4 To Win is Betway's free-to-play prediction game, with a £25,000 on offer for every single day of the Cheltenham Festival. Simply guess the winner of four chosen races for your chance to claim the cash. 

Here are Alan Alger's best horse racing tips for the first day to get you started.



TOP PICK: LALOR | Second choice: Glen Forsa 

Of the Irish contenders, I’m paying close attention each-way to the Henry De Bromhead pair Paloma Blue and Ornua.

However, for the purposes of this competition I think it will pay to focus on horses trained in Britain. My shortlist is comprised of Glen Forsa, Kalashnikov and LALOR.

Glen Forsa has racked up a splendid hat-trick including a couple of competitive handicaps. He beat an out-of-sorts Kalashnikov in the last of those, who could easily bounce back to form having been second in last year’s Supreme.

But my selection is Kayley Woollacott’s LALOR, a horse that can definitely be excused his defeat at Sandown and one that will be in tip-top condition to reproduce his blistering course-and-distance victory from November.


TOP PICK: BEWARE THE BEAR Second choice: Mister Whittaker

Nicky Henderson’s BEWARE THE BEAR was fourth in this last year and has arguably improved since his wind op. He has decent course form and lots of things in his favour.

Last year’s winner, Coo Star Sivola, will be popular, but has been out of sorts since that victory as a 5/1 favourite.

Mister Whittaker is stepping up in trip and is bred to suit this kind of distance, with Festival winning form he’s my idea of a good each-way bet.

Another big outsider worth a second glance is Big River from the 2017 Grand National winning stable of Lucinda Russell.


TOP PICK: MELON  Second choice: Laurina 

The feature race of the day, and a race where punters will have to cut through a lot of talk and hype.

Reigning champion Buveur D’Air should make a bold bid to win this race for a third time, but the word from Ireland is that he’s about to be dethroned by one of their mares.

Apple’s Jade and Laurina put hefty reputations on the line for Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins respectively.

But it’s actually another Mullins inmate that I want to chance for this competition. Last year’s runner-up MELON looks worth chancing with another year of racing under his belt.


TOP PICK: HIGHWAY ONE O ONE   | Second choice: Red Indian 

On paper, this always looks like a competitive race, but it’s worth noting that recent winners have been to the fore in the betting market, with the last five all 12/1 or shorter without being favourites.

The winner will probably be six or seven years of age, given that has been the case with seven of the last eight.

HIGHWAY ONE O ONE was behind a decent horse in Kildisart at the track on Trials Day at the beginning of the year.

He’s ultra-consistent having been in the first four in his last eight races, including three wins. He’s my idea of one the best bets on day one.



13:30 Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Likely favourite AL DANCER ticks lots of boxes and he can justify the confidence of the Twiston-Davies stable.

Look out for Thomas Darby each-way, he’s gone under the radar since winning at the track in October.

16:10 Mares' Hurdle

I’ll swerve last year’s winner, Benie Des Dieux, as the price looks too short. She is, of course, the most likely winner, though.

Harry Fry’s MOMELLA  hasn’t completed a race this season, but her very best form gives her a great chance of a place here, so back her each-way.

Stormy Ireland  could also give the favourite a few things to think about.

17:30 National Hunt Challenge Cup 

JUST YOUR TYPE is worth backing each-way in this extremely competitive marathon race for amateur riders.

He was unlucky at Newcastle last time when nearly unseating his rider after being hampered, and is one that has at least shown a liking for this type of distance.

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