Jack Milner of BetVictor previews day one of the Cheltenham Festival.
THE only thing bigger than the anticipation of the first day of the festival is the roar of the crowd before the Supreme Novices Hurdle. A year’s worth of ante-post scribbling, analysis and portfolio-building is now meaningless, and it boils down to horse and jockey giving their everything around Prestbury Park.
The Supreme Novices has been a graveyard for favourites in recent years. Binocular, Cousin Vinny, Dunguib and Cue Card were all hotpots who were turned over. But this trend looks set to change with MY TENT OR YOURS. He was a leading bumper horse last year and has taken to hurdles with aplomb, trouncing the Challow Hurdle winner Taquin Du Seuil en route to winning the Betfair Hurdle hard on the steel. He looks all class, and barring accidents should give JP, AP and Nicky Henderson some much deserved compensation for the sorry demise of Champion Hurdle fancy Darlan.
Henderson can really get his festival campaign off to a flyer on day one with SIMONSIG, who absolutely routed the field in the Neptune Novices Hurdle last season. He has taken to fences with some style, winning two novice chases at Kempton and Ascot by a distance without coming off the bridle. His form stacks up and he should have the race set up for him by the front-running pair of Overturn and Arvika Ligeonniere who are likely to go off like the clappers in front.
Fans of Henderson will be in heaven if all goes to plan on day one and he can pull off a quick-fire treble with a horse I am a huge fan of in GRANDOUET. He won the International Hurdle last season, setting himself up to be a leading Champion Hurdle contender before injury ruled him out. Giving weight away in this season’s International, he performed with real credit to split Zarkandar and Rock On Ruby. He will be fit and ready, and Barry Geraghty will leave it late to pounce, with his trademark turn of foot proving lethal up the Cheltenham hill.
There are a number of BetVictor specials available, including those involving Nicky Henderson if, like me, you think he will have a good festival. Don’t forget he will have the likes of Sprinter Sacre, Rolling Star, Bobs Worth and others still to come on days two, three and four. Take a look here for our Cheltenham specials.
BetVictor are still the only company to be Non-Runner Free-Bet on all 27 races at the Cheltenham Festival.
Day One Selections
Supreme Novices Hurdle: My Tent or Yours
Arkle Chase: Simonsig
Champion Hurdle – Grandouet