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Hour glass start time 13:30 14 Mar

661/1 Day 1 Acca

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Novices' Hurdle

Calendar 14th March
Horse Racing icon start time 13:30
Horse Racing icon Facile Vega to win
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It’s important to get off to a good start to Cheltenham week so let’s hope that we’re on the winner of the first race!

My pick for the Supreme is Facile Vega at around 2/1. Willie Mullins is a master of his craft and has won 5 of the last 10 renewals of this race and he also managed to win 6 mares hurdles with the mother of this horse, Quevega.

This horse is clearly very well bred and Willie thinks an awful lot of him so it would be very special for him to add another Cheltenham success to his name after easily winning last year’s bumper.

He was electric in his first two starts over hurdles and he has already beaten third favourite Il Etait Temps so if you’re willing to forgive his run in the Dublin Racing Festival (where he had multiple excuses) then this price is awfully generous.

Novices' Chase

Calendar 14th March
Horse Racing icon start time 14:10
Horse Racing icon Jonbon to win
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Some have described Jonbon as a ‘God given cert’ to win in the Arkle Chase on Tuesday afternoon at Cheltenham, despite the likes of El Fabiolo to contend with. When you take a look at the stats however, it’s understandable as to why so many are confident in the horse.

8 wins from 9 lifetime races is some record, with a 100% win rate over fences boding well for the horse’s chances in the Arkle Chase. Where did he finish in the race he didn’t win, you ask? He finished 2nd; this horse is a serial contender.

Jonbon’s last race came on the 11th of Feb at Warwick, where he powered home to win by several lengths. That’s despite a tentative jump at the last that saw this horse on somewhat unsteady legs, but the 7 year old exhibited the power, the speed, and the stamina to stride clear of Calico behind him.

As mentioned earlier, this looks to be a two horse race, and trainer Nicky Henderson should fancy his chances here.

Handicap Chase

Calendar 14th March
Horse Racing icon start time 14:50
Horse Racing icon Corach Rambler to win
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Corach Rambler has two wins from two at Cheltenham, and he’s bidding to defend his crown after winning this exact race this time last year.

Corach Rambler recently impressed with his run in the Coral Cup at Newbury where he ended up finishing fifth. He’s been saved for this week and should be fresh as he looks to win the Handicap Chase again.

The ground will be on the soft side at Cheltenham and that suits Corach Rambler down to the ground and that’s why he performs there. He’s capable of finishing a race in devastating fashion, so if he keeps pace throughout, it might be difficult to stop him.

David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle

Calendar 14th March
Horse Racing icon start time 16:10
Horse Racing icon Brandy Love to win
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In the mares hurdle, we see one of the most competitive renewals of the race for a very long time and the master of the mares Willie Mullins runs Brandy Love as his first string.

he will relish every yard of this trip and convincingly beat the reopposing Love Envoi last year by 8 lengths at Punchestown.

There are question marks over if she’s good enough to win an open company grade 1 but there are also question marks about if Honeysuckle and Epatante are regressing!

It’s going to be a very hard race to win but Willie Mullins knows what it takes and I’d be very shocked if he didn’t even have a horse hit the frame.

She can be forgiven for her reappearance as she didn’t look 100% fit and this has been the aim all season.

Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle

Calendar 14th March
Horse Racing icon start time 16:50
Horse Racing icon Gaillard Du Mesnil to win
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The best bet on day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival comes in the last race of the day in the form of even money chance Gaillard Du Mesnil who I can’t quite believe is even money!

This horse is a class act and as a second season novice, he is more experienced at jumping fences than any of the rivals he will face.

He’s also rated 8lb higher than any other rival in this field yet carries the same weight as all of them. With stamina no issue after his fantastic 3rd in last year’s Irish Grand National, I expect Patrick Mullins to keep things simple, jump well and then extend his advantage late on, just like he did when riding Stattler to victory in this contest last year.

Stattler’s now vying for the second favourite position in the Gold Cup so Willie clearly doesn’t mind sending a good one to this race and I think this classy horse will win the race for him for the second year running.

Stake £5
Potential Returns £1675
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