Cheltenham Tips Day 1: David Mullins’ Betting Picks & Predictions

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Cheltenham Tips Day 1: David Mullins’ Betting Picks & Predictions
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David Mullins' Day 1 Cheltenham Tips:

We are all ready for the roar of the Cheltenham crowd and the ground has softened up nicely which should be perfect for most at the track.

Below are my top tips for Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival.

1.30pm Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Facile Vega

For the Supreme I’ll be sticking with Facile Vega. I think the ground might be gone for Marine Nationale who has a big chance, but the trainer and owner Barry Connell has said before that soft ground could be an issue for him.

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For that reason, I’ll stick with the favourite to get Willie Mullins and Paul Townend off to a flyer with conditions to suit.

2.10pm Arkle Novices’ Chase – Jonbon

I think the tactics could play a massive part for the Arkle Chase. I don’t know if Danny Mullins will be as willing to go as hard on Dysart Dynamo as he was at the Dublin Racing Festival and it will be interesting how they line up and start in this race.

I don’t know if Jonbon will take him on with the soft ground likely to help the Willie Mullins runners big time, including El Fabiolo. I’d still be with the Jonbon camp if they take their time on him rather than get involved too early. 

2.50pm Ultima Handicap Chase – The Big Breakaway

The Ultima Handicap Chase is a very open race, super competitive and last year’s winner Corach Rambler, who got a very good ride last year to score, is in the running. 

It’s clearly very hard to pick one, but The Big Breakway deserves a nice pot and I know he has a big weight but I think he might have the ability to cope with it. 

For that reason, I am chancing him to have his big day on Day 1 for Colin Tizzard and Brendan Powell, who have a good record in the race.  

3.30pm – Champion Hurdle – Constitution Hill

I don’t think anything can beat Constitution Hill and I know online bookmakers obviously agree. 

The main rival is Willie Mullins’ State Man and both he and Constitution Hill will be fine on the softer ground they will get for the big race on Tuesday, but for me that just means Constitution Hill will win by further.

There isn’t any reason to oppose Nicky Henderson’s horse here.

4.10pm – Mares’ Hurdle – Honeysuckle

Marie’s Rock connections have probably opted for the right race in the Mares’ Hurdle, she will get her ground and it’s probably the right trip rather than the tougher stamina test in the Stayers Hurdle. 

She must go well but I think Honeysuckle’s form, albeit in defeat this season, is still stronger and I’ll be sticking with her to get a fourth win at the Cheltenham Festival. 

I’d be very worried too about Echoes In Rain if she jumps as well as she did the last day, she looked to show some maturity there and she could still be on the improve.

4.50 Boodles Hurdle – Byker

I think Charles Byrnes’ Byker is the one for the Boodles Handicap Hurdle. Tekao looks to have been set up for the race too by Willie Mullins but I think Byker is the one to beat here. 

It’s very competitive of course and there's lots of horses we don’t know much about just yet. 

Philip Byrnes is back on to take 5lbs off with his claim and they add first time cheek pieces here as well.

5.30pm – National Hunt Chase – Gaillard Du Mesnil

This could be the best bet of the week in the final race on Tuesday where Gaillard Du Mesnil takes on lower rated horses in the stamina test over 3m6f. 

He is already a three-time Grade 1 winner, once over fences and twice over hurdles and I don’t think any other horse in this race has that ability. 

He has two years’ chasing under his belt and I’d be shocked if he got beat for Willie and Patrick Mullins.

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David Mullins

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