Cheltenham Festival Best Bet: Tuesday 12th march
Back Glen Forsa in the Arkle Chase @ 9/2 with BetVictor Bookmakers
Mick Channon’s Glen Forsa looks to have a great chance in today’s Arkle Chase and in our opinion is the standout bet on Day One of the Cheltenham Festival. The seven-year-old has certainly impressed with his improvement of late, going from an unknown handicapper to a leading contender in just two outings and we don’t think that there will be a better jumper in this particular race.
Glen Forsa first came to prominence when winning a handicap race at Kempton on 26th December 2018, beating Glen Rocco along the way. At the time the form was well short of Grade 1 standard but the nature of the win placed him very much in the spotlight. This runner really hit the headlines when he beat odds-on Kalashnikov in the Kingmaker at Sandown with some hugely impressive jumping and relentless pace.
For all the best Cheltenham odds and free bets, head along to our Bookmaker Free Bets page
The Channon-trained runner hasn’t tackled this track before but we feel that the test of the Arkle will certainly play into Glen Forsa’s hands. Indeed jockey Jonathan Burke will look to make full use of the runner’s excellent jumping capabilities by making the running in this race and he will be a tough act to get the better of.
The Irish challenge has tailed off throughout the season and the biggest danger from those shores will likely come from Hardin (9/2) who enjoyed some solid form when beating Getabird. Nevertheless while this runner has questions to answer following a disappointing run at Leopardstown, Glen Forsa will look to answer a few of his own and land himself a famous victory in today’s Arkle.
Cheltenham Festival, Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase
14:10 – BetVictor Odds
9/2 – Glen Forsa
9/2 – Hardin
13/2 – Duc Des Genievres
6/1 – Labor
7/1 – Kalashnikov
11/1 – Paloma Blue
14/1 – Us And Them
14/1 – Ornua
28/1 – Articulum
28/1 – Clondaw Castle
28/1 – Knocknanuss
66/1 – Slate House
Back Sharjah in the Champion Hurdle @ 22/1 with BetVictor Bookmakers
Clearly the big race of the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is the Champion Hurdle, the two-miler getting underway at 3:30pm on an afternoon of top-quality horse racing. Buveur D’Air is Nicky Henderson’s defending champion and the trainer will be aiming to win a third successive crown with this runner. Nevertheless he faces some very tough opposition this time around and whilst he is undoubtedly a top-class performer, there was disappointment when he was overturned at Kempton Park by stablemate Verdana Blue in the Christmas Hurdle.
He will doubtless be difficult to beat as he looks to defend his crown but given that he will be up against the likes of Laurina and Apple’s Jade – each unbeaten as yet this season – who look likely to be fielded in this race rather than the Mares’ Hurdle, we believe that the Henderson runner will be up against it on Tuesday.
If all three go to the post, this could be a Champion Hurdle to remember but at excellent odds we certainly shouldn’t be overlooking a Willie Mullins inmate in the form of Sharjah at 22/1 with BetVictor. A decent performer when winning his first two hurdle starts before falling in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown, his confidence may have been dented although the six-year-old has been busy this season with both flat and hurdle assignments. He won on the flat at the Galway Festival and his return to hurdles was a successful one with victory in two of his last three, this involving a win over Faugheen in the Morgiana Hurdle and also Supasundae in the Ryanair Hurdle.
We believe that he is worthy of an each-way bet against the top-three in this race and there’s little doubt that he can mount a definite challenge when at his best.
Cheltenham Festival, Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
15:30 – BetVictor Odds
2/1 – Apple Jade
11/4 – Buveur D’Air
3/1 – Laurina
18/1 – Espoir D’Allen
20/1 – Melon
22/1 – Sharjah
33/1 – Brain Power
40/1 – Verdana Blue
66/1 – Global Citizen
80/1 – Silver Streak