down cross right results icon premium content video video hollow icon audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner arrow-down

Who wins the first race of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival? We have our say

Appreciate It: is he the one to beat in the Supreme?
1 of 1

There is no better way to start the Cheltenham Festival than by nailing the winner of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1.20)

Willie Mullins has won four runnings of the race since 2010 and this year saddles presumptive short-priced favourite Appreciate It.

However, unlike previous seasons where a defeat for Mullins seemed unthinkable, this year's race features several contenders with real chances, each vying to get the week off to the perfect start for their connections. 

Ballyadam, Metier, Soaring Glory and Blue Lord will surely give the favourite plenty to think about, but there can only be one winner when it is all said and done . . .


Day one at Cheltenham:

Cheltenham tips: one key runner from each ITV race on day one of the festival

Worth chancing a day one acca? Our experts assess Tuesday's strong favourites

One standout quote for each of the seven races at Cheltenham on Tuesday

1.20 Cheltenham: Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle racecard


'He will be the fastest horse in the race'

I am one of those who thinks Appreciate It is there to be taken on, albeit just a touch less so now the prospect of soft ground is real.

Oppose the favourite and you will have quite a few running for you. The win bet for me is Metier, he will be the fastest horse in the race and best positioned if it gets in any way tactical.

Metier: could get the week off to a flyer for Harry Fry

I may also be tempted by a small each-way bet on Irascible. He hit loads of flights last time and still finished within nine lengths of Appreciate It. With a smoother round, he can finish closer and it would not be a shock at all if he made the frame in a small field.
Keith Melrose

'He's been campaigned to perfection'

I'm not as cold on Appreciate It as others – he is clearly the horse to beat on form and official figures – but I'm convinced that he is better over two and a half miles and with the ground drying out, I want to oppose him at the prices. It's a long week after all, pummelling the first favourite doesn't interest me. 

I backed Soaring Glory ante-post for this race before his Betfair Hurdle success and still believe he's a live player, even though he has a few lengths to find on the market protagonists. Jonjo O'Neill has campaigned him to perfection and hopefully he can get in the mix on his first start in Grade 1 company.
Tom Collins


Tuesday's free tipping:

Paul Kealy's banker at Cheltenham on Tuesday

The Punt Daily: Tom Collins' free horse racing tips on day one of Cheltenham

Cheltenham Tuesday tips: five horses to back on day one of the festival


'He took a big step forward last time'

The fact that Appreciate It is poised to go off at a shorter price than Willie Mullins' former much-hyped winners and future stars, Vautour and Douvan, highlights how poor this year's Supreme line-up is. That said, the favourite is very worthy of his price given how classy he has looked in his two Grade 1 victories this season and if he runs to that level, he will probably be good enough to win.

Soaring Glory: pictured with connections after winning the Betfair Hurdle

At the prices, I prefer the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Soaring Glory, who took a big step forward when landing the valuable Betfair Hurdle last time. He is going from a handicap to a Grade 1, but that looked a strong race and he beat them pretty easily. He is still improving too and certainly looks a Graded-level performer in the making.
James Stevens


Cheltenham Festival: Tuesday cards and betting


'I want to take on Appreciate It'

It's a really tough race. I want to take on Appreciate It but it's purely a price thing and he could very easily win. A few have claims but the one I will side with is Soaring Glory at around 15-2.

A Betfair Hurdle winner has never won the Supreme but Get Me Out Of Here, My Tent Or Yours and Kalashnikov have all gone very close in recent years and this horse showed he has what it takes at Newbury. Don't underestimate rank outsider and likely pace angle For Pleasure, either.
Maddy Playle


Tuesday's race previews:

Supreme: will the cream rise to the top in smallest field in modern history?

Arkle: dangers await but here's why unbeaten Shishkin should have all bases covered

Ultima: Happygolucky has 'outstanding chance' to bring Bass and Bailey more glory

Champion Hurdle: pure theatre guaranteed as Goshen goes in search of redemption for the Moores

Mares' Hurdle: can Concertista take her place among the greats with victory in vintage running?

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle: Willie Mullins hoping drop in class for Saint Sam and Youmdor pays dividends

National Hunt Chase: 'He's got endless stamina' – smart stayers clash as professional riders step in


For all our exclusive free bet offers and must-have daily promotions click the free bets button or go to racingpost.com/freebets


 

I'm not as cold on Appreciate It as others – he's clearly the horse to beat
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Boylesport
888sport