Welcome to the best week of the year, it’s Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival.
The Supreme Hurdle kicks off the meeting.
Melon is the hype horse from the all-powerful Willie Mullins yard. Melon has run just the once but won in grand style, he could be anything. However, I can’t get involved in a horse with his profile. If he wins and proves to be a superstar, fair play to connections. If you back Melon, your placing a hype bet and hoping rather than knowing
The safest selection in the race and the horse with the best form is Ballyandy, rated 147 and proven. Ballyandy won’t lose the race through inexperience and can be backed at 4-1, you could play EW for money back if placed.
No real point going through the Arkle, Altior wins with a clear round, he looks awesome.
The Champion Hurdle is the big race of the day, as highlighted on here before I can’t have Yanworth. The horse jumps slow and could do with an extra four furlongs, i'm sure he'll be outpaced.
I’ve backed Buveur Dair EW at 11-2 & Moon Racer EW at 12-1.
Buveur Dair was very impressive at Sandown on his return to hurdles. The horse cruised through the race showing plenty of speed and won hard held. Buveur Dair has proven Cheltenham form when 3rd in the 2016 Supreme Hurdle behind Altior and Min. That form has worked out fantastically well. Buveur Dair looks a great EW bet at decent odds. My only concern would be the drying round.
Moon Racer can’t be totally ignored and warrants respect.
I’m surprised Rich Ricci has allowed Limini & Vroum Vroum Mag to take each other on in the mares race. We can only presume connections think both horses aren’t good enough to take their chance in the Champion Hurdle.
I’m taking Apple’s Jade to upset the Mullins horses. She’s already beaten Vroum Vroum Mag fair and square but did finish behind Limini last time. That was on heavy ground though and I didn’t think Apple’s Jade was given the full beans. Back on a quicker surface Apple’s Jade can turn the tables. Priced at 9-2 she looks a EW bet to nothing.
The JT McNamara Chase winner could take a bit of finding, Edwulf must be on the shortlist. His last time out effort was impressive, the Racing Post gave him a RPR of 157 and that’s huge in the context of this race. Priced at 11-2 he looks a good EW selection. Champers On Ice would be my other pick.