Shortlist: Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Day 1

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (1) 2m87y – 12:30am

Timeform Rating of previous winners: 179 168 180 181 167 (Avg 175)

Betting Forecast

$2.75 Getabird, $7 Kalashnikov, $9 Summerville Boy, $12 Mengli Khan, $13 First Flow, $15 Claimantakinforgan, $15 Paloma Blue, $23 Sharjah, $41 Slate House, $41 Western Ryder, $81 Dame Rose, $81 Debuchet, $81 Simply The Betts, $81 Us And Them, $101 Trainwreck, $126 Lostintranslation, $126 Shoal Bay, $251 Golden Jeffrey, $251 Khudha, $251 Saxo Jack

Analyst’s Verdict

Summerville Boy’s defeat of the reopposing Kalashnikov in the Tolworth received a boost when that one landed the ultra-competitive Betfair at Newbury last month. The Roger Brookhouse-owned 6-y-o might represent a bit of value against Getabird, who looks sure to make a bold bid to enhance his yard’s excellent recent record in this race.

Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (1) 1m7f199y – 1:10am

Timeform Rating of previous winners: 174 174 188 186 178 (Avg 180)

Betting Forecast

$2.25 Footpad, $4 Petit Mouchoir, $4.33 Saint Calvados, $9 Brain Power, $67 Robinshill

Analyst’s Verdict

Footpad has looked a natural over fences and can confirm last month’s Leopardstown superiority over Petit Mouchoir, for all it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Henry de Bromhead’s charge get closer this time. Saint Calvados confirmed he’s an exciting prospect when running away with a Warwick Grade 2 last time and is also expected to make his presence felt in a good renewal despite the small field.

Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (1) 3m1f – 1:50am

Betting Forecast

$7 Coo Star Sivola, $8 Gold Present, $8.5 Singlefarmpayment, $13 Ramses de Teillee, $15 Beware The Bear, $17 O O Seven, $17 Vintage Clouds, $21 Shantou Flyer, $21 Vicente, $21 Yala Enki, $23 Cogry, $23 Minella Daddy, $26 Wakanda, $29 Knight of Noir, $34 Casse Tete, $34 Eamon An Cnoic, $41 Sizing Codelco, $67 Vic de Touzaine

Analyst’s Verdict

Coo Star Sivola has plenty to recommend him, having run really well over hurdles at the last 2 festivals and boasting a progressive profile over the larger obstacles too. An impressive winner in the mud last time, he is taken to land this competitive handicap. Gold Present hasn’t put a foot wrong this term and rates the chief threat, whilst Ramses de Teillee is also of interest.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (1) 2m87y – 2:30am

Timeform Rating of previous winners: 178 178 178 181 181 (Avg 179)

Betting Forecast

$1.67 Buveur d’Air, $8 Faugheen, $15 Yorkhill, $19 My Tent Or Yours, $21 Melon, $23 Elgin, $23 Wicklow Brave, $41 Mick Jazz, $101 Ch’tibello, $101 Charli Parcs, $101 John Constable, $101 Verdana Blue, $251 Identity Thief

Analyst’s Verdict

Buveur d’Air has barely broken sweat when landing all 3 starts this season and looks all set to win this race for the second year running. The fitting of a hood seemed to have an adverse effect on Melon in the Irish Champion and he’s capable of bouncing back now with the headgear discarded, while My Tent Or Yours also makes the shortlist having finished runner-up in the race 3 times.

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (David Nicholson) (Grade 1) (1) 2m3f200y – 3:10am

Timeform Rating of previous winners: 158 159 158 152 163 (Avg 158)

Betting Forecast

$1.5 Apple’s Jade, $5.5 Benie des Dieux, $13 La Bague Au Roi, $21 Jer’s Girl, $23 Kayf Grace, $67 Indian Stream, $301 Midnight Jazz, $301 Midnight Tour, $301 Pravalaguna

Analyst’s Verdict

Hard to look beyond last year’s winner Apple’s Jade for a repeat success. She’s been seeing off the males this season and will be hard to beat back against her own sex. Benie des Dieux could emerge as the big danger if she can translate her smart chasing form to hurdles and her yard has dominated this race.

National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (1) 3m7f170y – 3:50am

Timeform Rating of previous winners: 163 156 161 168 164 (Avg 162)

Betting Forecast

$6 Jury Duty, $7.5 Mossback, $8.5 No Comment, $8.5 Rathvinden, $9 Ms Parfois, $11 Sizing Tennessee, $13 Keeper Hill, $23 Duel At Dawn, $23 Pylonthepressure, $34 Impulsive Star, $34 Reigning Supreme, $41 Shades of Midnight, $51 Clondaw Cian, $151 Lofgren, $201 All Kings, $201 Robin of Locksley

Analyst’s Verdict

Gordon Elliott has won two of the last three renewals and looks to have a strong hand once again with Jury Duty and Mossback. The former has looked the ideal type for this race for some time so gets the nod. No Comment lacks chasing experience but is still an intriguing runner having very much caught the eye on chase debut when third in a Grade 1 at Sandown last month.

Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) (1) 2½m78y – 4:30am

Betting Forecast

$8 De Plotting Shed, $9 Any Second Now, $10 Barney Dwan, $11 Rather Be, $15 Divine Spear, $15 Mister Whitaker, $19 Demi Sang, $19 Testify, $19 Tycoon Prince, $23 Ballyhill, $23 Livelovelaugh, $23 Report To Base, $23 Rocklander, $29 Ibis du Rheu, $29 Le Rocher, $34 Markov, $41 Conrad Hastings, $41 Jameson, $41 Kayf Adventure, $51 Western Miller, $499 Deauville Dancer, $500 Cobra de Mai

Analyst’s Verdict

His mishap at Plumpton aside, Rather Be has looked a graded-level chaser this season, landing the odds with the minimum of fuss on a couple of occasions, and the suspicion is that the assessor has taken a big chance with him. Any Second Now has yet to taste success over fences, but this strongly-run race will suit him, with Barney Dwan another to consider in what is a very compressed handicap.


Related Articles

Shortlist – Saturday 24th February 2018 – Kempton

Timeform provide a full-card Shortlist this Saturday's Kempton Chase Day at Kempton, including Top Rated, Betting Forecast and Analyst's ...

Read More

Shortlist: Saturday 10th February 2018 – Newbury

Timeform Shortlist for Newbury, Saturday 10th February 2018.

Read More

Shortlist – Saturday 17th February 2018 – Ascot

"Lust For Glory was purchased for £240,000 following a winning start between the flags in October, and representing a ...

Read More