Follow The Sportsman on Facebook
Horse Racing  /

Cheltenham Festival Day One Preview - Champion Hurdle Takes Centre Stage At Prestbury Park

Cheltenham Racecourse opens its doors for day one of the festival this afternoon
Cheltenham Racecourse opens its doors for day one of the festival this afternoon

It's the day we've all been waiting for.  The 2019 Cheltenham Festival is upon us and day one is set to be an absolute corker with the seven-race card getting under way at 1:30pm and you can check out all the Cheltenham Festival Racecards here.  A host of Graded races are joined by some devilishly difficult handicap races, and we set the scene for the 'Greatest Show On Turf' here.

A plethora of emerging talents will raise the curtain on Tuesday afternoon as the hugely competitive Supreme Novices' Hurdle will kick off proceedings at Prestbury Park.  The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Al Dancer will be a prominent figure in the betting, but Klassical Dream, Angels Breath and Fakir D'Oudairies will all be leading contenders for what is a wide open contest.

The novice chasers then come to the fore with the Arkle Challenge Trophy and Glen Forsa and Lalor will spearhead the British challenge for the Grade 1 two-mile crown, but Hardline has been well backed over the last few weeks, and Gordon Elliott's raider will be flying the flag for the Irish at 2:10pm.

On to race three, and it's the Ultima Handicap Chase which will attract a number of experienced handicappers and former Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Minella Rocco will be aiming to strut his stuff around the undulations of GL50, and the JP McManus-owned charge will be the one to beat at 2:50pm.

The main event bursts into prominence at 3:30pm as the Champion Hurdle serves up an absolute stonking three-way clash.  Reigning champion Buveur D'Air is aiming to emulate the mighty Istabraq by bagging a third consecutive Champion Hurdle crown, but star mares Apple's Jade and Laurina head into the race in the form of their lives and they will put up a bold bid for glory in what is arguably the race of the entire festival.

Top-class action continues at 4:10pm with the Willie Mullins-trained Benie Des Dieux heading into the Mares' Hurdle as the red-hot favourite.  The Closutton inmate was a fine winner of the race 12 months ago and it's going to take a classy rival to beat her in a race that has been dominated by the aforementioned Mullins since its inception.

Another tough handicap chase is the penultimate race on the card at 4:50pm with the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase attracting a field of progressive performers.  A Plus Tard and Tower Bridge are lively players and will be thereabouts, but as the betting suggests there could be one of a number of winners in a rock-hard betting conundrum.

Day one concludes with the longest race of the entire meeting and it will give a golden opportunity for the amateur jockeys to show their talents in the National Hunt Chase, which is off at 5:30pm.  Ballyward and OK Corral have been prominent figures in the betting for this race for the last few weeks and they should serve up a spectacular duel in this energy-sapping four-mile contest, and it will draw the curtain on Tuesday's action in fine style.

Enjoy the action!


2019 Cheltenham Festival Day One Schedule

Register with The Sportsman to personalise your news feed with your favourite sports and team.
Latest Horse Racing Articles
Bet Slip
Log In
Quick Deposit
Deposit Funds
Change Payment Method
Bet Placed
Retain Selections
Clear Slip
Free Bets
Bet Slip 0
| Join Now
Balance: £0.00
Log Out
The line, odds or availability of your selections has changed.
Remove All
Click a price to add a selection
To view multiples
Multiple options are restricted for the highlighted selections
The line, odds or availability of your selections has changed.
Accept Changes
Total Stake:
£ 0.00

Estimated Returns:
£ 0.00
£ Place Bet
Bet on Bet365 website
New To Bet365?
Bets are accepted in accordance with the operator's rules
and terms and conditions. Hillside (UK Sports) LP is licensed
and regulated by the British Gambling Commissioner
(Licence number 39563). Registered Office Hillside (UK Sports) LP
(registration number 117), Unit 1.1, First Floor, Waterport Place,
2 Europort Avenue, Gibraltar.
BET365 ACCOUNT? New Customer Offer
The Sportsman is an officially endorsed bet365 betting partner. All bets are placed securely via our API link-up with bet365 and no data or transactional information is sahred with or accessible by the sportsman.com. Bets are accepted in accordance with the operator's Rules and Terms and Conditions.