Cheltenham Festival 2020: Day One Betting Preview

Cheltenham Festival Race

Oddschanger's Cheltenham Festival Daily Previews

The Cheltenham Festival 2020 is here and as part of Oddschanger's Cheltenham takeover, we are producing day to day betting previews, detailing each race and who to watch at each event. We will detail the best offers out there and the best Cheltenham tips and Cheltenham odds to keep an eye on each day.

Here is Cheltenham Festival's Day One preview, as 'Champion Day' gets underway with the first race of Cheltenham Festival, Supreme Novices' hurdle.

Be sure to stick around our 'Bookmaker Offers' page this Cheltenham Festival for all the best offers for new and existing customers over the four days of the festival.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

The first race of Cheltenham Festival is the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, which is usually started by the traditional Cheltenham roar that begins a mouth-watering four days. The top of the market is dominated by the same owners, in the form of the Donnelly’s who have both Nicky Henderson's Shiskin and Asterion Forlonge, trained by Willie Mullins.

The latter currently just holds favouritism at 5/2 whilst you can get 11/4 for Henderson’s charge. The Irish also have a live chance with Grade One winner Abacadabras. Gordon Elliot’s horse has been off since Christmas but has some smart pieces of form to his name and is 11/2 for Supreme success.

The only British trained horse to win a Grade One is Colin Tizzard’s Fiddlerontheroof. He was last seen winning the Tolworth at Sandown in January and Sky Bet make him 5/1, just ahead of Chantry House at 6/1. The JP McManus owned horse is also trained by Nicky Henderson and could improve to go close. Sky Bet are offering money back in cash up to £10 if your horse doesn’t win.

ICYMI: Read our top three races to watch and the odds at Cheltenham Festival this year.

Arkle Chase

Willie Mullins has trained the winner of the Arkle four times in the last five years and his main hope this year is Cash Back, a 13/2 chance with Sky Bet. Cash Back, however, must reverse form with favourite Notebook of Henry De Bromhead’s. Notebook has won two successive Grade One’s, including seeing off Cash Back last month. Prior to that, Notebook also saw off Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’oudairies and he is in at 7/2 second favourite to give JP McManus a first Arkle victory.

The top of the betting is dominated by the Irish and main British hope is Olly Murphy’s Brewin’upastorm. He is two from two over fences and was last seen at Taunton in November - he is 5/1 with Sky Bet.

It seems like Nicky Henderson has made the decision to run Mister Fisher here too and he could also go well at 8/1, whilst there are many other British horses available at double-figure prices who could run well too, such as Esprit Du Large at 11/1 and Global Citizen and Marie Banrigh, both of whom are 12/1 shots.

ICYMI: Read our preview and the odds the Presbury Cup between Great Britain and Ireland.

Ultima Handicap Chase

After two Grade One’s, the first of the handicaps comes in race three with the Ultima Chase.

Vindication heads the betting of three-mile slog. Kim Bailey’s charge was behind Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation in last year’s JLT and is a 6/1 shot for festival success here. He was just behind Kildistart in that JLT, the form of which has worked out and well and the pair re oppose here, with Kildisart a 9/1 shot with Sky Bet.

Mister Malarky also brings festival form from last years RSA. He was impressive at Kempton last time and is 10/1 to follow up here and Sky Bet make the much-fancied The Conditional 9/1 for David Bridgewater.

ICYMI: Read our Cheltenham Festival top trainers and jockeys preview and take a look at who to keep on eye on this year.

Champion Hurdle

It’s one of the most open Champion Hurdles in years and it seems the race is lacking some sort of superstar but that could be the favourite Epatante, who was last seen winning the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and still has scope for improvement. She is 10/3 for Nicky Henderson’s third win in the race in four years and a fourth successive win for owner JP McManus.

Henderson also has four others in the field. Pentland Hills won the Triumph last year but has yet to win this season and is 5/1 here. Fusil Raffles is another one who is 16/1, Call me Lord won over course and distance in December and is a 20/1 shot whilst it’s 33/1 for Verdana Blue.

The Irish have many challengers. Willie Mullins has supplemented Cilaos Emery and is 6/1 and Darver Star finished second in the Irish Champion hurdle and seems overpriced at 12/1, the same price of both Sharjah and Supersundae.

Mares Hurdle

This race revolves around the two superstar Irish mares. Willie Mullins’ Benie Des Dieux takes on Honeysuckle of Henry De Bromhead’s in an exciting clash.

The market is speaking heavily in favour of the Mullins mare. She won this race in 2018 and was odds on to regain her title last year. She fell at the last when seemingly having the race in safe keeping and looks to put that right this year and is a 4/6 shot with Sky Bet to do just that.

Connections of Honeysuckle avoided the temptation of the champion hurdle but know they have a real race against Benie Des Diux. Honeysuckle is 6/4 and the two are clear in the market. Last years fortunate winner Roksana is yet to win this season for Dan and Harry Skelton and is 8/1 to repeat that success and Mullins also has Stormy Ireland who placed in the race last year and she is a 7/1 shot with Sky Bet.

Nothern Trust Handicap Chase

The second and final handicap of Day one is over two and a half miles. Kim Bailey has the well-backed Vindication in the Ultima and will be hoping him and David Bass can have a day one handicap double, with Sky Bet having Imperial Aura as 5/1 favourite here. Bass’ horse has been well backed for this and is at the top of the market, ahead of Gordon Elliott’s Galvin, who is 6/1 with Sky Bet.

The Skeltons know how to get one ready for a Cheltenham handicap and will be confident of a good run from Beakstown at 12/1. JP McManus often targets handicaps at Cheltenham and has Champagne Platinum here also at 12/1. He’s trained by Nicky Henderson who the race last year and could go well.

National Hunt Chase

La Breuil saw off Discroma in a gruelling affair last year which has meant several changes to the race this year, including lowering the distance of the race by 2 furlongs and introducing a qualifying process to run which has meant perhaps not the biggest field.

Carefully Selected has been all the range in the market and with no Champagne Classic in the race, is a short price of 13/8 to win. He clearly has the class but will need to improve his jumping from last time. Sam Walehy-Cohen is one of the most respected amateurs in Britain and he’ll be confident he can get a fine-tune out of Lord Du Mensil, who has a huge chance at 8/1, as does Springfield Fox at 9/1.

This content is often hard-fought and requires stamina to get home so perhaps the lower end of the market could provide value if wanting to take on the favourite.

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