Cheltenham Festival Day One Betting

Written By:  Finn Huxley
Last Updated:  Mar 2, 2023

Cheltenham 10th March Champion Day Races

The opening day of the greatest national hunt racing festival in the world is the day that all racing fans are waiting for, as they hear the famous Cheltenham roar for the first time of the week. The first day of the festival will see four Grade 1 races, which will be headlined by the UniBet Champion Hurdle.

For more of the latest Cheltenham Festival information, take a look at our main Betting On Cheltenham hub page.

If you’re looking to bet on day one of the festival on your mobile, find an overview of each race below. We have also included information on the favourites and other horses to watch.

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13:30- Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

The opening race of the festival will be the Grade 1 encounter to determine the winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The race is open to horses aged four or older and is made up of two miles and 87 yards. Famous horses such as Altior, Douvan and Labaik have won the race in the past. Klassical Dream won the race last year with Ruby Walsh on-board.

This first race could be a damaging loss for the bookies, as Envoi Allen is already the heavy favourite to win. The Gordon Elliott-trained horse has won on all seven appearances. Shishkin and Asterion Forlonge are also among the favourites. Shishkin has won on its last two appearances, but its fall at the beginning of the season means there are still questions.

Take a look at the best mobile betting odds from bet365 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

14:10- Arkle Chase

The second race of the festival is also a Grade 1 meeting and takes its name from the three-time winner of the Gold Cup- Arkle. It is the most prestigious two-mile event of the season, and this year promises to be an open event. Notebook, Fakir D’oudairies and Brewinupastorm are the three favourites in the betting.

Fakir D’oudairies and Notebook have already met once this season, with Notebook claiming the win by one and a half lengths at Leopardstown on Boxing Day. It would be hard to see a different result in the second race of the festival.

14:50- Ultima Handicap Chase

The three-mile Ultima Handicap Chase is often a useful marker for future Grand National horses. The race is run over three miles and is the first handicap race of the week. West Tip, Team Spirit and Beware The Bear have all won this race in the past.

Vinndication is the favourite in the betting having won on his last run at Aintree in November. There will also be money in the betting for The Conditional and Kildisart.

15:30- Unibet Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is the biggest race on the opening day of the festival, and it promises to be a huge betting race with a wide-open field. The race is over two miles, and there are four hurdles that the field will need to navigate. The race is the most prestigious of the hurdling season, and there have been a host of famous winners, including Persian War, National Spirit, Annie Power and Buveur d’Air.

Benie Des Dieux is the current favourite to win this instalment. The Willie Mullins-trained horse has already won twice this season, and also already has a Cheltenham Festival success to her name after winning the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle in 2018. Envoi Allen is also a prominent option, as are Honeysuckle and Pentland Hills.

Here are the best mobile betting odds from bet365 for the Champion Hurdle

16:10- Mares’ Hurdle

Grade 1 action once again takes centre stage as mares aged four and over compete in the Mares’ Hurdle. It is a two mile race including ten hurdles. The race was granted Grade 1 status in 2015, after initially being down as a Grade 2 event following its introduction in 2008. Quevega won the race six times in a row between 2009 and 2014. Willie Mullins has won nine of the eleven instalments.

Benie Des Dieux is currently the favourite for the race, but she is likely to instead opt for the Champion Hurdle. Honeysuckle may prefer this race, while Stormy Ireland is a popular pick. Roksana won this race last year and is also one of the front runners in the betting.

Take a look at the best mobile betting odds from bet365 for the Mares’ Hurdle

16:50- Northern Trust Company Novice Handicap Chase

This listed steeplechase will be one of the most unpredictable races on the opening day. Over the two mile race, there are 16 fences to navigate. It has been run since 2005 after it was introduced following the inclusion of a fourth day of the festival. Winners in the past include Divers, Mister Whitaker and A Plus Tard.

There will be a lot of value in this race for punters. Aerial Aura will be the favourite, while Galvin, Espoir De Guye, Annie Mc and Hold The Note are also front-runners. The preference would be for Jonjo O’Neill’s Annie Mc, who has won three of four starts this season.

17:30- National Hunt Challenge Cup

The action on the opening day comes to a close with some highly anticipated Grade 2 action. The race is for amateur riders and is ran over three miles and 25 fences. It is one of the best races on the opening day, as there is a lot of value in the betting for punters. Horses to have won this race in the past include Cause of Causes, Minella Rocco, and double Grand National champion, Tiger Roll.

Carefully Selected will go into the race as the favourite, while Copperhead and Battleoverdoyen are also prominent in the market. The preference would be for the latter of those for Gordon Elliott. He won three times last season, and there shouldn’t be much concern despite his fall on his previous outing at Leopardstown. There could be an each-way option on the cards in the form of The Hollow Ginge.

Cheltenham Festival Betting Day Previews

Take a look at betting previews for each of the other racing festival days:

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Cheltenham St Patrick's Day 3 Betting Banner

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