Well. What a day that was! A day of promise and excitement soaked the county and all eyes were focused solely 0n Cheltenham Racecourse for the opening day of the Festival.
It was a day that was literally a rollercoaster. The day saw Ruby Walsh ride two winners, on the latter he has reportedly been found to have used the whip over excessively and will now miss two days racing later in March. Drama!
We unfortunately saw Mossback pass away after a nasty fall in the 4.50 and there are reports a further horse has died in the last. This side of horse racing is tough and it is something we do not like to see.
We move onto the Tipster League. This saw points issued all over the place and for once after the first day all 10 competitors have notched up at least one winner, something never seen in Tipster League history. But how did we fare? Let’s take a look.
1:30pm – Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
1) Summerville Boy 9/1
2) Kalashnikov 5/1 2nd Fav
3) Mengli Khan 14/1
Pulled Up: First Flow
Summerville Boy ran a great race to get up and beat Kalashnikov, who looked strong himself. Mengli Khan powered through to clinch third place. With First Flow pulling up though, the scoring to the tipster league took a pounding.
Sweet Prince, Big Tips, No Speed No Feed & And The New all scored 3 points for Summerville Boy but lost two points for also picking First Flow, meaning they all scored just 1 point.
The Fox, Mr & Mrs Severn Sport, Mr Slimbridge AFC & Always in my brother’s shadow all had Summerville Boy & unplaced favourite Getabird meaning they scored 3 points for having the winner.
The Bear had a disastrous race. He used his double points boost on Kalashnikov to win, due to the fact he finished 2nd he scored 0. Then he also had First Flow meaning he lost two points, taking his overall score to -2 points.
Bacon took the lead in the league after scoring a decent reversed forecast. With Kalashnikov to win and Summerville Boy down as an each way shot he scored 4 points.
With that we moved onto race two of the opening day of the Tipster League. Let’s see how we did.
2:50pm – Ultima Handicap Chase
1) Coo Star Sivola 5/1 Fav
2) Shantou Flyer 14/1
3) Vintage Clouds 7/1
4) Beware The Bear 14/1
Pulled up: Gold Present
Lizzie Kelly rode Coo Star Sivola to a comfortable win in the end. Holding off a very game Shantou Flyer and long time front runner Vintage Clouds. Beware The Bear stormed up to grab the final place spot. Whilst some bookmakers were paying out on 5+ places, the official result stands at the first four. This means the scoring went as follows.
And The New was the only competitor to successfully tip the winner, so he scores 3 points.
The Bear along with Mr & Mrs Severn Sport tipped Shantou Flyer to place with Bacon tipping Beware The Bear to do likewise. All three of them scored 1 point.
The Fox and Always in my brother’s shadow both tipped Vintage Clouds to place, but were both penalised for tipping Gold Present. They both scored -1 point.
No Speed No Feed and Mr Slimbridge AFC both had Gold Present in their selections so they scored -2 points.
Sweet Prince and Big Tips amazingly didn’t get any correct tips, but all selections finished meaning they failed to score.
After two races the top three were Bacon on 5 points and Severn Sport members And The New & Mr & Mrs Severn Sport in joint second on 4 points.
The Bear & No Speed No Feed were joint bottom on -1 points. The final race of the day is where we turn our attentions next.
5:30pm – Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
1) Mister Whittaker 13/2
2) Rather Be 12/1
3) Rocklander 25/1
4) Barney Dwan 15/2
Fallers: Livelovelaugh, Le Rocher
Pulled Up: De Plotting Shed
There was a lot to digest here as it was a race filled with incident. I will do my best.
Mr & Mrs Severn Sport and Sweet Prince tipped Barney Dwan to place and both scored 1 point. An interesting note that the latter used his double price boost. Bacon had also tipped Barney Dwan but lost two points for tipping De Plotting Shed, meaning he scored -1 point.
Four of our tipsters successfully picked Mister Whittaker to win but with different combinations of points. Big Tips scored 3 points and had no bonus points to add or take away. And The New picked the winner but also had Le Rocher, meaning he took home 1 point. The Fox had the winner and also tipped Rocklander to place, meaning he scored 4 points. And The Bear picked Mr Whittaker as his each way with Rather Be to win, meaning he had the reversed forecast and also scored 4 points.
Both Always in my brother’s shadow and No Speed No Feed failed to score any points with their selections. Mr Slimbridge AFC tipped Livelovelaugh so scored -2 points.
What does this all mean for the league? How is the table shaping up after the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. Take a look below:
Going ahead into day two the original Severn Sport Tipster The Fox leads to Mr & Mrs Severn Sport in joint second with And The New. Those who need to shape up ahead of the second day include No Speed No Feed, Mr Slimbridge AFC and Sweet Prince.
Find out the second day’s races right here on Severn Sport tomorrow morning at 9:30am. Who will challenge The Fox at the top of the tree as we enter into ladies day.