Cheltenham

Cheltenham Festival Tips – Day 1

Tuesday 16th March 13:20

The day is finally here! Having put up a variety of nice (and some not so nice!) ante-post selections for the Cheltenham Festival, I will give you a day-by-day run down of my thoughts and advice as the week draws on, and any bets to be had in addition to our ante-post positions.

Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Shishkin 4/1 Ante Post
E/W
Arkle Novices’ Chase
Place Bet
Shishkin / Envoi Allen 53/2 Ante Post
E/W
Arkle Novices’ Chase / Marsh Novices’ Chase
Double
Place Bet
One For The Team
(view this tip here)
16/1 Ante Post
E/W
Ultima Handicap Chase
Place Bet
Kauto Riko
(view this tip here)
33/1 Ante Post
E/W
Ultima Handicap Chase
Place Bet
Happygolucky
Charity Daily NAP

(view this tip here)
6/1 Ante Post
Win
Ultima Handicap Chase
Place Bet
Happygolucky
To Win Any Race

(view this tip here)
25/1 Ante Post
To Win Any Race
Ultima Handicap Chase
Place Bet
Abacadabras
(view this tip here)
12/1 Ante Post
E/W
Champion Hurdle
Place Bet
Sharjah 10/1 E/W
Champion Hurdle
Place Bet
Floressa 22/1 E/W without Concertista
Mares' Hurdle
Place Bet
Floressa 14/1 E/W without Concertista & Roksana
Mares' Hurdle
Place Bet
Balko Saint 25/1 E/W
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Place Bet
Saint Sam
(view this tip here)
10/1 Ante Post
E/W
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Place Bet
Busselton
(view this tip here)
14/1 Ante Post
E/W
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Place Bet
Galvin
(view this tip here)
14/1 Ante Post
E/W
National Hunt Chase
Place Bet
Lord Royal
(view this tip here)
16/1 Ante Post
E/W
National Hunt Chase
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 04/11/2020

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (14:47 04/11/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

1.20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Somewhat disappointingly and surprisingly, I will be going into the Festival opener without a bet, and even with the 8 runners looking ripe for an each-way bet, I just can’t bring myself to oppose Appreciate It. While the 10mm of rain on Sunday evening has firmed up Metier’s chance as second favourite, so it also seems illogical to try and find a bet in the ‘without favourite’ market.
1.55 – Arkle Novices’ Chase
Having advised Shishkin at 4/1 in April last year, I see no need to add anything to that at this stage. Although, I do feel both Captain Guinness and Franco De Port have a good chance of filling the placings ahead of Allmankind, so it could be a race to have a look at the ‘without favourite’ market.
2.30 – Ultima Handicap Chase
Two ante-post bets going into the first handicap of the meeting – firstly the 16/1 advised a while back about One For The Team is looking pretty good. While also, the well-thought-out but ever-so-slightly guessy 25/1 for Happygolucky in the market ‘to win any race’ puts us in a lovely spot for this race. Remember, if you are on at that price each-way, then it will only be 3 places.
3.05 – Champion Hurdle
I’m very happy with the 12/1 taken about Abacadabras a while back, but now we have the full field confirmed, I think this year’s Champion Hurdle is ripe for another each-way bet, particularly with William Hill offering an enticing 5 places for each-way bets.


While we could have done without the extra rain on Sunday night, I do feel that Sharjah at 10/1 with William Hill, given those 5 places for each-way terms, is a bet that is crying out to be struck.


A dry and windy day on Monday will presumably turn the ground back to something like good to soft, and despite being a three-time Grade 1 winner on good or yielding ground, he is also a Grade 1 winner on soft and also an easy Galway Hurdle winner on testing ground too. While perhaps his best run on very testing ground was when chasing home Epatante in last year’s Champion Hurdle.


Rather than the ground, what will set Sharjah’s chance apart is the way the race is likely to pan out, with a decent pace guaranteed, Paul Townend will be able to pick his way through late and hope that the more prominently-ridden Honeysuckle and Epatante haven’t gone beyond recall.
3.40 – Mares’ Hurdle
No ante-post bet here, and the top of the market looks pretty solid but not unbeatable. Concertista and Roksana are both previous Cheltenham festival winners, while next in Dame De Compagnie can also boast that tag.


However, I do think that there is a horse in here who has been slightly undervalued in the market, and that is Nicky Henderson’s Floressa. Long thought of as a horse that needs a step up in trip, she finally gets to test her trainer’s hunch, and I feel she could be a great price in a couple of special markets with Bet365.


Floressa is 22/1 in the market ‘without Concertista’, and also 14/1 in the market ‘without Concertista and Roksana’, and I think she is worth a small bit each-way at both those prices with Bet365. That way, she could finish fifth and you’d all but get your money back. Any better than that, and it would be a profitable play.
4.15 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Another nicely shaped ante-post race for us, with the two selections Saint Sam at 10/1 and Busselton at 14/1 being declared.


Having got the final field through, I think it is worth adding a third dart at the race, in the shape of recent Wincanton winner Balko Saint, who at 25/1 with William Hill, looks a cracking each-way play.


While he could have done without the extra 5lb penalty for winning that small novice hurdle, it is his run at Cheltenham behind Duffle Coat and Adagio in October that marked him down in my mind as potential horse for this race. Given Balko Saint has proven his current well-being, handles the track well and is a huge 25/1, I find it hard not to recommend him.
4.50 – National Hunt Chase
The closing race of day one looks a fascinating and competitive renewal, but given we are on Galvin at 14/1 and also Lord Royal at 16/1, I don’t see the need to suggest anything else, for all that I respect and fear the classy Next Destination.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day 1

Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival is known as Champions Day with the headline race being the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle. The festival traditionally begins on a Tuesday with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle getting things underway followed by six other races throughout the day and ending with the National Hunt Chase.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Ante-Post Tips

Here at WhichBookie, in the months leading up to the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, our in-house tipster Will Smith will be providing ante-post tips for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival. Will constantly monitors the form, race entries, odds and all information which is relevant to each race in order to make detailed assessments and to provide top value tips at the most opportune time.

You can view Will’s season stats here.

You can often get excellent value with ante-post tips but of course you do run the risk of losing your stake if your horse does not end up running in the race concerned.

2021 Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Tips

As well as ante-post tips, Will Smith will be providing tips for the opening day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival in the days leading up to the festival. All day 1 tips will be listed at the top of this page and if you’d like to read Will’s full reasoning behind his selections, click on the ‘view this tip here’ link below each selection to be taken to the individual race page.

Below, you’ll find a list of all races taking place on the first day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival. Click through to any race to read Will Smith’s tips for that race. be sure to check back regularly for new tips in the run up to the festival beginning on Tuesday 16th March 2021.

Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Tips

Tuesday 16th March 2021
1.55pm - Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy 2.30pm - Ultima Handicap Chase
3.05pm - Unibet Champion Hurdle 4.15pm - Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
4.50pm - National Hunt Chase

Want to take a look at our tips for the rest of the festival? Click on a day below.

Day 1 of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival begins the start of four great days of racing at Cheltenham Racecourse. There are seven races taking place each day with Tuesday featuring three jumps races and four chases.

See the table below for details on all of the races taking place on day 1 of Cheltenham Festival 2021.

2021 Cheltenham Opening Day 1 Race Schedule

Start TimeRace
13:20The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
13:55The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
14:30The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase
15:05The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
15:40The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle
16:15The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
16:50The National Hunt Challenge Cup

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

  • Date: Tuesday 16th March 2021
  • Start Time: 13:20
  • Distance: 2m 1/2f
  • Type: Hurdle
  • Prize Money: £125,000

Looking for the best Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle odds? Click here.

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is traditionally the first race of each Cheltenham Festival and will be greeted by spectators performing the traditional ‘Cheltenham Roar’ on the off. It is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race which is open to horses aged 4 and over.

The race is a distance of approximately 2 miles and ½ furlong and there is a total of 8 hurdles for horses to jump before the finish line.

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2020 winner was 6 year old Shishkin which was ridden by Nico de Boinville and trained by Nicky Henderson. Shishkin went off in 2020 at odds of 6/1 getting many punters off to a flying start.

Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Previous Winners

YearHorseAgePriceTrainerJockey
2020Shishkin66-1Nicky HendersonNico de Boinville
2019Klassical Dream56-1Willie MullinsRuby Walsh
2018Summerville Boy69-1Tom GeorgeNoel Fehily
2017Labaik625-1Gordon ElliottJack Kennedy
2016Altior64-1Nicky HendersonNico de Boinville
2015Douvan52-1FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2014Vautour57-2JFWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2013Champagne Fever65-1Willie MullinsRuby Walsh
2012Cinders And Ashes510-1Donald McCainJason Maguire
2011Al Ferof610-1Paul NichollsRuby Walsh
2010Menorah512-1Philip HobbsRichard Johnson

Did You Know?

  • 8 of the last 10 winners won their race previous to The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
  • 8 of the last 10 winners have won at least 50% of their hurdle starts
  • 9 of the last 10 winners ran within 59 days of competing in The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

You can watch The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle live on ITV or stream the race live on Bet365.


The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase

  • Date: Tuesday 16th March 2021
  • Start Time: 13:55
  • Distance: 2m
  • Type: Chase
  • Prize Money: £175,000

Looking for the best Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase odds? Click here.

The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase is over a distance of approximately 2 miles and 7 furlongs. It is a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase which is open to horses aged five and over. The race is named after the racehorse ‘Arkle’ who had the highest rating of any jumps horse in the history of horse racing.

The 2020 winner of The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase was Put The Kettle On which went off at odds of 16-1.

Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase Previous Winners

YearHorseAgePriceTrainerJockey
2020Put The Kettle On616/1H De BromheadAidan Coleman
2019Duc des Genievres65/1Willie MullinsPaul Townend
2018Footpad65-6FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2017Altior71-4FNicky HendersonNico de Boinville
2016Douvan61-4FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2015Un De Sceaux74-6FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2014Western Warhorse633-1David PipeTom Scudamore
2013Simonsig78-15FNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty
2012Sprinter Sacre68-11FNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty
2011Captain Chris76-1Philip HobbsRichard Johnson
2010Sizing Europe86-1Henry de BromheadAndrew Lynch

Did You Know?

  • 9 of the last 10 winners were aged six or seven
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had a Starting Price of 6-1 or below.
  • All of the previous 10 winners finished in the first two on all completed chase starts.

You can watch The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase live on ITV or stream the race live on Bet365.


The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

  • Date: Tuesday 16th March 2021
  • Start Time: 14:30
  • Distance: 3m 1f
  • Type: Chase
  • Prize Money: £110,000

Looking for the best Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase odds? Click here.

The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase, or the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase as it was previously known as, is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase open to horses aged five and older.

The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase is the third race to take place at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and will be run over a distance of approximately 3 miles and 1 furlong. Runners will jump twenty fences in a bid to collect the prize money of £110,000.

The winner of the 2020 Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase was The Conditional which was trained by David Bridgwater and ridden by Brendan Powell.

The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase Previous Winners

YearHorseAgePriceTrainerJockey
2020The Conditional815-2D G BridgwaterBrendan Powell
2019Beware The Bear910-1Nicky HenersonJeremiah McGrath
2018Coo Star Sivola65-1FNick WilliamsLizzie Kelly
2017Un Temps Pour Tout89-1David PipeTom Scudamore
2016Un Temps Pour Tout711-1David PipeTom Scudamore
2015The Druids Nephew88-1Neil MulhollandBarry Geraghty
2014Holywell710-1Jonjo O’NeillRichie McLernon
2013Golden Chieftain828-1Colin TizzardBrendan Powell
2012Alfie Sherrin914-1Jonjo O’NeillRichie McLernon
2011Bensalem85-1Alan KingRobert Thornton
2010Chief Dan George1033-1James MoffattPaddy Aspell

Did You Know?

  • 9 of the last 10 winners were aged seven to nine
  • 9 of the last 10 winners ran at the festival previous to winning
  • 8 of the last 10 winners have won over at least 3 miles

You can watch The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase live on ITV or stream the race live on Bet365.

Be sure to take a look at our 2021 Ultima Handicap Chase Tips


The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

  • Date: Tuesday 16th March
  • Start Time: 15:05
  • Distance: 2m 1/2f
  • Type: Hurdle
  • Prize Money: £450,000

Looking for the best Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy odds? Click here.

The highlight of day 1 is the The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy which has prize money of no less than £450,000. The 2020 winner of this race was Epatante which went off as the favourite at 2/1 and was ridden by Barry Geraghty.

The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race has eight hurdles to be jumped over a distance of approximately 2 miles and ½ furlong.

Our Unibet Champions Hurdle tips page features WhichBookie racing analysts Will Smiths 2021 tips.

Unibet Champions Hurdle Challenge Trophy Previous Winners

YearHorseAgePriceTrainerJockey
2020Epatante62-1fN J HendersonB J Geraghty
2019Espoir d’Allen516-1Gavin CromwellMark Walsh
2018Buveur D’Air74-6FNicky HendersonBarry Geraghty
2017Buveur D’Air65-1Nicky HendersonNoel Fehily
2016Annie Power85-2FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2015Faugheen74-5FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2014Jezki69-1Jessica HarringtonBarry Geraghty
2013Hurricane Fly913-8FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2012Rock On Ruby711-1Paul NichollsNoel Fehily
2011Hurricane Fly711-4FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2010Binocular69-1Nicky HendersonTony McCoy

Did You Know?

  • 9 of the last 10 winners have won a Grade 1 hurdle race
  • 8 of the last 10 winners were aged between six and eight
  • 7 of the last 10 winners had won their last race prior to winning the Champion Hurdle

You can watch The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy live on ITV or stream the race live on Bet365.


The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle

  • Date: Tuesday 16th March 2021
  • Start Time: 15:40
  • Distance: 2m 4f
  • Type: Hurdle
  • Prize Money: £120,000

Looking for the best Mares’ Hurdle odds? Click here.

The Mares’ Hurdle, which up until 2011 was known as the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt race open to mares aged four and over. The race is run over a distance of approximately 2 miles and 4 furlongs and features ten hurdles.

The Mares’ Hurdle was only introduced in 2008 and was initially held on the final day at The Cheltenham Festival before being moved to the opening day the year after. It was also initially a Grade 2 race before being upgraded to Grade 1 in 2015.

The 2020 winner of The Mares’ Hurdle was Honeysuckle which was a 6 year old trained by Henry De Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.

Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Previous Winners

YearHorseAgePriceTrainerJockey
2020Honeysuckle69-4H De BromheadRachael Blackmore
2019Roksana710-1Dan SkeltonHarry Skelton
2018Benie Des Dieux79-2Willie MullinsRuby Walsh
2017Apple’s Jade57-2Gordon ElliottBryan Cooper
2016Vroum Vroum Mag74-6FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2015Glens Melody76-1Willie MullinsPaul Townend
2014Quevega108-11FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2013Quevega98-11FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2012Quevega84-7FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2011Quevega75-6FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh
2010Quevega66-4FWillie MullinsRuby Walsh

Did You Know?

  • 9 of the last 10 winners were trained by Willie Mullins
  • 9 of the last 10 winners have achieved a top 3 finish in a Grade 1 or Grade 2 hurdle race
  • 8 of the last 10 winners were ridden by Ruby Walsh
  • 7 of the last 10 winners were the Starting Price favourite.

You can watch The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle live on ITV or stream the race live on Bet365.


The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

  • Date: Tuesday 16th March 2021
  • Start Time: 16:15
  • Distance: 2m 1/2f
  • Type: Hurdle
  • Prize Money: £80,000

Looking for the best Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle odds? Click here.

The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, also known as the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, named in memory of the successful jockey and trainer Fred Winter (1926 – 2004).

The race features eight hurdles and is run over a distance of approximately 2 miles and ½ furlong.

The 2020 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle winner was Aramax which was ridden by M P Walsh and trained by Gordon Elliott. Aramax went off at 15-2 and won last years race by one length to Night Edition.

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Previous Winners

YearHorseAgePriceTrainerJockey
2020Aramax415-2Gordon ElliottM P Walsh
2019Band of Outlaws37-2FJoseph O’BrienJJ Slevin
2018Veneer of Charm433-1Gordon ElliottJack Kennedy
2017Flying Tiger433-1Nick WilliamsRichard Johnson
2016Diego Du Charmil413-2Paul NichollsSam Twiston-Davies
2015Qualando425-1Paul NichollsNick Scholfield
2014Hawk High433-1Tim EasterbyBrian Hughes
2013Flaxen Flare425-1Gordon ElliottDavy Condon
2012Une Artiste440-1Nicky HendersonJerry McGrath
2011What A Charm49-1Arthur MoorePaul Townend
2010Sanctuaire44-1FPaul NichollsRuby Walsh

Did You Know?

  • 6 of the last 10 winners were priced at 25-1 or greater
  • 5 of the last 10 winners were trained by either Paul Nicholls or Gordon Elliott

You can stream the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on Bet365 


The National Hunt Challenge Cup 

  • Date: Tuesday 16th March 2021
  • Start Time: 16:50
  • Distance: 4m
  • Type: Chase
  • Prize Money: £125,000

Looking for the National Hunt Challenge Cup odds? Click here.

The National Hunt Challenge Cup is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase which is open to horses aged 5 and over. It features 25 fences to be jumped and is run over a distance of approximately 3 miles and 7 ½ furlongs making it the longest race by distance on day 1 of the Cheltenham festival.

The 2020 winner of The National Hunt Challenge Cup was 10 year old Ravenhill which was trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Jamie Codd.

Ravenhill went off at 12-1 in 2020 with the 2017 winner Tiger Roll winning the race with the highest starting price of 16-1.

Take a look at our National Hunt Chase tips for 2021.

National Hunt Challenge Cup Previous Winners 

YearHorseAgePriceTrainerJockey
2020Ravenhill1012-1Gordon ElliottJamie Codd
2019Le Breuil714-1BenPaulingJamie Codd
2018Rathvinden109-2Willie MullinsPatrick Mullins
2017Tiger Roll716-1Gordon ElliottLisa O’Neill
2016Minella Rocco68-1Jonjo O’NeillDerek O’Connor
2015Cause Of Causes78-1Gordon ElliottJamie Codd
2014Midnight Prayer98-1Alan KingJoshua Newman
2013Back In Focus89/4FWillie MullinsPatrick Mullins
2012Teaforthree85/1FRebecca CurtisJT McNamara
2011Chicago Grey85/1FGordon ElliottDerek O’Connor
2010Poker De Sivola714-1Ferdy MurphyKatie Walsh

Did You Know?

  • All of the previous 10 winners had run at least 3 times over fences
  • 9 of the last 10 winners have been aged six to eight
  • 8 of the last 10 winners have won over a distance of at least 3m

You can stream the National Hunt Challenge Cup live on Bet365.

Our National Hunt betting tips page has selections from WhichBookie racing tipster Will Smith for the 2021 race.

That concludes our round-up for day 1 of The 2021 Cheltenham Festival. Click to view our Cheltenham Festival Day 2 Guide or view the latest 2021 Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers.

Previous Tips

2020 Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Tips [expired]

I am going to work on the proviso of soft ground all over for day one, given the forecast for a band of rain to hit on Monday evening – but forecasts suggest not enough to turn the ground heavy.

The Mares Hurdle and the National Hunt Chase are races where I am struggling to recommend anything – Benie Des Dieux looks rock-solid, and while Carefully Selected looks worth taking on in the 3m 6f race, it is hard to know exactly who with, as stamina will be tested like never before for some here.

1.30 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Chantry House – 11/2 EW (William Hill 7 places)

Fiddlerontheroof – 6/1 EW (William Hill 7 places)

Soviet Pimpernel – 28/1 EW (William Hill 7 places)

Having advised Abacadabras ante-post at 6/1, many of you will see the fact that I am advising a further three bets in the opener and feel I should have a word with myself. But when you consider that William Hill are going an outstanding 7 places for each-way terms, then in backing Chantry House and Fiddlerontheroof, you are essentially giving yourself two bets to nothing. Both have the ability to win this, and have had lovely preparations.

Asterion Forlonge won what is usually the best trial in Ireland, but seems to prefer better ground, jumps right, and ran a time very similar to the Spring Juvenile Hurdle on the card at Leopardstown that day, when everything went right for him. The horse he beat into second, Easywork, in my eyes is a soft ground 2m4f horse, so this effort can be marked down.

Shishkin will run very well, but isn’t a great price – which is a comment you can’t angle at Soviet Pimpernel, who at 28/1 is a wild price with 7 places to go at. A cracking course and distance second in November to Quel Destin, (who beat leading Champion Hurdle contender Call Me Lord subsequently,) when perhaps coming from further back than ideal. He has the look of a horse that has flown under the radar.

2.10 – Arkle Novices’ Chase

Esprit Du Large – 14/1 EW (Bet365)

We have Brewin’upastorm running for us here at 9/1, which looks handy, and I was tempted to suggest backing Fakir D’Oudairies at 9/2 with the ground in his favour, but in terms of adding a further string to our bow, then look no further than the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase winner Esprit Du Large at 14/1.

With so many front-runners in opposition, this looks ripe for something that can travel sweetly at pace and then stay on – characteristics that Evan Williams’ horse displayed in spades at Sandown before Christmas.

2.50 – Ultima Handicap Chase

Atlanta Ablaze – 25/1 EW (Betway 6 places) or 28/1 EW (William Hill / Ladbrokes 5 places)

Having advised Discorama a few days ago at 9/1 on account of his run in last year’s National Hunt Chase, I see it necessary to also suggest backing the mare that arguably went through that race like much the best horse – Henry Daly’s Atlanta Ablaze. She was done no favours by Discorama at the second last, where she ultimately took a tired fall, but up until about 100 yards before that point she was hacking all over the field.

She has been brought back this season to win a decent Listed Mares Chase at Market Rasen fresh, and on the back of another break and a wind operation, she can outrun her odds.

3.30 – Champion Hurdle

Supasundae – 12/1 EW Bet365 (generally 4 places)

Darver Star, advised at 28/1, is still a best priced 12/1 in places and I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off backing him now. But it is the horse that was just over 4 lengths behind Darver Star in the Irish Champion Hurdle that I am quickly coming around to, in a race where I’m sure many a pundit/punter/expert has gone around and around with also.

This will be Supasundae’s sixth visit to the Cheltenham Festival, and ultimately having his first go at the Champion Hurdle at the age of 10 smacks of missing the boat, but he looked as if he badly needed the run at Leopardstown in February, as he always does. While, if you think back to the last two runs of last season, he beat Buveur D’Air at Aintree and then chased him home at Punchestown on ground plenty lively enough for him.

Not forgetting he is a 3-time open company hurdle Grade 1 winner, something that none of the other runners can claim.

4.50 – Novices’ Handicap Chase

Champagne Mystery – 28/1 EW (888Sport 5 places)

Hopefully you are on Imperial Aura at 25/1 and Galvin at 20/1 as advised, and they will surely give you a decent run for your money. Deyrann De Carjac wasn’t declared unfortunately, so it might be useful to give ourselves a third arrow here – and that comes in the form of the Nicky Henderson-trained Champagne Mystery.

Wildly impressive on chase debut at Aintree at the start of the season, he has then had two starts since, both eye-catching, and ran in the same Fakenham novice chase that Henderson’s 2018 runner-up Rather Be ran in before coming here. Champagne Mystery was second to Grand Annual favourite Greaneteen at Fakenham, and looks very suited to the rigours of this test.

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Newcastle Saturday 26th June
Read
Will Smith
Australis
Each-Way

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and two ante-post each-way selections ahead of this Saturday's William Hill Northumberland Plate at Newcastle

Date published: June 22, 2021

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