The Cheltenham Festival is finally here and if you haven’t picked your winners for the first day’s racing then let Red Army Bet take you through the card…
Surely one of the most wide open races of the entire week it’s going to be pretty tricky trying to pick a winner from this one with Al Dancer likely to go off favourite after his win in the Betfair Hurdle. Fakir D’Oudairiesand Angels Breath are also bound tofeature heavily in the betting for the festival opener, though if it’s a bit of value you are looking for then Elixir De Nutzmight be worth considering or possibly Thomas Darbyat a very tempting price.
The first chase of the meeting this looks like being another wide-open affair due to a number of high profile absentees. Mick Channon’s Glen Forsa has been hugely impressive this campaign and will be looking to step up to Grade 1 company, while Duc Des Genievresand and Kalashnikov are two exciting novices also looking to land the big prize. In terms of the each way market Knocknanusslooks like being a decent price and is in decent form despite falling last time out.
A race which has thrown up a number of close finishes down the years looks like it might just deliver once more with a bumper top-prize ensuring some of the biggest names will be involved. Give Me A Copper looks likely to go off favourite here and is a promising hurdler with plenty of potential over this distance while Mister Whitaker won here in 2018 at a slightly shorter distance. One which may be worth considering is Vintage Clouds, which has enjoyed two good runs in this race, including 2017 before falling late, and should be involved again
Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air has won the last two Champion Hurdles and the 8-year old trained by Nicky Henderson will be well fancied to take the spoils for a third time, though a strong Irish challenge can be expected with Gordon Elliott’s Apple’s Jade and the Willie Mullins-trained Laurinaout to bag more Cheltenham Festival success. Verdana Bluehas beaten Buveur D’Air already this season at Kempton but will find this test much tougher and might be a better each way chance.
The Mares’ Hurdle has been dominated by the Irish and since its inception in 2008 all but one of the races have been won by an Irish-trained contender. Talking of Irish trainers, Willie Mullins has been successful in this race no fewer than nine times and brings five runners here with Benie Des Dieux well fancied to retain the crown she won here 12 months ago. Another Mullins trained horse, Stormy Ireland, is in useful form and could be in contention for a place while Lady Buttons has an excellent strike rate and may well find more at this trip.
Another tricky one to call this race has only seen two winning favourites since 2005 and with A Plus Tard prominent in the betting that run might just end here with the 5-year old looking open to plenty more improvement. Riders Onthe Storm has also improved with each start over fences and can’t be ignored while Cubomania and Good Man Pat could both go well at appealing prices in the each way market.
Tuesday’s action concludes with the longest race of the entire festival, and gives amateur riders the opportunity to claim the biggest win of their career. OK Corral and Ballyward are the two novice chasers that could be destined for bigger things and according to the betting should be involved to the last as they head the betting. If these don’t appeal then Chef Des Obeaux oozes stamina stamina Atlanta Blazefavours soft ground as well as being bang in form.
*all odds are subject to change