Cheltenham Day 1: Just Champion

A Day 1 of changing emotions.

The opening Supreme Novices provided a shock – that Labait started – but less of a shock that he cruised to victory having deigned to start. While we flagged this up as an each-way option in the Digest, ultimately we were disappointed by a one-paced Ballyandy.

Altior was less impressive than expected, but that served as the hors d’oeuvre to the gut-wrenching low of watching our best bet of the day, Singlefarmpayment, pipped in a tight photo finish having looked the likely winner.

Salvation came in the form of a smooth Buveau D’Air win in the feature race, the Champion Hurdle, flagged up in the Daniel Watkins Cheltenham Guide, and again in the blog once Ch’tibello was withdraw. We snapped Noel Fehily on his way back in (see picture).

The tricky closing races proved exactly that, and we are happy to escape broadly unscathed from a day that was definitely one for the bookies on the whole.

Plenty of action to come on day 2, and we will be posting our tips for the day from 0715 GMT tomorrow.

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