Cheltenham 2020 Day 1 Scedule

Day 1 (Tuesday) March, 10

13:30 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 – Arkle Challenge Trophy

14:50 – Ultima Handicap Chase

15:30 – Unibet Champion Hurdle

16:10 – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle

16:50 – National Hunt Challenge Cup

17:30 – Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase

In 2020, Cheltenham Day 1 races start Tuesday 10th March, and, what a day of racing it should be on Champions Day. With seven great races to get the Festival underway, who will you be betting on Cheltenham Day One?

Below, you can find a compilation of offers for the Festival, as well as the race card for the Tuesday Cheltenham races. Check them out below to make sure you get your betting off straight out of the gates.

Cheltenham Day 1 Best Betting Sites

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Tuesday March 10th sees the Cheltenham Day one kick off in what promises to be spectacular style, the “Cheltenham Roar” no doubt greeting us once again as the tapes go up for the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

The opener is the first of 28 races across four magnificent days with the Cheltenham Festival day 1 alone being worth nearly £1.2million in prize money to connections.

The Festival is the highlight of the entire National Hunt racing season in the UK, though it takes on just as much importance for Irish visitors, trainers, owners and jockeys.  Cheltenham day 1 betting markets are already open for five of the races with punters able to place ante post bets, though prices will fluctuate plenty before the big day.

The Cheltenham 2020 day 1 highlight is undoubtedly the Champion Hurdle, scheduled to be the fourth race on a thrilling card, an event that has been won in the past by such stars as Buveur D’Air, Istabraq and Sea Pigeon.

Supreme Novice’s Hurdle 2020 – 13:30

The traditional curtain-raiser on the first day of Cheltenham, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 race for those aged 4 years and older, run over two miles and half a furlong.

Supreme’s Novices Hurdle

Date & Time: Tuesday, 10.03.2020 - 13:30

The race to kick off not only Cheltenham Tuesday, but, the entire four-day Festival and will be scheduled, as normal, for 1.30pm GMT.

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Hurdle (2m 1/2f)

Set up for novices, this Grade 1 race is run over 2 and a half furlongs for those aged four and older. Over that distance the field of runners will tackle eight hurdles in order to see who can win the first race on Cheltenham Tuesdays race card! 

Past Winners

2019 – Klassical Dream
2018 – Summerville Boy
2017 – Labaik

Race Info

Formerly known as the Champion Novices’ Hurdle, its title may have changed but its meaning has not. Whoever wins this race will indeed be seen as the best novice hurdler in either Britain or Ireland and as such, the race takes on huge importance.

The Supreme has been won in recent times by the likes of Klassical Dream, who is now vying for favouritism in the Champion Hurdle market, Altior who went on to win the Arkle, the Tingle Creek and the Champion Chase, and Douvan who followed a similar path.

This season’s renewal is worth £125,000 with the market currently led by Envoi Allen, winner of the Champion Bumper at last year’s festival and who is now four from four under racing rules.

What Happened In 2019? – Bookmaker Favourites

Angels Breath

Nicky Henderson’s Angels Breath is the ante-post favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle on Champions Day, with the five-year-old having won at Ascot back in December by 4 ½ lengths. Angels Breath looked hugely comfortable that day, finishing ahead of one of Paul Nicholls’ most promising youngsters, meaning that it comes as little surprise that he is being backed by many to claim the biggest win of his career at Cheltenham.

The up and coming horse also won at Moira back in April last year, finishing 11 lengths clear of his closest rival. Trainer Henderson was certainly impressed with Angel Breath’s performance in the recent trial at Ascot, with the Brit looking for another win in the Supreme Novices Hurdle after seeing Altior come out on top in 2016.

Fakir D’Oudairies

After winning by 13 lengths on Cheltenham trial day just a matter of weeks ago, four-year-old Fakir D’Oudairies could well be a good outside bet for the Novices Hurdle. The Joseph O’Brien-trained horse has now won on his last two outings, having come out on top in a strong field at Cork at the beginning of the year having been the 11/4 favourite. Stablemate Fine Brunello also performed well at Cheltenham, eventually finishing ahead of favourite Adjali to claim the runner-up spot and provide O’Brien with a one-two.

Klassical Dream

Former French runner Klassical Dream is another interesting option in the Novices Hurdle, with the five-year-old having won on his Irish debut at Leopardstown at the end of 2018. He then competed in his first Grade 1 Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Festival, outlasting Aramon to eventually win by two meters, with the Willie Mullins trained horse being ridden by champion jockey Ruby Walsh that day. Klassical Dream certainly looks like a good prospect and could well be among the frontrunners at Cheltenham in March, depending on conditions in the South West.

Who Won?

Klassical Dream won Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2019.

Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase 2020 – 14:10

This could be a key race to look at for Cheltenham Tuesday betting. Why? Because in the last four years, it has been a Ruby Walsh run and Willie Mullins trained horse who has won three times. Most recently, was last year’s winner, Footpad who opened up a wide 14 length win once onto the home straight.

ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY 2020

Date & Time: Tuesday, 10.03.2020 - 14:10

The 2nd race on Cheltenham Day One is the 2.10pm GMT Arkle Challenge Trophy.

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase (2m 7f)

The Arkle is a Grade 1 race, and, another for novices (five years and older) to challenge one another over the 1 mile 7 furlongs which includes 13 hurdles.

Past Winners

2019 – Duc De Genievres 
2018 – Footpad
2017 – Altior

Race Info

It’s hard to believe this race comes around so quickly as, despite being a novices’ chase, it is of huge importance and is of course a Grade 1 event.
The Arkle is named after one of racing’s greats and is a two-mile chase for those aged 5+. Naturally this is the most important two-mile novice chase anywhere around and it often spawns future Champion Chase winners too.

This year’s event looks wide open at the ante post stage with Irish challengers Laurina and Fakir D’oudairies at the head of the market for now, though the latter is not guaranteed to come down to this trip. There are 13 fences to be jumped around the Old Course and there is more than £182,000 in prize money up for grabs.

Altior, Douvan and Sprinter Sacre are just some of the recent greats to have taken this race en route to further success in subsequent years.

What Happened in 2019? – Bookmaker Favourites

Le Richebourg

Six-year-old French recruit Le Richebourg promises to be one of the leading names in the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham in March, with the Joseph O’Brien trained horse having won four of his five chases at Grade 1 level, including the Racing Post Chase at Leopardstown in December. He followed up that win with another success at the Frank Ward Chase at the same venue in February, giving him an official rating of 154 ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Le Richebourg is undoubtedly one of the strongest runners in the field, however he certainly can still improve.

Lalor

Kayley Woollacott’s Lalor is another strong contender for the second race on the opening day at Cheltenham, with the seven-year-old having impressed on his chasing debut in November. Lalor defeated Dynamite Dollars by seven lengths to claim victory that day, sending him straight to the top of the ante-post odds for the Arkle, before disappointing at Sandown last time out, finishing third behind Dynamite Dollars and Ornua on ground that didn’t suit him.

Kalashnikov

Despite having been beaten by Dynamite Dollars last time around, Kalashnikov is one horse who is capable of beating the best on his day. Having won at both Warwick and Plumpton before disappointing when being the odds-on favourite at Kempton, if he can rediscover the form that led to him winning the Betfair Hurdle and finishing behind Somerville Boy in the Supreme Novices Hurdle last season, the six-year-old undoubtedly ahs the ability to be among the frontrunners.

Who Won?

Duc De Genievres won Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase in 2019.

Ultima Handicap Chase (Festival Trophy) – 14:50

Ultima Handicap Chase 2020

Date & Time: Tuesday, 10.03.2020 - 14:50

The second race of the hour and the third on Cheltenham Tuesday’s racecards is the Ultima Chase at 2.50pm GMT. 

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Type: Grade 3 Handicap Chase (3m 1f)

The Grade 3 chase is run by runners of five years, and older, over the distance of 3 miles 1 furlong. With twenty hurdles to be navigated over the distance during this handicap encounter, there is always plenty of opportunity for mistakes to be made, which, can often be costly on this type of stage.

Past Winners

2019 – Beware The Bear
2018 – Coo Star Sivola
2017 – Un Temps Pour Tout

Race Info

Known as the Ultima for sponsorship reasons but perhaps better known simply as the Festival Trophy, this is a Grade 3 handicap chase featuring 20 fences over a three-mile, one-furlong trip.

Despite 3m1f not being seen as extreme, it is a distance that takes some getting around Cheltenham and as such this race has always been used by current or future staying types, many of which have ended up running in subsequent Grant Nationals at Aintree. Rough Quest in fact took this event back in ’95 before going on to win the National in 1996.

It’s anyone’s guess as to who may turn up in 2020, but as a huge betting event you can be sure that many Cheltenham Tuesday tips will feature runners in this event.

What Happened in 2019? – Bookmaker Favourites

Singlefarmpayment

Tom George’s Singlefarmpayment will be looking to recover from a disappointing run in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase last time around, where he pulled up after making an error at the 11th fence. The nine-year-old previously finished fifth at Ascot, however having finished the Handicap Steeple Chase in second place last year, only losing out to Un Temps Pour Tout in a photo finish, Singlefarmpayment could well step up to the mark on the big day. The fact that he is only 3lb heavier this year means that he is likely to receive significant backing.

Ms Parfois

Despite having finished sixth in a strong field at Newbury last time out in December, Ms Parfois is still a good runner, with the Anthony Honeyball trained eight-year-old having won at both Warwick and Newbury in the past. With an eventual run in the Grand National at Aintree being lined up by her trainer, with a strong showing at Cheltenham this year undoubtedly aiding her chances.

Go Conquer

10-year-old Go Conquer won at Doncaster in January, finishing ahead of both Monberg River and Calipto in the process. The win for the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained horse was its first since November 2017, however his experience could well come into play at Cheltenham in March, having finished fifth in the Steeple Chase 12 months ago, despite leading the race after the 12th fence. 

Who Won?

Ultima Handicap Chase 2019 winner was Beware The Bear.

Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy – 15:30

Unibet Champion Hurdle 2020

Date & Time: Tuesday, 10.03.2020 - 15:30

Next on the Cheltenham Tuesday racing cards is a big one, and, will determine who picks up the Challenge Hurdle Trophy at 3.30pm GMT

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Type: Grade 1 Hurdle (2m 1/5f)

This Grade 1 hurdle race is open to four-year-old, and older, horses. Over the 2 miles and half a furlong distance the field of runners will have to negate eight hurdles on their run to victory.

Past Winners

2019 – Espoir D’Allen
2018 – Buveur D’Air
2017 – Buveur D’Air

Race Info

 With a prize fund of £450,000 this is one of the richest races on the National Hunt calendar and it is also among the most bet races of the season, though the market for 2020 is now wide open following Buveur D’Air’s injury as he had been the strong ante post favourite.

Willie Mullins’ pair Saldier and Klassical Dream are now fighting it out at the head of the market with the likes of Pentland Hills and Honeysuckle being not too far behind.

Last year’s race was taken by 16/1 shot Espoir D’Allen who has sadly passed since then, meaning unless Buveur D’Air makes a dramatic recovery there will be a brand-new name on the trophy come March.

The highlight of Cheltenham Festival Tuesday is without doubt the Champion Hurdle, a two-mile Grade 1 race and the result of what every classy minimum distance hurdler has been striving for all season.

The race is open to those aged four years old and above who must take eight flights of hurdles on their way to completing a race that sits within the Triple Crown of Hurdling, alongside the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park. This race is the third leg in the Triple Crown of Hurdling and is one of the most prized hurdle encounters in the racing calendar.

What Happened in 2019? – Bookmaker Favourites

Buveur d’Air

Buveur d’Air is looking for his third consecutive victory in the Champion Hurdle, with the Nicky Henderson-trained superstar having recovered from a third place finish in the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle to win his next 11 starts. The seven-year-old finished ahead of both Melon and Mick Jazz last year, however he will be looking to make up for a disappointing run at Kempton on Boxing Day, where he was defeated by stablemate Verdana Blue following a mistake on the third to last hurdle. Buveur d’Air’s speed could well mean that he has too much for the rest of the field, with Henderson’s prized asset clearly loving the track at Cheltenham. Jockey Barry Geraghty led Buveur d’Air to victory at Sandown at the start of February, further justifying his favourite tag.

Apples Jade

Having won her last four races, including back-to-back successes at Leopardstown either side of the new year, Apples Jade could well be chosen for the Champion Hurdle by trainer Gordon Elliott. The seven-year-old finished third behind Midnight Tour and Benie Des Dieux in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle 12 months ago, however Apples Jade has now proven herself against males and would certainly be among the favourites for the Champion Hurdle should she be favoured by Elliott.

Laurina

Willie Mullins’ Laurina has won her last five races, including an impressive victory at Sandown in January this year, having been the 1/8 favourite with jockey Ruby Walsh. The six-year-old has also come out on top at Fairyhouse and Tramore in her short career, as well as seeing off Cap Soleil and Champayne Lady in the Grade 2 Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2018. Laurina is likely to make her second appearance of the season in the 2m4f Listed Coral Quevega Hurdle at Punchestown on February 20, which will provide a much better indication of her Champion Hurdle chances in March.

Who Won?

Espoir D’Allen won Champion Hurdle in 2019.

David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle – 16:10

It may be difficult to follow in the footsteps of the Champions Hurdle, but, the mares always give it their best shot! The race is also known as the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, but, the winner of the race is given the David Nicholson trophy in memory of the great man who enjoyed success as both a trainer and jockey.

Despite featuring highly in the Champion Hurdle market as mentioned above, impressive Fairyhouse winner Honeysuckle is the ante post favourite for the 2020 renewal, just ahead of Benie Des Dieux although this seems to be a race in which there will be plenty of competition.

Mares’ Hurdle 2020

Date & Time: Tuesday, 10.03.2020 - 16:10

This Grade 1 race is due to be run at 4.10pm GMT.

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Hurdle (2m 4f)

This Grade 1 race is due to be run at 4.10pm GMT and is open to mares of 4 years, or older, over the distance of 2 miles and four furlongs.

Past Winners

2019 – Roksana
2018 – Benie Des Dieux
2017 – Apples Jade

Race Info

The Mares’ Hurdle, as the name clearly suggests, is open only to the females and takes place over a distance of two miles, four furlongs. It is a Grade 1 event worth £125,000 with mares aged 4+ eligible to race.

The Mares’ Hurdle has only been a fixture at the Festival since 2008, initially as a Grade 2, but it has since proven to be a major hit with horsemen and punters alike and has already been claimed by such recognisable names as Apple’s Jade and amazing six-time winner Quevega.

If you’re looking for a winner in this one, in it’s 10-year history, this race has been won by a Ruby Walsh/Willie Mullins double in seven of the ten runs. That is remarkable, but, it may mean you don’t get the greatest of odds. One worth keeping an eye on though, for sure.

What Happened in 2019? – Bookmaker Favourites

Apples Jade

Should a run in the Champions Hurdle not materialise, reigning champion Apples Jade could well look to defend her title in the Mares Hurdle. The seven-year-old has looked in ominous form so far this season, winning four times, including three Grade 1 successes. Having seen off Supasundae at Leopardstown in February, Apples Jade could well be too good for the rest of the field if owner Michael O’Leary choses to give her another crack at the Mares Hurdle, with trainer Mullins having won the race eight times in total.

Benie Des Dieux

Benie Des Dieux is certainly an interesting mare to look out for, with the French recruit having won all five of her races since making the move. This record includes her victory in the Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown back in April last year, where she saw off rival Apples Jade, among others. Despite relatively little being known about the eight-year-old, much is expected of the Willie Mullins Mare, especially if she can once again give Apples Jade a run for her money.

Laurina

Despite having been linked with a run in the Champion Hurdle, Laurina is perhaps more likely to line up in the Mares Hurdle, with Willie Mullins’ six-year-old having won her last five races. This run includes her success at Sandown in January this year, where she overcame Sensulano in a field of just two. With Laurina expected to make her second outing of the season in the Quevega Hurdle at Punchestown on the 20th February, punters should potentially wait to see how the mare fares in this race before placing bets. 

Who Won?

2019 Mares’ Hurdle was won by Roksana for jockey Harry Skelton and trainer Dan Skelton.

National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup – 16:50

National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup 2020

Date & Time: Tuesday, 10.03.2020 - 16:50

This Grade 2 race for amateur riders at 4.50pm GMT on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival

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Type: Grade 2 Steeplechase (3m 7f)

The race is for horses of five years and over, and is run across the distance of 3 miles and 7 furlongs, the longest of any race at the entire Festival. If that distance wasn’t enough, there are also a gruelling 24 fences to tackle and overcome throughout.

Past Winners

2019 – Le Breuil
2018 – Rathvinden
2017 – Tiger Roll

Race Info

The National Hunt Challenge Cup, to give it its true moniker, is a race saved for amateur riders only and for horses aged 5+.

Staged this season over a trip just shy of 3 miles and 7 furlongs, it has Grade 2 status and is for novices only. Worth the same amount as the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (£125,000), the National Hunt Cup is extremely important in that it has existed for almost 160 years and serves as a great closer to what is usually a wonderful opening day.

The likes of Champagne Classic, Sam Spinner and Danny Whizzbang could all be aimed at this race come March, each looking to have their name etched on the trophy alongside the great Tiger Roll who took the same event back in 2017.

What Happened in 2019? – Bookmaker Favourites

Ok Corral

OK Corral may be entered into the RSA Chase as well, however a run in the National Hunt Chase appears more likely at this stage, where he is the small odds favourite with many bookies. Nicky Henderson’s nine-year-old has made the perfect start to his chasing career, winning at both Warwick and Plumpton either side of the new year. He demonstrated excellent form in the race at Warwick, with leading amateur jockey Derek O’Connor only further justifying his favourite tag ahead of the race at Cheltenham on the opening day.

Ballyward

Willie Mullin’s seven-year-old Ballyward looks to have taken to running over fences with ease, having previously been a solid performer over hurdles. Ballyward finished second in the Tote Supporting Irish Racing Beginners Chase at Punchestown on New Years Eve, before going one better in winning the Grade 3 Business Club Novice Chase at Naas just a matter of weeks later.

Impulsive Star

Eight-year-old Impulsive Star could well be a big threat for Sam Waley-Cohen, with his recent win in the Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick in January demonstrating his capabilities. Impulsive Star finished fourth 12 months ago, however he showed that he has the stamina to be a threat at this level, meaning that he is defiantly worth backing with an each-way bet.

Who Won?

2019 National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup was won by Ben Pauling’s Le Breuil.

Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase – 17:30

Novices’ Handicap Chase 2020

Date & Time: Tuesday, 10.03.2020 - 17:30

We wrap up the Cheltenham day one racing cards with this novices’ chase at 5.30pm

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase(2m 4 1/2f)

This handicap race is for novice chasers with a rating from 0 up to 145, and, of five-years-old or older. The distance is 2 miles 4½ furlongs and contains sixteen fences along the way to jump.

Past Winners

2019 – A Plus Tard
2018 – Mister Whitaker
2017 – Tully East

Race Info

Added to the line-up in 2005, this is a race known by regulars as the Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase, a Listed chase featuring 16 fences over its two-and-a-half-mile distance. Typically for a novice chase, the event is open to those aged five and over.

While this is the least valuable prize at £70,000, Cheltenham day one tips will still be flooding in for a race that is typically competitive although as yet there can be no indication of who is being aimed at the event, nor who will even get in. Winners have included the popular Hunt Ball and last year’s victor A Plus Tard.

What Happened in 2019? – Bookmaker Favourites

Glen Forsa

Having won at both Chepstow and Kempton at the back end of 2018, it perhaps comes as little surprise that Glen Forsa is the ante-post favourite for the Novices Handicap Chase at Cheltenham this year. The seven-year-old comfortably saw off Glenn Rocco in winning the Class 3 32Red.com Chase in December, with the Mick Channon-trained horse missed out on Cheltenham trials day, however he is still likely to have done enough to claim a place on the openig day in March’s showcase.

Siruh Du Lac

Nick William’s Siruh Du Lac overcame the likes of Janika and Ballyhill to win the Grade 3 Spectra Cyber Security Solutions Trophy Handicap Chase in January, well-known as being the warm-up for the Novices Handicap Chase. The win was the fifth in the last six races for the six-year-old, having also won at racecourses including Exeter and Newbury over recent months. Jockey Lizzie Kelly is likely to be onboard Siruh Du Lac at Cheltenham, with the race needing a strong contender to beat the in-form French recruit.

Clondaw Castle

Seven-year-old Clondaw Castle has impressed over recent months, with the former point-to-point winner having claimed his first victory in the Class 3 Dick Christian Novices’ Chase at Leicester in January, seeing off Burbank and The Captain in the process. The Tom George-trained horse could well be a threat at Cheltenham despite the step up in distance, with his switch to handicaps having done little to stunt his development.

Who Won?

A Plus Tard was able to take this race by a head in last year’s outing here. 

Cheltenham Day One Trial Races

Cheltenham runners on Tuesday and beyond do not arrive at this festival without a thorough preparation, with recognised trials for the Champion Hurdle being the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

While the Arkle Trophy is a novice race, it too has recognised feeder events including the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown and the Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown, while those looking to win the Mares’ Hurdle may take in a race of the same name at Sandown in January or the Doncaster Mares’ Hurdle later the same month.

Betting on Day One

When you’re placing a bet on the races on day one from the Festival, it is worth looking at the history and the form of the horses declared. How are the jockey’s doing too in their recent runs? The smaller details are what will help you pick out the winners, and, ultimately help you make money on the first of the four-day event.

It is also worth comparing bookies to see where you can get the best odds and most value for your money. Of course, on the first day, there are likely to be an influx of offers designed to get you into the loop of betting on Cheltenham. Use this to your advantage and check out as many of Cheltenham betting offers as you can before betting.

Conclusion

Of course, there are plenty more races to be run, and, plenty more money to be won at Cheltenham for the rest of the week – but it is always important to make sure you get off to a good start out of the gates. At the very least, you don’t want to have made can significant losses, why? Because then it sets you up to have a much stronger and profitable Cheltenham Festival this year!

What time is the first race at Cheltenham?

The first of the Cheltenham races on Tuesday gets under way at 1.30PM with the closer set for 5.30.

Who won the Champion Hurdle in 2019?

Five-year-old Espoir D’Allen took the feature race last time for trainer Gavin Cromwell.

How many races are on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival?

Each day of the festival features 7 fantastic events.