Cheltenham Day 1: Here’s what went down on Tuesday at the Festival

It;s here at last

Cheltenham day one has been and gone. If you missed it, or just want to relive some of the magic moments as they happened, you are in the right place.

We started out with watchalong, powered by Thommo, Champagne Charlie and Le Tiss…

And it only got better from there for our punters who saw quite a few favourites romp home early on to have the bookies sweating.

A couple of late upsets – including a monumental stunner in the Boodle at 80/1 – took a bit of the sting out of the day for the traders, while Irish trainers built an early lead in the friendly rivalry with UK counterparts, taking five of the day’s seven contests.

And don’t worry if you feel like you’ve missed out because there are three more days to go, and we’ve got all the previews and tips you need:


You could choke a rhino on all those tips!

And just in case you feel like you need to know absolutely everything that happened, here’s how day one unfolded – live-blog style!

Oh yeah!

Tuesday 4:56pm | Galvin takes it at the last

Next Destination comes in second, with Escaria Ten and Snow Leopardess taking up the four paying places in last race of day one.


Tuesday 4:56pm | Chugging along

Remastered leading the way so far with other challengers well-placed, and we’re about halfway through…

Going anywhere nice on your holidays this y… oh, yeah. Nevermind.

Tuesday 4:49pm | Last call

Ladies and gents, please…. And they’re off in the epic 3m6f closer.

Tuesday 4:36pm | And if you’re looking for a steer for it…

Matt’s here with his preference:

“Finally a Grade 2 in the National Hunt Chase for novices over 3m6f. NEXT DESTINATION was a decent hurdler who promises to stay this track over fences. The Paul Nicholls challenge did well to defeat Fiddlerontheroof at Warwick last time and his jumping should stand this test. With a rating of 153 he should have every chance. I’ll have a few quid on eachway.”

Get the latest odds on


Tuesday 4:33pm | Final race of the day…

The National Hunt Chase is the final race of the day and will be off at 4:50. don’t be too upset though, because we’re paying 4 places – and there’s still three more days of glorious Cheltenham to come!


Tuesday 4:27pm | You’ve got to be kidding? 80/1?!

Noel Meade’s win in the Boodles makes it 4-2 to Ireland on day one with the final race still to come.

Just sayin’, like.

Tuesday 4:21pm | Cabot Cliffs leads halfway around…

But falls away as 80/1 Jeff Kidder overcomes an early mistakes to slice through the field in the final straight and beat several more fancied runners.


Tuesday 4:16pm | Or not

Burgundy Man living up to his name, unseats his rider having delayed the start… but they’re finally off.

Tuesday 4:13pm | They’re lining up now

Like herding cats, but it looks like they’re ready….

Tuesday 4:00pm | Frank Hickey assesses the oodles of Boodles…

There are 22 runners in this so you might feel spoilt for choice.

Would be nice to have a trading insight into the race, wouldn’t it? Here’s Frank:

“Paul Nicholls certainly knows how to lay one out for this race, saddling the 1-2 in 2016, as well as winners in 2010 and 2015 and it looks like he may have laid HOUX GRIS out for this year’s renewal. A winner of a bumper and a hurdle in France, he was pitched straight into Grade 1 company for his stable debut at Chepstow at Christmas.

He travelled really well that day, looking a big player jumping three out, but a mistake two out seemed to knock the wind out of his sails and it is likely the run was needed a fraction. He got a rating of 128 after that run and Nicholls has put him away since thinking that his mark might be enough to get a run.

He gets in here off a lovely weight and he caught the eye at Wincanton where Nicholls worked his Cheltenham Festival string a couple of weeks ago. He is way ahead of the handicapper and I would rate him as my most confident selection on day one.”

Check out the latest from our top trader here

Tuesday 3:54pm | I don’t want to upset you, but…

There are just two races left today – it all goes by so fast…

First, it’s the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at 4:15.


Get the latest odds right here


Tuesday 3:52pm | Mares’ hurdle result confirmed after squeaky-bum finish


Tuesday 3:46pm | Oooooohhhh, that’s a tight finish!

Black Tears battles up the hill to edge out the favourite Concertista and save the bookies’ shirts…

Tuesday 3:35pm | Mick Fitz says Roksana can upset the odds-on Concertista

“ROKSANA won this two years ago when she was lucky as leader Benie Des Dieux falling at the last. She is a much better horse now and sets a good standard. Concertista won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle here last year over 2m 1f but this is a different test over a 2m 4f trip. Roksana is the one for me.

Dame De Compagnie could be the surprise package as she was a very easy winner of the Coral Cup last season and seems to save her best for this track.”

Read more from Mick here, including his tips for day 2,

Tuesday 3:30pm | Phil Thompson’s a beast on the baize…


Tuesday 3:24pm | It’s the Mares’ Hurdle next

Concertista and Roksana the clear front-runners in the betting….


Tuesday 3:12pm | Honeysuckle pulls away for another favourite victory

Rachael Blackmore makes history on the 11/10 fav to become the first woman to win the Champion Hurdle

More admirable still, she puts up with Matt’s questions right after. Fair play.

Tuesday 3:06pm | Golly Goshen

Jamie Moore battling with Goshen to keep him on track as they come around toward the closing fences…

Tuesday 3:04pm | They’re lining up now…

And will be off in moments….

Tuesday 2:54pm | Gina Bryce on the Champion Hurdle

Gina Bryce gives us her take on the big race of the day, where she’s opposing the favourite: “GOSHEN was running away with the Triumph Hurdle last season before falling at the last. If he repeats that he could do something extraordinary.”

Read more from Gina for today in our Cheat Sheet.

Tuesday 2:38pm | All eyes turn to the Champion Hurdle

A bit of relief for the traders with a 28/1 winner, but next up is Honeysuckle  – can anyone stop a third fav from four in the day’s feature race?


Champion Hurdle latest odds

And if you’re ahving any trouble making your mind up, why not answer a few questions on footballand we’ll tell you who you should be backing?


Tuesday 2:38pm | Vintage Clouds breaks away to win by four lengths

In his fifth effort at the Ultima Handicap, Vintage Clouds pulls away to take it and join the ranks of the Great Greys Hall of Fame.


We’re paying out on the top five there. Woof.

Jockey Ryan Mania letting down Team Nominative Determinism by remaining very calm and collected in his post-race interview.

Tuesday 2:35pm | Alnadam at the front with four to go…

Vintage Clouds challenging as a group of four breaks away

Tuesday 2:31pm | They’re off in the first handicap of the week

Movement today for Alnadam from 12/1 to 11/2 as Happygolucky starts favourite…

Tuesday 2:20pm | Ruby Walsh’s pick for the next race

“HAPPYGOLUCKY looks the one now that a lot of the leading Irish challengers have opted for other races.”

Read Ruby’s picks for the rest of the day in his Cheat Sheet.

Tuesday 2:10pm| Ultima Handicap latest betting

And we are paying FIVE PLACES in this bad boy


Check the very latest odds – have a punt if you like – right here.

Tuesday 2:01pm | Shishkin shreds them in final straight

Nico de Boinville leads him home for a win at 4/9, another big result for bettors. Matt tries to get the jockey to say he’d have handled Energumene as easily.

The best thing? I’ve managed to avoid any shish kebab puns. Everyone wins!

Tuesday 1:58pm | Three at the front

Shishkin, Captain Guinness and Allmankind grouped together with 3 to go….

Tuesday 1:54pm | Nearly all set in the second

A small field but could be a cracker…

Tuesday 1:47pm | Matt Chapman’s take on the Arkle

Now it’s the Grade 1 Arkle Challenge Trophy over 2m. SHISHKIN was my banker for Cheltenham 2021 long before Energumene was ruled out through injury and I expect the hot favourite to hack up here for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville. The Supreme victor has looked a natural over fences in three spins so far over the larger obstacles and he’s super classy.”

Read the rest of Matt’s picks for today here.

Tuesday 1:40pm | Piers Morgan sighting

Anyone know if he’s been up to much recently? Haven’t heard from him in at least 12 hours…

Just in case you forgot there’s a pandemic on, nice little reminder.

Tuesday 1:29pm | Arkle Chase up next at 1:55pm

With Numitor declared out, there’s just five in the next race, where there’s another heavily-fancied favourite in the undefeated Shishkin…

Tuesday 1:24pm | Appreciate It romps home in the first

The favourite leaves the rest in his wake for Willie Mullins under Paul Townend. A great start for Ireland… and punters.

Tuesday 1:22pm | For Pleasure makes the running

Followed by Appreciate It two lengths back. Ballyadam in a bit of trouble…

Tuesday 1:21pm | And they’re off!

Shout out to the virtual crowd cheer as they get under way.

Tuesday 1:17pm | Any minute now…

Appreciate it remains odds on at 5/6 as the masked jockeys move down to towards the start line…

Tuesday 12:44pm | Frank Hickey previews the first race of the day

Not long to go now and first up it’s the Supreme Novices Chase at 1:20, which features one of Frank Hickey’s top tips of the festival…

“I believe this is the smallest field ever to line up for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and surprisingly the key to the race could be how the outsider For Pleasure goes. He looks likely to set the pace to the race and in such a small field, it might be dangerous for the rest to let him loose on the front – like he was in the trial here back in November where he never saw another rival.

If he goes too hard and turns this into a proper test of stamina, it is very likely to play to the strengths of Appreciate It. He has been impressive this season, but I’m just not certain about him here on good ground. The one the race will suit is SOARING GLORY for Jonjo O’Neill.

He was very useful in bumpers last season winning two of his three starts, with his only defeat coming in a Listed Ascot bumper. He has plenty of experience and he is really suited by good ground. He beat Bravemansgame back on his hurdles debut at Chepstow and it looks like his season was all geared around getting well handicapped for the Betfair Hurdle. A mark of 133 really did underestimate him and he was value for winning by further, as he travelled much the best and was still a little green on the run in.

O’Neill won the Betfair Hurdle with Get Me Out Of Here off a mark of 135 back in 2010 and he only failed by a neck to follow up here, so he knows what improvement is required for Soaring Glory. He will wear cheekpieces here and that could be significant, considering how he was green in the closing stages at Newbury.

I always pay attention when Jonjo applies first time headgear at the Festival, as Holywell and Alfie Sherrin are two horses that won at the Cheltenham in first time headgear in recent years. The race should set up for Soaring Glory and he looks to have solid each-way claims, so he may be the one to take advantage if Appreciate It finds the test a little too sharp.”

Tuesday 12:06pm | Specials! Specials everywhere!

Our traders have tonnes of specials set up for Day 1 if you fancy something a bit different:

And one for the all the happy shamrock wavers out there…

It’ll be Ole, Ole, Ole and fuzzy green wigs in the living room this evening if that comes in…

Tuesday 11:37am | Counting down the seconds…

The Cheltenham festival 2021 is finally here! Almost.

For the next four days we are going to feast on the finest national hunt racing in the world – I hope you are ready to metaphorically gorge yourself 28 races worth of top-class sporting competition – with a side order of craic and just a shake of good-humoured mirth.

We’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest news and results from the track as they happen on day one right here.

Now, for reasons which everyone is frankly fed up of hearing about, there’ll be no wild scenes of joyous crowds and celebrating connections at Prestbury Park this year, but Paddy’s not going to let that minor inconvenience get in the way of a good time.

We’ll have watchalongs each day with some very special guests

And if you’re still undecided on who to back, there’s our range of pundits to guide you…

And you can listen to our latest Cheltenham podcast to get the lowdown on what to expect as well…

Or if you’d rather use your football knowledge to select your bet of the day, there’s our rather fantastic quiz that’ll convert what you know about the beautiful game into wisdom about the sport of kings.

Know Nothing About Racing? Use Our Football Quiz to Pick Your Horse Today

Here are some of the headline stories as we look forward to the first race of the day

 We’ll be updating throughout the day and you can get the latest results as they come in:


So, feet up, telly on – tell the boss to do one if you like, maybe he’ll think it’s a joke?- and settle in on the sofa for cracking days racing with Paddy…



The latest racing odds are on now