Cheltenham Festival 2014: Day One Preview

Cheltenham has many festivals but it’s the four days of Jump Racing in March that is known as ‘The’ Festival. Thousands of people from all walks of life enjoy the heady cocktail of sport, atmosphere, emotion and action. The opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is always a thrilling one as the anticipation of the excitement to come climaxes with a huge roar as the meeting gets underway with the Skybet Supreme Novices Hurdle. Months and months of questions about which horses are going win, who’s going to ride the fancied runners and most importantly, who’s going to win are finally going to be answered at Prestbury Park. The Skybet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2014 The first races of the Festival is sure to get the meeting off with a bang with runners going hell for leather around the 2 miles course. Following his victory at Kempton Park in the Dovecote Novices Hurdle, Irving is a hot favourite for this race at around 2/1. Ireland’s Champion Trainer, Willie Mill is putting up a strong challenge though and could run three horses, Vautour, Wicklow Brave and Valseur Lido. William Hill are offering each-way terms of 1,2,3,4,5 in this race plus bet £25 and receive a £50 free bet (TODAY ONLY). Free bet is for new customers only. BET NOW. The Racing Post Arkle Chase 2014 Another fast and furious race but this time for young chasers running over 2 miles, the Arkle is always a great spectacle. Fast and accurate jumping is the key to taking victory as a single mistake can put a runner out of contention. The favourite is Champagne Fever, who bids to follow up his win in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last year. However, there are lots of challengers led by Trifolium, who like the favourite, has good form in Ireland. English horses worthy of note are Dodging Bullets trained by Paul Nicholls and Rock On Ruby, a former inmate of Paul Nicholls, now trained by Harry Fry. The Stan James Champion Hurdle The highlight of the Day 1 is the Stan James Champion Hurdle and this year’s race is the most competitive for years. Challenging for favouritism at around 3/1 are defending Champion Hurricane Fly from Ireland, who bids to win the race for the third time, and local challenger The New One, who won the Neptune Investments Novices Hurdle on the Wednesday at the Cheltenham Festival last year. Other horses to consider are My Tent or Yours who’ll be ridden by Champion Jockey Tony McCoy and last year’s easy Triumph Hurdle winner, Our Connor. OLBG Mares’ Hurdle This event has been dominated by the amazing mare Quevega, who is going for an astonishing and record breaking sixth straight victory in the race. She’s a red hot favourite at 4/5 and is in a different league to her rivals. The Mares Hurdle as the name suggests is restricted to mares and is run over 2 and half miles. It’s fairly new on the scene with the first running taking place in 2008. Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival is a fantastic and exciting day of sporting competition which sets the tone for the rest of week. England v Ireland, Bookies v Punters – who’s going to come out on top? Finally, not forgetting the 30 day countdown for the Grand National has started and the favourites are already announced, we’re definitely looking forward to the biggest two months in the horse racing calendar, who are you going to back this year? Let us know in the Comments below. For tips throughout Cheltenham Festival week, join our Community for just £6 per month! JP