Cheltenham Tips: Paddy Power’s Tuesday Cheat Sheet for day one of the Festival

Cheltenham 2023 starts on Tuesday and Paddy's Pundits want to kick-start the four days with a bang!

Cheat Sheet Cheltenham-2023

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Is it Cheltenham yet? Is it Cheltenham yet? Is It Cheltenham yet?

Almost.

We’ve gone from months to weeks to days and it’s now just hours before the first race of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. Like an over-stimulated adolescent, the clock can’t tick-tock fast enough as we look forward to four days of the finest fare National Hunt racing has to offer.

Amid the seven races on opening day, all eyes will be on Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle to see if he can justify red-hot favouritism or will the biggest cheer be for Honeysuckle if she brings  the curtain – and the house – down on her illustrious career by winning the Mares’ Hurdle.

DAY 1 IS DONE! BUT DON’T WORRY, OUR MOB ARE BACK FOR WEDNESDAY:

And just in case you’re not sure who’s destined for the Winners Enclosure at Prestbury Park this week, we’ve rounded up the shrewdest set of form-readers that ever laid eyes on a racecourse. Ruby Walsh, Mick Fitzgerald, Jane Mangan, Matt Chapman and Frank Hickey, to guide us through every race all week.

So, why not scroll down for our handy interactive cheat sheet, or tap here to download a hi-res copy if you want to make a banner out of it or something mad like that.

Ruby Walsh

Mick Fitzgerald

Jane Mangan

Matt Chapman

Frank Hickey

Ruby Walsh

I’m with FACILE VEGA and despite his bad run at the Dublin Racing Festival, I can’t turn my back on him after one bad run.

Mick Fitzgerald

Willie Mullins has a strong hand in this contest and IL ETAIT TEMPS could be the answer. They are going to go fast in this race and that will help him relax. He could be the answer in a tricky opening contest.

Jane Mangan

We know FACILE VEGA is a monster and we know he went too fast early at the Dublin Racing Festival. Expect a change in tactics here. If he relaxes, he wins. INTHEPOCKET looks solid each-way.

Matt Chapman

I’ve always been a Facile Vega fan and nothing has changed. That said, I’ll have TAHMURAS each way here. The Tolworth winner stays well and his Sandown form has a solid look to it.

Frank Hickey

I’m not forgiving Facile Vega for his Leopardstown run so I’m taking him on. I like DOCTOR BRAVO, who has solid form including impressive wins at Fairyhouse and Down Royal in December and January. CHASING FIRE for Olly Murphy is also an option as he’s got plenty of improvement in him.

Ruby Walsh

The three market leaders meet again after their Leopardstown smash-up and the tactics will be fascinating. I like SAINT ROI (each-way) to hit the places if they all cancel each other out.

Mick Fitzgerald

I am not deserting JONBON and there is going to be a helter-skelter pace set with Dysart Dynamo and Effernock Fizz in the line-up. With that guaranteed pace, I expect Jonbon to sit just behind the leaders and pick them off late.

Jane Mangan

I’m siding with JONBON based on his accurate jumping and he’s probably more suited by the track. I’m hopeful he can follow in his brother Douvan’s footsteps by winning the Arkle.

Matt Chapman

I’m all over JONBON here for Nicky Henderson and Aidan Coleman. The Supreme Novices’ runner-up and Aintree winner has been pretty faultless over fences

Frank Hickey

I’m with DYSART DYNAMO in an each-way bet. People may think this is a two-horse race between El Fabiolo and Jonbon but Dysart Dynamo could be hard to peg back if he gets a lead. This race could set up for him.

Ruby Walsh

A tricky looking competitive where I’ve no strong opinion but FANION DESTRUVAL can go well for trainer Venetia Williams as he drops in class from graded company.

Mick Fitzgerald

FANION DESTRUVAL ran in the last two Ryanair Chases and ran a very good race in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby. The step-up in trip will help and I can see him finishing late to hit the places at least at a nice each-way price.

Jane Mangan

FASTORSLOW has been campaigned in Grade 1 company this season and this handicap  isn’t nearly as hot. He steps up in trip and has a big chance.

Matt Chapman

OSCAR ELITE is only 1lb higher than when third in 2022. He was back to form in a small field at Ascot last time and has a fair racing weight with 10st 12lb. I’ll chance him eachway.

Frank Hickey

If the ground is good, I like TEA CLIPPER for Tom Lacey. He’s got solid form and he’s coming in fresh having not run since November at Newbury.

Ruby Walsh

Constitution Hill and State Man sets the standard and really with only seven runners there’s no real each-way angle past them.

Mick Fitzgerald

I am really looking forward to seeing CONSTITUTION HILL strut his stuff. He has blown people away and I’m hoping we get more of the same on Tuesday. State Man is the obvious danger and Vauban could be the one to chase them home in third. 

Jane Mangan

Not since Bula in 1971 has a horse completed the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle / Champion Hurdle double in consecutive years. There haven’t been many that reached a rating of 173 after just five runs. My three home are CONSTITUTION HILL. Then State Man and I LIKE TO MOVE IT.

Matt Chapman

With no each-way angle into the race al I want to see is CONSTITUTION HILL blitz the field for Michael Buckley, Nico de Boinville and Nicky Henderson.

Frank Hickey

Constitution Hill is obviously the most likely winner but I’m keen on I LIKE TO MOVE IT in the Betting Without Constitution Hill and State Man market. I was taken by his win in the Kingwell at Wincanton last time.

Ruby Walsh

BRANDY LOVE is going to improve a hell of a lot from her first run of the season at Punchestown a few weeks ago and can go well and I also like SHEWEARSITWELL each-way at a big price.

Mick Fitzgerald

MARIES ROCK won this race last year and is in great form at Nicky Henderson’s yard in the build-up. She can beat the former Champion Hurdle winners Honeysuckle and Epatante with the latter chosen to chase her home.

Jane Mangan

Can I really abandon Honeysuckle in her final race? Unfortunately yes. A champion in her own right, I think EPATANTE can prevail in an ultra-strong Mares’ Hurdle.

Matt Chapman

I’m sticking with LOVE ENVOI each way for Harry Fry and Jonathan Burke. The seven-year-old has only been beaten once in her life at the hands of Brandy Love but has recent form to her name unlike that old rival.

Frank Hickey

MARIES ROCK, who has won her last four, looks the one to beat as Honeysuckle is in decline, even though it would blow the roof off the place if Rachael Blackmore won on her. ECHOES IN RAIN could also be an each-way shout.

Ruby Walsh

TEKAO has a great chance.

Mick Fitzgerald

Gary Moore’s runner has let himself down with his jumping but if he improves that in this contest, I can see PERSEUS WAY being involved at the finish. He is talented and would have won last time at Kempton if he jumped either of the last two hurdles well. Good value as an each-way pick.

Jane Mangan

Mark Walsh has abandoned Risk Belle in favour of TEKAO who was third to Gala Marceau and Lossiemouth in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown last time. A reproduction of that form will see him go very close to winning this. SIR ALLEN is an each-way play.

Matt Chapman

I like the look of PERSEUS WAY each way here for Gary and Jamie Moore. The Huntingdon winner went to Kempton last time and made a mistake but I like the way he kept on.

Frank Hickey

I like MORNING SOLDIER as long as it’s decent ground. He’s got solid form and he could be buried in the field to strike late. ZANNDABAD also stands out for Tony Martin who could be really well in with a rating of 119.

Ruby Walsh

GAILLARD DU MESNIL should give Willie and Patrick Mullins their third National Hunt Chase victory in the finale on day one.

Mick Fitzgerald

GAILLARD DU MESNIL has been placed at the Festival last year behind L’Homme Press and Ahoy Senor and was previously second in the Ballymore Hurdle two years ago. His form is strong and he’s just better than the opposition.

Jane Mangan

I fancy GAILLARD DU MESNIL and Patrick Mullins to put in a similar display to Stattler’s comfortable win last year. Barring accident, he’s the banker of the day.

Matt Chapman

It’s hard to get away from the old slow boat GAILLARD DU MESNIL who has been tackling Grade 1 company and takes a drop in class.

Frank Hickey

I don’t like tipping favourites but it’s hard to get away from GAILLARD DU MESNIL for Willie Mullins with Patrick on board. The trip won’t be an issue for him and he’s won at Grade 1 level this season.

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