Cheltenham 2023: Day One race card, top tips from the track, TV details and everything you need to know

The Champion Hurdle is the highlight from Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival. Some famous names have won it. Among them Istabraq and Hurricane Fly.

ll the talk now is of Constitution Hill. Nicky Henderson is the trainer. He knows every sod of turf at Prestbury Park.

Michael Buckley is the owner. He can’t walk down the street without being asked about the horse. His mind must go back to the old children’s television programme, Mr Ed, the talking horse.

“Yes, it would be much better if Constitution Hill could speak!” he smiles.

Many say that Constitution Hill is a sure thing to win the Champion Hurdle.

Michael doesn’t believe in sure things. Ever since the day, as a teenager, he backed the hot favourite, Mill House, in the 1964 Gold Cup. Only for Arkle to beat him.

Henderson’s Jonbon is also being favoured in the Arkle Chase. Named after one of Ireland’s all-time favourite horses. The horse of Tom Draper and Pat Taaffe.

Arkle won the Gold Cup three years in-a-row. Quevega won the Mare’s Hurdle six years on the trot. Henderson’s Marie’s Rock is being well-tipped here. He won the race brilliantly last year. The great Honeysuckle will raise the roof – win, lose or draw.

Arkle was bought at the Ballsbridge Sales. Nick Skelton has graced the RDS Arena many times. His son, Harry, rides Punta Del Este in the Juvenile Hurdle. Harry’s brother, Dan, is the trainer.

Last year saw Facile Vega win the Champion Bumper. This time he’s favourite in the opening race on the card, the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle, which saw Constitution Hill gallop away from the field last March.

Jonjo O’Neill’s Monbeg Genius goes in the Ultima Handicap Chase. The day concludes with the stamina-sapping 23-fence National Hunt Challenge. Gordon Elliott’s Chemical Energy is appropriately named. He won well at the October Cheltenham meeting.

DAY 1:

(1.30): Supreme Novice’s Hurdle

(2.10): Arkle Chase.

(2.50): Handicap Chase.

(3.30): Champion Hurdle.

(4.10): Mare’s Hurdle.

(4.50): Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

(5.30): National Hunt Challenge Novice’s Chase.


Michael Verney

Wayne Bailey

Patrick Mullins

Cheltenham Festival Day 1: Race schedule and latest odds

Odds via Betfair

1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle

Facile Vega 2/1

Marine Nationale 10/3

Impaire Et Pase 5/1

Il Etait Temps 6/1

Gaelic Warrior, Luccia 8/1

Tahmuras 10/1

High Definition 11/1

Diverge, Hunters Yarn 14/1

Chasing Fire 16/1

Inthepocket 20/1

Dark Raven, Doctor Bravo, Rare Edition 25/1

Colonel Harry, In Excess, Nemean Lion, Strong Leader 33/1

BAR 40/1


1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle

2:10 Arkle Chase

El Fabiolo, Jonbon 6/4

Dysart Dynamo 9/2

Saint Roi 8/1

Appreciate It, Banbridge 10/1

Final Orders 12/1

Sir Gerhard 14/1

Hallow Games 33/1

BAR 40/1

2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase

Corach Rambler, Into Overdrive 7/1

Nasalam 15/2

Fastorslow 8/1

Oscar Elite, The Goffer, Threeunderthrufive 10/1

Stumptown 11/1

Happygolucky 12/1

Beauport, Coeur Serein, Iron Bridge, Lord Accord, Monbeg Genius, Our Power, Remastered, Tea Clipper 14/1

Adamantly Chosen, Dunboyne, Next Destination, The Big Breakaway 16/1

Cloudy Glen, Empire Steel, Fanion D’estruval, I Am Maximus, Lifetime Ambition, Punitive 20/1

BAR 25/1


2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase

3:30 Champion Hurdle

Constitution Hill 1/3

State Man 11/4

Vauban 9/1

Epatante, Honeysuckle 14/1

I Like To Move It 16/1

Echoes In Rain 20/1

Love Envoi 33/1

Sharjah, Zanahiyr 50/1

First Street, Pied Piper 66/1

Jason The Militant, Not So Sleepy 100/1

4:10 Mares Hurdle

Honeysuckle 2/1

Epatante 3/1

Maries Rock 3/1

Brandy Love 11/2

Echoes In Rain, Love Envoi 6/1

Queens Brook 8/1

Shewearsitwell 12/1

Telmesomethinggirl 16/1

West Balboa 25/1

Anna Bunina 33/1

BAR 50/1

4:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Tekao 4/1

Byker, Nusret 5/1

Risk Belle 6/1

Perseus Way, Sir Allen 8/1

Bad, Common Practice, Punta Del Este 12/1

Bo Zenith, Cougar, Jazzy Matty, Metamorpheus, Morning Soldier, Samuel Space, Zanndabad 16/1

Afadil, Jolly Nellerie, Might Mo Missouri Pont Audemer, Shared, Thetys 20/1

BAR 25/1


4:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

5:30 National Hunt Chase

Gaillaerd Du Mesnil Evens

Mahler Mission, Ramillies 6/1

Chemicle Energy, Churchstonewarrior 7/1

Minella Crooner, Mister Coffey 8/1

City Chief 10/1

Tenzing 20/1

Fakiera, Frontal Assault, Gold Cup Bailly, Idas Boy 25/1

Iron Bridge, Jon Snow 33/1

Where can I watch it

Racing TV will broadcast every race. Virgin Media 1 and ITV 1 will broadcast the first five races each day.

All eyes on…….Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle.

Fond Farewell……to the great Honeysuckle, the people’s champion.

“She’s been brilliant for me. She has taken my career to a whole new level. She has such determination. She gives it her all in every race. And she’ll do so again.” Rachael Blackmore.

59 and out……Ruby Walsh’s last winner at Cheltenham came in 2019. He won the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle on Klassical Dream. It was a classical exhibition of racing as he glided up the hill and home. It was his 59th winner at the festival where he was leading jockey eleven times. His first Cheltenham winner came in 1998 when, as a 18-year-old amateur, he rode Alexander Banquet in the Wetherby’s Champion Bumper.

Comeback kid……Davy Russell: The man from Youghal has come out of retirement following Jack Kennedy’s injury. Before he got the call, he was looking forward to putting his feet up. As he says himself, he loves all sport, “and a good cup of tea.”


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