Can you believe it’s been a year since the 2020 Cheltenham Festival? All the uproar about spectators being allowed in during COVID. In fact, it was the last time that spectators were at a racecourse in Britain.
However here we are. One of my favourite weeks of the year!
Cheltenham is always a week I take off work and really focus on having a good old bet. I get asked most years for tips and suggestions so why not share it to the world!
Please note that I’m not a professional tipster, and horse racing is hard enough at the best of times, let alone during the craziness of Cheltenham!
Always gamble responsibly, and when the fun stops, STOP!
1.20 – Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle
As per most years, Sky Bet are doing money back if your horse loses! This is pretty much a free shot at the race, up to £10.
The Supreme Novices Hurdle is always a cracking way to start off the week. Appreciate It is the red hot favourite for the magician Willie Mullins, and it’s hard to put anyone off with the gelding winning numerous grade 1’s relatively easily, however with a risk free £10, near evens isn’t my cup of tea.
Metier is next in the betting, winning the Tolworth impressively at Sandown. This 5YO is still improving and I think he will run a massive race.
You can make a claim for most horses at Cheltenham, so I’m not going to go into too much detail,
Irascible is the outsider I would fancy the most. He was behind a few of these in the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma, and not beaten far at all. He’s currently 33/1 in some places, and for a risk free tenner, I’d take a gamble on him.
WIN ACCA – APPRECIATE IT – 11/8 – WON
EW – IRASCIBLE – 22/1 – SKY BET £10 MONEY BACK – 5TH
1.55 – Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices Chase
Another race for novices, however over the larger obstacles this time!
Shishkin is currently the red hot favourite, and it’s well earned. Since arriving at Nicky Henderson’s yard, he has won every single race put infront of him, bar one fall at Newbury early on in his career.
A year ago, he won the Supreme Novices’ on the exact same day, just a few minutes before this race, and I expect him to do it again.
Nothing has gone near to him this season, but at 1/2, he can only find himself in our favourites acca.
For value, I’d be going for Allmankind. The Skelton brothers always turn up in red hot form for Cheltenham, and I don’t see why they won’t continue the trend this year.
A horse who is going from strength to strength, I believe he has a fantastic chance of winning, and if Shishkin does beat him, he will surely get a place.
WIN ACCA – SHISHKIN – 1/2 – WON
EW – ALLMANKIND – 4/1 – 4TH
2.30 – Ultima Handicap Chase
The first handicap of the week, and anti-post favourite Lieutenant Rocco has since pulled out of the race, leaving it even more wide open.
A case can be made for most of these, however I like a couple in particular.
Pym has always been on my radar for the same connections as superstar Altior. He’s always had a hot and cold career, and you never know what Pym will turn up, however at the back end of last year, he looked as good as ever.
The lack of a run worries me slightly, however the other couple I fancied are aiming at different races this week, and have since pulled out.
EW – PYM – 14/1 – 11TH
3.05 – Unibet Champion Hurdle
In my opinion, the best race of day 1 at the festival.
Quite a tough one to call, however Goshen’s latest run can’t be ignored.
I’ve not seen a horse hit the line with so much left in the tank for a long long while, and he managed to destroy the field by no little than 22 lengths.
He looks better than ever, and I think he’ll win this quite comfortably.
In the battle for the places, I quite like Silver Streak. He’s been an excellent servant for both trainer Evan Williams, and jockey Adam Wedge. Unfortunately the latter has to miss Cheltenham due to injury, but this would still be some story for the team if he was to run a massive race.
WIN – GOSHEN – 100/30 – 8TH
EW – SILVER STREAK – 16/1 – 6TH
3.40 – Close Brothers Mares Hurdle
Going into this race, Concertista is a very warm favourite at just shorter than evens, and it’s easy to see why.
However she has beaten Minella Melody under 8 lengths combined in the past two races. For value, I’d have to go with Minella Melody. Currently at around 25/1, I can’t ignore the each way value.
If the Irish form doesn’t work out, it may be worth taking a small risk on Floressa, out of Nicky Henderson’s yard.
She’s been very disappointing to say the least, but I know the yard thought very highly of the mare, and she’s still only 6. At the prices, I think she could run a massive race, and snatch a place if all goes to plan.
EW – MINELLA MELODY – 25/1 – 7TH
EW – FLORESSA – 33/1 – 6TH
4.15 – Boodles Juvenile Hurdle
A massive field lies ahead, but hopefully we can get a few places on the race.
Like pretty much all races at Cheltenham, a case could be made for most horses.
My second choice would be Saint Sam. A solid selection and I expect him to be bang there, however at 5/1 currently in a race like this, I’d find it hard to have a good bet.
Her Indoors won a listed race very easily last time out, and I can’t believe the price when writing this. I think she’ll run a massive race here, and again, if we can find a few places, is excellent value.
EW – HER INDOORS – 33/1
4.50 – National Hunt Challenge Cup
One of my favourite races of the week. I love the National Hunt track at Cheltenham.
This race is always tricky, and the final chance to have a bet on the first day at Cheltenham.
Galvin has done everything very easily so far this season, but again the price just doesn’t appeal to me.
Remastered has had an excellent season, and is going from strength to strength lately. This is the longest trip he’s ever faced, which is the only worry for me, but I think he should manage it.
Snow Leopardess is the one I like at the current prices. I think 14/1 is an excellent price for 4/5 places. This horse is carrying the lowest weight, which is undoubtably a huge plus with this trip.
EW – SNOW LEOPARDESS – 14/1
Hopefully we can start the week strong! I aim to write these for all 4 days, unless I lose all my money and then it’ll be cut short!😂
Let’s start the week with some winners!