Loader’s Lucky 15 – Best bets on day one of Cheltenham Festival
Chris Loader rolls his four best bets on day one of the Cheltenham Festival into this each-way Lucky 15 for Tuesday 10th March.
It is finally here, we’ve managed to get through the torrid weather and the Coronavirus for the pinnacle of Horseracing. For the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, I have rolled four of my strongest fancies into an EW Lucky15 for Racing Tips. Can we get the festival off to a flyer?
Cheltenham Festival Day One Tips – Each-Way Lucky 15
1.30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Fiddlerontheroof
Colin Tizzard isn’t normally associated with two mile Novice Hurdlers but Fiddlerontheroof has exciting chance in the opening race. The six-year-old has been on my radar for this race all season and his win in the Tolworth at Sandown was a strong performance, despite the form not working out too well. Despite this, the route has produced the winner of the Supreme before with Summerville Boy winning both in 2018 for Tom George.Prior to that the son of Stowaway’s form is strong bumping to the likes of Thyme Hill and Edwardstone. This on paper looks an exciting renewal but I don’t think the sexier types are the way to play and this could go to a strong stayer like Fiddlerontheroof. He’s one of my strongest fancies today.
3.30 Champion Hurdle – Darver Star
This year’s Champion Hurdle is one of the most competitive Graded races at the Festival and is wide open. It has the real potential for a star to emerge and most of the runners cannot be ruled out. My selection is Darver Star trained by Gavin Cromwell who won the race last year with the late Espoir Allen. It seems odds however that I am selecting a horse that was running in lowly handicaps at Wexford this time last year. On his recent starts though he has been proving himself at Graded level and nearly pipped Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle in the final strides to finish second. The eight-year-old should suit to Cheltenham and has won a Listed race over further. With a strong pace surely to be set by the likes of Cornerstone Lad I suspect it will set up for some closers and Darver Star could have further improvement in him.
4.50 Northern Trust Novices’ Handicap Chase – Hold The Note
This is has been my strongest bet coming into the Festival and I believe Hold The Note has been laid out for this race. Connections won this race with a similar type in the shape of Mister Whittaker in 2018 and it appears they have probably had this one in mind. If you look at the form of the six-year-old he’s been lightly campaigned and was last seen finishing second in a Grade Two at Warwick behind Two For Gold over three miles.Before that effort he was pulled up after being hampered at a key stage and I have the opinion he could have won that day when travelling strongly. If he can steer out of trouble then he’s surely has to go very close.
5.30 National Hunt Chase – Springfield Fox
For my final selection I am siding with Springfield Fox who really impressed me at Exeter to suggest he might hold some class. He bolted up by an emphatic seventeen lengths without coming off the bridle beating some useful opponents. He’s not go the glamourous jockey booking in the shape of Noel George but he is a capable rider at this level. The seven-year-old is yet to be defeated over fences but looks a natural jumper and stayer. I just have a sneaky feeling that he’s the one to side with.