*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
The Cheltenham Festival 2021 will get underway with the traditional curtain-raiser – the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Run on the Old Course at a distance of just over 2m, the field – made up of horses aged four years or older – will have to negotiate eight flights as they vie for a share of the £125,000 prize pot.
There may be no iconic ‘Cheltenham Roar’ to accompany the start of the Grade 1 contest this year due to a lack of fans on site, but the competition remains as fierce as ever. Appreciate It looks the horse to beat according to the betting markets, although there are a number of contenders hoping to challenge the Willie Mullins-trained charger.
A huge number of entries were lodged for the 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, although it will be a select field that eventually lines up at the post. Thanks to Paddy’s non-runner money back offer, there’s no risk of losing out if your pick withdraws.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle antepost tips
Ruby Walsh: “APPRECIATE IT has the pace to win at 2m and we know he stays further as he won a 2m4f bumper. He’s a good jumper and ticks all the right boxes. All you have to worry about really is whether you’ll back him at the price. Maybe he’ll be better value on the day.
“I don’t think Paul Townend will have a difficult decision to make among Willie’s other runners to see who he might ride in the Supreme Novices Hurdle. If I was still riding, that’s who I would be on.”
Frank Hickey: “MY DROGO has impressed me but is unlikely to go to Cheltenham if the ground is soft or worse. He’s a big chasing-type with loads of ability and he might be one for the Marsh Chase next year. If the ground is testing on the opening day and he is running, I wouldn’t put a line through him at all. He’s still very unexposed.
“As all Paddy Power’s Cheltenham Races are ‘Non-Runner, Money Back’ then I would pick My Drogo because if the ground isn’t suitable he won’t run – and you get your stake refunded.”
Matt Chapman: “What I love about the Champion Bumper runner-up Appreciate It is that he will stay much further than two miles but he has the speed to land the Supreme.
“He jumps for fun and is a great big horse who will make a chaser one day.”
FULL PREVIEW: MATT CHAPMAN’S 5 TO KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE
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When is the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle?
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winners at last five festivals
2020 – Shishkin (Horse), Nico de Boinville (Jockey), Nicky Henderson (Trainer)
2019 – Klassical Dream, Ruby Walsh, Willie Mullins
2018 – Summerville Boy, Noel Fehily, Tom George
2017 – Labaik, Jack Kennedy, Gordon Elliott
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL‘S BIG RACES
March 16 – 13.20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 16 – 13.55 – Arkle Chase latest odds and tips
March 16 – 15.05 – Champion Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 17 – 13.20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 17 – 13.55 – Festival Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 17 – 15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase latest odds and tips
March 18 – 13.20 – Marsh Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 18 – 14.30 – Ryanair Chase latest odds and tips
March 18 – 15.05 – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 19 – 13.20 – Triumph Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 19 – 14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 19 – 15.05 – Gold Cup latest odds and tips
March 19 – 16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase latest odds and tips
Cheltenham Festival Day One schedule
13:20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
13.55 – Arkle Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y
14.30 – Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f
15.05 – Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
15.40 – Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y
16.15 – Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y
16.50 – National Hunt Chase (Grade 2) 3m 5f 201y
*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.
Read More on Cheltenham 2021
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- Cheltenham tips: 6 favourites worth following at the 2021 festival
- Cheltenham tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 5 to thrive in 2021