So for this weeks blog I’m going to take a look at day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival

Please note that this is just my opinion and I don’t consider myself to be a tipster of any sort, I did attend two preview nights and have done some homework.

The supreme novice kicks us off and the Irish have the best form in the race, the roar at the start of the race is sometimes matched at the end when a Irish horse comes up the hill, this year may well continue like that.  Asterion forlonge impressed me at Leopardstown the last day, he maintained  an intense gallop from the front end that day and burned off the well regarded Easywork. He’s a high class horses who’s had some injury problems but if that hard race at the Dublin Racing Festival hasn’t taken his toll, I think he’ll take all the beating. Willie was surprised by him at Leopardstown, as he thought he wanted further, but on that evidence, he seems to have the natural ability to perform over any trip.

Selection :  Asterion Forlonge

Ew shot : Fiddlerontheroof

The Arkle is race 2 and we yet again have a good hand in this race with the top two in the betting. Fakir Doudarie’s will come here a fresh horse.

He did get beaten by notebook who is 9-4 compared to 9-2 fakir at Leopardstown over Christmas, but notebook has had two hard races including at the Dublin Racing Festival when Fakir D’oudaries was a non-runner, due to drying ground. On that occasion, Notebook had to dig deep under Racheal Blackmore to hold off the persistent challenge of cashback. The two of them started racing from a long way out and the race may have left its mark.

Selection: Fakir D’oudaries

Ew: Spirit du Large

The ultima chase a handicap over 3m 1 f.

 A few horses in this will have had this as a target for a while. My initial fancy was Le Breuil, he is now being aimed at the Kim Mui.   Discorama has looked like there is a big staying chase in him on several occasions, Paul Nolan’s horses are in tremendous form this season

Alan king saddles who dares wins, coming here after a recent win, trainer said he would like to see him over 3 miles as all he does is stay all day , hes 8-1

Selection: Le Breuil e/w

The champion hurdle is the feature on day one.

Personally, I’ve done 2 horses ante post in this race. I have Supasundae ew at 20’s and 16’s. Also, the gutsy and brave Petit mouchoir at 33’s ew. My reason for supasundae is his form is better at 2 miles , they tried longer trips but he just didn’t stay, he hopefully will have normal improvement from his comeback race, where he galloped through the line very well, petit mouchoir might just get his own way in front or if something else leads him he will be in the right place to pick them off, he’s having his best season and keeps splitting nice horses, you can’t knock him for his age if he’s doing it on the track. He has course form and heart of a lion.

Pentland hills has had a wind op, they sometimes work first time out but other times its best for their second race after it. I’m not sure that epatante has beat all that much on his way here, if there’s another under the radar in a very open race, maybe its Coeur sublime who popped up at the preview nights a few times.

Selection: supasundae ew

Petit mouchoir ew

The Mares hurdle looks like a showdown between the two star mares, in Honeysuckcle and Benie Des Dieux.

Lady Buttons is a high class mare in her own right and I fancy her to be third

 For a small stable it would almost be like winning the race for them if she was to finish behind the top two. She’s 16-1 and my each way selection.

Selection: Honeysuckle

Ew bet: lady buttons

Two handicaps close out day 1.  In the first of them is a novice Handicap Chase (listed race) My selection is Espoir Du Guye  for Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch.

  Espoir Du Guye : 12-1

The final race on day one is for the amateurs and currently only 20 remain in it.  At a big price ocean cove 50-1 could sneak a place, the selection for win would be ravenhill at 7-1, he will be half that on the day Jamie Codd rides.

Good luck and enjoy the racing