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Where punters are putting their cash on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

The tips are flooding in from every direction on day one of the Cheltenham Festival. We've dipped into the book to see where punters are sticking their cash

by Josh Powell | March 11, 2014

A lot of supposedly ‘older and wiser’ people will often tell you not to follow the crowd. To be an individual. To be independent. That’s all well and good but when the crowd are on to a winner at Cheltenham and you’ve backed the thing that is most likely to end up on Tesco’s shelves this summer that advice is as much use as a tip from Alex Hammond.

So, if you haven’t had time to study the form, or you’re struggling for the tip here’s where the majority of cash is going this morning.

1.30pm Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

It looks set to be a nightmare start for the boss with this opener. A massive 62 per cent of the cash is on co-favourites Irving and Vautour who are both leading the market at 3/1. Paddy is of course giving money-back if your horse finishes second third or fourth so if these two are in the frame coming up Cleeve Hill we’ll be on bread and dripping until Christmas.

2.05pm The Arkle

Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins team up with Champagne Fever, and despite not being seen since coming third in a Grade One at Leopardstown over Christmas, punters are keen. There is almost twice as much money on Champagne Fever than anything else, with 20 per cent of the cash heading for Dodging Bullets who is a stand-out 6/1 with Paddy.

Champagne Fever840

2.40pm Handicap Chase

Not many key pointers in the book on this one as punters can’t seem to decide between Hadrian’s Approach, Alfie Sherrin or Wrong Turn. Nicky Henderson’s Hadrian’s Approach has taken marginally more money than the others and is a 10/1 shot, but this one looks tough to call.

3.20pm Champion Hurdle

The Irish contingent are ploughing in and 36 per cent of the book is now riding on Hurricane Fly making it a third Champion Hurdle in four years. There’s another 25 per cent of punter’s cash on Our Conor who is a stand-out 11/2 with Paddy. Punters are keen that he’ll come on again for his narrow defeat to the Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle, but like the champ, age is against him.

4.00pm Mares’ Hurdle

No surprises here. There is more than six times as much money on Quevega than anything else in the book. She’s going for a sixth Mares’ Hurdle and the wonder-mare is set to take all the beating. Plenty of people think Quevega is Tuesday’s banker.

Quevega Ruby celebrates

4.40pm National Hunt Chase

40 per cent of the book is on Foxrock for the team of Ted and Katie Walsh. According to Ted he is ‘a hell of a horse’ and the step up in trip will help. That’s enough to get the punter’s attention and the cash is down.

5.15pm Novices’ Handicap Chase

If you’re following the money this is another race where nothing stands out. Present View, Ericht, Art of Logistics, Pendra, and Manyriverstocross have all taken similar amounts of cash as punter’s look to end the day on a high. It’s a bit of a mine-field but with every horse set to go off 8/1 or bigger there’s bound to be a bit of value if you can dig it out.

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