CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY 1 TIPS AND RACE SCHEDULES
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY 1 TIPS AND RACE SCHEDULES
|Time||Race||Our Tip||Place Bet|
|1.55||Arkle Chase||Bet now|
|2.30||Ultima Handicap Chase||Bet now|
|3.05||Champion Hurdle||Bet now|
|3.40||Mares Hurdle||Bet now|
|4.15||Boodles Juvenile Hurdle||Bet now|
|4.50||National Hunt Chase||Bet now|
Welcome to our Cheltenham Day 1 Tips page, providing you with everything you need for the opening day of the meeting.
|Time||Race||Our Tip||Place Bet|
|13:20||Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle||Appreciate It||Place Bet|
|13:55||Sporting Life Arkle Chase||Shishkin||Place Bet|
|14:30||Ultima Handicap Chase||Cepage||Place Bet|
|15:05||Unibet Champion Hurdle||Goshen||Place Bet|
|15:40||Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle||Concertista||Place Bet|
|16:15||Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle||Houx Gris||Place Bet|
|16:50||National Hunt Chase||Escaria Ten||Place Bet|
We profile the leading contenders in the featured Champion Hurdle and highlight the day’s best bets. Will Appreciate It land the first blow for Ireland in the Supreme? Is Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin the banker bet of the day in the Arkle? We assess their chances and point you in the direction of the best Cheltenham betting offers and free bets.
Cheltenham Day 1 Races Schedule
|1:20||Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Tips||2m 1/2f||Hurdle|
|1:55||Arkle Chase Tips||2m||Chase|
|2:30||Ultima Handicap Chase Tips||3m 1/2f||Chase|
|3:05||Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Tips||2m 1/2f||Hurdle|
|3:40||Mares’ Hurdle Tips||2m 4f||Hurdle|
|4:15||Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase Tips||4m||Chase|
|4:50||National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase Tips||2m 4 1/2f||Chase|
Cheltenham Festival Tuesday Feature Race
The highlight of the opening day of the festival is the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle at 3.30. Can Epatante retain her crown and provide owner JP McManus with a remarkable fifth consecutive victory? She will need to be at her best to repel a strong Irish raiding party including last year’s runner-up Sharjah. Here is our guide to the big race plus free Cheltenham tips for the opening day of Cheltenham 2021.
3:30 Champion Hurdle
The pick of the Cheltenham day 1 races is the Champion Hurdle, a race dominated by owner JP McManus in recent years. He has won the last four renewals and claimed the prize a record nine times in total. Trainer Nicky Henderson also has a formidable Champion Hurdle record with eight victories. His Epatante carried the famous green and gold colours of McManus to victory in 2020.
The Champion Hurdle is for four-year-olds and upwards over two miles. Many of the greatest names in National Hunt racing have won this race including five three-time winners; Hatton’s Grace (1949, 1950, 1951), Sir Ken (1952, 1953, 1954), Persian War (1968, 1969, 1970), See You Then (1985, 1986, 1987) and Istabraq (1998, 1999, 2000). Other notable winners include Sea Pigeon (1980, 1981), Dawn Run (1984) and Hurricane Fly (2011, 2013).
Epatante was a brilliant winner last year when sprinting three lengths clear of Sharjah. The mare was as short as 6-4 favourite in the Champion Hurdle ante-post betting after winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November. All did not go to plan in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton where she failed to land a blow at the consistent Silver Streak.
Sharjah was beaten favourite under a big weight at the Galway Festival in July but bounced back to win the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown. That was his third consecutive victory in the race and he will be having his third run in the Champion Hurdle. He was brought down in 2019 before last year’s excellent run behind Epatane making him a decent pick in the Cheltenham day 1 tips.
Evan Williams trained Silver Streak to finish a remote third in the 2019 Champion Hurdle and sixth last year. He backed up a narrow defeat in the International Hurdle by making all the running to land the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. Having lowered the colours of Epatante, the grey will be looking to improve on his previous efforts in this race.
Saint Roi was a heavily-backed winner of the County Hurdle last season for Willie Mullins when rated 137. He has since won a Grade 3 and was beaten a neck by Abacadabras in the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown. Now officially rated 157, he needs to find improvement on his fourth to Sharjah in the Matheson Hurdle.
Henry De Bromhead has an interesting contender in Aspire Tower, a five-year-old son of Born To Sea. He was second in a dramatic Triumph Hurdle last season, a race which has a poor record of producing Champion Hurdle winners. His supporters will have been encouraged by a fine run behind Sharjah at Leopardstown in December, putting him among the top Cheltenham free bets.
Song For Someone
Song For Someone has been a model of consistency for Tom Symonds. He has progressed from handicaps to win Grade 2 races at Kempton, Ascot and Cheltenham. His latest success was a hard-fought win over Silver Streak who has subsequently franked the form. Connections are considering keeping him for Aintree but he has obvious each-way claims if allowed to take his chance.
Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Betting Tips
Appreciate It has emerged as the clear favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the traditional curtain-raiser to the Cheltenham festival meeting. He was runner-up in the Champion Bumper last year and has made giant strides over hurdles, slamming a strong field by 9 lengths at Leopardstown in December. Harry Fry’s Metier looks the pick of the home team, judged on a smooth 12 lengths win in the Grade 1 Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown.
Nicky Henderson landed plenty of Cheltenham day 1 tips last year with a sparkling double through Shishkin (Supreme) and Epatante (Champion Hurdle). He will be hoping for a repeat this season as Shishkin goes for the Arkle Trophy and Epatante defends her Champion crown. Shishkin overcame traffic problems to win the Supreme and has looked an exciting recruit over fences with two comfortable victories at Kempton. He is already odds-on favourite but Epatante will need to put a shock defeat in the Christmas Hurdle behind her if she is to land a second Champion Hurdle.
Another horse in line for a repeat win amongst the Cheltenham tips is the brilliant Irish mare Honeysuckle. She got the better of Benie Des Dieux last year in the Mares’ Hurdle and extended her unbeaten run to nine when winning the 2020 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle. Her owners may be tempted to tackle Epatante in the Champion this year. Concertista looks likely to fly the flag for Willie Mullins in the Mares’ Hurdle, a race he has dominated with nine wins including six by the remarkable Quevega (2009 to 2014).
Cheltenham Free Bets For Tuesday
The Cheltenham Festival always opens with some fantastic special offers and free bets. Some leading bookmakers provide Cheltenham free bets to existing customers as well as some enticing offers for new customers. There could also be some enhanced odds on the first race, the Supreme Novices Hurdle and even money back as free bets for placed horses. Check with your bookmaker when placing your bets across the day 1-4 schedule.
Cheltenham Day 1 Odds
Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred are already going “non-runner – no bet” on selected Cheltenham Festival races including the Champion Hurdle. Epatante was as short as 6-4 favourite after winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle but can now be backed at 2-1 (with a run) following her surprise defeat at Kempton. Impressive trial winners Sharjah and Silver Streak are priced at 7-1 and 9-1 respectively.
Cheltenham race tips for Tuesday are likely to feature Shishkin as the banker bet in the Arkle Challenge Trophy. Bookmakers are taking no chances with Nicky Henderson’s rising star who is already odds-on at 4-5. Appreciate It is also a strong favourite at 11-4 for the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle where Metier makes plenty of each-way appeal at 7-1.
Honeysuckle and Concertista are inseparable at 3-1 for the Mares Hurdle. Galvin is already popular in Cheltenham day 1 tips for the finale. Gordon Elliott’s gelding completed a four-timer at Cheltenham in October to qualify for the National Hunt Chase.
|13:20||Supreme Novices||See Result|
|13:55||The Arkle||See Result|
|14:30||Ultima Handicap Chase||See Result|
|15:05||Champion Hurdle||See Result|
|15:40||Mares’ Hurdle||See Result|
|16:15||Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle||See Result|
|16:50||National Hunt Chase||See Result|