Cheltenham 2018 LIVE: Today’s results, tips, racecards and news from Cheltenham Festival
Buveur D’Air romped to victory in the feature race on this day last year as a 5/1 shot, streaking home by four-and-a-half lengths.
And he is an odds-on favourite to do so again in 2018, with last time’s runner-up My Tent Or Yours and veteran Faugheen expected to lead the chasing pack.
But all horse will be hoping the ground does not run as slowly as expected – for the first time since 1982, the ground was declared heavy, soft in places on the opening day of the Festival after a month of poor weather in the UK.
Cheltenham weather forecasters have promised no rain on Tuesday, despite overcast conditions…
Cheltenham 2018 – Day one LIVE
11.30am: Is it about the horses? Is it about the jockeys? Maybe you think it’s about the trainers. If so, you’ll be interested in Chris Goulding’s look at the three big names at Cheltenham: Nicky Henderson, Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins. Read all about their battle here.
Elliott spanked them both last year but Henderson (58 winners) and Mullins (54 winners) are the old hands of this course.
Nicky Henderson is the most successful Cheltenham trainer of all time
11am: If you’re not heading up to the Festival, you’ll probably either be following our live blog or watching on TV. And you’ll be disappointed to hear that ITV have binned their thermal camera as anchor Ed Chamberlin explains.
“I’m afraid our thermal camera won’t be returning after causing an internet sensation last year by showing horses getting too warm, and especially perhaps a little bit too much of an inside track on one groom’s minimal underwear.
“Despite the lack of thermal cameras our viewing figures on ITV are already 18 per cent up on this time last year so we enter the Festival in good shape.”
10.30am: Got some betting to do today? Who hasn’t. The Daily Express’ resident tipster is Britain’s BEST tipster (it’s official) and here are his picks for the day.
1.30pm Kalashnikov, 2.10pm Footpad, 2.50pm Coo Star Sivola, 3.30pm Buveur D’Air, 4.10pm Apple’s Jade (nap), 4.50pm Ms Parfois (treble), 5.30pm Mister Whitaker (nb)
To read his full reasoning, check out The Scout’sCheltenham tipsin full.
Also, I have to report another non-runner. Verdana Blue doesn’t fancy the ground and Nicky Henderson has pulled him out too.
10am: More good news, this time regarding tomorrow’s Queen Mother Champion Chase. Favourite Altior woke up lame on Monday morning but after a day of treatment, Nicky Henderson seems confident he will run well after waking up better on Tuesday.
“Pleased to report that Altior is perfectly sound this morning so it’s all systems go for him in the Champion Chase,” Henderson wrote on Twitter.
He’s an even-money favourite to beat Min and Douvan to the title tomorrow at 3.30pm.
9.30am: Good morning! And the best news I can tell anyone before we even start today is that it is NOT raining. There are some heavy dark clouds in the sky but they look pretty high and the forecast is for them to clear off by lunchtime, so the first race might even start in sunshine. Optimistic, I know.
Wellies might till be in order though: the ground is officially heavy, soft in places despite a dry night. That will make life a little trickier for horses and punters alike I would have thought.
Four hours until the first race – so we’ll keep you up to date with tips, odds and news stories from Cheltenham until then.
Early non-runner in the feature race: Nicky Henderson’s second horse in the Champion Hurdle My Tent Or Yours has been pulled out on veterinary advice.