Cheltenham 2020 off and running

So far it is all systems go for Cheltenham despite the COVid-19 effect on other sporting events.

Cheltenham.
Cheltenham. Picture: (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The UK government has stated that based upon the current scientific advice from the government's medical experts there is no rationale to close or cancel sporting events as things stand.

The first day of the Cheltenham Festival starts off with the Supreme Novice's Hurdle Gr 1 with a field of 16.  This is an example of the three main rival trainers at work, namely Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson Shishkin 4/1 and Elliott Abracadabras at 11/2.  There are two runners on 6/1 Chantry House and Fiddlerontheroof and we rather like the latter and the Colin Tizzard horses as they have been running very well of late and this horse won the Tolworth Hurdle which is Gr. 1.

The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase Gr. 1 has 11 starters headed by the wonderful Notebook with the equally wonderful Racheal Blackmore on board for Henry de Bromhead.  They are on 3/1 with the Joseph O'Brien trained Fakir d'Oudairies on 4/1 and Brewin'upastorm  11/2.  We like a roughie here – Rouge Vif trained by Henry Whittington and to be ridden by Gavin Sheehan and 14/1 is the quote.

The Unibcet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy is Gr 1 with 17 runners.  Favourite Epitante comes from the Henderson yard with Barry Geraghty riding and they are on 11/44, with Mullins's Cilaos Emery on 6/1 and Pentland Hills 15/2.  We are going wider here with a couple of each-ways namely Supasundae 10/1 and Petit Mouchoir 28/1 (he was 3rd in 2017).

The Mares Hurdle has 10 runners headed by Bernie Des Dieux, who won this in 2018 and fell at the last when in the lead in 2019 so is deservedly favourite here on 4/7.  Honeysuckle and Rachael Blackmore have had an incredible run winning everything of late and they are 11/4.  Next in the market are two on 12/1 – Rocksana and Stormy Ireland.t


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