Tuesday at Cheltenham

Welcome to our coverage of the opening day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.


The seven race card begins with the Supreme Novice’s hurdle at 1.30 before wrapping up for the day at 5.30 with the Novices’ Handicap Chase.

We have detailed run through of every race with Jon Ivan-Duke of WilliamHill – who provide all our odds in our Tuesday review – and also the views of our racing expert Adam Norman.

1.30pm £125,000 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the traditional curtain raiser to The Festival – which always welcomes in the famous roar on the opening day. First run in 1946 and known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle, it used to be split into two or three separate divisions.

Some big names have taken this title previously including Gold Cup legend L’Escargot, Champion Hurdle heroes Bula and Hors La Loi and most recently Vautor and Douvan.

Race fact:  Only 5 of the last 10 winners had previous Cheltenham experience
Race odds: 3/1 Melon, 7/2 Ballyandy, 13/2 Bunk off Early, 9/1 River Wylde
TGT prediction: We would oppose Melon here and go with Ballyandy or River Wylde
Adam Norman’s view: River Wylde – Progressing at a rate of knots and the type to relish the better ground.
WilliamHill say: Ballyandy has been running in strong races and the times set g have been good. But I really like Nicky Henderson’s River Wylde, he won the Dovecot at Kempton Park last time and he travelled very well and he was quoted as saying he is a ‘very quick’ hurdler and that is something you need to be in the Supreme. Melon is the big question mark, he has had one run – but what you don’t see in the form is that he has had five schoolings or more in Ireland in the last few months and not many people realise that. He is either the next Douvan and going to win with ease, or he will be easily over-turned. Bunk off Early you have to assume he is the second string to Melon, but what they do at home does always translate to the course so I wouldn’t rule him out.

2.10pm £175,000 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2m

The Arkle Novices chase, has been run on the opening day since 1980 after previously been a second day event. Formerly known as the Cotswold Chase before 1969.

This race is a breeding ground for horses to go on to major Cheltenham success. Previous winner include Remittance Man, Flagship Uberallas, Sprinter Sacre, Sizing Europe, Moscow Flyer and Alverton – who is the only horse to win this and then go onto to take the Gold Cup.

Race fact: There has only been one double figure priced winner in the last 10 years – Western Warhorse at 33/1 in 2014
Race odds: 1/4 Altior, 8/1 Charbel, 10/1 Top Notch, 14/1 Royal Caviar, 16/1 Forest Bihan
TGT prediction: One way traffic – the British banker Altior will not disappoint. Charbel each-way good value.
Adam Norman’s view: Cloudy Dream each-way. Altior is impossible to oppose but this Northern raider has the ability to pick up a place.
WilliamHill say: Altior is going to be very short, so distance markets or even without might be the best thing for betting – he is higher rated than Douvan at same stage of his career, he jumps amazingly well and has great speed and I can’t see how he will be beaten. There are a few others to look at Charbel ran second to Altior last time out but my only concern with is him not racing since December and I am cautious about that, I don’t like horses who have been sick and he was coughing over December. I like Forest Bihan at 16/1 – he won at Doncaster last time out – he made a bad mistake three-out but still managed to rally and finish well and I think he will be in the first-three so a good each-way one but Altior’s hand-down the banker.

2.50pm £105,000 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f

Another race dating back to the 1940s the Handicap Chase is normally seen as a perfect grounding for the Grand National at Aintree but also the Gold Cup, with many horses going on to enjoy wins in those huge races after competing in this.

Race fact: Only one horse weighing over 11 stone has won the race in the last decade
Race odds: 8/1 Noble Endeavor, Singlefarmpayment, 10/1 The Druids Nephew, Holywell
TGT prediction: A tough one but we like Holywell here – Jonjo O’Neill has him lined up for this
Adam Norman’s view: Henri Parry Morgan – Hit form this time last year and well handicapped on the basis of those efforts.
WilliamHill say: I really like last year’s winner Un Temps Pour Tout to go well again. Noble Endeavor and Singlefarmpayment have both been prepped well for this race so it is no surprise to see them at the top of the market. Holywell they will probably wear some sort of head gear, he needs freshening up and he could run very well.

3.30pm £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f

The first Champion Hurdle was run back in 1927 and is one of the most illustrious races at the Festival. It is one third of the hurdling triple crown along with the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurde at Kempton. Only one horse in history – Kribensis, has managed to claim that honour.

With such a long and distinguished history this race has been won by some of the sports superstars. Five horses have managed to claim this title three times, those being Hatton’s Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War, See You Then and Istabraq.

Race fact: The only horse to win the race more than once in the last decade is Hurricane Fly.
Race odds: 5/2 Yanworth, 4/1 Buveur D’Air, 7/1 Petit Mouchoir, 7/1 Brain Power, 9/1 Moon Racer
TGT prediction: Petit Mouchoir for us, we believe he has more to give and will win the big one.
Adam Norman’s view: Footpad – Will relish a fast run race and be staying on at the end.
WilliamHill say: Moon Racer is a former champion bumper winner, he is an eight-year old and has been tricky to train and he might not get another season – that is the rumour coming from the yard – so it is no surprise seeing him get the chance here. He has plenty of ability and really good flat speed – there are very few in here that have his speed. Yanworth has done very little wrong but you don’t the impression he is a made Champion Hurdle, he grinds out his win and is not a sexy horse. Buveur D’Air – I would not rule him out but he is priced completely wrong from what he has achieved, he has achieved absolutely nothing and the doubt remains as to whether he is a true Grade 1 champion. Petit Mouchoir is another good horse but has been flattered by his performances in Ireland for me, he has not beaten much. And I also think The New One, My Tent or Yours and Sceau Royal are very good prices indeed and are worth a play.

4.10pm £110,000 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f

Introduced to the Festival programme in 2008, the Mares’ Hurdle has already become a firm fans favourite. The first running was on the last day, but since then it has been an opening day staple.

The race is best known for one reason and that is the brilliant Quevega managed to win it six-years-in-row up to 2014. No other horse has ever won this many times at the Festival.

Race fact: Willie Mullins has trained 8 of the 9 winners
Race odds: 6/4 Limini, 9/4 Vroum Vroum Mag, 4/1 Apple’s Jade
TGT prediction: Limini all the way for us here – lovely horse, but all three at front of the market are very good horses.
Adam Norman’s view: Apple’s Jade – A high class mare that will relish the trip and looks sure to be in the shake-up.
WilliamHill say: It’s surprising to see Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini taking each other on in the Mares’ Hurdle, because they are both owned by Rich and Susannah Ricci. If they were with different owners you wouldn’t think twice, but if they really fancied one of them, then why run both? Perhaps they are afraid of something else, like Apple’s Jade. Limini beat Apple’s Jade before but I don’t think she was prepped for those but she has been for this so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that over-turned. Apple’s Jade has also beaten Vroum Vroum Mag already this season too. Lifeboat Mona is a good longer price one, she will be fresh for Cheltenham but weather she can challenge is a big ask.

4.50pm £120,000 J T McNamara National Hunt Chase (Novices) (Amateurs) (Grade 2) 4m

The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup is named in honour of JT McNamara, who was paralysed in a fall at Cheltenham in 2013 and died in 2016. This race is for amateur riders only.

Over 150 years old the National Hunt Chase has been run more times than any other event at the Cheltenham Festival. The Grand Annual is older but has been missing on occasion from the line-up.

Race fact: No horse has ever won this race more than once.
Race odds: 5/1 A Genie In Abottle, 7/1 Edwulf, 9/1 Beware the Bear, Champers on Ice
TGT prediction: Another one to look at the each-way option and Bellshill looks good value
Adam Norman’s view: Kerrow – A wide open contest by Alan King’s charge looks sure to improve for the step-up to 4 miles.
WilliamHill say: A Genie In Abottle and Edwulf have been attracting all the money so far. Of the others I am very sweet on Champers on Ice. He finished third to Youknowhatimeanharry in the Albert Bartlett last year, and then went onto finished second to American in a listed chase, I think he has a big chance of winning the 4miler here, I am all over him and I would say is my handicap bet for the opening day.

5.30pm £70,000 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (0-140) (Listed) 2m 4½f

One of the newer races, introduced when the Festival was extended in 2005. Initially run as an open handicap for novices, it was restricted to horses with a rating of 145 or less in 2011. There was a further tightening of the race conditions from 2012, with the contest being for novice chasers rated 0-140.

Race fact: Despite numerous entries, the Irish have won this race just once.
Race odds: 7/1 Foxtail Hill, 8/1 Its’afreebeee, Gold Present
TGT prediction: A tough pick but Foxtail Hill does look a class act and you have to go with that.
Adam Norman’s view: Tully East – Not many can be fancied here but the cash has come for the Irish raider and that looks significant.
WilliamHill say: Foxtail Hill, the word from the Nigel Twiston-Davies’s yard is that they think he is the best bet of the entire Cheltenham Festival and if that is true then then 7/1 will look like a huge price as the Twiston-Davies’s certainly know how to train a horse for Cheltenham. I think the form stacks up for Foxtail Hill. Slightly longer odds and I was pointed to one called Two Taffs – I have been told he has been campaigned for this race.


1.30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1) (14 runners)
1 Ballyandy Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 7lb Sam Twiston-Davies
2 Beyond Conceit (IRE) Nicky Henderson 11st 7lb Noel Fehily
3 Bunk Off Early (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb P. Townend
4 Capital Force (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 7lb Davy Russell
5 Cilaos Emery (FR) (Hood) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb David Mullins
6 Crack Mome (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb Daniel Mullins
7 Elgin Alan King 11st 7lb Wayne Hutchinson
8 Glaring Amanda Perrett 11st 7lb Leighton Aspell
9 High Bridge Ben Pauling 11st 7lb Mr Alex Ferguson
10 Labaik (FR) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 7lb Jack Kennedy
11 Magna Cartor John Joseph Hanlon, Ireland 11st 7lb Rachael Blackmore
12 Melon W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 7lb R. Walsh
13 Pingshou (IRE) Colin Tizzard 11st 7lb Aidan Coleman
14 River Wylde (IRE) Nicky Henderson 11st 7lb Nico de Boinville

2.10pm Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (9 runners)
1 A Hare Breath (IRE) Ben Pauling 11st 4lb Richard Johnson
2 Altior (IRE) Nicky Henderson 11st 4lb Nico de Boinville
3 Charbel (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Kim Bailey 11st 4lb David Bass
4 Cloudy Dream (IRE) Malcolm Jefferson 11st 4lb Brian Hughes
5 Forest Bihan (FR) Brian Ellison 11st 4lb Aidan Coleman
6 Ordinary World (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 4lb Davy Russell
7 Royal Caviar (IRE) (Hood) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 4lb R. Walsh
8 Some Plan (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 4lb David Mullins
9 Three Stars (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 4lb Robbie Power

2.50pm Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (24 runners)
1 Un Temps Pour Tout (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) David Pipe 11st 12lb Tom Scudamore
2 Noble Endeavor (IRE) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 11lb Davy Russell
3 Theatre Guide (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Colin Tizzard 11st 10lb Paddy Brennan
4 Clarcam (FR) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 10lb B. J. Cooper
5 Viconte du Noyer (FR) Colin Tizzard 11st 8lb Harry Cobden
6 Annacotty (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Alan King 11st 8lb Ian Popham
7 The Young Master (Sheepskin C/P) Neil Mulholland 11st 7lb Mr S. Waley-Cohen (3)
8 Label des Obeaux (FR) Alan King 11st 5lb Wayne Hutchinson
9 Holywell (IRE) (Blinkers) Jonjo O’Neill 11st 5lb Richie McLernon
10 Junction Fourteen (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Emma Lavelle 11st 5lb Leighton Aspell
11 The Druids Nephew (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Neil Mulholland 11st 3lb Noel Fehily
12 Ibis du Rheu (FR) (Hood, Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 11st 3lb Sam Twiston-Davies
13 Measureofmydreams (IRE) Noel Meade, Ireland 11st 3lb Sean Flanagan
14 Buywise (IRE) Evan Williams 11st 2lb Adam Wedge
15 Coologue (IRE) Charlie Longsdon 11st 1lb Brian Hughes
16 Caid du Berlais (FR) (Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 11st 0lb Stan Sheppard (5)
17 Henri Parry Morgan (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Peter Bowen 10st 13lb Sean Bowen
18 Singlefarmpayment (Hood) Tom George 10st 13lb A. P. Heskin
19 Pilgrims Bay (IRE) (Hood, Sheepskin C/P) Neil Mulholland 10st 9lb James Best
20 Go Conquer (IRE) Jonjo O’Neill 10st 8lb Aidan Coleman
21 Antony (FR) Gary Moore 10st 5lb Jamie Moore
22 A Good Skin (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Tom George 10st 5lb Richard Johnson
23 Vintage Clouds (IRE) Sue Smith 10st 5lb Sean Quinlan
24 Vic de Touzaine (FR) Venetia Williams 10st 5lb Liam Treadwell

3.30pm Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (12 runners)
1 Brain Power (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Nicky Henderson 11st 10lb David Mullins
2 Buveur d’Air (FR) Nicky Henderson 11st 10lb Noel Fehily
3 Ch’tibello (FR) (Tongue Strap) Dan Skelton 11st 10lb Harry Skelton
4 Cyrus Darius Malcolm Jefferson 11st 10lb Brian Hughes
5 Footpad (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb R. Walsh
6 Moon Racer (IRE) David Pipe 11st 10lb Tom Scudamore
7 My Tent Or Yours (IRE) (Hood) Nicky Henderson 11st 10lb Aidan Coleman
8 Petit Mouchoir (FR) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 10lb B. J. Cooper
9 Sceau Royal (FR) Alan King 11st 10lb Daryl Jacob
10 The New One (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 10lb Sam Twiston-Davies
11 Wicklow Brave W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 10lb P. Townend
12 Yanworth (Sheepskin C/P) Alan King 11st 10lb Mark Walsh

4.10pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race (Grade 1) (18 runners)
1 Apple’s Jade (FR) (Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 5lb B. J. Cooper
2 Bon Chic (IRE) James Moffatt 11st 5lb Henry Brooke
3 Briery Queen (Hood) Noel Williams 11st 5lb Richard Johnson
4 Colin’s Sister Fergal O’Brien 11st 5lb Paddy Brennan
5 Debdebdeb Dan Skelton 11st 5lb Harry Skelton
6 Hidden Identity (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Tim Vaughan 11st 5lb Alan Johns
7 Indian Stream (Tongue Strap) Neil Mulholland 11st 5lb Noel Fehily
8 Jer’s Girl (IRE) Gavin Cromwell, Ireland 11st 5lb Mark Walsh
9 Lifeboat Mona (Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 11st 5lb Sam Twiston-Davies
10 Limini (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 5lb R. Walsh
11 Midnight Jazz Ben Case 11st 5lb Daryl Jacob
12 Midnight Tour Alan King 11st 5lb Tom Cannon
13 Miss Crick Alan King 11st 5lb Wayne Hutchinson
14 Pass The Time (Sheepskin C/P) Neil Mulholland 11st 5lb Tom Scudamore
15 Rock On The Moor (IRE) Mrs J. Harrington, Ireland 11st 5lb Robbie Power
16 Rons Dream Peter Bowen 11st 5lb Sean Bowen
17 The Organist (IRE) Oliver Sherwood 11st 5lb Leighton Aspell
18 Vroum Vroum Mag (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 5lb P. Townend

4.50pm J T McNamara National Hunt Chase (Grade 2) (18 runners)
1 A Genie In Abottle (IRE) Noel Meade, Ireland 11st 6lb Mr J. J. Codd
2 Arbre de Vie (FR) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 6lb Ms K. Walsh
3 Arpege d’Alene (FR) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Paul Nicholls 11st 6lb Mr W. Biddick
4 Ballycross Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 6lb Mr H. F. Nugent
5 Bells ‘n’ Banjos (IRE) Fergal O’Brien 11st 6lb Miss A. E. Stirling
6 Beware The Bear (IRE) Nicky Henderson 11st 6lb Mr S. Waley-Cohen
7 Bigbadjohn (IRE) Rebecca Curtis 11st 6lb Mr Barry O’Neill
8 Champers On Ice (IRE) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) David Pipe 11st 6lb Mr R. P. Quinlan
9 Dancing Shadow (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Victor Dartnall 11st 6lb Mr Sean Houlihan
10 Edwulf (Tongue Strap) Joseph Patrick O’Brien, Ireland 11st 6lb Mr Derek O’Connor
11 Flintham (Sheepskin C/P) Mark Bradstock 11st 6lb Mr M. Legg
12 Haymount (IRE) W. P. Mullins, Ireland 11st 6lb Mr P. W. Mullins
13 Kerrow (IRE) Alan King 11st 6lb Mr Joshua Newman
14 Martello Tower (IRE) (Blinkers) Ms Margaret Mullins, Ireland 11st 6lb Mr Steven Clements
15 Missed Approach (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) Warren Greatrex 11st 6lb Mr N. McParlan
16 Tiger Roll (IRE) (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) Gordon Elliott, Ireland 11st 6lb Ms L. O’Neill
17 What A Moment (IRE) (Sheepskin C/P) David Pipe 11st 6lb Mr R. O. Harding
18 Calett Mad (FR) (Tongue Strap) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 4lb Mr Z. Baker

5.30pm Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (20)
1 Zamdy Man Venetia Williams 11st 12lb Aidan Coleman
2 Last Goodbye (IRE) Miss Elizabeth Doyle, Ireland 11st 10lb Sean Flanagan
3 Double W’s (IRE) Malcolm Jefferson 11st 10lb Brian Hughes
4 Mixboy (FR) Keith Dalgleish 11st 10lb Brian Harding
5 Foxtail Hill (IRE) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 10lb William Twiston-Davies
6 Hammersly Lake (FR) Nicky Henderson 11st 10lb David Mullins
7 Captain Redbeard (IRE) Stuart Coltherd 11st 9lb Sam Coltherd (5)
8 Templehills (IRE) (Hood) Nigel Twiston-Davies 11st 9lb Dave Crosse
9 Bun Doran (IRE) Tom George 11st 9lb A. P. Heskin
10 Killiney Court (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 9lb M. P. Fogarty
11 Its’afreebee (IRE) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Dan Skelton 11st 9lb Harry Skelton
12 Powersbomb (IRE) (Hood) Brian McMahon, Ireland 11st 8lb Mr J. J. Codd
13 Tully East (IRE) Alan Fleming, Ireland 11st 8lb Denis O’Regan
14 Relentless Dreamer (IRE) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Rebecca Curtis 11st 8lb P. Townend
15 Deans Road (IRE) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 8lb A. E. Lynch
16 Gold Present (IRE) Nicky Henderson 11st 7lb Jeremiah McGrath
17 Two Taffs (IRE) (Tongue Strap, Sheepskin C/P) Dan Skelton 11st 7lb Davy Russell
18 Sizing Tennessee (IRE) (Blinkers) Colin Tizzard 11st 7lb Tom O’Brien
19 All Hell Let Loose (IRE) (Tongue Strap) Henry de Bromhead, Ireland 11st 7lb B. J. Cooper
20 Burtons Well (IRE) Venetia Williams 11st 7lb Charlie Deutsch (3)

Related Posts

This website is strictly for over 18’s. If you do have any concerns about gambling please contact GambleAware
© 2023 The Gambling Times. All rights reserved.