After a year of waiting, the tension will be released on Tuesday, March 11, as the 2014 Cheltenham Festival gets underway. To accompany the first race, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the crowd will let out the traditional Cheltenham Roar, signalling that an incredible week of national hunt racing is about to begin.
To go along with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the first day has six other races for punters to get their teeth into, featuring some of the biggest names in the racing world. The Arkle Trophy, the Champion Hurdle and the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle are other big races on the first day, and picking some of the winners can set punters up for a big week.
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
The first race of the festival, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle will be getting Cheltenham off to a bang. While being run at an extremely fast pace over two miles, entrants must also display fantastic jumping technique in order to take victory.
Vautour is the favourite with Coral for the latest instalment from 2014, priced at 5/1. If he can continue his impressive form, he could see off the rest of the field and take victory. The main challenge is expected to come from The Tullow Tank and Irving, both of whom are priced at 8/1.
The Arkle Chase
An extremely popular race with the fans, the Arkle is also run over two miles, and excellent jumping is the key to taking victory. Last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner, Champagne Fever, is a 7/2 favourite with Coral to win this year’s Arkle.
However, favourites have had a difficult time winning this event. With this in mind, Dodging Bullets (5/1), Rock On Ruby (6/1), and Trifolium (6/1) could be many punters’ choices.
The Champion Hurdle
The most famous race of the first day, the Champion Hurdle is run over two miles ½ furlong. With The New One installed as a 3/1 favourite, a new winner could be in store.
However, a popular winner would be Hurricane Fly, who has already won this event twice. At 10/3, he has a fantastic chance. Hoping to upset the two favourites will be My Tent Or Yours, priced at 7/2 with Coral.
OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
This event has been dominated by the super mare Quevega. Having won the last five Mares’ Hurdles, she is a 8/11 favourite to win her sixth in a row this year.
With a fantastic day of racing getting the festival off to a great start, a few favourite winners could set punters up for the week in their battle with the bookies.