Alan Thomson’s Tips: Cheltenham Day One

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CHELTENHAM week is upon us and the greatest show on turf gets under way on Tuesday with a thrilling day’s racing.

Here are my picks for each race on opening day.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1.30)

Kalashnikov did this column a good turn in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury but it was a gruelling race on very deep ground which may have left its mark. That said, he has a huge chance on official ratings.

He lost a shoe when beaten fair and square by Summerville Boy in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in early January and Kalashnikov has been rested since that tough race on heavy ground.

Willie Mullins’s Getabird is two from two and had nine lengths to spare when making all to thump Mengli Khan at Punchestown. Stablemate Carter McKay was beaten almost 14 lengths in third but came out to run a cracker when a close third to Tower Bridge and Jetz in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown.

Mullins has farmed this race in recent years with the likes of Champagne Fever, Vautour and Douvan, so the vibes are good for Getabird.

The favourite comes out a better horse, but not by much, than Paloma Blue on a collateral form line through Impact Factor.

Recommended bet

 

Arkle Challenge Trophy (2.10)

Footpad has been foot-perfect over fences, jumping with accuracy and alacrity, and is the most likely winner. Petit Mouchoir may have needed his comeback run in the Irish ‘Arkle’ at Leopardstown when getting a rear view of Footpad and will strip fitter.

He has twice beaten Footpad over hurdles, so is no forlorn hope. However, Footpad was a 4-9 shot when beating Petit Mouchoir five lengths at the Dublin track so looks decent value trading around 11-8 against.

Recommended bet

 

 

Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50)

Coo Star Sivola was put in his place by Frodon at Cheltenham in January but went on to hose up at Exeter. Connections will have heaved a sigh of relief as that victory got Coo Star Sivola into this competitive handicap.

The six-year- old has loads of Cheltenham form to fall back on, including an excellent fourth to Champagne Classic in last year’s Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, plua close third behind Diego Du Charmil in the 2016 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

Soft ground is ideal but on the book he has quite a bit to find with Shantou Flyer on their run behind Frodon. Shantou Flyer finished second, two places in front of Coo Star Sivola, and is 8lb better off. He has since been beaten at Kelso by Big River but looks the e/w bet in this very open handicap.

Gold Present carries top weight on the back of two excellent successes (both good to soft) in December, first at Newbury then three weeks later at  Ascot when beating Frodon. He hasmissed a couple of recent engagements but Nicky Henderson is sure to have him in top trim.

Gold Present also boasts festival form as he chased home Tully East in last year’s Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. He is a must for your shortlist but hasn’t a lot of form on very soft ground.

Recommended bet

 

Unibet Champion Hurdle (3.30)

Buveur D’Air is a very worthy odds-on shot and lots of punters will be dabbling in the ‘without the favourite’ market.

I’m prepared to overlook Melon’s flop behind Supasundae when the application of a first-time hood backfired and his second to Labaik in last year’s Supreme Hurdle gives him a chance of hitting the frame.

My Tent Or Yours is a more obvious contender, betting without the jolly. His record in this race speaks for itself and he will be hard to keep out of the money.

Recommended bet

  • MY TENT OR YOURS ew (without Buveur D’Air market)
  • (7-2, Betbright)

 

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (4.10)

Apple’s Jade is very difficult to oppose and she is one to include in Lucky 15s and accumulators. Looking at the ‘without’ market, the one to catch the eye is Jer’s Girl.

She was travelling well when tipping up three out in this event last year and although she has a little to find with La Bague Au Roi on their Kempton run, she has plenty of form on deep ground in Ireland. She was beaten two lengths by Apple’s Jade at Navan in November.

Recommended bet

  • JER’S GIRL e/w (without Apple’s Jade market)
  • (10-1 Betbright)

 

National Hunt Chase (4.50)

Jury Duty comes up to scratch on official ratings – his mark of 148 is 3lb and 5lb higher than the last two winners Tiger Roll and Minella Rocco and he’ll be ridden by the excellent Jamie Codd.

Jury Duty has looked a little bit soft in the finish on his last two runs but may have been waiting for some slightly better ground. He finished third to Presenting Percy in last year’s Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle carrying a big weight and looks sure to be thereabouts granted some luck in running. The fitting of a tongue-tie for the first time may eke out a little improvement.

Mossback was upsides Jury Duty at Naas when capsizing at the last and is ridden by last year’s winning jockey Lisa O’Neill. Mossback will be carrying my saver. Keeper Hill may well have beaten Barney Dwan when falling at Musselburgh and should go
well for the home contingent.

Recommended bet

 

 

Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (5.30)

I’ve bet two horses, Barney Dwan and Rather Be, and will be bitterly disappointed if at least one of them fails to hit the frame. Barney Dwan chased home Presenting Percy in last year’s Pertemps and has taken to chasing like a duck to water.

He wasn’t at his very best when scoring at Musselburgh but quite a few fancied southern raiders struggled on the sticky ground that day.

Rather Be has been kept under the radar by Nicky Henderson, mopping up a couple of small races at Towcester and Fakenham with the minimum of fuss. It’s worth recalling that Rather Be was a smart hurdler last season, beating 21 rivals to land a Grade 3 contest at Aintree in the spring.

Any Second Now, trained by Ted Walsh for JP, steps into handicap company after tackling the likes of Footpad and Monalee in Graded company, and has to be respected along with Tycoon Prince on a line through Footpad at Leopardstown.

De Plotting Shed has been one of the big talking horses at those ubiquitous Cheltenham preview evenings and it is easy to see why. He was another useful hurdler and chased home Montalbano at Gowran Park in January to get his handicap mark over fences. Gordon Elliott has kept him under wraps and Davy Russell is booked. Enough said.

Recommended bet

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    49 Comments
    1. Profile photo of the notorious
      the notorious 4 months ago

      Where is Johns tips?

    2. Profile photo of double carpet
      double carpet 4 months ago

      Just spent ages typing up day 1 and it hasn’t shown up

    3. Profile photo of the notorious
      the notorious 4 months ago

      Getabird is tipped everywhere, and Rich Ricci says its his best chance of a winner. Do not be fooled by this. I will bet against Getabird if he shortens anymore. Ricci, has once again changed his mind, this time with Douvan. Ricci cannot be trusted, end of.

    4. Profile photo of double carpet
      double carpet 4 months ago

      In short

      Supreme… Mengli Khan ew
      Arkle… Petit Mouchoir (ew AP)
      Ultima… Singlefarmpayment
      Champion hurdle… Faugheen win and ew
      Mares… La bague au roi 10/3 w/o fav
      NH chase… Jury Duty
      Close bros…. Any second now/ Mr Whitaker both ew

      BOL

    5. Profile photo of elvis parsley
      elvis parsley 4 months ago

      Somerville boy 9-4 to place in 1st 3.
      Horse is improving and his last run when cosily beating Kalashnikov in the tolworth cannot be ignored.
      The ground this day was heavy which Kalashnikov didn’t like and if it rains tomorrow we will have heavy going.
      If it dries to say good/soft then Kalashnikov is a good place bet.

      As for a winner, wouldn’t bother as there is usually big vibes about the Irish hotspot in the opener and I’ve not heard big vibes about getabird.
      Not sure if winning a good handicap means Kalashnikov will be a future star hurdler which winners of this generally are.
      Buveur d’air only came 3rd in this behind altior and min and nothing here at the moment appears to have that star quality.
      Somerville boy place 1-3 at 9-4.
      Paloma blue ew 16-1

      • Profile photo of elvis parsley
        elvis parsley 4 months ago

        Somerville boy 1st 3 9-4

        Footpad 11-8 win

        yala enki ew 16-1

        My tent or yours ew 16-1 (if Faugheen is 90%) he wins by 5+ lengths, BIG IF ??.

        Apple’s jade 4-6 win

        Jury duty 5-1 win or ew

    6. Profile photo of recoba
      recoba 4 months ago

      Mr F i seen Johns post saying hes away to the USA and that someone else will be posting his tips for him…i hope hes not going to wait till tomorrow?
      Cause im off work today and had it all planned out that id nail my bets to the mast for tomorrow…today! 😉
      Good write ups from VV and Thomo and DC im with you on Faughenn sir! 👍

    7. Profile photo of Johnb
      Johnb 4 months ago

      Posting for Johnb

      Cheltenham Day 1

      1:30 – Getabird 7/4 betbright

      2:10 – Footpad 5/4 paddy power NAP

      2:50 – Ramses De Teillee 14/1 bet365 eachway 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4 NB

      3:30 – Faugheen 6/1 paddy power eachway 1/5 odds 1-2-3
      on form it’s Buveur D’Air but at the prices I am willing to chance Faugheen”

      4:10 – Apples Jade 8/13 bet365

      4:50 – Rathvinden 7/1 paddy power eachway 1/5 odds 1-2-3-4

      5:30 – Any Second Now 7/1 betvictor eachway 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4 & Mr Whittaker 12/1 Bet365 eachway 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4

      Festival Shorty Double
      Footpad (Tuesday) & Un De Sceaux (Thursday) 4.06/1 betbright

      Festival Eachway Double
      Douvan (Wednesday) & Ramses De Teillee (Tuesday) 57.5/1 betvictor
      1/5 odds 1-2-3 & 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4

    8. Profile photo of double carpet
      double carpet 4 months ago

      Reports that Altior is lame. Drifting like a barge out to 13/8 on the exchange

    9. Profile photo of u2me413
      u2me413 4 months ago

      Alan do you have a top double/treble for the festival

    10. Profile photo of alanthomson Author
      alanthomson 4 months ago

      My top treble would be Apple’s Jade, Laurina and Un De Sceaux, but that’s not really the way I try to make a profit at Cheltenham. The handicap hurdles have been very good to me in the past, with bookies falling over themselves on the day to offer 5 and sometimes 6 places. In races likes the Coral Cup, Martin Pipe Conditional, County Hurdle and Pertemps Network Final I’ll bet two and sometimes three horses e/w at decent prices – the same applies in the handicap chases but with reduced stakes. Tally ho!

    11. Profile photo of Johnb
      Johnb 4 months ago

      Posting for Johnb

      Tuesdays Non Cheltenham Tips

      Newcastle
      7:45 – Odds On Oli 7/2 paddy power NB

      Newcastle
      8:15 – Athollblair Boy 5/2 bet365 NAP

      • Profile photo of Mr Fixit
        Mr Fixit 4 months ago

        Cheers

        • Profile photo of elvis parsley
          elvis parsley 4 months ago

          LITTLE £10 Acca for interest at my friendly independent bookie down the road. The nice man gave me these odds straight from oddschecker as they are spread over 3 firms.
          Pays £171
          2.50 Ramses de teille top 5 finish 13-8
          3.30 my tent or yours top 4 finish 7-4
          4.50 jury duty top 3 finish 11-8 NAP

          And added footpad win at 11-10 for a £5 fourfold which pays £180.

    12. Profile photo of errryesno
      errryesno 4 months ago

      1.30 debuchet
      2.05 footpad

      am playing 3 on singlefarmpayment / cogary/ shantuo flyer
      on faugheen anti-post love him to win but trebles and doubles on favs

      apples jade nap
      indianstream ew 100t1

      jury duty nbb
      & plyonthepressure ew [this horse extremely well handicapped and surley wasted in this race??]

      barney dawn nb
      weepunt on markov ew at 66t1

      Good luck everybody, the best week of the year ! and for most, just another cold week in march ?

    13. Profile photo of duncanpoundcake
      duncanpoundcake 4 months ago

      Dapper Man 4.25 S 11/2
      Add two who won’t mind the ground
      Vintage Clouds 2.50 C
      Shades of Midnight 4.50 C
      e/w patent GL

    14. Profile photo of u2me413
      u2me413 4 months ago

      Look forward to your selections in those races Alan, going to do those 3 tho in a Trixie and I’ll take johns two and try and work out the gold cup winner in another Tricia. Good luck everyone for cheltenham.

    15. Profile photo of jazzerbhoy
      jazzerbhoy 4 months ago

      Not need to look further than this cracking treble
      Getabird 1.30 foot pad 2.10 Apples jade 4.10
      Looking forward to this so much,and apple jade is the stand out. And will carry most of my bank on opening day will be a long week if this loses. Good luck everyone.

    16. Profile photo of frankel
      frankel 4 months ago

      1.30 Paloma [email protected]/1,2.10 [email protected],2.50 Gold [email protected]/1,3.30 [email protected]/2,4.10 Bernie des [email protected]/1,5.30 Livelovelaugh12/1.

    17. Profile photo of richie
      richie 4 months ago

      Morning all

      WESTERN RYDER 1.30 33/1

      SHANTOU FLYER 2.50 20/1

      MS PARFOIS 4.50 9/1

      BARNEY DAWN 5.30 10/1

      E.W LUCKY 15 E.W SINGLES

      GOOD LUCK ALL

    18. Profile photo of double carpet
      double carpet 4 months ago

      What will the scenes be like if Faugheen wins today

    19. Profile photo of buzzer
      buzzer 4 months ago

      good luck everyone this is the biggest week of racing and its either gonna make us or break us but we are all in it together

    20. Profile photo of azzthewigan
      azzthewigan 4 months ago

      sharjah 1.30 sizing codelco 2.50 john constable 3.30 le bague au Rio 4.10 ew l15 ew singles brain power 2.10 win single well done all winners yesterday

    21. Profile photo of de niro
      de niro 4 months ago

      Cheltenham
      13-30 Summerville Boy 8/1

      14-10 Footpad Sp

      14-50 Cogry 16/1 e/way 5 places
      Boylespirts

      15-30 no bet

      16-10 no bet

      16-50 Keeper Hill 20/1 sporting bet

      17-30 Rather Be 12/1

      Good luck everyone today 😀

    22. Profile photo of jimba
      jimba 4 months ago

      Trixie for me today 1.30 kalashnikov, 2.10 footpath & 3.30 faugheen £5 returns £166.77.😊GL 🍀

    23. Profile photo of buckiejag
      buckiejag 4 months ago

      Have a great week Lads and Lassies, all the best to everyone and all horses come home safely.

    24. Profile photo of double carpet
      double carpet 4 months ago

      Here we go guys

      Almost time for the Cheltenham roar

      Best of luck

    25. Profile photo of double carpet
      double carpet 4 months ago

      Well done all with summerville boy

    26. Profile photo of jimba
      jimba 4 months ago

      My horse 2nd great ride by noel fehily to win race

      • Profile photo of elvis parsley
        elvis parsley 4 months ago

        Somerville boy 9-4 to place in 1st 3.
        Horse is improving and his last run when cosily beating Kalashnikov in the tolworth cannot be ignored.
        The ground this day was heavy which Kalashnikov didn’t like and if it rains tomorrow we will have heavy going.
        If it dries to say good/soft then Kalashnikov is a good place bet.
        As for a winner, wouldn’t bother as there is usually big vibes about the Irish hotspot in the opener and I’ve not heard big vibes about getabird.
        Not sure if winning a good handicap means Kalashnikov will be a future star hurdler which winners of this generally are.
        Buveur d’air only came 3rd in this behind altior and min and nothing here at the moment appears to have that star quality.
        Somerville boy place 1-3 at 9-4.

        Well done those who did the straight win

    27. Profile photo of buzzer
      buzzer 4 months ago

      both sommerville boy and footpad both done well to win after nearly falling after the jump

    28. Profile photo of Johnb
      Johnb 4 months ago

      Posting for Johnb who says Mitchouka is his bet of the Festival and has been banging on about this horse for months

      Cheltenham Day 2 Tips

      1:30 – Black Op 9/1 Unibet eachway 1/4 odds 1-2-3

      2:10 – Monalee 10/3 ladbrokes

      2:50 – Max Dynamite 8/1 william hill eachway 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4

      3:30 – Douvan 3/1 Unibet NB

      4:10 – The Last samurai 6/1 paddy power eachway 1/5 odds 1-2-3

      4:50 – Mitchouka 10/1 coral 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4 NAP

      5:30 – Rhinestone 9/1 paddy power 1/5 odds 1-2-3

    29. Profile photo of buzzer
      buzzer 4 months ago

      apple turnover for jade!!

    30. Profile photo of frankel
      frankel 4 months ago

      6.15 new big kitten, 6.45 new Regina pacis,7.15 Nick vedder,7.445 new dark freedom.

    31. Profile photo of shauncpfc
      shauncpfc 4 months ago

      Hearing that Ruby has been suspended for 2 days for excessive use of the whip..

    32. Profile photo of database
      database 4 months ago

      Rathvinden saunters home, Desth Duty loses ending my chance of £3500 from 50p L31. Just mr Whittaker left for a nice win.

    33. Profile photo of Johnb
      Johnb 4 months ago

      Posting for Johnb who had the bookies screaming in pain on day 1 which winners at 5/4 NAP, 7/1 and 12/1 with today’s Non Cheltenham bets still to run

      Wednesdays Non Cheltenham Tip

      Wolverhampton
      8:15 – Spring Romance 7/4 paddy power NAP

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