Monday, March 14, 2022

Cheltenham Festival 2022 – Day one preview and tips 

The Cheltenham Festival is finally upon us. Four days of spectacular action set amidst the rolling hills of Gloucestershire begin on Tuesday with the Champion Hurdle in which star mare Honeysuckle bids to make it 15 wins in as many starts under Rules. Henry De Bromhead’s stable star won this event last term and she is the headline act on a card which also features the likes of Jonbon, Constitution Hill, Appreciate It, Edwardstone and Teahupoo.

We have previewed the action with our race by race guide and you can find the latest odds at Boylesports.

1.30pm Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2m)

Patrick Mullins rides Kilcruit in the first race of the Cheltenham Festival but this is one race where the English challenge might be stronger that the Irish
Photo: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

What a way to start the meeting with a brilliant contest featuring Nicky Henderson’s brilliant novice hurdlers Constitution Hill and Jonbon doing battle. Constitution Hill is unbeaten in two starts under Rules and impressed when powering to a facile victory in Grade One company at Sandown last time out. Jonbon is a brother of the mighty Douvan and is unbeaten in four starts under Rules. Willie Mullins has three contenders including Dysart Dynamo who has won his three starts this term along with Kilcruit who remains a fascinating runner and debut winner Bring On The Night. Grade One scorer Mighty Potter, Shallwehaveonemore, Silent Revolution and JPR One complete the nine runners.

Selection: Jonbon

2.10pm Arkle Novices’ Chase (2m)

Edwardstone is a leading player for the British team. He has won his last four starts over fences and impressed at Warwick last time out. Blue Lord and Riviere D’etel were first and second in the Irish Arkle and both are deeply respected, along with the unexposed Haut En Couleurs who fell last time out at Leopardstown, but remains open to plenty of improvement. Saint Sam, Coeur Sublime and Brave Seasca are others to note.

Selection: Haut En Couleurs

2.50pm Ultima Handicap Chase (3m 1f)

A typically competitive event with 24 runners going to post. Frodon is a fascinating runner off top-weight given his previous Grade One winning form at the track, whilst Lostintranslation has to be respected given he is a former Gold Cup third. Does He Know arguably is the one to beat having already won at the track this term and impressing at Ascot last time out. The likes of Discordantly, Full Back, Fantastikas and previous winner Vintage Clouds are also considered. However, Death Duty bounced right back to form when scoring at Punchestown last time out and Gordon Elliott believes the 11-year-old could be well-handicapped for this assignment.

Selection: Death Duty

3.30pm Champion Hurdle (2m)

This is all about Honeysuckle. Unbeaten in 14 starts under Rules, she is already a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and impressed when landing this contest 12 months ago. She is very tough to oppose in this event, which also features previous winner Epatante and Appreciate It who makes his seasonal debut 364 days after landing the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Teahupoo is progressing with every run and is also considered along with Tommy’s Oscar.

Selection: Honeysuckle

4.10pm Mares’ Hurdle (2m 4f)

Telmesomethinggirl was successful at this meeting last term and is deeply respected. Stormy Ireland impressed in the Relkeel at Cheltenham last time out and has to enter proceedings along with Burning Victory and Queens Brook who were first and second at Fairyhouse last term. Mrs Milner, Heaven Help Us and Indefatigable are all former winners at the Cheltenham Festival and also have to be of interest.

Selection: Stormy Ireland

4.50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2m)

Gaelic Warrior is yet to run in Britain or Ireland. A mark of 129 could be interesting for the French import, but there are a host of unexposed runners including last time out winners HMS Seahorse, Brazil and Saint Segal. Other interesting runners are The Tide Turns, Sea Sessions and Ebasari. However, Champion Green impressed at Naas in January and has to be of interest with a mark of 125 looking very workable.

Selection: Champion Green

5.30pm Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Chase (3m 6f)

A cracking event to look forward to. Stattler is deeply respected for Willie and Patrick Mullins, but has only run twice over fences. Vanillier was a winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle last term and deserves respect, but Run Wild Fred has the services of Jamie Codd and backed up victory in a competitive handicap at Navan with a good second in Grade One company at Leopardstown last time out.

Selection: Run Wild Fred

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