Cheltenham Festival: Day One Preview

Martin Green

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 7:58 AM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019 7:58 AM UTC

We provide information on the big races of the day, the market movers, the ground and bonus offers you can take advantage of.

<h2>Big Races</h2><p>There are only 40 Grade 1 races during the entire National Hunt season, and 10% of them take place on day one of the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival">Cheltenham Festival</a>. The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle gets things underway at 1.30pm GMT. This race takes place over 2 miles and includes eight hurdles, and it is open to novices only. It has seen some superstar winners in recent years, including Altior and Douvan. Next up is another Grade 1 race, the Arkle Challenge Trophy, named after the horse that frequently dazzled with his brilliance at this meeting. The Arkle is the leading minimum distance chase for novices in the National Hunt season.</p><p>The third race is the Ultima Handicap Chase, a Grade 3 contest taking place over 3 miles and 1 furlong, which was won by Un Temps Pour Tout for the last two years. Then it is the big one, the Champion Hurdle. This is the feature race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival and it always attracts an extremely strong field. The prize purse for this Grade 1 contest stands at £400,000 and millions of fans and punters will tune in to watch the drama unfold. We then have the final Grade 1 race of the day, the Mares’ Hurdle, which is open to mares aged four or over. The penultimate race of the day is the the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase, a Listed race run over 2 miles and 4½ furlongs. Day one finishes at 5.30pm with 4 mile National Hunt Challenge Cup, a Grade 2 race that takes in 24 fences.</p><h2>Going</h2><p>The official going description is good to soft, soft in places. There was a bit of rain overnight and further showers are predicted today, so soft ground is expected at Cheltenham. "It should be a breezy but mostly dry afternoon, and beyond that for the rest of the week the winds remain blustery and we get a couple of millimetres of rain a day, so I wouldn't expect much change to the soft ground through the week, with the exception possibly of the chase course on the Friday, which is opened up for the Gold Cup and always sits there marginally quicker,” said Simon Claisse, clerk of the course. “It's not going to be good ground, that's for sure.”</p><h2>Favourites and Market Movers</h2><p>Buveur D’Air is no longer the favourite to win a third consecutive <a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Hurdle">Champion Hurdle</a> as that honour has gone to Apple’s Jade. She is now best priced at 2/1 (3.0) with <a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank" title="Ladbrokes">Ladbrokes</a> and a few others, while Buveur D’Air has gone out to 11/4 with <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a>. The big favourite of the day is Benie Des Dieux, from the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Willie Mullins">Willie Mullins</a> stable, priced at even money (2.0) with <a href=";a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6" target="_blank" title="Betfair">Betfair</a> and <a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356" target="_blank" title="Paddy Power">Paddy Power</a>. Ruby Walsh has picked her out as the horse he is most excited to ride at the entire festival. Elsewhere there are not many big market movers and a great deal of each-way value is on offer across the meeting</p><h2>Bonus Offers</h2><p><a href=";a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c" target="_blank" title="Betway">Betway</a> is offering boosted odds of 66/1 on Buveur D’Air clinching victory in the Champion Hurdle. You have to deposit £10 or €10 in a new account in order to qualify for the offer, and your stake is capped at £1 or €1. If he comes in, you would then have £66 or €66 in free bets to play around with. Paddy Power has boosted odds on Benie Des Dieux to win the Mares’ Hurdle. She won this last year and she has since extended her winning streak to five. Star jockey Ruby Walsh has already picked her out as the horse he is most looking forward to riding at the festival, and trainer Willie Mullins is also full of praise for her. Paddy Power will give you odds of 33, and once again the maximum stake is £1 or €1.</p><h2><span style="font-size:18px;">Related articles:</span></h2><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival 2019: Horse Racing Tips And Essential Betting Guide">Cheltenham Festival 2019: Horse Racing Tips And Essential Betting Guide</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey Betting: Can Ruby Walsh Regain His Crown?">Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey Betting: Can Ruby Walsh Regain His Crown?</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival: Who Will Be Crowned Top Trainer?">Cheltenham Festival: Who Will Be Crowned Top Trainer?</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Hurdle Betting Preview: Can Buveur D'Air Defend His Crown?"><font face="Open Sans, Arial">Champion Hurdle Betting Preview: Can Buveur D'Air Defend His Crown?</font></a></strong></p><p> </p><p> </p>
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