80
66
66
66
66
66
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 15:30 . Odds are subject to change.

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle 

Benie Des Dieux is now a short priced favourite for the race but is entitled to be given her victory in the race last season. She comes here on her reappearance this season but it is easy to forget that Quevega also won this on her reappearance for five out of her six victories. It was her first race over hurdles for Willie Mullins last season having won three chases that season so it wasn’t the ideal preparation for the race but she bettered that form at Punchestown on her start after.

Benie Des Dieux is unbeaten since joining Willie Mullins and with only her stablemates to beat in my opinion, she should make it back to back victories in this race.

Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase

There is only 7lb in ratings between the top weight and bottom weight in this race and many have chances but I am taking a chance on the Nicky Henderson trained Lough Derg Spirit in this race though. He ran well to finish 6th in the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle last year in a race which is working out well with Discorama, Early Doors and Sire Du Berlais all finishing close to him. He is lightly raced over fences with only three runs in which he has won two of those well.

Lough Derg Spirit was impressive in first time cheekpieces last time when he won by 12 lengths and he should run well each way with extra places on offer. 

National Hunt Chase

Impulsive Star finished fourth in this race last year after an interrupted preparation and has a lovely profile for the race this year. He has lots of experience having run six times over fences including a win in the Classic Chase at Warwick last time. That was in a handicap off a mark of 133 but he jumped well that day and looks a solid option. Ok Corral has question marks over the trip in my opinion with how keen he is during his races and I think Impulsive Star is a rock solid each way bet with Sam Waley Cohen on board.

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