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CHELTENHAM LIVE: Day one
Updated 5:34pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Sport
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- Nicky Henderson gains wins in Arkle Challenge and Novices' Handicap Chase
- Disappointing Champion Hurdle for local contingent with Wayne Hutchinson falling aboard Balder Succes
- Henderson's 15-8 favourite My Tent or Yours second behind Champagne Fever in Supreme Novices' Hurdle
- The Lambourn trainer's Une Artiste fades to ninth after initially being in top three in OLBG Mares' Hurdle
- Tweet your tips and big wins using #racingadver
- Reporting by NED PAYNE
That just about concludes our coverage today. Temperatures are set to drop to minus six tonight so frost covers will again be deployed, with an inspection at 8am tomorrow. Look out for reports and pictures in tomorrow's Adver.
Rajdhani Express (16-1) triumphed from Ackertac (66-1), Ohio Gold (16-1) and Shangani (6-1).
Henderson confirms Grandouet is 'fine' after earlier fall.
The Druids Nephew was completely run out of it in the end and was outside the top four.
Rajdhani Express piloted by Sam Waley-Cohen blasts through in the closing stages to give Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson his second win of the afternoon.
Big group approaching the line. Close finish coming.
The Druids Nephew has a slight lead.
Rajdhani Express is in the top six.
The Druids Nephew in a good position early on.
They get away at the second time of asking.
The race has begun. Oh no it hasn't, false start.
Four minutes until the final race of the day.
The Druids Nephew is second-favourite at 6-1. Big field of 20.
Local interest here is Rajdhani Express (Sam Waley-Cohen for Nicky Henderson) and The Druids Nephew (Tom Scudamore for Broad Hinton trainer Andy Turnell)
Still the Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase to come here at Cheltenham.
It's good day to be a punter and not a bookie.
Une Artiste fades to ninth with 8-11F Quevega winning a fifth OLBG Mares' Hurdle. It was an absolutely storming finish. Second was Sirene D'ainay (33-1) and Swincombe Flame (40-1) was third.
Une Artiste moves into third.
Swincombe Flame leads now.
Une Artiste in the middle of the pack.
Epee Celeste has taken it out.
And they're off.
Quevega has won this race four times before, though, so the favourite tag is well-earned.
Henderson has one runner in this in the form of Une Artiste, ridden by Barry Geraghty, who could potentially give Quevega a problem. We shall see.
The next race us the OLBG Mares' Hurdle with Quevega the favourite at 8-11.
I'm reliably informed that former Swindon Town striker Simon Cox is in attendance today.
Henderson's Khyber Kim finished sixth but generally speaking it was a miserable Champion Hurdle for our local contingent.
Hurricane Fly (13-8F) wins the Champion Hurdle piloted by Ruby Walsh, second is Rock on Ruby (11-2) with Countrywide Flame (16-1) third and Zarkander (7-2) fourth.
Balder Succes has also gone.
Grandouet has fallen.
Rock on Ruby leads from Zarkandar.
Hutchinson close to the back early on.
And the Champion Hurdle has begun.
It really is wide open this year.
A couple of minutes and then the Champion Hurdle will be underway.
Grandouet is certainly one to watch, as is Binocular, who won this race in 2010 having come back from injury.
Balder Succes is 80-1.
Can Hutchinson follow up 10th at 16-1 in the JLT with a higher finish in the Champion Hurdle? For the record, Henderson's horses were well out of the reckoning.
There's nine runners in this race, which include the Paul Nicholls-trained Zarkander.
Next up is the Champion Hurdle, the feature race of the day. There is plenty of local interest: Balder Succes (Wayne Hutchinson for Alan King), Binocular (AP McCoy for Nicky Henderson), Grandouet (Barry Geraghty for Nicky Henderson), Khyber Kim (Paddy Brennan for Nicky Henderson)
The race is won by Golden Chieftain (28-1), ridden by Brendan Powell. Second was Our Mick (13-2F) and then White Star Line (12-1) came in third. Tullamore Dew (33-1) completed the top four.
But he wil finish in the middle of the pack.
Cloudy Too is picking his way through the field.
We've lost a couple from the race already including Knockara Beau.
Hutchinson near the back early on.
The race is underway.
Cloudy Too is 16-1 in the JLT.
Plenty of local interest in the third race of the afternoon, the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase. Wayne Hutchinson rides Cloudy Too while Nicky Henderson has two runners in Nadiya De La Vega and Quantativeeasing.
Baily Green (33-1) gave it a good go at the end but Simonsig just had too much, leaving the former in second some two-and-a-quarter lengths behind. His Excellency (80-1) was third with Overturn fading to fourth.
Simonsig (8-15F) gets Nicky Henderson off the mark for this year. Win number one of the Festival for the Lambourn trainer.
Overturn hits fence hard and Simonsig takes over. He's streaking away.
Simonsig hits a fence hard but gets away with it. He's now second.
Overturn leads with Simonsig third early on.
The 13-fence race is underway.
Simonsig's rival will be Overturn for what is one of the most eagerly-awaited races of the Festival.
Next up, Henderson's charge Simonsig in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase.
Meanwhile, the cross-country course has been deemed unraceable and will now take place on Thursday.
Ruby Walsh's Champagne Fever (5-1) wins it - just - with My Tent or Yours (15-8F) second and Jezki (5-1) third.
My Tent or Yours was boxed on the inside on the turn but now they sprint for the finish.
My Tent or Yours still in contention in third.
Tightly-packed field at the fourth jump.
My Tent Or Yours third early on. Champagne Fever leads.
And they're off.
We are moments away from the start of racing at Cheltenham.
Also running for Henderson in the Novices' Hurdle is the AP McCoy-piloted River Maigue, who doesn't appeared to be fancied all that much by punters at 16-1.
Henderson is of course the most successful Cheltenham trainer of all time having surpassed Fulke Walwyn's winning record last year. I fancy he'll have a few more this year as well.
The parade is taking place right now...
Nicky Henderson's My Tent Or Yours is the 15-8 favourite in the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle (grade one), which begins at 2.05pm.
You can feel the atmosphere building here with the first race coming up in 20 minutes. A quick walk around and everyone is buzzing. Plenty of people gathered at the parade ring waiting in anticipation.
A minor wi-fi scare here at Cheltenham but now we're back up and running.
The going today is soft, good to soft in places. Away from track conditions, it's absolutely freezing.
We are 45 minutes away from today's opening race.
TODAY'S RACES INCLUDING LOCAL TRAINERS AND RIDERS
2.05pm - William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle (grade one) - My Tent Or Yours (AP McCoy for Nicky Henderson), River Maigue (AP McCoy for Nicky Henderson)
2.40pm - Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (grade one) - Simonsig (Barry Geraghty for Nicky Henderson)
3.20pm - JLT Specialty Handicap Chase (grade three) - Cloudy Too (Wayne Hutchinson for Suzy Smith), Nadiya De La Vega (AP McCoy for Nicky Henderson), Quantativeeasing (Barry Geraghty for Nicky Henderson)
4pm - Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (grade one) - Balder Succes (Wayne Hutchinson for Alan King), Binocular (AP McCoy for Nicky Henderson), Grandouet (Barry Geraghty for Nicky Henderson), Khyber Kim (Paddy Brennan for Nicky Henderson)
4.40pm Glenfarclas Handicap Chase (cross country, grade one) - no local interest
5.15pm - OLBG Mares' Hurdle (grade two) - Une Artiste (Barry Geraghty for Nicky Henderson)
5.45pm Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase (listed) – Rajdhani Express (Sam Waley-Cohen for Nicky Henderson), The Druids Nephew (Tom Scudamore for Andy Turnell)
The only website I can access at work for the Cheltenham festival live is the Swindon advertiser! #racingadver— @JimmyHorwood 12 March 2013
Today's feature race, the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy, is now due off at 4pm. Local involvement is as follows: Balder Success (Wayne Hutchinson for Alan King), Binocular (AP McCoy for Nicky Henderson), Grandouet (Barry Geraghty for Nicky Henderson), Khyber Kim (Paddy Brennan for Nicky Henderson)
WAYNE HUTCHINSON, WHO GOES IN THE JLT SPECIALTY HANDICAP CHASE AND THE STAN JAMES CHAMPION HURDLE CHALLENGE TROPHY TODAY
“Cheltenham is the pinnacle of the year.
“It’s an exciting time and where every jump jockey wants to be this time of year. It’s just great to be a part of it.
“Last year went a bit flat for me (he had two fallers) but Cheltenham can be a bit like that.
“It can be a place where you can lose yourself a bit sometimes, it either goes for you or it doesn’t.”
Buttsy's Bankers... 1.30: Champagne Fever; 2.05: Simonsig; 2.40: Monkerty Tunkerty; 3.20: Grandouet; 4.40: Quevega; 5.15: The Druids Nephew— @Buttsy9 12 March 2013
Have you made the trip to Cheltenham? Who are your tips for today? Tweet us on #racingadver or leave your comments below. The best tips will be included in this liveblog and you should also feel free tell us about your winnings and near-misses.
I've run through the six races this afternoon and there is local involvement in five of them, so there is plenty to get your teeth into over the next five or six hours.
The likes of Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson and Swindon jockey Wayne Hutchinson are involved this afternoon so make sure you follow their progress later.
The opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is go despite concerns over the cold conditions. The first race has been delayed by 35 minutes and is due off at 2.05pm, which is the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle.