Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Confirmed Rides
With less than 48 hours until the start of the greatest show on turf we take a look at some of the key confirmed rides for Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival.
Much of the pre-Festival debate focused on the decision facing Ruby Walsh in the Champion Hurdle. Would he decide to continue to ride, arguably one of the greatest hurdlers in racing history – Hurricane Fly (8/1), or instead switch allegiances to the ante-post favourite, and potential superstar, Faugheen (Evs)
With bookmakers making Walsh a long odds-on shot to ride Faugheen it came as little surprise when the partnership was confirmed. Walsh was keen to stress the difficulty he encountered when making the decision but bookmakers never seemed in doubt.
Away from the Champion Hurdle, Walsh will also ride Douvan (6/4), Un De Sceaux (8/13) and Annie Power (4/7), completing his clean sweep of rides on the short-priced, well-fancied favourites for each of the Grade 1 contests on Tuesday’s card.
The embarrassment of riches available to Walsh is truly staggering and he could well have the title of Leading Festival Jockey wrapped up after Day 1.
Favourites aside, thanks to the likes of Jollyallan (7/1) in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Jezki (9/2) in the Champion Hurdle, the nineteen-times Champion Jockey AP McCoy also looks set to have strong chances of success on what will undoubtedly be an emotional start to his final Cheltenham Festival.
Barry Geraghty is another jockey with a good book of rides. The Novice hurdler L’Ami Serge (3/1) is the current second favourite for the Supreme and both Josses Hill (10/1) and Vaniteux (33/1) have each-way chances in the Arkle and Champion Hurdle respectively.
Other notable rides include Noel Fehily on the unexposed novice hurdler Qewy (12/1), and Bryan Cooper who takes the mount on Clarcam (12/1) a horse who will have a good chance of finishing placed in the second race on the card.