The forecast for the Cheltenham Festival on the opening day, the Tuesday, is good to soft, soft in places. It is likely that the track will dry out a bit between now and the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as Sunday and Monday has a dry forecast. With the ground likely to be good to soft on Day One, Adrian Wall has picked out three horses who should relish conditions. Make sure you check out out Cheltenham Festival Tips for each and every day of the action.
The horse that ticks all of the ground boxes here is the Nicky Henderson-trained and JP McManus-owned Jonbon. The six-year-old son of Walk In The Park is a perfect three wins from three on good to soft so holds the upper hand. He might be workmanlike but there is no doubting his class. Some of his rivals like Constitution Hill are unproven on a quicker surface.
2006 was the last time an Irish-trained horse won this race. That was Tony Martin’s Dun Doire and it is usually a race that goes to the British. However, Death Duty has a strong chance in this year’s renewal. He is one of only a few horses that has been leniently treated by the British handicapper and he arrives here off the back of an impressive display at Punchestown. Three from four on good to soft, his only blemish was when he fell.
Willie Mullins has a very strong hand in the race but it could go the way of Queens Brook from Gordon Elliott’s stable. She was ultra impressive when beating a good horse in Ciel De Neige on this ground at Fairyhouse in November. There was no disgrace in getting turned over by Burning Victory at Punchestown last time giving that one weight and she holds every chance.
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