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Matt Chapman exclusive: There’s seven races so here’s seven tips on Champion Hurdle day

Day one of the Festival on Tuesday and I'm getting very jiggy. You hear me Paddy!

by Matt Chapman | March 10, 2014

So finally it has arrived – who needs Christmas when we have the Cheltenham Festival 2014? And here on the Daily Yeeehaaa! I am more pumped than ever to try and destroy the Paddy Power profits!

You may have seen me ride Paddy like the donkey he is on Twitter the other day. Now before you get worried we were clothed – but boy has he fattened up! I hope my horses are fitter this week.

The Champion Hurdle takes centre stage on Day One and reigning champion HURRICANE FLY (3.20pm) is massively over-priced.

Despite holding the world record for 19 Grade One wins and being a dual Champion Hurdle winner, the Fly never gets the credit he deserves.

But I appreciate him and I am confident he will score for the Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins.


Only three of the last 17 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winners have won at under 3/1 and I’ll be taking on the market leader Irving with VANITEUX. (1.30)

Top jock Barry Geraghty has picked him over Josses Hill and that says a lot as Josses Hill is rated 5lb superior.

Vaniteux was impressive at Doncaster last time winning over 2m4f on good ground. He will come up the hill strongly and has really solid form bar a flop at Kempton on soft ground.

Hard to catch

I am all over CHAMPAGNE FEVER (2.05) in the Arkle Chase who landed the bumper two seasons ago and the Supreme last year. Champagne Fever has always been considered a chaser – once he was going to do a Florida Pearl and not run over hurdles at all – and I think he will bang out in front and they won’t catch him. The small field is ideal.

Although he’s 11, I have a feeling ALFIE SHERRIN (2.40pm) will give us a good run in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase. He’s lightly raced of late, but ran a cracker behind Gevrey Chambertin last time. Remember he was fourth to Same Difference at Cheltenham 12 months ago and he could be plotted up for this.

Different class

Barring an accident QUEVEGA (4pm) should land the Mares’ contest for a record sixth consecutive time. She’s rated 167 and is different class as everyone on planet earth knows all ready.

I like the look of SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR (4.40pm) under Nina Carberry while I will stick with top-weight ERICHT (5.15pm) in the finale.

He won nicely last time and Nicky Henderson likes him. The better ground will help him carry the weight.

So here it is – your Daily Yeeehaaas! Let’s hope Paddy has a shocker, or is sick with Champagne Fever! Yeeehaaa!

Follow Matt Chapman on Twitter here


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