Katie Walsh: My horses to watch on Tuesday at Cheltenham
The Betway ambassador reveals her fancies in all seven races on the opening day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
It’s going to be very strange to not be at Cheltenham this week. This is the best week in racing and the atmosphere with crowds is electric. It really won’t be the same this year but I wish all horses, riders and connections the best of luck.
It’s no great shock to see Appreciate It at the top of the market for the Supreme. He’s the best novice hurdler I’ve seen all season, and with the rain they had over the course last night, he’ll be in his element.
It’s a small field and I expect Paul Townend to ride this horse prominently. They know he stays further, and they won’t want it to turn into a sprint, but he is unbeaten this season and should take all of the beating.
Shishkin is as close to a certainty as you'll get at Cheltenham. He’s bulletproof in what is such a weak Arkle.
Since losing Energumene from the race on Friday, it’s looked a penalty kick for Shishkin, who could be the one to beat in next year’s Betway Champion Chase if he stays on his feet.
I’m a big fan of Happygolucky in the Ultima. Kim Bailey is having a blinding season and it’s great to see.
This horse has the right profile for this race and it’s hard to not have been impressed with his run at Cheltenham last time. He jumps well and stays well and could be much better than his rating of 147.
This really isn’t the best Champion Hurdle I’ve seen and the mighty Honeysuckle is the star attraction. She’ll love any juice in the ground and they do often water at Cheltenham, plus I believe they had a decent falling of rain last night.
She is 10 from 10 in her career and while she may not win on the bridle every time, she is a tough mare who knows how to win.
It would be great for the Moore family if Goshen were to win, but I think he’s got to improve massively from his victory in the Betway Kingwell last time out.
I expect Concertista to win the Mares Hurdle. She sluiced up at the Festival last year and there is no doubt she has been trained for this race since then.
There are plenty of strong words on the circuit about how much Houx Gris has improved since his run at Chepstow last time. Paul Nicholls knows how to win this race and his horses are flying too.
Jockey Harry Cobden can also do no wrong at the moment and this isn’t the strongest Boodles Hurdle I’ve seen. I think he’ll get placed at the very least.
It’s a shame that amateurs aren’t permitted to ride at this year’s Festival, especially as they make the National Hunt Chase.
There are plenty in this field who I think have got great chances, but I have to say I’m surprised that the mare, Snow Leopardess , is such a big price. She’s been in great form this season and was a good runner-up in a strong race at Wetherby last time out.
What I most like about this horse is her jumping ability. She wings it from fence to fence and that will be a huge help to her.
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