Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival has come to a close and it’s certainly been an interesting one. Perhaps leaving punters frustrated, there has certainly been no shortage of surprises and some mighty performances from many horses. See the day in review below and we have all our Cheltenham Festival Day 2 tips online to view now!
Supreme Novices Hurdle
Although not consenting to set off with the field on his last three starts, Gordon Elliott’s Labaik took the Festival opener and sprung somewhat of a surprise. One of the main contenders, Ballyandy, had a troubled passage and clipped heels when turning into the back straight and was shuffled back. That severely hampered his chances and although Melon had a beautiful passage through the race, it was Labaik who cruised into contention on the turn for home and when unleashed by Jack Kennedy, there was only one winner.
Result – 1st Labaik (25/1) 2nd Melon (3/1J) 3rd River Wylde (8/1)
Taken along at a good clip by Charbel, as they turned for home in the Arkle there were certainly some nervous moments for Altior has he moved up alongside the long time leader. Unfortunately for the sake of a good race Charbel fell at the second last, leaving Altior out in front and there was no danger after that. This is not to say that Charbel would have won the race, the way Altior came clear towards the finish suggested he had much more left but Kim Bailey’s Charbel was almost certain to finish second, which was a huge shame for connections. Though some will be disappointed Altior didn’t win by more, he delivered the goods when it mattered most.
Result – 1st Altior (1/4F) 2nd Cloudy Dream (12/1) 3rd Ordinary World (25/1)
With the first ‘Festival Banker’ going in, Douvan is the second leg of the seemingly unbeaten double. As Willie Mullins still searches for his first Festival winner of 2017, his Douvan has been boosted to 6/1 tomorrow, see the offer below!
Ultima Handicap Chase
Off top weight, it looked an uphill task for last year’s winner Un Temps Pour Tout to go back to back in the race and with Singlefarmpayment the best backed horse of the day, we were set for an intriguing race. Singlefarmpayment jumped and travelled brilliantly and took over at the final fence, looking like the winner as they set off up the hill. However, Un Temps Pour Tout was game and all heart, battling back to lead close home and despite Singlefarmpayment rallying gamely towards the finish, he followed up last year’s win in determined fashion. Bookies 2, Punters 1.
Result 1st Un Temps Pour Tout (9/1) 2nd Singlefarmpayment (5/1F) 3rd Noble Endeavour (15/2) 4th Buywise (33/1)
One of the most wide open Champion Hurdles in history was upon us and Yanworth set off a well backed 2/1 favourite to give owner JP McManus a 50th Cheltenham Festival victory. Although he travelled well and had a good position on the rail, he found nothing down the side, though there was one horse who had been travelling equally as well and found plenty turning for home. Buveur D’Air pounced on the turn for home and the race was over as soon as he hit the front, powering clear to make Nicky Henderson the winning most trainer of the Champion Hurdle. It was another brave effort from My Tent Or Yours who came off the strong pace to finish second for the third time in this contest, a very good display. The pace setting Petit Mouchoir was back in third.
Result 1st Buveur D’Air (5/1 2F) 2nd My Tent Or Yours (5/1) 3rd Petit Mouchoir (6/1)
Nicky Henderson kick started his Festival in the best way with two brilliant winners, becoming the winning most trainer of the Champion Hurdle with Buveur D’Air’s victory. His Might Bite has been boosted to 16/1 tomorrow, see the offer below!
The main focal point coming into the race was whether Ruby Walsh had got it right, was he right to partner Limini instead of Vroum Vroum Mag? In the end, it didn’t matter! They both tried their hardest, but our tip Apple’s Jade wasn’t to be denied and battled back gamely despite being headed by Vroum Vroum Mag to win going away again at the finish. Limini clouted the final hurdle and landed on all fours, but wasn’t likely to win regardless as she was making little to no impression on the winner.
Result 1st Apple’s Jade (7/2) 2nd Vroum Vroum Mag (11/4) 3rd Limini (6/4F)
National Hunt Chase
First and foremost, our hearts go out to Edwulf and his connections, who was in the process of running a brilliant race when unfortunately pulling up just after the last after sustaining an injury. Despite making mistakes on multiple occasions, Tiger Roll tanked his way through the race and could be called the winner a long way from home, going on to win by three lengths under Lisa O’Neill. Missed Approach ran huge in second for Warren Greatrex after being prominent throughout and Haymount ran on strongly from a very unpromising position to finish third with Arpege D’Alene in fourth.
Result 1st Tiger Roll (16/1) 2nd Missed Approach (50/1) 3rd Haymount (33/1) 4th Arpege D’Alene (12/1)
JP McManus will be looking to gain his third winner of the meeting after such a cruel finish to the contest and he has a sound chance of doing so with Cantolow in the Cross Country Chase. He has been boosted to 16/1 with Betfair, see the offer below!
Close Brothers Novices Chase
A race of twists and turns, the well backed Foxtail Hill took them along until falling with nearly a circuit to go, capping off a miserable day for Nigel Twiston-Daives. The finish was a frenetic one with any one of ten horses in with a chance as they turned for home, with Powersbomb striking the front at the second last and looking the likely winner. However, he clattered his way through the final fence and handed the advantage to Tully East, who needed no second invitation and gave Ireland their fourth winner of the day.
Result 1st Tully East (8/1) 2nd Gold Present (14/1) 3rd Two Taffs (7/1) 4th Powersbomb (22/1)