Tips from the trading floor: Our Cheltenham picks for Day One

Our racing boffins have got their huge brains together to give you the benefit of their knowledge ahead of the opening day of Cheltenham 2019…


13:30 – Supreme Novices Hurdle

This is a wide-open contest this year as reflected in the betting. We’re keen on two. Firstly, Angel’s Breath who we reckon will show improvement from his previous outing at Kempton as well as Klassical Dream, who brings Grade 1 winning form into this. We are leaning towards Angel’s Breath though. Elsewhere, Al Dancer will need to improve on his recent win in the Betfair Hurdle as that didn’t look a vintage renewal and it’s hard for four-year-olds in a race of this nature, so that’s a negative strike against Fakir D’Oudairies.

14:10 – Arkle Chase

It doesn’t get any easier after the Supreme as we’re straight into another very open race! We like Kalashnikov as his previous festival form is a big plus and if he can improve his jumping, he should be right there at the finish. Duc Des Genievres will need to step up on what he’s shown so far to challenge here.

14:50 – Festival Handicap Chase

Having been well talked up on the preview circuit, Give Me A Copper doesn’t have much in hand off his current handicap mark. At a big price, Vintage Clouds looks interesting, having ran well here last year. has all your Cheltenham punts

15:30 – Champion Hurdle

Arguably the best race of the week comes up at 15:30. We’re pretty split on Apple’s Jade and Buveur D’Air (although we have a slight preference for Apple’s Jade). Of the rest, it’s hard to make a win case for any, but Sharjah will be ridden patiently and could run into a place.

16:10 – Mares Hurdle

Benie Des Dieux is many people’s banker on Day 1, but we feel she’s not as far clear of some of her rivals as people think. We really like Roksana, she’s very unexposed having only had seven runs in her career and has some good form to her name – most notably when runner-up to Santini at Aintree.

16:50 – Novice’ Handicap Chase

Punters will be well rewarded if they can find the winner of this and the two we’ve sided with are Good Man Pat, who looks on a fair mark with the trip likely to suit as well and A Plus Tard who for a five-year-old is a very neat jumper and has some good form to his name.

17:30 – National Hunt Chase

Hopefully , we’ll all have backed a winner at this stage, but for those who haven’t Ballyward may get you out of trouble. The trip is likely to suit as he looks an out and out stayer. Another one at a slightly bigger price is Jerrysback who may well appreciate the marathon trip.

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