The Balls.ie Tipster's Big Selections For Cheltenham Day One

The Balls.ie Tipster's Big Selections For Cheltenham Day One
By Ian O'Rourke Updated

This year’s festival is as mouth-watering as ever with some truly titanic battles on the horizon. Can Benie Des Dieux compensate punters for last year’s final flight fall by beating the impressive Honeysuckle? Will Defi Du Seuil continue his excellent Cheltenham record by outclassing the Ricci owned Chacun Pour Soi? 

Yet again, it is difficult to know whether Ireland or Great Britain will take home the Prestbury Cup. Odds are set at 6/1 for Britain and Ireland to claim an even number of winners, matching last years result of 14 winners a piece. 

Ground conditions will be at their softest on Tuesday and assured stayers will be appealing.

Cheltenham Tips, Day One: 

1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m87y Going: Soft

This year’s renewal boasts entries from the top stables. Envoi Allen will run in the Ballymore and in turn has left Abracadabras as Gordon Elliot’s only contender in this contest. However, Elliot’s runner is not a forlorn hope and possesses arguably the strongest form in the race, having gotten within 1 ½ lengths of Envoi Allen at Fairyhouse. A strong travelling sort with a potent turn of foot, Davy Russell will make sure to play his cards late on this one. 

Nicky Henderson will send three runners to post and two of these will be toward the top of the betting. Chantry House appears to be an improving sort and is certainly well thought of; however, his form is nothing to write home about so he can be passed over for now. Henderson has not hidden his admiration for Shishkin, this expensive purchase fell first time out over hurdles but has never looked back since, and has racked up two bloodless victories with the latter coming in a listed contest. Shishkins’ owner Joe Donnelly is spoilt for choice and is also responsible for the worthy favourite Asterion Forlonge. Unbeaten since joining Willie Mullins, his defeat of Pencilfuloflead has been well advertised as the second has since won his maiden by 12 lengths. His latest trouncing of Easywork points to a ‘could be anything horse’ and he looks set to deliver Willie Mullins a fifth triumph from the last eight renewals. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtpgLaEDqnw

Selection: Asterion Forlonge

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Odds: 11/4

 

2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m1f Going: Soft

The Ultima Handicap Chase has been won by British runners for the last 13 years and only the gutsy Un Temps Pout Tout has managed to defy top weight. Vindication is a worthy favourite based on form and his 5th in last years JLT is the best on show although top weight on soft ground means that he will be passed over on this occasion. 

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Jonjo O’ Neill Jr is the most promising young jockey in both Britain and Ireland and looks to have a live chance with Mister Malarkey who may well improve again from his last run. He is expected to stay the trip and will be suited by a battle if one should arise. 

Nevertheless, the standout runner is Discorama. Having course form is fundamental for staying chases at the festival and Paul Nolan’s charge finished an excellent second behind La Breuil in last year’s National Hunt Chase. His last run over hurdles should have set him up nicely.

Bryan Cooper will be sure to have Discorama near the pace throughout and this assured stayer is well weighted to deliver a worthy victory for both trainer and jockey. 

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Selection: Discorama

Odds: 8/1

 

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Selections for the Day:

1.30: Asterion Forlonge 3/1 WIN

2.10: Al Dancer 20/1 EW

2.50: Discorama 8/1 WIN

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3.30: Sharjah 14/1 EW

4.10: Benie Des Dieux 4/6 WIN

4.50: Galvin 13/2 EW

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5.30: Carefully Selected 15/8 WIN

 

SEE ALSO: Podcast: The Buildup Cheltenham Preview Special

SEE ALSO: The World Famous Balls.ie Cheltenham Tipster Table - Day One

 

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