Cheltenham Tuesday Preview

1.30 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 2m ½ f

This race looks like being one of the best of the meeting and features a strong favourite in My Tent Or Yours. Nicky Henderson’s novice bolted up in the ultra-competitive Betfair Handicap Hurdle and there was even speculation that he may be supplemented for the Champion. It is hard to pick holes in the form but he did run quite freely that day and McCoy will be anxious to settle him on this more testing course. There is plenty of confidence behind Irish challengers Jezki and Un Atout and both have to be respected. My Tent Or Yours is 13-8 with Bet365 to get punters off to a winning start. Stable companion River Mague is no forlorn hope and could represent each-way value at 12-1.

2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy – 2m

This race has been billed as a duel between the front-running Overturn and the flying grey Simonsig. Donald McCain’s horse had the class to win the Chester Cup on the flat and finish second in the Champion Hurdle and has been switched to fences late in his career. As impressive as he has been, it is asking an awful lot to lead all the way around here and Simonsig is guaranteed to stay. He was as easy a winner as I can remember at the festival last year and looks to have taken well to fences. Simonsig is 4-6 favourite with Bet365 and is difficult to oppose.

2.40 JLT Speciality Handicap Chase – 3m ½ f

Three of the first four home in last year’s race meet again with Fruity O’Rooney, Our Mick and The Package all declared. It is very hard to separate them at the weights but there seems no obvious reason why Fruity O’Rooney cannot again come out on top with the soft ground in his favour. Our Mick is the favourite after unseating his rider in a valuable handicap over this course last time but Fruity O’Rooney looks sure to run his usual game race. He could prove worthy of each-way support at 8-1. Jonjo O’Neill supplied the winner last year and this time is represented by Merry King, another with excellent each-way claims at 10-1 with Bet365.

3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle – 2m ½ f

If punters are on top after the opening two races, expect a big plunge on Hurricane Fly to regain his Champion Hurdle crown. He was a decisive winner of this race in 2011 but failed to fire when third to Rock On Ruby last year. He looked right back to his best in Ireland last time and the onus will be on his rivals to make this a proper test of stamina. With no obvious pacemaker in the field, Rock On Ruby and Zarkandar will need to be prominent as neither possess the same turn of foot as the favourite. A slow pace will also play into the hands of the Henderson pair, Grandouet and Binocular. Hurricane Fly is 15-8 with Bet365 and looks the likely winner. I have fancied Countrywide Flame to run a big race in this all season and see no reason to change my mind now. He looks a good each-way bet at 14-1.

4.00 Glenfarclas Handicap Chase – 3m 7f

This Cross Country race is very much a specialist event and it could pay to side with experience in Uncle Junior. He beat last year’s winner Balthazar King  in November and soft ground has ruled out that rival here. Uncle Junior looks a decent bet at 7-1 with Bet365. Veteran A New Story and Cross Country regular Sizing Australia are certain to be prominent and that latter could make the frame at 9-1.

4.40 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle – 2m 4f

Nobody is going to get very rich by backing 1-2 favourite Quevega as she bids for her fifth consecutive victory in the race. If she arrives in the same form as last year it will be a race for second but Nicky Henderson’s tough mare Une Artiste could make Quevega work for her money. She never wins that impressively but she battles to the line and there will be worse 5-1 shots at the festival than her. Quevega looks set to provide favourite backers with another winner but Une Artiste is worth an each-way bet at 5-1 with Bet365. David Pipe has decided to run Betfair Hurdle third Swing Bowler here in preference to the County Hurdle and the hint could be worth taking each-way at 10-1.

5.15 Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase – 2m 4 ½ f

This looks one of the most wide open races of the meeting. The Druids Nephew would provide trainer Andy Turnell with a popular winner as he recovers from a recent stroke and he shapes as though this race could suit. Venetia Williams has two entries with chances and the pick could be Shangani, an easy winner in a lower grade.  Bet365 offer 6-1 (from 10-1) about The Druids Nephew with 7-1 Shangani.

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