Cheltenham Festival Day One Placepot Perm

Scene from the Supreme 2017.

The Cheltenham Festival really is the greatest show on turf, with four days of top-quality jumps action to whet the appetite.

Everything is bigger at Prestbury Park, including the Tote pools dividends, with many punters chancing their arm at a Placepot or Jackpot perm – hoping for a life-changing payout.

Last year’s Day One Festival Placepot paid an incredible £91,283.90 to just a £1 stake, and with some of this week’s races looking wide-open, there is every chance that we will see another bumper dividend at some point over the next four days.

With this in mind, Joe Eccles has produced his advised Cheltenham Festival Day One Placepot below – with a brief summary of his reasoning for each selection.

Placepot – Day One

1.30 – (3) Asterion Forlonge

            (6) Chantry House

2.10 – (6) Global Citizen

2.50 – (8) Who Dares Wins

             (21) No Comment

3.30 – (4) Coeur Sublime

4.10 – (1) Benie Des Dieux

4.40 – (1) Precious Cargo

             (20) Trainwreck

8 Lines

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Shishkin heads the market here and will likely be a popular selection amongst Placepot punters.

In such a competitive renewal, however, the call is to take him on, with his owner’s apparent second string – Asterion Forlonge – rated as the main danger.

With Cheltenham form to his name, and representing the all-conquering Henderson/McManus combination, Chantry House is a solid alternative in a race that is likely to cause plenty of early Placepot casualties.

Arkle Novices’ Chase

The Arkle market is currently dominated by Irish-based horses, but the English form can receive a boost here via the Ben Pauling-trained Global Citizen.

The eight-year-old was an impressive winner at Kempton last time out, and his peak hurdles form would give his rivals plenty to think about.

Ultima Handicap Chase

The classy Vinndication is likely to be sent off the favourite for this contest, but his lack of form going left-handed suggests that he may be vulnerable.

Who Dares Wins was a Grade 2 winner last time out and has bypassed novice races in favour of this contest.

With the step up to three miles looking capable of unlocking some improvement, he gets the vote.

No Comment has been called plenty of names down the years, but he often saves his best form for around this time of year and should be capable of featuring off his current mark – he rates a clear second-best.

Champion Hurdle

Another potential Placepot-buster in prospect here.

Epatante currently heads the market but her lack of Cheltenham form is an obvious concern, and with that in mind, Coeur Sublime gets the vote.

Gordon Elliott’s charge looked a potential top-notcher when bolting up on his seasonal debut at Down Royal in November.

He disappointed when last seen but there appear to have been valid excuses for that performance, and his second in last year’s Triumph shows that this track will not inconvenience.

Mares’ Hurdle

An absolute cracker in store with star mares’ Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle set to do battle.

Arriving here the fresher horse – having had just the one start this campaign – it’s the Mullins’ inmate who gets the nod.

Northern Trust Handicap Chase

A troublesome ending to a tricky opening-day card.

Kim Bailey’s Imperial Aura holds obvious claims on the back of his recent course second, but there are plenty of unexposed dangers lurking in this line-up, none more so than the Nicky Henderson-trained Precious Cargo.

He is selected alongside Henry De Bromhead’s Trainwreck, who got his career back on track with a close second at Leopardstown latest, where he finished directly in front of a subsequent Grade 3 winner.

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