Cheltenham Day One Betting Tips: Will Nicky Henderson’s outsider land him a record Champion Hurdle win?
Harry Howes | 9 March 2020
Odds, tips and preview for the first day’s racing
It’s finally here. Four days. 28 races. Strap yourself in and get comfortable. It’s the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
The biggest event in the racing calendar has returned to Cheltenham and we’re set for an opening day treat, with seven thrilling races set to get the festival off to a flier.
The action kicks off at 13:30 with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The anticipation will slowly bubble away ahead of the feature race of the day – the Champion Hurdle at 15:30.
The National Hunt Challenge Cup will bring Day One to a close at 17:30 and we’ve trawled through the form to deliver tips for the opening day…
Chantry House – 13:30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Willie Mullins’ Asterion Forlonge heads the betting ahead of the opener for good reason. The Irish trainer has won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle a record six times, including with Klassical Dream last year.
But Nicky Henderson’s Chantry House could cause a few surprises this time around. The gelding has developed a good relationship with three-time rider Barry Geraghty, comfortably winning both outings since his hurdles debut in December.
Chantry House stormed to victory by 4 1/2 lengths at Newbury last month and Henderson will have confidence of delivering his first winner in the race since Altior in 2016.
Notebook – 14:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy
Another race with strong historical pedigree, the Arkle Challenge Trophy has also been won by both Altior and Douvan in recent years.
An ambitious field will be looking to prove their worth and Notebook may be the pick of this year’s bunch. Ridden by Rachael Blackmore, he’s improved remarkably since switching to fences.
Notebook is on a run of four consecutive wins since a five-month hiatus last year and he edged Arkle Challenge rival Cash Back by 3/4 lengths at Leopardstown last time out. But Cash Back will pose a threat, with Mullins training four of the race’s last five winners.
Call Me Lord – 15:30 Champion Hurdle
An outsider for sure and perhaps an each-way consideration. Henderson has four entries in the Champion Hurdle, with Epatante and Pentland Hills leading the betting ahead of the day’s headline race.
But Call Me Lord could spring a surprise, with James Bowen returning to the saddle having ridden the gelding to glory at Cheltenham back in December.
He’ll face stiff competition in the final leg of hurdling’s Triple Crown but with a record seven wins in the race, Henderson knows exactly how to prepare his horses and Call Me Lord could go the distance.
Cheltenham Festival Day One Racing Tips:
13:30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Chantry House
14:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy – Notebook
14:50 Festival Trophy Handicap Chase – Vinndication
15:30 Champion Hurdle – Call Me Lord
16:10 Mares’ Hurdle – Benie Des Dieux
16:50 Novices’ Handicap Chase – Hold The Note
17:30 National Hunt Challenge Cup – Ravenhill
View the latest horse racing odds.
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing