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Cheltenham Festival 2018: Day 1 Tips - Each-Way Alternatives To Getabird, Buveur d'Air And Apple's Jade Offered Up

Mares' Hurdle jolly Apples' Jade
Mares' Hurdle jolly Apples' Jade

It’s fair to say that Cheltenham Festival fever is sweeping the racing nation - and quite a bit out of the rest of it besides - this morning and there’re few feelings like it in sport.

We’ve been busily getting through the cards, making adjustments for the deep ground ‘round Prestbury Park, and we’ve got some fancies from the first day of the meeting.

1:30 - Supreme Novices Hurdle

Followers of the page will know that there are two Irish raiders we’ve liked in this for a while - Paloma Blue and Mengli Khan.

With the ground predicted to suit Gordon Elliott’s charge slightly better than the former, he’s a fair bet this morning at 16/1 for those that don't have an interest already.

14:10 - Arkle Challenge Trophy

Favourite Footpad has earned his place at the head of the market and looks a born chaser.

Saint Calvados will thrive on the ground and is one that’s offered to give him a race - but odds of 3/1 aren’t appealing in a competitive small-field affair like this, so it’s no bet for us. 

Better to just soak this one up and enjoy.

14:50 - Ultima Handicap

In the first of five handicaps for the week, Coo Star Sivola tops the market and does look the most likely winner.

Improvement up in trip last time and festival form to his name, added to fact that he’s well-treated up just 7lb for that one, leaves him with a strong case.

The price has well and truly gone for that one though and it’s worth offering up another in opposition - Ramses de Teillee goes for the canny Pipe stable that took this last year. He’s a consistent sort that’ll thrive on the ground and he’s an each-way play at 12/1.

15:30 - Champion Hurdle

Once more, followers of these pages will know that we’ve liked one in this for some time.

Wicklow Brave is a slightly unhinged sort but we’re fond of him. He’s hugely talented and you can read the case we’ve made for him here.

With My Tent or Yours out of the equation and Buveur d'Air short at the top of the market, we’re willing to get another one onside at a nice price in each-way opposition.

Melon is another slightly unusual type and, although this might seem counterintuitive, is not one we’ve always thought a massive amount of.

Second in the Supreme last year, he ran no sort of race in a first-time hood last time, but a strong pace here can help him settle and he might just be able to improve past a few older horses here.

18/1 is fair.

16:10 Mares' Hurdle

Apple’s Jade is a superstar mare and will likely mop up yet another Grade 1 for Gordon Elliott, who has ignored calls to let her take her chance in the Champion.

Elliott is of the “win-the-race-you-can” school and it’s hard to blame him.

Efforts to oppose her might be focused on the form of a race at Kempton in November. La Bague Au Roi gave Jer’s Girl four pounds that day and roundly beat her. The former has improved at a rate of knots since and they race off level weights here.

The step back in trip on deep ground will see this stout stayer lobbing into the middle of things at the end of the race and should be able to run into a place at least. At 13/2 she’s a fair price.

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