It’s Tuesday morning on Cheltenham week – and that means we’re just hours away from the biggest horse racing festival in the world.
But are you in the best position to cash in on the runners and riders at the famous event? Probably not.
So our man Dan Zig is here to help out with the picks you need from today’s racing:
13:30 – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4YO plus)
A competitive opener the first with Willie Mullins looking to have a particularly strong hand, having won with the likes of Douvan, Vautour and Champagne fever in recent years. Ruby Walsh has chosen to ride MELON, despite the fact the 5yr old has only had one outing since joining the yard. He has reportedly schooled very well at home over hurdles and is my selection to get us off to a great start in the opener.
Pick – Melon Win – 11/4 with Ladbrokes.
14:10 – Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5YO plus)
The Nicky Henderson trained Altior looks like another superstar coming from the Seven Barrows yard, but, with the price being so short, it does not appeal to me despite probably being the banker of the festival. There are some other talented horses in the field though and I expect ROYAL CAVIAR to be second best if something happens to the short priced favourite.
Pick – Royal Caviar to be placed – 5/4 with Ladbrokes.
14:50 – Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (5YO plus)
Tough handicap with past winners in the race and a few that look fairly treated by the handicapper on paper. I’ve picked out Paul Nicholls’ CAID DU BERLAIS. Coming off of the back of a bit of a disappointing run, he has fallen to a very dangerous winnable mark and with Stan Sheppard able to take 5lbs off his back means he could possibly have even more in hand.
Pick – Caid du Berlais E/W – 20/1 with Ladbrokes.
15:30 – Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4YO plus)
Another tough race, but I’m sure connections of every horse think they are in with a chance with taking the 2017 Champion Hurdle crown. For MOON RACER to skip a prep and enter straight into the championship race and miss out on theeasier option in the Supreme Novices, we should pay attention. David Pipe’s’ charge won the Bumper round this course last year and has not put a foot wrong since.
Pick – Moon Racer E/W – 11/1 with Ladbrokes.
16:10 – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle) (Class 1) (4YO plus)
This event belongs to Willie Mullins and to make sure of this year’s success he lines up both Limini and last year’s winner VROUM VROUM MAG. For me it is a toss up between the pair and just edging it is the latter’s proven success in this race and against better company.
Pick – Vroum Vroum Mag Win – 7/2 with Ladbrokes.