The earliest arrivals in Cheltenham this morning were lucky enough to escape the rain that was foreseen at any time from 6:00 am. While my train retreated to the station around 8:45 am, it started to go down hard, but my luxury plan to beat the people and bike it to the course – thank you, the good people of the Bike Center – suddenly seemed a little less cunning.
However, it was a preparatory way to start the day, and even on a boring day, Cheltenham looks fabulous, as always, for the opening day of the festival. The heavy rain is still forecasted at about 10 am, and it is impossible to say at this stage whether it will be enough to influence the movement on the first day. But the country was officially good to soft, soft in places at night, and a general description of the soft anywhere may seem very tempting to everyone affected, as the first race in 1.30 approaches even closer. In the meantime, greater concern is the wind forecast for the evenings, since similar strong winds were enough to take one day to the festival 11 years ago.
The general topics before this year's meeting are largely similar to those of recent years, with an obvious question whether Willie Malins will enjoy another week to remember. He, of course, did not finish the match as a leading coach since 2016 and has a slightly smaller team this time, but Mullins is steadily shifting to coaching the "Top Coach" after Saturday's 7-2 chance and is now clear second-round , division Gordon Elliott (2.5) and Niki Henderson (7-2) at around 11-4.
Personally, I am a big fan of week-long bets like these as a way to get interested in almost every race, and even at its latest price, Mullins still looks fair value a day ago when there is a good team for the opening Supreme News obstacle – where I still do not understand how Aramon could be 14-1 to beat the stablemate and 5-1 common favorite Classic Dream when they were the neck difference last time – and a couple more live lives through a card, including an obvious banker at Bene De Dio in the barrier of Mares.
And a conversation about the bankers and Bini De Dio will have great interest in the reception for its owner Rich Ritchie, earlier than the Barclays investment arm, if she did business later. The recent non-existent BetBright bookmaker, from whom Richie was the former president, left hundreds of players at a ceremony last week, canceling all the outstanding bets for the Ants without even offering a chance to pay off. While 888.com, which bought BetBright's technology, but not the customer's book, agreed to stand up for Cheltenham bets, anger has not yet taken place and we could be the first hostile reception for Cheltenham's winner from Top Cees.
Elliott, Henderson and Malins go head-to-head in the championship bar with Apple Jade, Buveur D & # 39; Air and Laurina and it's a race that can, even at this stage, prove to be crucial in resolving the ultimate winner this week . These three coaches felt the majority of the winners of the last two Festivals and this year is unlikely to be different.
Updating the latest rainfall – using technical terms like wet and humid, but I hope it's not biblical – will be here all morning, and runners in the Supreme should be sent on a journey with the traditional roar – ideally for the first time to ask – at 1.30. The advice of my colleague Chris Cook for the first day is here and the best of luck at all!