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Best Betting Sites UK / Ginger Joe Betting Tips and Picks / Betting Tips for Day 1 of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Betting Tips for Day 1 of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Publish Date: 11/03/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland
Key Points
  • Continuing coverage of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival
  • Betting Tips for all seven races on Day 1
  • Win and EW selections for Champions Day

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival has arrived!

The Cheltenham Festival has finally arrived and I am very excited to bring you a preview and my hand-picked selections for all seven Day 1 races.

With the action being highly competitive, I’ve decided to cover all bases here. So along with an overview of each race, I’ve put up two betting tips as well. I know you all have your preferences, so there’s a selection for those of you who prefer a straight Win bet and a value EW angle for those that prefer to play the place markets.

The Day 1 card includes no less than four Grade 1s, with the undeniable highlight of the day being the Champion Hurdle, where State Man currently heads the market at 1/3 as the shortest priced runner of the day. Last year’s winner Constitution Hill misses this year’s renewal, so we are about to see a new Champion crowned, and I cannot wait for it to all get under way.

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13:30 The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2m

The Supreme gets us off to a flying start on Day 1, not to mention the spine-tingling roar when the starter drops his flag. Just as you’d expect, there’s plenty in here with solid form behind them, but I have two standouts that I think are worth playing.

Mystical Power has a great chance here with the speed he showed in the Moscow Flyer, but I would be surprised if there wasn’t a couple better than him in this field. From an each way perspective, Slade Steel is a very solid option. He has form that ties in with Ballyburn and he ought to go very well here. He jumps well, he should handle the notorious Cheltenham undulations and he looks a very solid option for a place to me.

While Tullyhill certainly has the speed to win a race like this, his jumping concerns me so I think the answer is Jeriko Du Reponet. He is unbeaten to date and although he seems to be taking a bit of time to mature, he clearly has a lot of class about him and is still open to plenty of improvement.

GJ verdict

I’m willing to take a chance Jeriko Du Reponet beating the Mullins brigade, with Slade Steel close up behind him.

  • Win: Jeriko Du Reponet
  • EW: Slade Steel

14:10 The Arkle Novices’ Chase 2m

The Arkle looks wide open this year and Il Etait Temps is here with a shout. However, I’m far from convinced that he will go well on the Cheltenham track, so I am willing to take him on. Gaelic Warrior is one that has sparked a lot of interest since he was declared for this race, rather than the Brown Advisory.

He has managed two decent second places at the Festival, in 2022 and 2023, both over Hurdles, and he has decent form over fences in Ireland from this season, despite unseating at Leopardstown last time out. He has a very big engine, but I’m not keen on his habit of jumping out to the right.

As I see it, Found A Fifty is the more reliable prospect here. He is a solid horse, who has improved with each run and I think he’ll really like the track here at Cheltenham. He is a good jumper, a little out to the right, but nothing to worry about, and I think he’ll pick up a place easily.

My main bet here though is Quilixios, who won the Triumph Hurdle as a Juvenile and he has come right back to form this season. He won't mind the ground, and he jumps arrow straight which is a big plus at Cheltenham.

GJ verdict

This will be a fascinating race to watch. I see Quilixios as the standout here, and I reckon that Found A Fifty will be the one chase him home.

  • Win: Quilixios
  • EW: Found A Fifty

14:50 The Ultima Handicap Chase 3m

The Ultima is a race dominated by British victories and I’d like to think we can see the same again this year. The Goffer and Meetingofthewaters both hold obvious claims for Ireland, but at the prices, they are not worth getting involved with.

Kim Bailey has two runners in here this year: Trelawne and Chianti Classico. While Trelawne has a huge engine, his jumping is my main concern. That said, although he has jumped badly in every race this season, he has still managed to finish close up and he does have Harry Cobden jocked up, which is always a plus point. He will need to jump a lot better than he has been of late, but if Harry can put him right, then he has a chance, but he may have to play second fiddle to his stablemate...

Chianti Classico looks to be the one that ticks far more of the boxes here. He has had a very good campaign this year, and looks an ideal type for this race. He jumps very well indeed and he handles all sorts of ground too. I imagine he will be ridden quite prominently so that he can put his jumping skills to good use.

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GJ verdict

Ridden with the right tactics, I don’t think there’s anything in this field that will catch Chianti Classico, and I’ll give stablemate Trelawne the benefit of the doubt to run into a place here.

  • Win: Chianti Classico
  • EW: Trelawne

15:30 The Champion Hurdle 2m

The highlight of Day 1 is the Champion Hurdle and State Man is at a very short price to get the job done. I would really like to take him on, but with the distinct lack of depth in this year’s field, I don’t think any of them are going to stop him.

Irish Point is the second favourite and he does have the speed needed. However, I think he is in this race to pick up some decent prize money, rather than being in it to win.

GJ verdict

State Man is a multiple Grade 1 winner and the only horse that’s been able to beat him is Constitution Hill. He sets a clear standard in this race, but I think that Irish Point has a good chance of being next over the line.

  • Win: State Man (NAP)
  • EW: Irish Point

16:10 The Mares’ Hurdle 2m 4f

We have another short-priced favourite in the Mares’ Hurdle, in the name of Lossiemouth, who has been nothing short of spectacular so far in her career. She has only had the one run this season, but she bolted up at Cheltenham over 2 miles and she looks like a very special mare to go forward with.

The only question mark with Lossiemouth, is if she will handle this longer trip. Seeing her storm up the hill last time out, it might be the case that she’s a better horse over 2 miles, but I don’t see another mare in the field that will catch her, even with the extra four furlongs. I also love Ashroe Diamond as a horse, and I have followed her all season long, but now the big day is here, the picture has become clear.

GJ verdict

There’s little to add to what I’ve already mentioned - Lossiemouth will take a lot of stopping here and Ashroe Diamond should be hot on her tail.

  • Win: Lossiemouth
  • EW: Ashroe Diamond

16:50 The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle 2m

The Boodles is always a very tricky race to figure out, but especially so this year, with so many of these looking ahead of their current Handicap mark. Milan Tino has been dropped 10lbs for his last defeat, which has to bring him into the mix on paper. But I have concerns about his overall ability, and think he will find a few too good here, despite his Handicap mark being very low indeed.

Lark In The Morning is the current favourite, but as he hasn’t actually won a race yet, weighing up his level of ability is rather difficult. However, I do rather like his stablemate Ose Partir. He looks to me looks like one that is learning quickly on the job and he got a very tender ride last time out, which suggests that this race was his target.

GJ verdict

Ose Partir brings Graded form into this field, which is more than the majority here have to offer. The rest of the field is much of a muchness, but I have a marginal preference for Ndaawi as an EW shot, despite him carrying top weight here.

  • Win: Ose Partir (NB)
  • EW: Ndaawi

17:30 The National Hunt Chase 3m 6f

The final race for Day 1 is the National Hunt Chase, which really is all about stamina. The runners look like they will have soft ground to deal with too, which goes against Salvador Ziggy. His stamina might carry him through to a place, but I think he falls short on the class needed to win here.

For me, this race is between the two market leaders: Embassy Gardens and Corbetts Cross. Corbetts Cross has a huge engine and he definitely has the class angle, but he needs to sharpen up his jumping to do better over this trip. Also, the fact that he ran out in this race year is a bit of a concern too.

So, perhaps Embassy Gardens is the one to be on here. He is a great jumper and hugely unexposed over the staying trip, so there is likely to be a lot more to come from him too.

GJ verdict

Every year I find it tough to call this race and it’s no different for this renewal. But I’ll go with Embassy Gardens as I think he jumps the best of these, and looks like he has bags of stamina. And I’ll give Corbetts Cross the benefit of the doubt and just hope that he can control himself this time around!

  • Win: Embassy Gardens
  • EW: Corbetts Cross

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