Cheltenham 2021 Champion Day 1: Racecard, Odds, Tips

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Cheltenham Day 1, also known as the Champion Day, is the most popular part of the Cheltenham Festival. The gates of the Cheltenham racecourse open on March 16, 2021, so you better start your preparations on time. In this article, we plan to tell you everything about the Cheltenham Champion Day, including the schedule, racecard, odds, and Cheltenham Champion Day tips. Keep reading to learn more!

Cheltenham Day 1 Champion Day 2021: Racecard, Schedule & Favourites

Do you want to test your luck and place a bet during the Cheltenham Champion Day? If you don’t know where to begin, the first thing to do is to learn about the racecard. The next thing you need to do is research each individual event and try to come up with a strategy.

Sounds complicated? That’s exactly what we plan to do for you below. Check out our table showing you the complete Cheltenham Day 1 racecard and find out more about each race.

Day One 16th March – Start Times Race Distance Type Favourite / Winner
13:20 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2m abt ½f Hurdle Appreciate it / Shishkin
13:55 Arkle Challenge Trophy abt 2m Chase Shishkin / Put the Kettle On
14:30 Ultima Handicap Staple Chase 3m abt 1f Chase Happygolucky / The Conditional
15:05 Champion Hurdle 2m abt ½f Hurdle Honeysuckle / Epatante
15:40 Mares’ Hurdle 2m abt 4f Hurdle Concertista / Honeysuckle
16:15 Boodles Juvenile Hurdle 2m abt 4½f Chase Quilixios / Imperial Aura
16:50 National Hunt Chase 3m abt 6f Chase Royale Pagaille / Ravenhill

Cheltenham Champion Day Odds & Tips 2021

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race Info
Start Time 1:20 pm
Distance 2m 1/2f
Type of Course Old
Number of Fences 8
Favourite Appreciate it
Betting Odds & Favourites see Supreme Novices' Hurdle odds

There simply can’t be a better way to kick-start the Cheltenham Day 1 than with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race. Because this is a Grade 1 race open for 4-year-old horses and above, run over a distance of 2 miles and 87 yards.

There are a total of 8 hurdles that horses from Britain and Ireland will need to navigate. To participate in the race, horses need to meet the weight of 10 stone and 13 pounds.

This year, the prize is set at £125,000, which is a great motivator for the jockeys to push themselves and their horses to their absolute limit.

This year’s two biggest favourites for this race include Abacadabras and Shishkin. Notable previous winners include Douvan, Vautour, and Altior.

The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase

Arkle Challenge Steeple Chase Race Info
Start Time 1:55 pm
Distance 2m
Type of Course Old
Number of Fences 13
Favourite Shishkin
Betting Odds & Favourites see Arkle Chase odds

The second event on the Cheltenham Day 1 race card is the Arkle Challenge. This is another popular and attractive Grade 1 race reserved for horses of five years and above. It is run over a distance of exactly 2 miles, which makes it the shortest event of day 1. However, there are 13 fences to jump, which means it is not the easiest one.

To participate in the race, horses need to weigh 11 stone and 4 pounds. Those who enter the race will have a chance to compete for the massive £175,000 prize.

Previous winners include Footpad, Altior and Douvan, all of which have smashed the course more than once. However, they are not on the list of favourites in 2021.

Instead, this year’s favourites to look out for include Notebook, Fakir D’oudairies, and Melon. The Cheltenham Day 1 odds seem to be in their favour.

The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase Race Info
Start Time 2:30 pm
Distance 3m 1/2f
Type of Course Old
Number of Fences 20
Favourite Happygolucky
Betting Odds & Favourites see Ultima Handicap Chase odds

At 2:30 p.m., we have the second-longest race of the day — the Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase. For a change, this is a Grade 3 event open for horses that are at least 5 years old. It is run over a distance of 3 miles and half a furlong and there are 20 fences to jump. That also makes it the race with the second-most hurdles.

This race, like all others, takes place on the old course. When it comes to the weights, this is a handicap race, so the handicapper will assign different handicaps to even out the playing field. The winner is looking at a £110,000 prize!

The three horses that are most likely to profit this year include The Conditional, Pym, and Copperhead. Previous winners that left a mark on the course are West Tip and Seagram.

The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

Unibet Champion Hurdle Race Info
Start Time 3:05 pm
Distance 2m 1/2f
Type of Course Old
Number of Fences 8
Favourite Honeysuckle
Betting Odds & Favourites see Champion Hurdle odds

As you can guess from the name of this race, the Champion Hurdle is by far the most prestigious hurdling event on the National Hunt calendar. This is the most expensive race as well, with a prize of a whopping £450,000 for the winner.

As of recently, the race is known as the Unibet Champion Hurdle, due to Unibet’s sponsorship of the event.

Unibet Champion Hurdle is popular because its list of winners includes some of the most popular horses to ever jump a fence. Some of the names you must have heard of include National Spirit, Istabraq, Hatton’s Grace, Lanzarote, and Persian War.

This year, however, most Cheltenham Champion Day tips suggest that you should bet on Epatante, Honeysuckle, or Pentland Hills to win.

The go-to bookie to place the bets is definitely Unibet. However, other bookmakers have pretty attractive Cheltenham Day 1 odds, such as Paddy Power, Betfair, bet365, and others.

The Champion Hurdle Challenge is the fourth race of the fourth event on the 2021 Cheltenham Day 1 racecard. It is a short Grade 1 event in which 4-year-old (and above) horses will race around a course that is 2 miles and half a furlong long.

This race has two weight limits. Four-year-old horses need to weigh 11 stone, 2 pounds, whereas 5-year-olds and above need to weigh 11 stone, 10 pounds. The horse that navigates the course the fastest and jumps all 8 fences will win £450,000!

If you plan to place a bet and want to improve your chances of winning, perhaps the best options to put your money on in 2021 include Epatante, Honeysuckle, and Pentland Hills.

Previous winners that you can use for reference include Espoir d’Allen, Buveur d’Air, and Annie Power.

The Mares’ Hurdle Race

Mares’ Hurdle Race Info
Start Time 3:40 pm
Distance 2m 4f
Type of Course Old
Number of Fences 10
Favourite Concertista
Betting Odds & Favourites see Mares' Hurdle odds

At 15:40, we get to one of the least-favourite races of the day. However, it is not the least exciting by any means. We’re talking about the Mares’ Hurdle Race. As the name tells you, this race is open only for mares. They need to be at least 4 years old and meet the 10st 10lb (4yo) and 11st 5lb (5yo+) weight requirements.

This is a Grade 1 race that was first run in 2008 and is run on the Old Course of the Cheltenham Racecourse. The prize is quite low, just £120,000, which tells us that this is not a very competitive event.

Previous winners of the Mares’ Hurdle race are Roksana, Benie Des Dieux, Apple’s Jade, and Vroum Vroum Mag. This year, however, we’d put our money on Honeysuckle and Stormy Ireland.

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race Info
Start Time 4:15 pm
Distance 2m 4 1/2f
Type of Course Old
Number of Fences 16
Favourite Quilixios
Betting Odds & Favourites see Handicap Hurdle odds

The penultimate race of the Cheltenham Day 1 is the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. This is a Listed race run over a distance of 2 miles and 4 and a half furlongs. Since it’s a handicap, it means that there are no strict weight limits.

The handicapper will ensure that all horses have the same chance to win the £70,000 prize. It’s the smallest prize of the day, but that does not make this race any less competitive.

If you feel competitive as well, Cheltenham Day 1 odds say that you should be betting your money on Imperial Aura, Chosen Mate, or Hold the Note. They have the highest chances of winning this event.

Previous winners who made it to the podium include A Plus Tard, Mister Whitaker, and Tully East.

The National Hunt Steeplechase Challenge Cup

National Hunt Steeple Chase Race Info
Start Time 4:50 pm
Distance 4m
Type of Course Old
Number of Fences 25
Favourite Royale Pagaille
Betting Odds & Favourites see National Hunt odds

Last but not least is the National Hunt Chase. This is a Grade 2 race open for horses of five years and older. They will be running a 4-mile-long course, which makes it the longest race of the day.

The horses will be navigating 25 fences, which also makes this race the most challenging and the most attractive one of the day. However, it is not the highest-prized event of the Cheltenham Champion Day, as the prize is capped at £125,000.

The horses often seen in the Cheltenham Champion Day tips for this event are Carefully Selected, Champagne Classic, and Battleoverdoyen. They have the highest chances of winning this event.

The previous winners of this race are Le Breuil, Rathvinden, and Tiger Roll.

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