cheltenham festival
>The 2019 Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday 12 March; the first of four days of quality racing from the equine world’s very best horses. Here we preview some of the best races of the first two days and offer our Cheltenham racing tips.

12 March – Cheltenham – 1.30

2m½f (2m87y) (Old) Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+) 1/5 1-5

A competitive opening race of the Festival will likely see four horses amongst the field of 17 compete to land the first prize of the week. Some of the top yards will be represented, including by favourite, Al Dancer, who goes for Nigel Twiston-Davies, Klassical Dream for the Willie Mullins yard, and Fakir D’oudairies for Jospeh O’Brien.

However, our pick is Angels Breath, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville. Despite being beaten last time out in the Grade 2 Dovecote at Kempton Park, she has real potential for the champion trainer and can get the week off to flyer for Henderson.

Get Angels Breath to win @5/1 with novibet

12 March – Cheltenham – 2.10

2m (1m7f199y) (Old) Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+) 1/4 1-3

Mick Channon will be confident of landing his first winner of this years’ Festival in the Novices Chase with Glen Forsa, but Gordon Elliott, who’s Cheltenham record is incredible, will be hopeful that Hardline is the one coming back to the winners enclosure.

However, we like the each-way chances of Ornua who goes for Henry De Bromhead. He has been a very useful novice, consistently finishing in the top two, who has switched to fences this season. If Rachael Blackmore can get him round, he could spring a surprise.

Ornua is a 14/1 each way chance with 888sport

12 March – Cheltenham – 3.30

2m½f (2m87y) (Old) Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+) 1/5 1-3

The Champion Hurdle is one to really look forward to as Apple’s Jade, Buveur D’Air, and Laurina are likely to battle it out. All have a great record here and it could be an almighty tussle up the hill at the finish, but we see Apple’s Jade landing this race for trainer, Gordon Elliott.

She has superb form over various trips and on different ground, including when racing back at 2m last time out. This could be Elliott’s first winner of the week with Jack Kennedy in the saddle.

Apple’s Jade to win is 2/1 with MansionBet

13 March – Cheltenham – 2.10

3m½f (3m80y) (Old) RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+) 1/5 1-3

This is likely to be fought out between Delta Work for Gordon Elliott, Santini for Nicky Henderson, and Topofthegame for Paul Nicholls. Our selection is Delta Work who has won all three of his starts over fences this season, the last two in Grade 1 races. Davy Russell, who knows how to win at Cheltenham, is in the saddle and he can guide the favourite to another win.


Delta Work to win is 15/8 with MansionBet

13 March – Cheltenham – 3.30

2m (1m7f199y) (Old) Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+) 1/5 1-3

One of the stars of the Cheltenham Festival appears in the Queen Mother Chase, as Altior goes for Nicky Henderson with Nico de Boinville on board. He is a huge odds-on favourite, with only Min for, Willie Mullins, likely to challenge.

Although Altior is probably going to win, his odds are too short. So with nine in the race, an each-way bet is the best route to go and we think Politologue can place in the top three. If able to show peak form, he can certainly get up to challenge for 2nd or 3rd.

Politologue is a 20/1 each way chance with MansionBet

13 March – Cheltenham – 4.10

3m6f (3m6f37y) (X-Country) Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase) (Class 2) (5yo+)

The 3m6f cross country race is one of the more spectacular races at the Festival, with 16 horses set to line up for it. That incudes last year’s winner, Tiger Roll, who then went on to famously win the 2018 Grand National. The strong favourite, who goes for Gordon Elliott’s yard, once again has Keith Donoghue in the saddle, the same jockey that guided him to victory last year.

The 6/5 odds look a bit too short, therefore, a chance is taken with Ultragold, who goes for Colin Tizzard. He excels over the National fences at Aintree, so there’s optimism these obstacles will suit too. Harry Cobden is in the saddle.