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Cheltenham Festival – Tuesday
It’s now just a day until we hear the famous Cheltenham Roar.
The Cheltenham Festival is without question the greatest national hunt meeting in the world. Taking place over 4 days the event features several Grade 1 races including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, The Champion Hurdle, The Queen Mother Champion Chase and The Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
It usually coincides with St Patrick’s day and see the Irish flood the English county of Gloucestershire to see the best British and Irish (as well as the rest of the world) compete for some of the biggest prizes in the sport.
There are 67,500 spectators turning up every day of the meeting and millions watching at home
The festival itself has been around since the 19th century and just seems to grow in popularity year on year. The event doesn’t come without its controversies however due to the number of injuries and deaths to both man and animal due to the difficult and competitiveness of the races.
This does not stop 67,500 spectators turning up every day of the meeting and millions watching at home. This year ITV will have the rights to screen the event so you can watch this on your GibSat box. There is estimated millions even billions is punted over the 4 days with punters and bookies battling against each other to take as much money off each other.
It all kicks off on Tuesday (my favourite day):
14:30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
Last year Nicky Hendersons Altior held off Willie Mullins favourite to win @ 4/1.
This year Mullins is expected to saddle the favourite again in the form of Melon who is currently around 3/1 but I think Twiston-Davies’ Ballyandy who won last years Cheltenham Champion Bumper can win this one and you can get around 4/1 for it to do so.
15:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)
Willie Mullins managed to train the winner of this race last year in the form of Douvan who won very impressively @ 1/4F, beating Sizing John 9/1.
Last years Supreme novices winner Altior is expected to go off a short price favourite at around 1/3. Yorkhill who won last years Neptune Novices Hurdle is expected to be it’s closest challenger and I think could run the favourite very close, you will get about 7/2 for Yorkhill.
15:50 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
This was won by David Pipes Un Temps Pour Tout last year @ 11/1 beating Jonjo O’Neill’s Holywell @ 8/1.
This year it is wide open again, we have 8/1 joint favourites at the moment in Noble Endeavor and Singlefarmpayment. Last years winner re-apposes and can be backed at around 16/1 to repeat last years success.
16:30 Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
Probably the most prestigious race of the day. Last year this was won by Mullins’ Filly Annie Power @ 5/2F which was a very popular winner having fell the previous year at the festival. My Tent Or Yours finished 2nd @ 10/1.
This year looks to be very competitive and the current favourite is Alan King’s Yanworth at around 3/1. Last years runner up who has the same owner as the favourite can be backed at around 16/1 to go one better.
17:10 Mares Hurdle (Grade 1)
Last year Mullins’ domination continued with Vroum Vroum Mag who went in @ 4/6F beating 66/1 chance Rock on the Moor.
Mullins looks to have the Fav this year too with Limini current Fav @ 13/8 and his other runner and last years winner Vroum Vroum Mag 2nd Fav @ 5/2. (incase you like the name of last years runner up, it can be backed here again at around 66/1).
17:50 National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase (Grade 2) (Amateur riders)
Last year this was won by Jonjo O’Neill’s Minella Rocco @ 8/1 beating Native River @ 7/1 for Colin Tizzard.
This years renewal looks a tough one to pick the winner. The current fav is Noel Meade’s A Genie In A Bottle at around 5/1. I think David Pipes Champers on Ice could run well here @ 9/1 at the moment.
18:30 Close Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed)
Last year this was won by 12/1 shot Ballyalton for Ian Williams beating Paul Nicholls’ Bouvueil @ 14/1.
This year looks as wide open as ever, Foxtail Hill currently edges the betting @ 7/1. I think Squouateur for Neol Meade could run well and is currently 12/1 for this