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Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO Abacadabras and Jack Kennedy.
3 handy bets to get you up and running on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival
Johnny Ward brings you his tips for Tuesday, including an each-way shot in the Champion Hurdle.

THE 2021 CHELTENHAM Festival is here.  

Racing journalist Johnny Ward will be bringing you his best tips throughout the week — along with William Hill’s latest prices — and here are his picks for Day 1 at Prestbury Park… 

Cheltenham commences on Tuesday, with the opening two fields’ sizes probable evidence of a couple of things.

Firstly, Cheltenham’s stretching of the race meet to four days means small fields (six in the Arkle and eight in the Supreme) are becoming normal in Grade One races. Secondly, it is not as attractive to Irish visitors without racegoers.

Still, a winner is a winner, and here are three — or at least that is the plan. It’s a long four days and do gamble responsibly.

Abacadabras E/W — 7/1 (Champion Hurdle, 3.05)

William Hill goes a whopping five places in a 10-runner race so if you are having one each-way bet at Cheltenham have it in this. Abacadabras ran a blinder when touched off in the Supreme last season and the ground is coming right for him now.

A really fast horse, he makes huge appeal each-way in a race that should be run to suit to some extent. It is probable he got to the front too soon with the madness two out last year.

Great White Shark — 14/1 (Mares’ Hurdle, 3.40)

Concertista should take a bit of beating here. She has brushed aside stamina concerns this year, winning over about this distance the last twice, and she is probably improving at seven years old.

Stablemate Great White Shark has a bit to find but she was sent off hot favourite in the Galmoy last time, a deep race against the geldings, when the ground would have been all wrong. She has course form, won easily in a hot race at the Galway Festival and then followed up easily on the Flat in the Cesarewitch in October. She may well be improving too.

Her trainer has won this race nine times out of 13 renewals and you will be getting 3/1 or thereabouts that Great White Shark finishes in the first three.

Zoffanien E/W — 16/1 (Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, 4.15)

For a juvenile hurdler, this Zoffany-head is really reliable and not only that: he is a really adept jumper for his age. He is progressing, showing fine form in a key Naas trial for this race coming here, and Richard Johnson is booked.

I like him a lot each-way at 16s, with William Hill paying five places. Saint Sam, with the hood on for the first time, rates a big danger.

Odds above correct at the time of writing. For all the latest prices, visit 18+, always gamble responsibly. For more information, see 

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