Cheltenham Betting

Cheltenham Day 1 Tips & Offers - Champions Day Tips

The opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is known as ‘Champions Day’, and its feature race is the Champion Hurdle, which is due off at 3:30pm, where State Man is the one they all have to beat.

However, there is a fantastic supporting card, including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the Arkle, and the Ultima Handicap.

Get set for the Cheltenham Festival with our Cheltenham Day 1 tips, offers and free bets here!


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Cheltenham Day 1 Betting Tips

We kick off the Cheltenham Festival with Champion Hurdle Day, a race that should go the way of State Man for Willie Mullins.

Our tipsters have cast their eye over the seven races on the first day.

Alan Kelly

Alan has four tips on day one, which you can find on our Alan Kelly tips page. Alan waits until the final race of the day for his NAP selection, while also putting a horse up at double figure odds in the Mares’ Hurdle.

Charlie McCann

Charlie has also kept his NAP selection until the final race of the day, you can read his thoughts on our Charlie McCann tips page. Like Alan, he’s got a double figure selection in the Mares’ Hurdle, while also having one in the Ultima Handicap.

Ed Quigley

Ed looks at the opening day of the meeting on his Ed Quigley tips page, and as you would expect from Ed, he’s gone for bigger priced selections and value. Three of his tips are double figures, with two of them being bigger than 20/1 at the time of writing.

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Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Schedule & Racecards

Check out the full schedule for the opening day of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

TimeCheltenham Day 1 Races
1:30pmSupreme Novices’ Hurdle
2:10pmArkle Challenge Trophy
2:50pmUltima Handicap Chase
3:30pmChampion Hurdle
4:10pmMares’ Hurdle
4:50pmBoodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
5:30pmNational Hunt Chase

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

The opening race on day one of the festival, the curtain raiser and tone setter. A race that often throws up a Champion Hurdle prospect for the following year, such as Constitution Hill, who won the Supreme in 2022 before winning the Champion Hurdle in 2023. This year’s Supreme looks like a wide-open contest with the Willie Mullins-trained duo of Tullyhill and Mystical Power vying for favouritism.

Check out our Supreme Novices’ Hurdle tips.

Arkle Challenge Trophy

A fast and furious test of jumping, two miles and the bigger obstacles. Often seen as the stepping stone to Wednesday’s feature race, the Champion Chase, it’s an unmissable race with past winners including Douvan, Altior, and Shishkin. Like the Supreme Novices’, this is another wide-open contest with many of the 10 runners all in with a chance.

Check out our Arkle Chase tips.

Ultima Handicap Chase

The first fiercely competitive Cheltenham handicap for punters to solve. This is often a race where a Grand National contender pops up, such as Corach Rambler, who won this race in 2023 before landing the big one at Aintree. Is there another National winner lurking in this year’s lineup?

Check out our Ultima Handicap Chase tips.

Champion Hurdle

The feature race on day one - two miles, a speed test for hurdlers, but the Cheltenham hill also brings stamina into the equation. With the absence of last year’s winner Constitution Hill, State Man is a strong favourite to land this year’s race for Ireland.

Check out our Champion Hurdle tips.

Mares’ Hurdle Betting

Introduced for the girls in 2008, the race has been dominated by Irish-trained horses, including Quevega, who won it for six consecutive years for trainer Willie Mullins. A Mullins runner looks the one to beat this year, with the Rich Ricci-owned Lossiemouth a firm favourite.

Check out our Mares’ Hurdle tips.

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Betting

The only four-year-old handicap of the meeting, a race for those not quite good enough to get into the Triumph Hurdle on Friday. Having said that, the quality level of this race has taken a huge turn recently, with numerous Grade One contenders coming from it. Twenty-four runners are set to go to post this year in what looks like a wide-open betting contest.

Check out our Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle tips.

National Hunt Chase Betting

The closing race on day one of the meeting, a real stamina test that has in the past provided both Gold Cup and Grand National contenders. The race is limited to amateur riders, adding another dimension, and this year it appears to be a match between the Irish-trained duo of Corbetts Cross and Embassy Gardens.

Check out our National Hunt Chase Tips.

Cheltenham Festival Day 1 Overview

The day’s racing starts with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The tapes will rise to the customary ‘Cheltenham roar’ at 1:30pm and while everyone will be hoping to back the winner, all will be aware of this race’s reputation as a champion maker.

Altior, Douvan, Vautour and Honeysuckle are all recent winners of the ‘Supreme’, and they came back to the Festival to win races like the Arkle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and the Ryanair Chase.

The feature race on the opening day is the Champion Hurdle, won by legendary horse racing names, including See You Then, Istabraq, and Hurricane Fly - will State Man land the race this year for Ireland?

Other races on Day 1 of the Festival include the Arkle Challenge Trophy, the Mares’ Hurdle, and the National Hunt Challenge Cup for amateur jockeys, which closes proceedings at 5:30pm.

Get set for the Day 1 action with the latest Cheltenham Free Bets from the top UK bookmakers.

What Happened Last Year?

Relive all the excitement and drama from the opening day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham Day 1 FAQs

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Who won the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham?

The 2023 Champion Hurdle was won by Constitution Hill, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville.

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What day is the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham?

The Champion Hurdle is the feature race on the opening day of the four-day Cheltenham Festival. In 2024, it will be on Tuesday, March 12th.

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When is the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham?

The Champion Hurdle is the fourth race on the Cheltenham Festival Day 1 card with a scheduled off-time of 3:30pm.

Scott McGlynn

Famed for his Acca of the Day and Bet Builder selections, Scott provides tips across many sports on Freebets, and is our lead Scottish football writer