2021 Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Preview

Cheltenham day 1 tips & preview

This is the Horsebetting.com guide to the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. Packed full of Cheltenham day 1 tips, this is our overview of the main action at the biggest jumps horse racing meeting of the year.

In the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle that kicks things off at 1:25, Appreciate It is a firm favourite. With two Grade 1s under his belt when beating Ballyadam both times, it’s easy to see why. However, there may be value in taking on this market leader as he lost out to Ferny Hollow in the Champion Bumper here 12 months ago.

METIER, a Flat recruit from Ireland, is held in high regard by Harry Fry. The Sandown Tolworth winner could hardly have been moved impressive and handles a sounder surface. The big improver is Jonjo O’Neill trained Soaring Glory, who won the Betfair Hurdle and has smart back form.

Next up in the Arkle Challenge Trophy for novice chasers at 1:55, this is a match on paper between SHISHKIN, who won the Supreme last year, and Almmankind. It’s hard to see anything else landing a blow on the top two in the betting.

Allmankind didn’t jump fluently despite winning last time out, and can’t afford those mistakes against formidable opposition. Shishkin is a strong fancy, but a short-price favourite as a result with Franco De Port the best of the rest.

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Mares do battle in Champion Hurdle

In the feature race, the Champion Hurdle at 3:05, HONEYSUCKLE brings an unbeaten record into it. Victory in the Mares’ Hurdle last year proves she handles Cheltenham and she has back-to-back Irish Champion Hurdle wins to her name too.

This may finally be the year that trainer Henry De Bromhead wins this. Last year’s Cheltenham Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante is up there with Honeysuckle in a fascinating clash, but has to bounce back from defeat at odds of 1/5 by Silver Streak in the Christmas Hurdle.

Any number of other horses will fancy their chances of hitting the frame here. Goshen is out to atone for his unseating at the final hurdle in last year’s Triumph, while a sound surface should suit Sharjah, who didn’t give his running in the Irish Champion.

The Mares’ Hurdle at 3:40 is obviously much weaker with the best of their sex running elsewhere. CONCERTISTA is favourite following an impressive win in the Dawn Run here 12 months ago. She’s scored on both her subsequent starts easily enough for Mullins.

Dan Skelton trained 2019 Mares’ Hurdle winner Roksana wants to regain her crown. The concern is her best form since that victory has come over further. Dame De Compagnie returns to the smaller obstacles here after novice chasing didn’t work out. She won the Coral Cup in style last year, so could be a danger to Irish dominance of this event.

National Hunt Chase could steal show

GALVIN has had the National Hunt Chase, which closes the card at 4:50, as his target all season and he’s therefore the last of Cheltenham day 1 tips for the cards. Irish raiders has a fabulous record in this test of stamina. That means Escaria Ten and Lord Royal will also attract support.

The leading British contender is Next Destination for Paul Nicholls. He has back-to-baack wins in the grade and swerves meeting Monkfish in the Brown Advisory. Charlie Longsdon mare Snow Leopardess gets weight all-round, meanwhile, and could go well at bigger odds.

There are also two wide-open handicaps on the opening day of the Festival; the Ultima Handicap Chase and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle for four-year-olds. These are supporting races and fiendishly tricky to find the winners of.

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