Cheltenham

Will Smith’s Day 1 Preview

Tuesday 15th March 13:30

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview for Day 1 of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday 15th March.

Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Coeur Sublime 9/19/1 E/W
WO Edwardstone
14:10 Arkle Chase
Place BetPlace Bet
Red Rookie 80/180/1 E/W
WO Edwardstone
14:10 Arkle Chase
Place BetPlace Bet
Fantastikas 12/112/1 Ante Post
E/W
14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
Place BetPlace Bet
Tea Clipper 25/125/1 Ante Post
E/W
14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
Place BetPlace Bet
Ben Dundee 18/118/1 E/W
14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
Place BetPlace Bet
Telmesomethinggirl 16/116/1 Ante Post
E/W
16:10 Mares Hurdle
Place BetPlace Bet
Queens Brook 16/116/1 Ante Post
E/W
16:10 Mares Hurdle
Place BetPlace Bet
Britzka 33/133/1 Ante Post
E/W
16:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Place BetPlace Bet
The Tide Turns 13/213/2 E/W
16:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Place BetPlace Bet
Vanillier 14/114/1 Ante Post
E/W
17:30 National Hunt Chase
Place BetPlace Bet
Ontheropes 16/116/1 Ante Post
E/W
17:30 National Hunt Chase
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 14/03/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (14:21 14/03/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Click here to view more tips for races on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival!
VIEW MORE DAY 1 TIPS

With the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle still flummoxing me, and despite what will be copious offers from the those alluring layers, I am going to pass on the Cheltenham Festival opener – and simply let the excitement, atmosphere and enjoyment wash over me as they roar through that opening 4 minutes or so.

All season long, and with each progressive step that Edwardstone has taken from race to race, I have been more and more convinced on him for the Sporting Life Arkle Novices’ Chase at 2.10. Trouble is, I haven’t chipped in with a penny on him to back those convictions, and I can let him win at a best priced 11/4 now.

Instead, using those incredibly handy ‘betting without’ markets with Paddy Power, there are two horses that I think are overpriced. Indeed, I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Coeur Sublime at 16/1 and Red Rookie at a whopping 100/1 with Paddy Power for 4 places each-way in the outright market.

However, in Paddy Power’s ‘Betting Without Edwardstone’ market, I am instead going to advise Coeur Sublime at 9/1 and Red Rookie at 80/1, both each-way for 3 places.

So, in essence, if Edwardstone wins, then finishing fourth would land the place payout. While I think the likelihood of Edwardstone winning is just strong enough to shave a few points off the price of backing Coeur Sublime and Red Rookie to not take the outright price alone.

This year’s Arkle will surely be a well-run affair, and while jumping is at a premium in any 2m novice chase, it will be even more so here – and for my mind the two most impressive and economical in the jumping stakes in this race are Edwardstone and Coeur Sublime.

Coeur Sublime has taken to fences incredibly well, and in giving Ferny Hollow a brief scare at Fairyhouse, and then following him again at a safe and unflustered distance at Leopardstown at Christmas, I had been all set to have Coeur Sublime on-side for the Grand Annual.

But connections have taken the dive into the novice Grade 1 instead, and I’d see that as big vote of confidence for a horse who also has good Festival form when 2nd in the Triumph Hurdle here in 2019.

Red Rookie also looked Grand Annual bound, and indeed this column has backed him NRNB for that. Best to use that refunded stake to have a good nibble at Emma Lavelle’s striking young chaser at 80/1 each-way ‘without Edwardstone’ here.

If Red Rookie had run once or twice more this season, after romping home at Hereford, there is no way he would still be rated 138, and it’s fascinating that Lavelle is willing to let slip a lovely mark for big handicaps by chancing Red Rookie here.

Having last week recommended backing Fantastikas at 12/1 and Tea Clipper at 25/1 for the Ultima Handicap Chase, those prices have converged somewhat, and Fantastikas is now available at 14/1 in places while Tea Clipper is a best priced 16/1. If you are not on either at this stage, then please do avail yourselves.

There is also a third selection to add in Ultima Handicap Chase at 2.50, and that is the Danny Mullins-ridden Ben Dundee, who despite being a 10-year-old, has a mix of excellent Cheltenham Festival form, comes here off the back of a career best in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase, and will really enjoy the tempo and rhythm of the race on the Old course here.

At 18/1 each-way with Paddy Power, for 6 places, make Ben Dundee your third option in the Ultima along with Fantastikas and Tea Clipper.

The Unibet Champion Hurdle at 3.30 looks at the mercy of Honeysuckle or Appreciate It rather unsurprisingly, while I think a ‘back-to-herself’ Epatante should be clear 3rd favourite.

So I’d be leaning towards either backing Appreciate It each-way outright at 4/1 or Epatante at 7/2 in Paddy Power’s ‘market without Honeysuckle and Appreciate It’ – but that’s all getting a little convoluted for these pages I’d say.

The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle at 4.10 has gone very nicely up to now for the two ante-post selections of Telmesomethinggirl advised at 16/1 and Queens Brook also advised at 16/1 – now the small matter of the race panning out that effect!

I’m not going to add anything else to those two, but if you aren’t on anything, then I think perhaps Queens Brook looks to be the one with the momentum behind her.

On to the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at 4.50, and again we have an ante-post runner in the shape of Britzka, recommended at 33/1. It’s hoped a wind operation, a new headgear combination and the booking of Robbie Power can bring him back to the form of Grade 2 3rd behind stablemate and Triumph Hurdle fancy Fil Dor.

Gordon Elliott is mob handed as ever in this race, and I do feel it is worth also backing The Tide Turns here at 13/2 each-way with Paddy Power for 6 places. It is absolutely the case that Willie Mullins’ Gaelic Warrior could romp in, but backing him at the price he is now would be purely going on guesswork.

Instead, set for a big run surely is The Tide Turns, who brings the best form into the race, courtesy of his run in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival, and is number one of Elliott’s brigade on the jockey booking of Jack Kennedy.

The Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Chase that closes day one at 5.30 is another ante-post player, courtesy of the 14/1 each-way advised on Vanillier, interestingly with 3 places in the bag on what is now a 6-runner race.

Sadly thought, that is on account of the other ante-post pick Ontheropes injuring himself on Monday. I see no reason to add anything else, and think that Vaniller is the one the rely on.

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