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2018 Cheltenham Festival placepot tips - First-day selections and permutation for the Tote Placepot

Get our first day Cheltenham Festival placepot selections and permutation.

Brian Healy gives his Cheltenham Festival opening day Tote Placepot tips and permutation; we're looking to grab a share of a guaranteed big pot!

The Cheltenham Festival provides plenty opportunities to win big, and the Tote Placepot is always a hugely popular bet amongst punters looking for an interest throughout the day’s racing action.

One of the great beauties of the Tote Placepot bet is that selections do not need to win the race, and the Placepot involves picking one or more horses in each race to finish in the places, with the number of available places determined by the type of race and the number of runners. 

There are six legs to the Placepot - usually the first six races on the card - and winning bets can often receive a bid dividend depending on the amount of the Placepot pool and the number of winning bets, as the collective ‘pool’ is equally shared across all the winning betting slips.

The more selections a punter chooses, the greater their chances of scooping the pot, but also the greater the cost of the bet.However, the potential return could well outstrip the outlay!

In 2017, the Placepot on each day returned to £1 winning stake: 

Tuesday - £3227.20
Wednesday - £36.40
Thursday - £62.50
Friday - £1,680.90

The key to winning big on the Placepot is to oppose the favourites and look instead at bigger priced each-way chances who boast solid claims of making the frame. The more favourites that don’t finish in the places, the bigger the return is likely to be.

We’ve put together a first-day Placepot perm which we hope will get us off to a winning start on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

LEG 1 - SUPREME NOVICES HURDLE (1.30pm) - 2 selections (3 places)

FIRST FLOW (3) has a perfect 3-3 record over hurdles thus far for Kim Bailey, and the Primary gelding can run a big race in pursuit of a fourth success.

Two of those three wins have come in heavy ground, scoring at Newbury in December before handling the step up in class with aplomb when beating Midnight Shadow by ten lengths to take the Rossington Main Hurdle.

That arguably wasn’t a great contest for the grade, but he did the job impressively and may have more to offer. With ideal conditions he ought to give a good account.

SUMMERVILLE BOY (15) finished runner-up to Slate House here in November, and he was a shade disappointing behind Western Ryder back here the following month.

However, Tom George’s charge beat subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Kalashnikov in heavy ground to take the Tolworth Hurdle, and freshened up since he can build on that return to form to post a big effort in this contest.

Proven in the conditions, he should go well.

LEG 2 - ARKLE CHASE (2.10pm) - 1 selection (2 places)

SAINT CALVADOS (5) has shown himself to be a hugely progressive and exciting young chaser, and the Saint Des Saints gelding can post a big effort.

Footpad has looked a natural over fences, and Willie Mullins’ charge will be hard to beat; he saw off the reopposing Petit Mouchoir last time at Leopardstown, and that one may not appreciate this ground.

Harry Whittington’s charge then could prove the biggest threat to the Mullins runner, and he trounced a decent field at Warwick to win the Kingmaker Chase, travelling and jumping well throughout.

All three chase wins have come in testing ground,so conditions will be ideal, and with the promise of more to come he can run a big race.

LEG 3 - ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE (2.50pm) - 2 selections (4 places)

COO STAR SIVOLA (12) has twice finished in the frame over hurdles at past Cheltenham Festivals, and Nick Williams’ charge could repeat the feat now chasing.

The Assessor gelding has looked progressive over fences this term, running well on all starts which include finishing fourth to Frodon here in January and then getting off the mark over fences at Exeter when beating Ice Cool Champs by 14 lengths in soft ground over three miles.

The increased emphasis on stamina seemed to coincide with a jolt of improvement, as he travelled well before taking up the running four out and powering home for a decisive win. The handicapper has reacted with a 7lbs rise, but he could have more to offer as a chaser and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him post another big Festival run.

VINTAGE CLOUDS (13) was beaten when falling in this race twelve months ago, but Sue Smith’s charge has improved since that mishap, and the Cloudings gelding could go well.

A winner at Aintree in October, he was beaten over a shorter trip at Haydock in November prior to an excellent fourth in the Welsh National behind Raz De Maree. Subsequently runner-up to Ballyoptic in the Towton Chase at Wetherby, the handicapper has raised him just 1lb in the weights, and he can go well of this mark with ideal underfoot conditions.

Sue Smith’s charge is well-suited to a thorough test in the mud, and he should remain competitive.

LEG 4 - CHAMPION HURDLE (3.30pm) - 2 selections (3 places)

FAUGHEEN (5) took this race in 2015,but injury denied Willie Mullins’ star of a title defence, and the Germany gelding wasn’t seen out for more than 660 days after beating Arctic Fire in the 2016 Irish Champion Hurdle.

The Mullins runner made a pleasing comeback, beating Jezki by a wide margin at Punchestown to claim the Morgiana Hurdle; but he ran a shocker behind Mick Jazz in the Ryanair Hurdle over Christmas, pulled up having never travelled.

However, his subsequent run behind Supasundae in the Irish Champion Hurdle was a much better showing, although it seemed to confirm that his prior injury had perhaps robbed him of some of his prodigious talent.

Cheekpieces are now applied, and while it would be folly to write off ‘the machine’ from winning this race, an on-song Buveur D’air would likely consign Faugheen to the places at best. 

The veteran MY TENT OR YOURS (10) has finished runner-up in this race three times, and the Desert Price gelding finally shed his Cheltenham monkey when taking the International Hurdle back in January to register a first win at the Cotswolds track.

Nicky Henderson’s charge hasn’t run since, and he is clearly at his best when fresh nowadays; all ground comes alike to him now as he has got older, and his recent defeat of The New One saw him also beat the likes of Melon, Ch’tibello and John Constable who are all likely to reoppose.

While stablemate Buveur D’air very much is the one to beat, the veteran can post another solid Festival performance where he can make the frame again.

LEG 5 - MARES’ HURDLE (4.10pm) - 1 selection (3 places)

JER’S GIRL (4) was just creeping into contention in this race twelve months ago when falling, but Gavin Cromwell’s charge could make the frame this time around.

The dual-Grade One winning mare has returned from that spill in decent heart, possibly finding two miles too sharp behind Jezki at Tipperary, and then finishing runner-up to Apple’s Jade - who reopposes - in the Lismullen Hurdle.

Runner-up again on her last outing behind La Bague Au Roi at Kempton, she ought to be suited by the return to this lesser trip more than that rival who has improved for the stiffer test. 

She can give a good account, and with a clear round of jumping it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her filling the frame.

LEG 6 - NATIONAL HUNT CHASE (4.50pm) - 3 selections (3 places)

MOSSBANK (8) could give connections another big chance of success in this race, having won it twelve months ago with Tiger Roll.

Gordon Elliott’s charge has taken well to the larger obstacles, winning on his chase debut at Naas in November. Although disappointing next time at Punchestown and falling back here in subsequent outings, the Yeats gelding went with plenty of purpose at Navan last month, finding only Monbeg Notorious too strong in the Ten Up Chase.

This marathon trip could unlock further improvement, and he ought to give a good account.

RATHVINDEN (11) boasts some of the best form on offer in this race, and the vastly-experienced Heron Island gelding won four times over fences in 2017, including a Galway Grade Three where he beat Potters Point.

Willie Mullins’ charge returned from a break following a success at Tipperary to chase home Death Duty in the Drinmore Novices’ Chase at Fairyhouse, and he was unlucky to be brought down next time at Leopardstown behind Shattered Love in the Neville Hotels Chase.

Jumping let him down in the Flogas Chase last time, but he was still holding a chance when unseating two from home in that race. He will need to brush up in that area around here, but he very much looks a stayer, and if his jumping can hold up then looks one of the more likelier types to go close.

SIZING TENNESSEE (15) has plenty of chasing experience to call upon, and Colin Tizzard’s charge boasts some useful form.

He looked likely to beat RSA Chase-bound Black Corton here in October, travelling best before falling; and he was an early faller next time at Ascot. 

However he won here in December, beating Duel At Dawn, and subsequent runs behind Yanworth in the Dipper Chase and Mister Whitaker were both over trips arguably shorter than ideal.

With proven course and soft ground form to his name, he could thrive for this marathon test and it would come as no surprise to see him post a big effort.








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2018 Cheltenham Festival placepot tips - First-day selections and permutation for the Tote Placepot

Brian Healy gives his Cheltenham Festival opening day Tote Placepot tips and permutation; we're looking to grab a share of a guaranteed big pot!

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