The biggest week of the British horse racing calendar has arrived, and Cheltenham 2016 kicks off with a day of mouth-watering races in which punters from up and down the country will be hoping to springboard a festival of profit.
After weeks of anticipation, Tuesday’s action is shaping up very nicely indeed, especially on the gambling front. Bookmakers are fighting fiercely for punters and that competition has brought a number of fascinating offers. New customers can take advantage of many sign up offers, including Coral’s £1 50/1 on offer on Douvan to win the Arkle Trophy at 14:10.
Meanwhile, Paddy Power are offering a Money Back Special throughout the week where 2nd places horses will receive a refund up to £25. As a punter, searching for the best odds and concessions is vital.
The bulk of the action is broadcast live on Channel 4 racing. But if you can’t get yourself to a television, there’s ample coverage from the most reputable bookmakers. It’s going to be a fascinating day of drama, and the main question is where to put your money.
Here’s everything you need to know on day 1 of the festival.
Annie Power To Make Amends For 2015
Last year, Annie Power’s fall at the final fence essentially saved the bookmakers from an opening day disaster and there’s no doubt that they’ll be hoping for more of the same. This time, though, the 8-year-old filly can make amends by winning Tuesday’s big event.
Annie Power was initially thought to be entered in the Mares’ Hurdle once more. However, she has been entered for the big one instead following Faugheen’s withdrawal; winning the day’s most lucrative race, the Champion Hurdle, would go a long way to healing those wounds of 2015.
This won’t be easy, and the favourite will face stiff competition from the New One in particular. However, we’re backing Ruby Walsh to put the memory of 2015 behind him by riding the favourite to victroy.
Take Douvan Out Of The Equation
The dead cert on Day 1 comes from the Arkle as Douvan enters the race at odds of just 4/11 in some places. Of course, you should hit the Coral offer if you can. In general, though, we’d suggest betting without the favourite. At 4/11, it’s just not worth the risk, even though we fully expect a win for 6-year-old gelding.
Vaniteux will be the favourite to give Douvan his hardest challenge. However, after coming up short last year, we can’t see any real threat. Instead, we’re backing Sizing John without the favourite.
Elsewhere On Day 1
The action starts at 13:30 with the 2m Supreme Novices, and money is already being smashed on the favourite Min. It could be the start of another big day for the duo of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh, with Vroum Vroum Mag also starting as the favourite in 16:10 mares hurdle. It would certainly be tough to bet against either of those selections, which pay out as a double at just under 6/1.
Arguably the best race to seek value on Tuesday, however, is the 14:50 Grade 3 Ultima Handicap Chase. It’s probably the most competitive field of Day 1 at the festival. A lot of punters will fancy Out Sam to do the business. However, we’re backing Davy Russell to ride Morning Assembly to victory.