Buveur D’air – 2/1
Won for the last 2 years by the classy BUVEUR D’AIR, this year he will be looking to complete the hat-trick of Champion Hurdles. He would have been a strong odds on favourite for this race had he not lost his impressive winning streak when being pipped to the post by stable mate Verdana Blue. He has since returned to his stylish winning ways but can still be backed at 2/1.
The slight blip inform allowed Laurina to enter equations but with no runs under her belt this season, she would need to be mightily impressive to beat the great BUVEUR D’AIR.
Benie Des Deux – 11/8
BENIE DES DIEUX won this race last year and will line up favourite for the Mares Hurdle 2019. There are slight worries in that she has not run this season, however, she is an unbeaten mare and should take all the beating here on her season reappearance. Mullins used similar tactics when winning this race with the wonder mare Quevega, a few years ago. BENIE DES DIEUX – 11/8
OK Corral – 10/3
The concluding race on day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival is a gruelling 4 mile contest. OK CORRAL will start favourite and rightly so. He looks a class above these rivals on recent starts and this longer trip should really suit a horse that has been jumping impeccably in his races. He has always looked like the chasing type but has been held back in his career by injuries. He can take his chance here at what seems a rather large 10/3.
Champ – 3/1
This race sees another favourite for Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson and Owner JP McManus. CHAMP, named after the former crowned multiple champion Jockey AP McCoy, really looks like a classy horse. He is still a very unexposed and highly progressive horse that has previously won a grade 1 race on his way to the Ballymore. He should take this race in his stride at a Standout price of 3/1.
Altior – 4/9
Despite the high class field for the champion chase which includes multiple Grade 1 winners, it would require ALTIOR to fall over in order for him to lose his 17 race winning streak it would seem. At a very short price it might be worth looking at a forecast option, in which the classy Footpad should follow him home in second.
Tiger Roll – 11/10
One of the most exciting races at the Cheltenham Festival, the Cross Country Chase sees the horses jump various interesting fences such as the cheese wedge. However, last years winner and Grand National winner, TIGER ROLL, looks fairly unopposed in this as he looks to take the spoils here in his prep run for back to back Grand National wins.
Paisley Park – 7/4
The hugely progressive PAISLEY PARK looks to have the stayers division stitched up this year and can add the Stayers Hurdle to his impressive trophy haul this season. He is currently 9/4 and looks a festival banker.
Epatante – 2/1
EPATANTE won very comfortably on her British debut for Nicky Henderson and backed that up again recently when she won readily at Exeter. The Henderson yard stand her in high regard and in my opinion she should cruise the Mares Novice Hurdle at 3/1.
Posh Trish is worth a look if there is some cut in the ground. Currently at 10/1, her trainer Paul Nicholls is very fond of her.