This is going to be the Cheltenham Festival to remember.
Day One of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival is finally here so we’ve taken a look at all seven races on the card and given you our best bet in each.
As always, please remember to gamble responsibly.
We've been here before – Willie Mullins strikes in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper!
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 11, 2020
1.20 Supreme Novices Hurdle.
While we won’t have a Cheltenham Roar this year, we will have another Willie Mullins favourite in the Supreme as Appreciate It aims to go one better than he did in the Champion Bumper last year.
He will face a small field here with Ballyadam – who finished second to him at the Dublin Racing Festival – as his main danger. English hopes are led by Metier and Soaring Glory.
However, Appreciate It has the best form in the race and should get favourite backers off to a winning start here.
Selection: Appreciate It 6/5.
1.55 Arkle Chase.
This was set up to be the race of the Cheltenham Festival until Energumene had to be withdrawn due to injury. With his absence, expect Nicky Henderson’s horse Shiskin to make it back-to-back Cheltenham Festival wins.
At the current prices though, Franco Du Port is the value in the ‘without Shiskin’ market at 10/3. He won very impressively at Christmas in what was a very strongly-run race on yielding ground.
In similar conditions here, he could pick up the pieces if Allmankind goes off too quick in front.
Selection: Franco Du Port 10/3 w/o fav.
📆 March 15, 2016
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) May 2, 2019
2.30 Ultima Handicap Chase.
Milan Native was a very impressive winner of the Kim Muir at last year’s Cheltenham Festival but has disappointed this season.
Nevertheless, he has had a wind operation since his last run at Christmas. And, with course form such an important factor around Cheltenham, expect him to be there or thereabouts if the wind op has had the desired effect.
Shop around each-way as some betting firms are paying seven places in this race, with the majority doing five.
Selection: Milan Native 15/2 ew.
3.05 Champion Hurdle.
We are set for one of the best Champion Hurdles in years as defending champion Epatante goes up against another mare Honeysuckle – who won the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham 12 months ago.
While Goshen can’t be ruled out, Honeysuckle’s run at the Dublin Racing Festival, where she beat Abacadabras and Sharjah, is the best piece of form here so expect her to run a big race.
Selection: Honeysuckle 2/1. (NB)
7️⃣ days ago
🏇 Nine runs
🥇 Seven wins
🏆 Champion Hurdle heroine
✅ Dual Grade One scorer
💷 £407,557 in prize money pic.twitter.com/RTMMoNX7d0
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 17, 2020
3.40 Mares Hurdle.
Last year’s Mares Novices’ Hurdle winner is the favourite going into this year’s Mares Hurdle. With her main opposition being Roskana, who is better over the three-mile trip, expect Concertista to take all the beating here.
She has won both her starts this term – including a win at the Christmas Festival in Leopardstown over 2m4f – and should take all the beating here.
Selection: Concertista 5/4. (NAP)
4.15 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
The Boodles is for four-year-old horses not good enough for Friday’s Triumph Hurdle. It doesn’t seem to be as strong a renewal as in previous years but Willie Mullins’ Saint Sam is the one who looks very interesting here.
He ran a very fast time behind Quilixios at Leopardstown in February and should go well here off a high weight. If he does, expect Quillixios to go off a lot shorter than his current price for Friday’s Triumph Hurdle.
Selection: Saint Sam 5/1.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 13, 2019
4.50 National Hunt Chase.
The final race on Day One is the National Hunt Chase that is normally reserved for amateur jockeys. However, they won’t be allowed at this year’s Cheltenham Festival due to travel restrictions so professionals will be taking over.
Favourite Galvin has been laid out for this race and he is hard to oppose but at the prices, the one we like is Remastered. He was very impressive when winning the Reynoldstown at Ascot last month and should be suited to conditions here.
Selection: Remastered 8/1 ew.
1.20 Appreciate It 6/5.
1.55 Franco Du Port w/o Shiskin 10/3.
2.30 Milan Native 15/2 ew.
3.05 Honeysuckle 2/1. (NB)
3.40 Concertista 5/4. (NAP)
4.15 Saint Sam 5/1.
4.50 Remastered 8/1 ew.
Treble: Appreciate It, Honeysuckle & Concertista.
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