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Tuesday's racing tips - 11/4 NAP of the day on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

Jonathan Vine 11 Mar 2019

Jon Vine looks over Tuesday's horse racing action and picks out his best bet of the day in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

5.30 - NATIONAL HUNT CHALLENGE CUP AMATEUR RIDERS' NOVICES' CHASE (GRADE 2) (Class 1) (5yo+) Winner £74,125 18 runners 3m7f147y

As the National Hunt has been upped from Class Two, to Listed and, most recently, up to Grade Two standard, highly-rated horses carrying single-figure odds have dominated. Now McGinty is certainly an improving stayer with each-way chances, but considering the fact above, it’s sensible to look towards the fancied horses to find this year’s winner.

Champagne Classic was my initial selections, but he’s suffered a set-back and will have to sit out Cheltenham again. Discorama has been impressive this term and Ok Corral has his supporters, but I prefer the chances of BALLYWARD (11/4, William Hill) for last year’s winning combo of Willie and Patrick Mullins.

Ballyward may be the least experienced of the trio at the top of the market, but Mullins’ charge has appeared in more Grade Ones than Ok Corral and Discorama combined, following a fourth-place finish in last year’s Albert Bartlett with another fourth at the equivalent race at the Punchestown Festival.

Willie Mullins trains Jon's Tuesday NAP of the day, Ballyward, who contests the National Hunt Chase.


Mullins’ seven-year-old ran well on his chasing debut, losing out by just a short-head to the more experienced Shady Operator. Discorama’s fall at the last may have made Ballyward’s task at Naas a little easier on his latest start, but the way Ballyward surged clear of Chris’s Dream and Champagne Classic was extremely impressive.

Willie Mullins won this race twice as a jockey during the early 80’s and son, Patrick seems confident his pick can follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Rathvinden. I think Ballyward is a very solid selection.

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Tuesday's racing tips - 11/4 NAP of the day on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

Jon Vine looks over Tuesday's horse racing action and picks out his best bet of the day in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

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