Value Scope: Steve Jones’ best bets for Cheltenham Festival 2022 day one
Our tipster has picked out four Irish horses to give you a run for your money as the Cheltenham Festival gets under way on Tuesday
ALL aboard HMS SEAHORSE (4.50) in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
French import Gaelic Warrior has been all the rage in the betting but it’s total guesswork backing him at such a short price on his first run for Willie Mullins.
His odds make the market more attractive for a few of the others. Hms Seahorse tops that list for me.
He was third behind Triumph Hurdle favourites Pied Piper and Vauban on his hurdles debut before chasing home The Tide Turns in a Punchestown maiden hurdle.
That gives him ground to make up but he wasn’t as well positioned when the race got serious and he is now better off at the weights.
In-form Paul Nolan’s juvenile got off the mark at Fairyhouse last month and this test should suit him. Have 1pt each-way at 10-1 with plenty of bookies paying out on six places.
The day’s other big handicap is the Ultima Chase and I fancy another Irish raider in NOBLE YEATS (2.50)
He beat Gabynako and Magic Daze – both running in today’s Arkle Trophy – on his chase debut in October and things have not gone his way since.
Emmett Mullins’ hope put in a promising prep-race when second behind top prospect Ahoy Senor at Wetherby last month and he remains completely unexposed over 3m. Have 2pts each-way at 16-1 several bookies paying seven places.
There’s a rare British-trained favourite in the Arkle in the shape of Edwardstone. He could easily be good enough but it might be worth chancing COEUR SUBLIME (2.10).
He twice finished behind side-lined star Ferny Hollow before easily landing a Gowran beginners’ chase. I’ve a feeling a strongly-run 2m is just what he wants. Have 1pt each-way at 14-1 with four places up for grabs with most bookies.
Honeysuckle is rightly odds-on for the defence of her Unibet Champion Hurdle crown but TEAHUPOO (3.30) could easily be the main threat to the unbeaten Irish mare.
The 2m hurdle division hasn’t been particularly strong for some time so it’s ripe for some new blood.
Gordon Elliott’s ace has looked good in winning three times this season. I was very impressed with the space he put between himself and his rivals from the second-last hurdle at Gowran last month.
The 10-1 on offer is just too big so have 1pt each-way.