In 2023, Cheltenham Day 1 races start Tuesday 14th 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.
Tuesday March 14th 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.
he Supreme Novices Hurdle will be run on Tuesday 14 March at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. A Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race, it is contested over the two miles trip at the Prestbury Park course with eight hurdles to be jumped by the field.
The Arkle Challenge Trophy 2023 is run on Tuesday March 14th at 2.10PM, just the second race of the Cheltenham Festival’s day 1, and will be worth a huge £182,000 in total.
This is a really competitive handicap chase but what recent history has taught us is that the top trainers get it right year after year, knowing how to prep their main contenders and leading to winners coming from the first five or so in the betting.
The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 horse race that takes place on the Cheltenham Day One, open to runners aged four or older. Taking place on the Old Course at Cheltenham, the Champion Hurdle is run over a distance of just over 2 miles, with a total of eight hurdles to be jumped also.
It’s a gruelling test that separates the gutsy mares from the divas and drama queens. Run on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival 2023, all eyes will be on the Mares Hurdle when the field line-up on Tuesday 14 March.
The race is run on day one of the Cheltenham festival, taking place this time around on Tuesday March 14th at 4.50PM, the penultimate race of the day. The Close Brothers Handicap Chase is one of the top novice handicaps of the season.
The 2023 version will be worth a cool £125,000 and will be the last race of a fascinating first day of the festival, going off on Tuesday March 14th at 5.30PM.
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 will open at the beginning of the year with punters being able to place ante post bets, though prices will fluctuate plenty before the big day.
The Cheltenham 2023 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.
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.
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.
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. 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!
2022 – Constitution Hill
2021 – Appreciate It
2020 – Shishkin
2019 – Klassical Dream
2018 – Summerville Boy
🥇 1st Constitution Hill 9-4 Joint-Favourite
🥈 2nd Jonbon 5-1
🥉 3rd Kilcruit 6-1
Winning Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Winning Jockey: Nico de Boinville
The 2022 Cheltenham Festival started in dramatic fashion when Constitution Hill routed the opposition in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Although Trainer Nicky Henderson found it hard to split Constitution Hill and stable companion Jonbon, the punters latched on to Nico de Boinville’s mount. He started joint-favourite in the Cheltenham betting with Dysart Dynamo, one of three runners for Willie Mullins.
Dysart Dynamo set off in the lead, taking a very strong hold and was not fluent at the first couple of hurdles. He made one mistake too many and crashed out at the third last, leaving Jonbon in front. Nico de Boinville always had Constitution Hill settled nicely in behind and eased to the front with two to jump before strolling 22 lengths clear.
Cheltenham Festival day 1 got off to a flying start for punters as 8-11 favourite Appreciate It cruised to a wide margin victory. Blue Lord, a stable companion of the winner, looked booked for second when crashing out at the final obstacle. Appreciate It had looked a worthy favourite after winning all three previous starts over hurdles, culminating in the Grade 1 Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in February.
Ballyadam (6-1), beaten by Appreciate It in his previous two races, was left to collect the runner-up spot, 24 lengths behind the impressive winner. It was a sign of things to come for the home team with the pace-setting For Pleasure (40-1) doing best, trailing home a remote third. The well-fancied Metier ran inexplicably badly to finish last while impressive Betfair Hurdle winner Soaring Glory was never a threat and finished fourth.
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.
The 2nd race on Cheltenham Day One is the 1.50pm GMT Arkle Challenge Trophy. 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. 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. 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.
2022 – Put The Kettle On
2021 – Shishkin
2020 – Put The Kettle On
2019 – Duc De Genievres
2018 – Footpad
🥇 1st Edwardstone 5-2 Favourite
🥈 2nd Gabynako 25-1
🥉 3rd Blue Lord 4-1
Winning Trainer: Alan King
Winning Jockey: Tom Cannon
British-trained horses had taken a beating in the 2021 Cheltenham Festival but made it two out of two when Alan King’s Edwardstone won the Arkle Chase. The gelding had established himself as the best novice chaser in Britain and was impressive in repelling a strong Irish challenge.
Blue Lord and Riviere D’etel had looked the pick of the Irish runners on form and both were in contention with four to jump. The latter gave way at the second last where Tom Cannon unleashed Edwardstone. Blue Lord briefly looked threatening but faded in the closing stages, allowing 25-1 shot Gabynako to stay on into second place.
Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin was regarded by many as the banker bet on Cheltenham Day 1 last year. With top Irish novice Energumene an absentee, Shishkin was virtually unopposed in the betting and was sent off the 4-9 favourite. He had won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the corresponding day in 2020 and looked a class apart with just four rivals.
Second favourite Allmankind set the pace but did not jump with his usual fluency and was a beaten horse when headed by Shishkin at the third last. From then on, it was only a matter of safely negotiating the remaining two fences before galloping on to beat Eldorado Allen (33-1). It was a record seventh win in the Arkle Challenge Trophy for Henderson. Shishkin followed in the footsteps of the likes of Sprinter Sacre (2012) and Altior (2017) and his 2022 objective will be the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The second race of the hour and the third on Cheltenham Tuesday’s racecards is the Ultima Chase at 2.30pm GMT.
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. 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 2022, but as a huge betting event you can be sure that many Cheltenham Tuesday tips will feature runners in this event.
2022 – Corach Rambler
2021 – Vintage Clouds
2020 – The Conditional
2019 – Beware The Bear
2018 – Coo Star Sivola
Ante-post betting on the Ultima Handicap Chase does not open until the entries are known.
🥇 1st Corach Rambler 10-1
🥈 2nd Gericault Roque 9-1
🥉 3rd Oscar Elite 22-1
🎖️ 4th Tea Clipper 12-1
Winning Trainer: Lucinda Russell
Winning Jockey: Derek Fox
A big field of 24 runners lined up for the first big handicap of the week, the Ultima Handicap Chase over and extended three miles. There were plenty of fancied horses here but it was Gordon Elliott’s Floueur which was eventually sent off favourite at 15-2 ahead of Fantastikas (8-1) and stable companion Death Duty (17-2).
None of the trio managed to land a blow and it was Scottish-trained Corach Rambler who cut through the field from a seemingly impossible position. Lucinda Russell’s gelding was superbly ridden by Derek Fox, hitting the front with just over 100 yards to go to beat David Pipe’s Gericault Roque. Colin Tizzard’s Oscar Elite finished a close third with Tom Lacey’s Tea Clipper back in fourth place.
The big handicap for Cheltenham Tuesday betting is the Ultima Handicap Chase. After favourites had obliged in the first two races, bookmakers enjoyed a bit of relief when 28-1 outsider Vintage Clouds beat 100-30 favourite Happygolucky. Vintage Clouds had finished second in this race back in 2019 when beaten by Beware The Bear. The bold-jumping grey finished eighth in 2020 but bounced back to form off an 8lbs lower mark. He also appeared to benefit from racing in cheekpieces for the first time.
The favourite Happygolucky ran a sound race for Kim Bailey and David Bass. He was only a length down at the last but could not find any extra up the hill. The consistent Aye Right (11-2) finished a one-paced third with Cepage (14-1) staying on into fourth place.
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.
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 2022 is now wide open following Buveur D’Air’s injury as he had been the strong ante post favourite.
2022 – Honeysuckle
2021 – Honeysuckle
2020 – Epatante
2019 – Espoir D’Allen
2018 – Buveur D’Air
🥇 1st Honeysuckle 8-11 Favourite
🥈 2nd Epatante 16-1
🥉 3rd Zanahiyr 28-1
Winning Trainer: Henry de Bromhead
Winning Jockey: Rachael Blackmore
The feature race of the opening day of Cheltenham 2022 was the Champion Hurdle where the unbeaten Honeysuckle was defending her crown. Nothing had emerged from the trials to threaten her position as market leader and she started a well-backed odds-on favourite under regular rider Rachael Blackmore.
Always travelling comfortably, Blackmore struck for home at the second last and stayed on powerfully. Nicky Henderson’s 2020 Champion Hurdle winner Epatante ran an honourable race in defeat, overcoming a last-flight stumble to claim second spot with Aidan Coleman aboard. Zanahiyr finished third while the disappointment of the race was 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Appreciate It in seventh place.
The big race for Cheltenham Tuesday betting is the Champion Hurdle and punters were back on top after the victory of well-backed 11-10 favourite Honeysuckle. Rachael Blackmore enjoyed a smooth passage throughout the race, leading at the second last on a tight rein before bounding clear to win by 6 ½ lengths. It was the first strike in a memorable week for both Blackmore and Trainer Henry De Bromhead who would go on to dominate the headlines at the Cheltenham festival. Honeysuckle is an exceptional mare and looks likely to start odds-on favourite to defend her crown at Cheltenham 2022.
Second was Sharjah (11-1), trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend. Defending champion Epatante (4-1) did not jump fluently but stayed on to finish third. She was later revealed to have a niggling back problem for which she was treated during the summer. The disappointment of the race was Gary Moore’s Goshen who hung badly to his right throughout while Abacadabras fell at the third flight.
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 known as the Close Brothers 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.
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.
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.
2022 – Marie’s Rock
2021 – Black Tears
2020 – Honeysuckle
2019 – Roksana
2018 – Benie Des Dieux
🥇 1st Marie’s Rock 18-1
🥈 2nd Queens Brook 4-1
🥉 3rd Mrs Milner 14-1
Winning Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Winning Jockey: Nico de Boinville
The Mares’ Hurdle was expected to go to Ireland but Nicky Henderson’s Marie’s Rock had other ideas, producing a career-best to win at 18-1. She wore down Gordon Elliott’s Queen Brook with Paul Nolan’s Mrs Milner staying on to finish third.
Willie Mullins had won this race an incredible nine times previously, including six consecutive victories with Quevega (2009-2014). He saddled three runners with Stormy Ireland, Echoes In Rain and Burning Victory finishing fourth, fifth and ninth respectively. Marie’s Rock went on to confirm the form with Stormy Ireland to win the Punchestown Mares Champion Hurdle the following month.
The Cheltenham Festival day 1 betting market for the Mares’ Hurdle was dominated by Concertista, trained by Willie Mullins, and Dan Skelton’s Roksana (3-1). Both were in the firing line at the third last but were beaten by 11-1 chance Black Tears. Concertista had won the Dawn Run in 2020 in runaway fashion and had been impressive on her previous start at Leopardstown. She was backed down to 10-11 favourite and jumped the last flight a length ahead.
With Roksana unable to quicken on the run-in, the last challenge came from Black Tears who edged ahead of the favourite in the shadow of the post to win by a head. It was the first victory at the festival for Mrs Denise Forster who had temporarily taken charge of the majority of the horses trained by Gordon Elliott.
Next us is this novices’ chase at 4:50pm. 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.
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.
2022 – Brazil
2021 – Jeff Kidder
2020 – Imperial Aura
2019 – A Plus Tard
2018 – Mister Whitaker
🥇 1st Brazil 10-1
🥈 2nd Gaelic Warrior 13-8 Favourite
🥉 3rd Bell Ex One 28-1
🎖️ 4th HMS Seahorse 8-1
Winning Trainer: Padraig Roche
Winning Jockey: Mark Walsh
The Juvenile Handicap Hurdle has a history of shock results but punters forced Gaelic Warrior down to 13-8 favourite. Willie Mullins had made no secret of the fact that he believed the gelding was extremely well weighted and Paul Townend had him 2 lengths clear at the last.
As is so often the case, the uphill finish came to the rescue of the bookmakers as Mark Walsh pounced late on 10-1 chance Brazil. The pair were almost inseparable at the line but the photo-finish favoured Brazil. Paul Nicholls must have been delighted with 28-1 chance Bell Ex One finishing third while the consistent HMS Seahorse rewarded each-way supporters to finish fourth.
The Boodles Juvenile Hurdle (registered as the Fred Winter) is always hugely competitive and often proves something of a nightmare for Cheltenham day 1 betting. The 2021 renewal proved no exception as 80-1 outsider Jeff Kidder readily held the 9-2 favourite Saint Sam to win by two lengths. Another big outsider in 66-1 shot Elham Valley finished third with 11-2 chance Houx Gris taking fourth spot.
Jeff Kidder had finished last of seven behind Zanahiyr in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown on his previous outing after winning a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse. He would go on to turn the form book upside down at the Punchestown festival, beating Zanahiyr to take the Grade 1 Champion Four-year-old Hurdle in May.
This Grade 2 race for amateur riders at 17:30pm GMT on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival
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. 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.
2022 – Stattler
2021 – Galvin
2020 – Ravenhill
2019 – Le Breuil
2018 – Rathvinden
🥇 1st Stattler 2-1
🥈 2nd Run Wild Fred 15-8 Favourite
🥉 3rd Vanillier 11-4
Winning Trainer: Willie Mullins
Winning Jockey: Mr Patrick Mullins
A frustrating day for the Mullins stable ended on a winning note when the well-backed Stattler ran out an emphatic winner of the closing National Hunt Chase. Gordon Elliott’s Run Wild Fred was narrowly preferred in the betting but the writing was on the wall at the third last as Stattler loomed up going easily.
Patrick Mullins did not set Stattler alight until safely over the last and the seven-year-old strode clear to win by 8 lengths. The winner carried the same Bartlett colours as Galvin 12 months’ earlier. That horse improved to win a Grade 1 in Ireland and finish fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup so Stattler could well be a horse to follow in 2022-23.
It was difficult to separate the first three in the betting for the National Hunt Chase. Escaria Ten eventually started favourite at 11-4 with Next Destination at 3-1 and Galvin 7-2. The race developed into a three-way battle up the home straight with Galvin being produced at the last to wear down his rivals and win by 1 ½ lengths and the same.
Galvin had secured his place in the line up when winning at the October meeting and went to Cheltenham a fresh horse. The long range plan came to fruition and he has continued his progression since, winning a Grade 3 at Punchestown and finishing second to Frodon in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal. He then claimed his first Grade 1 victory in the Savills Chase to book his place in the line-up for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2022.
The Cheltenham Festival is a great time to be opening a new bookmaker account with some fantastic offers for new customers. Previous Cheltenham Day 1 offers included odds of 80-1 for Honeysuckle to win the Champion Hurdle with Paddy Power (to a maximum £1 stake). What a fantastic way to start Cheltenham week with £80 in free bets!
The same firm also provided new customers staking £20 on the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with a free £10 bet on each of the remaining six races! Mobile App users opening a William Hill account on the same day could have £1 on Appreciate It to win the Supreme at 50-1! Look out for special Cheltenham Day 1 offers for the big race favourites in 2023.
Existing customers could also enjoy the Cheltenham betting bonanza with enhanced each-way terms on all Cheltenham handicap races. There are usually Cheltenham free bets on the first race each day plus price boosts throughout the meeting.
Cheltenham 2022 got underway with a sensational wide margin victory for Nicky Henderson’s Constitution Hill in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The five-year-old stormed 22 lengths clear of stable companion Jonbon in a course record time to earn a quote of 3-1 for the 2023 Champion Hurdle.
Alan King’s Edwardstone won the Arkle Challenge Trophy, his fifth consecutive victory over fences. The day’s headlines were made by Honeysuckle and Rachael Blackmore. They won the Champion Hurdle for the second consecutive season, comfortably beating 2020 winner Epatante. The best-backed horse of the day was Gaelic Warrior, beaten a short-head by Brazil in the Fred Winter Hurdle.
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.
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!
The first of the Cheltenham races on Tuesday gets under way at 13:30 with the closer set for 17:30. Each day of the festival features 7 fantastic events.
Harvey Mayson has worked as a horseracing writer, blogger and tipster for several of the UK’s leading bookmakers and numerous other specialist racing sites. Harvey has great knowledge of horse racing history and was the author of the Paddy Power Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National blog for three years. Harvey’s blog at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 included a 100,000-1 ante-post four-timer while he correctly forecast the first four winners on Grand National day in 2015. He also tipped three Grand National winners in a row and eleven consecutive winning nap selections.