Tenner On: Our NAPs for day one of Cheltenham
Armed with nothing but a £10 stake and their own judgement, our racing aficionados battle to be crowned as The Festival’s top tipster.
THE TIPSTER: TOM SUTTON
As I’ve said in my daily tips, my NAP for today is FOOTPAD in the Arkle (14.10).
He’s a top-quality jumper seeking a fourth win in a row and, with Ruby Walsh on board, he will take some catching.
Apple’s Jade looks incredibly hard to beat in the Mares' Hurdle (16.10) but I think LA BAGUE AU ROI will run her close.
She's in great form and will have no problem staying the distance so, if we remove Gordon Elliott’s star out of the betting, then she should be the best of the rest.
THE EXPERT: ALAN ALGER
I fancy plenty of outsiders on day one so I’ll be spreading my stake around.
First off, a 50p each-way patent, which is a bet involving three selections where you get all three singles, three doubles and a treble for £7.
I’m backing First Flow in the Supreme (13.30).
Kim Bailey’s six-year-old has all the attributes and form of plenty of recent winners of this race, particularly being unbeaten over hurdles.
Nicky Henderson has the mud-loving Beware The Bear in the Ultima Chase (14.50) who, with the kind of form that should see him grab at least a place, is a must for each-way bets.
Finally, Mister Whitaker won well at Cheltenham on Trials Day and can carry the Radford colours to victory in the Listed Handicap Chase at 17.30.
With the remaining £3, I’ll take a win bet on First Flow .
THE PUNTER: TOM CLEE
This competition means there’s not a lot of point in adopting my usual tactic of blindly following the advice of Betway’s two finest horse racing brains (see above).
So, for this year’s Festival, I’ll be taking my tips from my other man in the know, a little birdie who we’ll refer to as Bertie J.
He reckons the favourite in the 13.30, Getabird, isn’t guaranteed to like either the distance or the mud, which opens the door for a decent-odds winner in what doesn’t look an especially strong race.
That could well be First Flow – a real stayer who has won his last three hurdle outings and won’t have an issue on the heavy ground.
In the 16.10, Jer’s Girl is a dual Grade 1 winner at 2m 4f who has been on good form this term.
He’s a regular visitor to Cheltenham, so knows his way around the course, and is another who won’t struggle with the heavy going.
They’ve all got Apple’s Jade to beat but, with very solid place claims at a big price, he could be a tremendous each-way bet.
I’m putting £2 each-way on both plus another £1 on the each-way double.