Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Thoughts on Cheltenham Day 1

The first day of Cheltenham is always my favourite. You start with the Supreme Novices Hurdle, then the Arkle Chase, the Champion Hurdle and the Mare's Hurdle. There are also three indecipherable Handicap Chases that I will steer clear of except for a nibble at a Paul Nichols outsider. The four championship races I've mentioned are probably best watched as they all feature Willie Mullins (M) trained short shots with Nicky Henderson (H) training the most likely contenders in each case.

1:30 Supreme Novices: Min (M) or Altior (H)

2.10 Arkle: Douvan (M) or Vaniteux (H)

3.30: Champion Hurdle: Annie Power (M) or My Tent or Yours (H)

4.10: Mare's Hurdle: Vroom Vroom Mag (M) or Polly Peachum (H)

I may back these as forecasts rather than go for one or the other. Vroom Vroom Mag seems the best bet of the day (Ruby thinks so anyway) but Polly Peachum has great course form and is better each way value. She's probably my main bet.The Champion Hurdle is the most open in years - I'm not convinced that Annie Power is a two mile champion, especially on the drying ground so I'll look elsewhere.

For an outsider I'll stick a few bob on Southfield Theatre in the 2.50 Ultima Chase at 20-1.

Forget the last two races. They're novice chases, one with amateur riders, so anything can and will happen.