HERE we go! Let’s have a Cheltenham ‘Yeeehaaa’ with bells on.
Yes people it’s the first of four days at Prestbury Park and racing fans across the globe will be locked down and glued to their ITV screens to enjoy top class sport.
Of course the big race on the opening afternoon is the Grade 1 Unibet Champion Hurdle over an extended 2m.
For me the two who could be outstanding hurdlers are Honeysuckle and GOSHEN, and I will pray the latter scores for Jamie and Gary Moore.
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As everyone knows, Goshen would have hacked up in the Triumph this time last year but for unseating Jamie and he looked an absolute monster.
Since then he's been beaten on the Flat and had his jumps return delayed until returning to Cheltenham and running a shocker with a dodgy heart.
However, he was back to his best at Wincanton on his latest start when hacking up.
The opposition did not run up to form on that occasion, but he still looked really good and could be anything. For the Moore family I hope he bolts in.
Cheltenham 2021 kicks off with the Grade 1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle over an extended 2m.
These are the fastest ground conditions that APPRECIATE IT has encountered, but he's going to take all the beating for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend and there should be a huge virtual roar as he powers up the hill.
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The Festival bumper runner up has shown plenty of speed since going hurdling and while he will stay further in time should be quick enough for this test.
I suspect he will just have too much ability for this rivals.
Next it's the Grade 1 Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy over 2m.
SHISHKIN was my banker for Cheltenham 2021 long before Energumene was ruled out through injury and I expect the hot favourite to hack up here for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville.
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We go over 3m1f before the Champion Hurdle with the Ultima Handicap Chase.
A big field and strong gallop might be what brings out the best in the Nick Williams-trained ONE FOR THE TEAM.
He didn't get home at Doncaster last time, but in a strongly run race he can be buried in the pack and he might just have a turn of pace against some of these.
After the Champion is the Grade 1 Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle over 2m4f.
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I'm all over ROKSANA here, who has tackled some of the best staying hurdlers this term.
She was a fine winner at Wetherby first time before finding Paisley Park and Thyme Hill too strong in the Long Walk at Ascot.
However she was back to winning ways when last seen.
Obviously she stays further than this, but she does not lack speed and has a huge chance for Dan and Harry Skelton.
The penultimate race on the card is the Grade 3 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Dermot Weld does not have the greatest of records at Cheltenham, but the master of Rosewell has a useful challenger here in COLTOR.
He had three runs on the Flat before going over jumps, and he looked useful in a big field at Punchestown before scoring at Naas.
Finally the Grade 2 Sam Vestey National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase over 3m6f.
NEXT DESTINATION was a decent hurdler who promises to stay this track over fences.
The Paul Nicholls challenge did well to defeat Fiddlerontheroof at Warwick last time and his jumping should stand this test. I'll have a few quid on eachway.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas.
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