PUNTERS D'AIRING TO DREAM WITH FAMOUS FOUR-TIMER
Day one of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival and bookmakers have reported brisk business ahead of the first day of the meeting, Champion Day.
With four short-priced favourites on the card, punters are supporting the jollies in their droves in multiple bets.
In the first race of the day, the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1.30pm), the Willie Mullins-trained Getabird is a solid 13/8 favourite from 7/4 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes. An impressive winner of the G2 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in January, the six-year-old will relish ground conditions and is proving popular with punters.
Joseph O'Brien is no stranger to big-race success following Rekindling's Melbourne Cup success and Paddy Power have reported each-way support for Us And Them, who is now 33/1 from 40/1. Colin Tizzard's Slate House has also been nibbled into 20/1 from 22s.
Willie Mullins' Footpad is a strong favourite in the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase (2.10pm) having attracted sustained support in the betting. Paddy Power make the six-year-old their 10/11 market leader from 11/10, whilst BetVictor make the Creachadoir gelding 5/6 from Evens.
Coo Star Sivola, a decisive winner on soft ground at Exeter in February is a strong favourite for the Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50pm). The six-year-old is 11/2 from 5/1 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes, whilst Paddy Power have reported each way support for Nigel Twiston-Davies' Cogry, who has dropped in price to 16/1 from 25/1.
In today's championship race, the Unibet Champion Hurdle, last year's winner Buveur D'Air (4/7) is 4/7 favourite to retain his crown for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty. Willie Mullins' Wicklow Brave has attracted each-way support with Ladbrokes and is now 16/1 from 20/1.
Apple's Jade, successful in the G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (4.10pm) last year, is 4/7 with BetVictor to land this year's renewal, but Paddy Power have witnessed each-way support for Benie Des Dieux, who is 9/2 from 5/1.
The ultra-competitive G2 National Hunt Chase (4.50pm) over four miles has proved a puzzle for punters this morning, but Rathvinden, 6/1 from 7/1, has been backed with BetVictor.
In today's concluding event, the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase, Ted Walsh's Any Second Now heads the market following good support throughout the morning into 6/1 from 7/1 with BetVictor, whilst Ladbrokes have seen Mister Whitaker reduced to 8/1 from 10/1.