Dan Sheridan/INPHO Cheltenham.
3 best bets for Tuesday's card at Cheltenham
The 2023 festival begins on Tuesday.

THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL gets under way on Tuesday, and here are three horses who could be worth following on the opening day.

1.30pm Cheltenham: Marine Nationale 4/1 (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle)

Marine Nationale has run in four races, and he has won all four. Two for two in bumpers, Barry Connell’s horse was impressive in winning his maiden hurdle at Punchestown in October, and he stepped forward from that last time when he won the Grade 1 Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December. The ground was softer than ideal that day, and he made a mistake at the final flight, but he still had the pace and the energy and the willingness to get back up and win by a head. He is a hugely exciting prospect.

Click here to get money back as a free bet on all losers in the Supreme Novice race (1:30) on Tuesday with BoyleSports.

2.10pm Cheltenham: El Fabiolo 13/8 (Arkle Trophy)

There wasn’t much between El Fabiolo and Jonbon when they met in the Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree last April, and there shouldn’t be much between them again in the Arkle at Cheltenham. Jonbon prevailed by a neck at Aintree, but that was just El Fabiolo’s second run for Willie Mullins, and he made a mistake at the final flight, but for which he would have been even closer. Winner of his beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse just before Christmas, El Fabiolo was impressive in winning a red-hot Irish Arkle at Leopardstown last month and, as long as he jumps adequately or better, he could exact his revenge on Jonbon.

2.50pm Cheltenham: Oscar Elite 11/1 (Ultima Handicap Chase)

The Ultima Handicap Chase is a race in which horses who run well one year have a habit of coming back and running well again the following year, and Oscar Elite put up a good performance in last year’s renewal to finish third behind Corach Rambler. Last year’s winner is back again for more, and he could be a big player in the race, but Oscar Elite stayed on strongly last time to win the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot, and he will get to race off a handicap rating of 139, just 1lb higher than the mark off which he raced last year. He is a spring horse, his record in February and March reads 13231, and he goes well at Cheltenham. He could run well in a good each-way race.


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