Cheltenham is back! Crowds return to race festival for first time since start of Covid pandemic – What We Know!

Defending champion Honeysuckle is odds-on favourite to win the Champion Hurdle

By Sam Turner for the Day by day Mail

Sportsmail supplies all the ideas forward of the opening day of Cheltenham Competition with picks from Britain’s No 1 tipster Sam Turner, eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore and competition successful jockey Lizzie Kelly.

Many imagine Honeysuckle solely wants to show up at the moment to be topped a Unibet Champion Hurdle heroine as soon as extra.

Henry de Bromhead’s top-class mare defends an ideal file stretching again 14 races on this afternoon’ hurdling showpiece and bookmakers are loath to take many dangers on her failing to ship once more.

A six-length rout of Sharjah final 12 months stamped Honeysuckle as one in all Nationwide Hunt racing’s new icons and he or she has executed little to dispel that tag since, persevering with to beat each rival put in entrance of her.

Defending champion Honeysuckle is odds-on favorite to win the Champion Hurdle

Nevertheless, there’s a probability she faces a stiffer check this time as a then out-of-kilter Epatante was second favorite final 12 months, whereas Goshen, a significantly higher hurdler going right-handed, was solely 11-2.

This 12 months’s renewal seems to function larger power in depth, with final season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner APPRECIATE IT (Cheltenham, 3.30) representing the all-conquering Willie Mullins steady, whereas five-year-olds Teahupoo and Adagio are enhancing hurdlers.

2020 winner Epatante, again points seemingly rectified, is one other that can not be dismissed together with Tommy’s Oscar, who boasts such a excessive cruising velocity that he should certainly boast no less than a body probability.

Willie Mullins' 2021 Supreme winner Appreciate It will take on Honeysuckle on Tuesday

Willie Mullins’ 2021 Supreme winner Recognize It should tackle Honeysuckle on Tuesday

Honeysuckle’s supporters might not be quaking within the face of these challenges, however they’ve extra to supply than final 12 months’s opposition and, if Mullins has labored the oracle with Recognize It, then his eight-year-old is a really thrilling proposition. 

Final 12 months’s Supreme wasn’t a classic renewal however the choice was extremely dominant in a time not dissimilar to that of Honeysuckle.

Mullins has resisted the urge to run Recognize It this season, however, as we all know from six-time competition winner Quevega, lengthy absences should not a problem for the Closutton maestro.


1.30 Dysart Dynamo

2.10 Riviere D’etel

2.50 Gericault Roque

3.30 Recognize It

4.10 Queens Brook (nap)

4.50 The Tide Turns

5.30 Run Wild Fred (nb)


1.30 Jonbon (nap)

2.10 Haut En Couleurs

2.50 Tea Clipper

3.30 Honeysuckle

4.10 Stormy Eire (nb)

4.50 Hms Seahorse

5.30 Vanillier

 Northerner – 2.50 Classic Clouds (nap)


Mullins might start the assembly on the entrance foot with the explosive DYSART DYNAMO (Cheltenham, 1.30) within the Sky Guess Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

The unbeaten six-year-old’s all-guns-blazing model shouldn’t be essentially excellent for this task, however there are different front-runners within the area and I’m hoping Paul Townend might be able to get a tow into the race with out expending all of the petrol.

The imposing Structure Hill represents an infinite hazard and it isn’t tough to envisage this robust stayer at two miles arriving with a giant problem on the remaining flight. Hopefully, Dysart Dynamo will be capable to stand up to that late assault.


Edwardstone represents top-of-the-line British hopes for the week and, given a nearly blemish-free file over fences, is extraordinarily tough to knock — so I gained’t! 

However RIVIERE D’ETEL (Cheltenham, 2.10) has in all probability achieved extra in her chasing profession and was unfortunate to not win the Irish equal of this race on the Dublin Racing Competition. Coeur Elegant, third that day, is a tall value for a horse of his capacity, with some companies providing 4 locations.

Edwardstone represents one of the best British hopes at Cheltenham this week

Edwardstone represents top-of-the-line British hopes at Cheltenham this week


This race has been form to the connections of GERICAULT ROQUE (Cheltenham, 2.50), who landed this race twice with Un Temps Pour Tout in 2016 and 2017.


QUEENS BROOK (Cheltenham, nap, 4.10) regarded as if the run would do her good when chasing dwelling Burning Victory at Punchestown final month and he or she appears a good guess to reverse placings.


GORDON ELLIOTT could get pleasure from a beneficial conclusion with THE TIDE TURNS (Cheltenham, 4.50) holding a powerful hand within the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, whereas RUN WILD FRED (Cheltenham, nb, 5.30) boasts all of the attributes to carry the finale.


Your greatest probability of beating the bookies this week is to stay with Sportsmail’s sensible workforce of tipsters, led all over the Competition by Nationwide Hunt legend Peter Scudamore…

PETER SCUDAMORE (Eight-time champion jockey)

HONEYSUCKLE could nicely win the Champion Hurdle however she is lengthy odds-on favorite and never a value the overwhelming majority of punters will need to play at. 

However there’s a respectable each-way possibility in TOMMY’S OSCAR, the powerful little gelding who represents Ann and Ian Hamilton who prepare him and his three stablemates alongside 1,000 sheep and 300 cattle on their Northumberland farm. 

Theirs is an actual David versus Goliath problem however Tommy’s Oscar, who has risen sharply via the ranks, needs to be given most respect. Admittedly, he has not taken on the extent of rival he faces at the moment however he’s on a pointy upward curve in kind, having gained his final 4 races. 

He’s a slick jumper of hurdles, the bottom ought to go well with him and he’s ridden by a superb jockey in Danny McMenamin. 

My greatest guess of the day is JONBON within the Sky Guess Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. It’s a red-hot race however he’s unbeaten and has impressed me along with his flip of foot.


1.30 Jonbon (nap) 

2.10 Saint Sam (ew) 

2.50 Noble Yeats 

3.30 Tommy’s Oscar (ew) 


4.50 The Tide Turns 

5.30 Vanillier

LIZZIE KELLY(Competition Profitable Jockey)

BURNING VICTORY has acquired top-of-the-line kind traces within the Shut Brothers Mares’ Hurdle along with her third to Flooring Porter and Klassical Dream — the 2 most fancied horses in Thursday’s Stayer’s Hurdle — at Leopardstown’s Christmas assembly. 

She had some good horses behind her that day and doubtless discovered the three-mile distance a contact too far, so the drop again to 2 and a half miles will go well with her. 

Willie Mullins has gained the Sky Guess Supreme Novices’ Hurdle seven instances and he has a good chance of including to that with DYSART DYNAMO, who impressively gained the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle at Punchestown, a race with a historical past of turning up top-class winners. 

SAINT SEGAL, runner up within the Grade One Finale Hurdle at Chepstow appears moderately handicapped within the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.









MARCUS TOWNEND (Captain Heath)

VANILLIER was a simple winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle finally season’s Competition. His runs over fences this season and his leaping have been barely disappointing. They embrace a defeat by at the moment’s rival Stattler final outing however the excessive stamina check of the Nationwide Hunt Chase shall be proper up his road.





3.30 TEAHU POO (ew)



5.30 VANILLIER (nap)

FORMCAST (Nigel Taylor)

GAELIC WARRIOR could have been severely underestimated by the handicapper after solely three runs in France. He has since joined the highly effective steady of coach Willie Mullins, who appears to have intentionally preserved Gaelic Warrior’s handicap ranking by not operating him since his arrival in Eire. He appears a very good guess to win this aggressive race.


1.30 Dysart Dynamo

2.10 Edwardstone

2.50 Kiltealy Briggs

3.30 Honeysuckle

4.10 Stormy Eire

4.50 Gaelic Warrior (nap)

5.30 Stattler