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

50 Comments
  1. the notorious 7 months ago

    Where is Johns tips?

  2. double carpet 7 months ago

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

  3. the notorious 7 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. double carpet 7 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. elvis parsley 7 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

    • elvis parsley 7 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. double carpet 7 months ago

    1.30 Mengli Khan ew
    Getabird is the right fav having impressed lto and beaten MK by 9L and at the time I said we have probably seen the supreme winner. However on further thoughts, he was getting 6lbs from MK and MK had only run 17 days previous so probably didn’t give a true running. It will also be Getabird’s first run under rules going left handed and the only other time he ran LH he ran out.
    62 runners since 1996 have ran in h’caps for their last run before this race and all have failed to win. I backed KALASHNIKOV to win the Betfair hurdle and he won it in great style. But I think it’s tough to ask a novice to peek twice and I believe the Betfair was it’s main target.

    Arkle
    Petit Mouchoir

    Footpad is the one to beat and beat PM lto but I think he can get much closer this time. Dr Bromhead is one of the best chase trainers there is and if anyone can get improvement out of a horse it’s him.
    I did back PM ew antipost and can’t see him out of the places so should at least get a run for my money.
    5yr olds have a poor record in the race so can’t have Saint Calvados

    Champion hurdle

    I’ve backed Faugheen to win and also ew. The fav will probably win with a clear round but I’d love it if the machine was to do it

    Mares

    La bague au roi 10/3 w/o fav

    I think this is a cracking bet.

    I’ll put up my thoughts on the 3 minefields tomorrow but in short

    Ultima …Singlefarmpayment
    NH chase …Jury Duty
    Close bros ..Any second now / Mr Whitaker both ew

    BOL

  7. recoba 7 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! ?

  8. Johnb 7 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

  9. double carpet 7 months ago

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

  10. u2me413 7 months ago

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

  11. alanthomson 6 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!

  12. Johnb 6 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

    • Mr Fixit 6 months ago

      Cheers

      • elvis parsley 6 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.

  13. errryesno 6 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 ?

  14. duncanpoundcake 6 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

  15. u2me413 6 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.

  16. jazzerbhoy 6 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.

  17. frankel 6 months ago

    1.30 Paloma blue@11/1,2.10 Footpad@evens,2.50 Gold present@8/1,3.30 Faugheen@11/2,4.10 Bernie des dieux@4/1,5.30 Livelovelaugh12/1.

  18. richie 6 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

  19. double carpet 6 months ago

    What will the scenes be like if Faugheen wins today

  20. buzzer 6 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

  21. azzthewigan 6 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

  22. de niro 6 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 ?

  23. jimba 6 months ago

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

  24. buckiejag 6 months ago

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

  25. double carpet 6 months ago

    Here we go guys

    Almost time for the Cheltenham roar

    Best of luck

  26. double carpet 6 months ago

    Well done all with summerville boy

  27. jimba 6 months ago

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

    • elvis parsley 6 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

  28. buzzer 6 months ago

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

  29. Johnb 6 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

  30. buzzer 6 months ago

    apple turnover for jade!!

  31. frankel 6 months ago

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

  32. shauncpfc 6 months ago

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

  33. database 6 months ago

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

  34. Johnb 6 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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