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Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Tips: Henderson to start with a bang
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Enda McElhinney
Racing Post
Jonbon could claim victory in the Arkle for trainer Nicky Henderson
Jonbon could claim victory in the Arkle for trainer Nicky Henderson

- Cheltenham Festival Day 1: Best bet, each-way selection and treble including:
- Jonbon to win the Arkle 
- Happygolucky each-way in the Ultima Handicap Chase

It is day one of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday and we are marking your card for all the action in the Cotswolds as the most eagerly anticipated four days in the racing calendar bursts into action.

Day 1 - Key info

First race: 13:30 Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Feature race: 15:30 Champion Hurdle

The action gets underway with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, sure to be accompanied by that famous Cheltenham roar to greet the start of another Festival.

Tuesday's feature race is the Champion Hurdle where unbeaten superstar Constitution Hill will bid to give Nicky Henderson a record-extending ninth success in the race - can anyone lay a blow on him?

Constitution Hill has raced five times in his career and the winning distances so far are: 14 lengths, 12 lengths, 22 lengths, 12 lengths & 17 lengths.

He is a machine, it seems, and that 22-length rout came here last March in the Supreme. He is the heavy favourite for the Champion Hurdle but it looks well worth getting onside with him to win by 10 lengths or more with LiveScoreBet at 2/1. He can come up the hill in isolation again.

Constitution Hill could claim another big win at Cheltenham on the opening day of the Festival
Constitution Hill could claim another big win at Cheltenham on the opening day of the Festival

The aforementioned Constitution Hill is long odds-on for Champion Hurdle glory but there is still some juice in his stablemate JONBON to take out the Arkle.

The only time he has been beaten in his career was when he finished second to the monstrous Constitution Hill here last March and Henderson has prepared him nicely for this test with three chase successes this term.

He got himself in a spot of bother in last month's Kingmaker at Warwick when only facing one rival but it was the manner in which he extricated himself from potential danger that impressed.

His jumping is a key asset and he already holds a verdict over main market rival El Fabiolo when they clashed in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Aintree last spring. Henderson has won more Arkle's than any trainer and Jonbon can prove he is the real deal by giving the Seven Barrows chief his eighth victory in this race.

This is one race the British should have no problems winning - no Irish-trained horse has scored since Dun Doire in 2006!

Kim Bailey's HAPPYGOLUCKY was second in this contest last March off 5lb lower before winning easily at Aintree. His comeback at Newcastle in the Rehearsal Chase in November yielded an excellent third behind L'homme Presse - one of Britain's leading Gold Cup contenders before injury sidelined him - while his New Year's Day run here was over an inadequate 2m4½f trip.

First-time cheekpieces go on now and, with LiveScoreBet paying the first six home, he looks well worth chancing.

Day 1 acca

Everybody loves a Cheltenham Festival accumulator and we will be pointing towards one on each of the four days this week. On day one, our treble pays a 6/1 return with LiveScoreBet.

Jumping looks a real plus for Aidan Coleman's partner in the Arkle - he has never looked better than when asked to go full speed to peg back Calico in the Kingmaker at Warwick last time. It could be the difference between Jonbon and main market rival El Fabiolo - who is prone to mistakes.

Nothing original here but no horse has finished even with 10-lengths of Constitution Hill so far in his career and he smashed the track record when winning the Supreme here last March.

Patrick and Willie Mullins have won this race twice together since 2018 and it is arguable they have never had a stronger candidate than Gaillard Du Mesnil. He won a Grade 1 at Leopardstown in December and has twice finished in the frame in Grade 1 company in previous starts around here.

Cheltenham 2023 on LiveScore Bet...

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