The Cheltenham Festival gets under way today and we mark your card with selections for all seven races on the opening day.

1.30: Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle

FACILE VEGA disappointed last time and saw his unbeaten record shattered, but remains the class act in this field if you can forgive him that run.

It will not be easy though, with stablemate Il Etait Temps likely to be a threat and Marine Nationale a Grade 1 winner last time out.

Tahmuras is probably the best of the British, but Chipping Norton-trained Rare Edition could outrun his 33-1 odds.


1 Facile Vega

2 Marine Nationale

3 Tahmuras

2.10: Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase

A mouthwatering race in prospect here as the best of British – JONBON – faces the best of Ireland in El Fabiolo.

Nicky Henderson’s charge did not fire on all cylinders last time at Warwick, but has been very impressive and has only been beaten once, by Constitution Hill at last year’s Festival.

El Fabiolo brings strong form to the table and Dysart Dynamo should not be underestimated, but isn’t the best of jumpers.


1 Jonbon

2 El Fabiolo

3 Dysart Dynamo

2.50: Ultima Handicap Chase

One of the most wide open races – and even getting a horse placed here will be some achievement.

At big odds, I like the look of REMASTERED who ran badly last time but whose previous form puts him in with a chance. With cheekpieces put back on, he will be sharper and can outrun his odds.

Last year’s winner Corach Rambler has obvious claims, as does Monbeg Genius who will like the soft ground.

Another at big odds is Tea Clipper who has twice been placed in this race and has been kept fresh.


1 Remastered

2 Monbeg Genius

3 Corach Rambler

4 Tea Clipper

3.30: Unibet Champion Hurdle

It’s not original, but CONSTITUTION HILL is a machine and will be roared home to victory by the big opening day crowd.

The six-year-old will face his toughest test here with State Man also boasting a 100% record, but nothing seems to faze Nicky Henderson’s charge and he can storm home.

I Like To Move It can fill the minor honours.


1 Constitution Hill

2 State Man

3 I Like To Move It

4.10: Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle

For many this is one of the races of the whole Festival.

MARIE’S ROCK won this last year and while it seemed she was going to tackle the Stayers’ Hurdle, the rain saw connections have a change of heart and run here.

She must beat the last three Champion Hurdle winners though, with Honeysuckle and Epatante lining up here to avoid Constitution Hill.

Brandy Love brings strong form, and Love Envoi will relish the ground.


1 Marie’s Rock

2 Brandy Love

3 Love Envoi

4.50: Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

A maximum field here and likely to be a messy race so it will be crucial to stay out of trouble.

SIR ALLEN looked impressive last time and can continue an upward curve by coming out on top for trainer Andrew Slattery.

Perseus Way would have won last time but for a mistake at the final flight, while Tekao was third in the Grade 1 on his last start but as a result could be high enough in the weights.

Byker and Risk Belle are each-way shouts.


1 Sir Allen

2 Perseus Way

3 Byker

4 Risk Belle

5.30: Wellchild National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices' Chase

GAILLARD DU MESNIL will go off a very short price but looks unopposable.

He has solid form in Grade 1s and ticks all the boxes here.

Mister Coffey will love the ground and stays all day so can chase the winner home, while Mahler Mission can fill third.


1 Gaillard Du Mesnil

2 Mister Coffey

3 Mahler Mission