festival tips | 

Ruby Walsh’s tips for Day 1 at the Cheltenham Festival

Day 1 of the Festival should be dominated by the mighty Constiution Hill.

Paddy Power pundit Ruby Walsh

Kevin PalmerSunday World

He has won more races at the Cheltenham Festival than any other jockey so there is no better man to lean on for tips over the next few days.

Here, the legendary Jockey and Paddy Power analyst gives his views on the opening day at Cheltenham:

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (13:30) – Facile Vega – 2/1

Ruby says: I’m with Facile Vega and, despite his bad run at the Dublin Racing Festival, I can’t turn my back on him.

The Arkle (14:10) – Saint Roi (each way at 8/1)

Jonbon will be the pick for many, but and the tactics will be fascinating in this race. I like Saint Roi to hit the places.

Festival Handicap Chase (14:50) – Fanion D'Estruval (20/1)

Ruby says: The first handicap of the four-day meeting and it's a very competitive puzzle to solve. Irish runners don't have a great record in this race. Venetia Williams' Fanion D'Estruval drops to handicap company and is an each-way price.

Champion Hurdle (15:30) – Constiution Hill (1/3)

Ruby says: Constitution Hill and State Man set the standard and with just seven runners there’s no each-way option outside these two. It’s hard to back against Constitution Hill and I fancy I'd fancy I Like To Move It as the one at a bigger price for an each-way play.”

Mares' Hurdle (16:10) – Brady Love (9/2)

Ruby says: Honeysuckle and Epatante will go in this one, but I think Honeysuckle has regressed, as much as I want her to win. Brandy Love will improve from Leopardstown and Echoes In Rain (11/1) has a chance as well.

Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (16:50) – Tekao (5/2)

Ruby says: Tekao has a great chance given the level of form he’s shown this season and his third place behind Gala Marceau and Lossiemouth is solid form.

Amateur Jockeys' Novices' Chase (17:30) – Gaillard Du Mesnil 5/6

Gaillard Du Mesnil should give Willie and Patrick Mullins their third National Hunt Chase victory in the finale on day one.

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