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Cheltenham Day 1

14-March-2023 12:14
in General
by Admin

One of the best racing weeks of the year kicks off at 1:30 this afternoon. Of course, it’s the Cheltenham Festival. There will be many thrills and spills through the week, superstars born and bubbles burst. It promises to be a grand four days of racing.

The meeting starts with the Supreme Novice Hurdle where Facile Vega is looking to get back on track. Given a poor ride last time out and asked to go a silly pace, this can be forgiven.

The vibes from the Mullins camp are very strong and it would be no surprise to see Facile Vega win in good style.

Facile Vega is priced at 7-4, you can back 7-4 shots every day of the week in much lesser races so for that reason I won’t be backing him even though he’s the most likely winner.

Gordon Elliott runs just the one horse, Doctor Bravo priced at 25-1. Plenty of bookies are paying four places so shop around.

Doctor Bravo is still unexposed and will love the testing ground. He ran a cracker at Gowran Park when third, beaten just over a length behind Fil Dor rated 147 and Sharjah, 158. To do that on just his third hurdle start, was some effort and he can only improve again.

Doctor Brave looks to have EW squeak at big odds, he's a small EW sporting bet.

The Arkle.

El Fabiolo has been having harder races in Ireland taking on good horses unlike Jonbon that’s beaten just eight horses in three races over a fence. El Fabiolo will be more street wise when the pressure is on, he'll take some beating and is my main bet of the day.

The Ultima Handicap is next at 2:50.

I hold an antepost bet on Into Overdrive EW and was keen on his chances until the rain fell in the past couple of days. Into Overdrive doesn’t have form on this type of ground and that’s an obvious worry.

Hi form when beating Sounds Russian last time out is the best in the race for me. I’ll be hoping he handles conditions, but confidence has waned since the heavens opened. Sky Bet are paying 8 places.

The Champion Hurdle needs little coverage, Constitution Hill looks different class and could be one of the best two-mile hurdles we’ve ever seen.

The best named horse in racing, Brandy Love is my pick for the Mares Hurdle. She’s had a rushed prep but can be seen at her best going this way around on the soft ground she enjoys. 13-2 EW looks a decent price.

In the Boodles, Byker could have won last time out but didn’t need too, his rating was protected for this. EW at 7-1.

Not original but if in a pickle going into the last race, it’s hard to get away from Gaillard Du Mesnil. He’s a long way ahead on ratings and will stay the trip. Priced at even money, he'll get shorter if a few favourites go in beforehand.

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