TimeRaceOur TipPlace Bet
1.20Supreme Novices'Hurdle Bet now
1.55Arkle Chase Bet now
2.30Ultima Handicap Chase Bet now
3.05Champion Hurdle Bet now
3.40Mares Hurdle Bet now
4.15Boodles Juvenile Hurdle Bet now
4.50National 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.

TimeRaceOur TipPlace Bet
13:20Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ HurdleAppreciate ItPlace Bet
13:55Sporting Life Arkle  ChaseShishkinPlace Bet
14:30Ultima Handicap ChaseCepagePlace Bet
15:05Unibet Champion HurdleGoshenPlace Bet
15:40Close Brothers Mares’ HurdleConcertistaPlace Bet
16:15Boodles Juvenile Handicap HurdleHoux GrisPlace Bet
16:50National Hunt ChaseEscaria TenPlace 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

1:20Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Tips2m 1/2fHurdle
1:55Arkle Chase Tips2mChase
2:30Ultima Handicap Chase Tips3m 1/2fChase
3:05Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Tips2m 1/2fHurdle
3:40Mares’ Hurdle Tips2m 4fHurdle
4:15Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase Tips4mChase
4:50 National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase Tips2m 4 1/2fChase

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.

Silver Streak

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

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.

Aspire Tower

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. 


Tuesday’s Results

13:20Supreme NovicesSee Result
13:55The ArkleSee Result
14:30Ultima Handicap ChaseSee Result
15:05Champion HurdleSee Result
15:40Mares’ HurdleSee Result
16:15Boodles Juvenile Handicap HurdleSee Result
16:50National Hunt ChaseSee Result


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