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Cheltenham Festival Placepot – 15th March Day 1

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1:30pm Supreme Novices

We need to get off to a decent start so will include a few perms in what looks to be the strongest running of the Supreme for several years. CONSTITUTION HILL and JONBON both have good chances to get the home team off the mark after they won the 2 key trials in the UK. Willie Mullins has won 5 of the last 10 renewals of the festival opener, so we need to also keep him on side and with festival experience, KILCRUIT, who was an unlucky 2nd to his stablemate in the bumper 12-months ago deserves to be included in arace that should be run to suit.

2:10pm Arkle

There is no Altior or Shishkin this year, so this race is wide open. EDWARDSTONE deserves to be favourites on the form he has shown in the UK, and he looks to be the most straight forward of these over fences. HAUT EN COULEURS arrives on the back of a fall which isn’t ideal, but he has the most potential for improvement. BLUE LORD was a fortunate winner at the DRF, but still sets a fair standard and should be involved in the finish.

2:50pm ULTIMA

If FRODON takes his chance he should be competitive, especially as he won over this course and distance on this mark in October 2020. VINTAGE CLOUDS is only 1lb higher than when winning this race last season and ran his best race since when 2nd at Doncaster last month, he looks to have been laid out for another tilt at this. DOES HE KNOW continues to improve and his win in the Reynoldstown at Ascot last time is probably the strongest piece of form coming into this race. FANTASTIKAS is the unexposed horse in the lineup and a mark of 144 looks very workable.

3:30pm Champion Hurdle

HONEYSUCKLE is a class apart in this field and if she gets round, she will win.

4:10pm Mares Hurdle

STORMY IRELAND was an impressive winner of the Relkeel hurdle here on New Year’s Day and deserves her chance at the festival. HEAVEN HELP US won the Coral Cup last season over this course and distance and is worth chancing too in a weaker than usual renewal of this race. TELMESOMETHINGGIRL also won at the festival last year and has been gradually improving with each run this season, whilst MARTELLO SKY was an impressive winner here in December and looks to be the best of the home team.

4:50pm BOODLES Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
GAELIC WARRIOR is the talking horse and the form of his 3rd placed finish in the Prix Rocking Chair at Auteuil would suggest that he is well treated on a mark of 129. SAINT SEGAL chased home Porticello in the G1 Juvenile Finale at Chepstow and is arguably the best of the British horses. THE TIDE TURNS was an eye-catching 4th behind Teahupoo at Gowran and needs to be included given Gordon Elliott’s record in the race.

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