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Cheltenham Festival Day 1 tips from the Racing Post

It is the first day of the Cheltenham Festival and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post has picked out three selections for Tuesday.

Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival Day One Tips and Predictions

2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase - Weveallbeencaught @ 10/1
3.30 Champion Hurdle (w/o State Man) - Iberico Lord @ 3/1
4.50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - Milan Tino @ 11/2

Ultima Handicap Chase tip

Weveallbeencaught - 10/1

Do you need an unexposed horse for the Ultima? It is generally one of the hardest handicap chases to win. Or is course experience more important? Corach Rambler won two in a row, as did Un Temps Pour Tout, and other winners like Vintage Clouds and Beware The Bear ran well in the race multiple times.

The Goffer covers both sides to a point this year. He is lower in the weights than when fourth 12 months ago. Take a slightly more liberal reading of what is required and Weveallbeencaught makes just as much appeal at much bigger odds.

This horse was seventh, beaten by only 15 lengths, in the Albert Bartlett last year. He has run three times over fences, the minimum number to qualify for Premier handicaps like this, but all have been at Cheltenham. In his first two runs he finished placed behind horses that will run in Grade 1s this week, and a physical issue was apparently behind his flop last time.

That Weveallbeencaught has been off since is more about deliberate planning than recuperation. He gets here with as much relevant experience as a totally unexposed novice chaser can have. He is the one to back with bet365's enhanced six places.

Champion Hurdle tip

Iberico Lord (without State Man market) - 3/1

Having a bet in the feature Champion Hurdle is unlikely to appeal to many with favourite State Man prohibitively short. The way to play the race is to take the favourite out completely.

In the 'betting without' market, Irish Point is even money. But he is only running out of opportunism, before Constitution Hill was ruled out he was bound for the Stayers' Hurdle as his recent improvement had been at three miles.

As a result, Iberico Lord looks a decent bet to chase home State Man. He too is only here because Constitution Hill is not, but he has a lot more relevant form. He won the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle over course and distance in November, and has since followed up in a big handicap at Newbury.

He had no right to win that race from where he was at the top of the straight, which makes up for some of the ground he needs to make up from a form perspective.

With the others all having a lot to find, Iberico Lord is a sporting bet to follow home State Man and add another big Cheltenham performance to his CV.

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle tip

Milan Tino - 5/1

French form is important to the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Many of those who go well in this race started their careers in France, where young horses are generally sent over hurdles earlier.

Milan Tino is a step further down that path than most. He has good juvenile form in France, having placed in Grade 2 company, and remains with his French yard.

He has been bought by JP McManus and since then Cheltenham has been the aim. He has been third in two Grade 2s here, the first time behind Burdett Road and then behind Triumph Hurdle favourite Sir Gino.

Milan Tino was rated 136 for his runs in France. The BHA handicapper has taken 10lb off that, which looks generous. It is rare to see a horse in the Boodles that is demonstrably well-handicapped, and Milan Tino fits that profile.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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