There's a remarkable £1,000,000 guaranteed in the Tote Placepot for each day of this year's Cheltenham Festival and Phill Anderson from the Racing Post gives his selections for the first six races on day one.
1x1x2x1x2x3 = 12 lines
Leg One - Marine Nationale
Leg Two - El Fabiolo
Leg Three - Into Overdrive/Remastered
Leg Four - Constitution Hill
Leg Five - Marie’s Rock/Honeysuckle
Leg Six - Sir Allen/Tekao/Sundial
Build your Cheltenham placepot
It looks like an open renewal of the Supreme (1.30) this year, but I suspect Marine Nationale will be hard to keep out of the frame.
He arrives unbeaten after four starts and his jumping has looked rock-solid in his two hurdle outings.
Barry Connell’s charge took his form to a new level in Grade 1 company at Fairyhouse last time and while the runner-up hasn’t managed to boost the form, both the third and fourth have (Ashroe Diamond and Champ Kiely).
Having looked equally effective on both good and soft ground, it would be a surprise if conditions thwarted him and he would probably be favourite for this if he was trained by Willie Mullins or Gordon Elliott.
I’m not sure Dysart Dynamo will be able to fend off stablemate El Fabiolo in the Arkle (2.10) and the latter was impressive at the Dublin Racing Festival when those two last met.
That’s the best form any of these have to offer and is therefore the sole selection in leg two.
The Ultima (2.50) can blow the Placepot wide open and Into Overdrive should arguably be favourite for this.
He has the best form in the race having chased home L’Homme Presse on his penultimate start and he proved that was no fluke when getting the better of the Gold Cup bound Sounds Russian in the Rowland Meyrick.
Very soft ground might not be absolutely ideal for him, but it’s unlikely the ground will be that testing on day one.
Remastered was below form over timber last time, but big field handicap chases are his game and expect him to bounce back. He can offer some insurance in leg three.
Opposing odds-on favourites in Placepots can offer some value, but there seems little point in taking on Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle (3.30).
He has taken all before him in emphatic style so far and he’s the sole selection in leg four.
Marie’s Rock still seems to be improving and she appears to have rock-solid claims of winning back-to-back renewals of the Mares’ Hurdle (4.10) after her career best in the Relkeel when last seen.
Honeysuckle may not have regressed quite as dramatically as some have suggested in recent months and she can give last year’s winner most to think about.
The Fred Winter (4.50) looks like the toughest leg to get through. Several of these ran in a novice hurdle won by Sir Allen at Naas last month and that looks like a key piece of form.
The way the winner stayed on in the closing stages suggested that he will relish this step up in trip and the handicapper has given him a chance off a mark of 131.
Tekao is the second selection. He hit the frame at Grade 1 level last time and looks like the right favourite dropping down in class.
In the same colours, Sundial was a nice type on the Flat and he looks interesting from a lenient looking mark of 120.