The Cheltenham Festival is finally upon us and the business of getting answers to the months and months of ante-post speculation leading up to the meeting begins.
Traditionally a day of Irish bankers and Mullins multiples, the first day of the of the 2023 extravaganza has an unusually open feel barring the Champion Hurdle, which is near universally expected to amount to a coronation procession for feted X/X favourite Constitution Hill.
Cheltenham Tuesday Betting Tips
1:30 – Facile Vega @ 2/1
2:10 – Jonbon to win @ 13/8
2:50 – Fantastikas each-way @ 20/1
3:30 – Tricast: Constitution Hill (1), State Man (2), Vauban (3) @ SP
4:10 – Brandy Love to win @ 7/1
4:50 – Sir Allen to win (each-way) @ 11/1
5:30 – Gaillard Du Mesnil @ 1/1
Check out the latest horse racing odds at Betzone
1:30 – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Prior to FACILE VEGA’S unexpected Dublin Racing Festival blow out in early February he was an unbeaten odds-on shot for this race with a Champion Bumper win on his resume.
The fact that he turns up for this race at all off the back of that dissatisfying showing suggests his peerless trainer thinks he’s over whatever caused him to underperform on that occasion and ready to do himself justice. That should be good enough in a race where he’s joint-top on official ratings.
Our tip: Facile Vega @ 2/1
2:10 – Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase
El Fabiolo’s Irish Arkle win is the best form on offer here, but JONBON beat him in the Grade 1 Top Novices Hurdle at Aintree last season with the handicap of having contested the Supreme Novices Hurdle three weeks earlier.
Of the pair, Nicky Henderson’s gelding has looked the better jumper of a fence and that should prove decisive in race where you can’t miss a beat.
Our tip: Jonbon to win @ 13/8
2:50 – Ultima Handicap Chase
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ FANTASTIKAS looks a very appealing each-way play off a feather weight of 10st 5lbs after finishing seventh in last year’s running, 13 lengths behind Corach Rambler.
That very decent run came off a handicap mark of 144, yet he manages to return for a second bite at the Cheltenham off 132, nearly a stone lighter.
Our tip: Fantastikas each-way @ 20/1
3:30 – Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
The presence of the fearsome long-odds-on shot Constitution Hill in this seven-runner contest makes this a no-bet race for many. For those keen to have a betting interest, a tricast featuring the first three in the betting could be the way to play.
State Man is seemingly a clear second best having finished four-plus lengths ahead of Vauban twice this season. I Like To Move It’s prominent running style is likely to count against him here give then quality of opposition and he should fade away to hand Vauban the bronze.
4:10 – Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle
This has all the ingredients of a vintage renewal of the Mares Hurdle, with Honeysuckle (159), Maries Rock (153), Epatante (153), Echoes In Rain (152) and BRANDY LOVE (NAP)(149) all rated within 10lbs of one another.
Preference is for the latter, who surely has the most improvement to come. She slammed Love Envoi (now rated 147) at Fairyhouse last April and can be forgiven her recent Punchestown third. She travelled like the best horse in the race before fading late in a pipe-opener that should have her spot on for this.
Our tip: Brandy Love to win @ 7/1
4:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
As always there seem to be more plots than the Agatha Christie section at Waterstones lining up for the Boodles, but regular Betzone news readers got the nod to back Sir Allen before his Naas win in February and he remains an attractive price here.
Byker, who finished third behind him that day, is ahead of him in the betting, yet the way Sir Allen was prominent throughout at Naas, before being headed, then powering back to win relatively comfortably suggests he too has plenty more under the bonnet.
Our tip: Sir Allen to win (each-way) @ 11/1
5:30 – Wellchild National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase
Serial minor medallist GAILLARD DU MESNIL ended a run of five thirds and a second over fences to claim his first Grade 1 win over fences at Leopardstown over Christmas.
That form puts him 8lbs ahead of his closest rival on official ratings here, suggesting he has every chance of landing the odds.
Our tip: Gaillard Du Mesnil @ 1/1