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Cheltenham Tips Day 1: Apple’s Jade and Kalashnikov ripe for wins

| 13.03.2018

Our day 1 preview has arrived

After months of build-up, the Cheltenham Festival is finally here.

Seven star-studded races kick-off the meeting, including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Challenge Trophy, Champion Hurdle and the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.

The Coral News Team have looked over all of the form and the trends to bring you our Cheltenham Festival Day 1 preview.

1:30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Kalashnikov

Getabird looks set to go off as favourite in the opening race of the day. But the value could lie in Kalashnikov. Amy Murphy’s star was a big race winner at Newbury last time out and has proven experience on soft and heavy ground.

The jolly has been impressive over in Ireland but will face a far sterner test on his first trip across the Irish Sea. Add in that he’s yet to go left-handed and this race has the perfect ingredients for Kalashnikov to really stick the knife in.

4:10 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle – Apple’s Jade

Gordon Elliott has a good chance with Jury Duty at 4:50, but Apple’s Jade should be his banker of the day. The six-year-old mare won this contest by 1l from Vroum Vroum Mag last year and has not put a hoof wrong since.

The six-year-old is unbeaten in five, with four of those being Grade 1 contests. She’s comfortably the most consistent runner in the field. Fresh from seeing off high-class opposition in the Christmas Hurdle in December, it would be a surprise if she failed to confirm favouritism here.

4:50 National Hunt Challenge Cup – Jury Duty

This horse has looked looked good over in Ireland. The seven-year-old has placed in all five runs so far this season, winning once in November. He’s always there or thereabouts and will enjoy the testing ground afforded to him at Cheltenham.

Having top amateur jockey Jamie Codd on board furthers his claims, as does his ability to stay beyond 3m. In a race that will be decided by stamina, Gordon Elliott’s charge looks to be the best suited to the challenge.

Cheltenham Racing Tips

1:30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Kalashnikov

2:10 Racing Post Arkle – Footpad: Comfortable winner over Petit Mouchoir in Ireland. Horse relishes testing ground, while the yard has won this contest twice in the last three years.

2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase – Yala Enki: Acts on heavy ground and will enjoy the slog here. Has stamina to burn and could hit the frame despite a high mark in an open field.

3:30 Champion Hurdle – Buveur D’Air: Has conquered all before him in the last two seasons and won this contest last year. The ground will not be a problem for this high-class performer who has four Grade 1 victories under his belt.  

4:10 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle – Apple’s Jade

4:50 National Hunt Challenge Cup – Jury Duty

5:30 Close Brothers’ Novices’ Handicap – Barney Dwan: Finished second in the Pertemps here last year and has built up to this one nicely since. Two wins in his last two suggests that the trip will not be a problem for the eight-year-old.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Nick Murphy