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Cheltenham Festival ITV racing tips: Best bets for day 1 on Tuesday, March 12

The Cheltenham Festival 2024 has finally arrived and the Planet Sport panel of experts have pulled together some cracking selections for the first day of ITV's racing coverage on Tuesday, March 12.

We've grabbed the views of our expert panel at the Planet Sport Bet Cheltenham preview evening which included Planet Sport amabassador Harry Cobden, former Gold Cup winner Mick Fitzgerald, ten-time Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Tom Scudamore and the Racing Post's Paul Kealy.

We also leaned on our own inhouse tipsters to give you the best steer on where you money should go in the five races that are being shown on ITV.

Don't forget to check out the full racecard, results and live odds in Planet Sport's racing live centre.

Good luck and please gamble responsibly.

(Please be aware horses could become non-runners after article publication)


Planet Sport Bet offer: Bet minimum £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if the qualifying terms are met (see table at bottom of page) earn a £5 free bet for every £20+ cash bet, or a £20 free bet for every £100+ cash bet 

13:30 (Cheltenham) Supreme Novices Hurdle

Mystical Power (Harry Cobden) - I like Mystical Power. I was speaking to Mark Walsh and he said, this horse shows nothing at home but comes alive at the track. All he does is improve. For an each-way bet Tellherthename, I went to Ben Pauling and schooled a few horses and this one really felt like a decent animal. So I wouldn't be surprised if this one ran a nice race.


Jeriko Du Reponet (Mick Fitzgerald) - He is much better than he showed at Doncaster. He's a much better horse on slower ground and his price will drift because people will be afraid to back any Henderson horse after what happened with Constitution Hill.


Mistergif (Paul Kealy) - The big word lately has been for another Willie Mullins, one called Mistergif. Daryl Jacob was asked which horse he was most looking forward to riding and he said that was it definitely. Won very, very easily at Limerick. Totally unexposed. So he's a double figure price, but might not be on the day.


Slade Steel e/w - Ballyburn was too good for Slade Steel at Leopardstown but Willie Mullins relies on others here and that gives the selection a real fighting chance to land the Supreme. He looks a solid each-way hope against the likes of Firefox and Mystical Power. (Mike Grenham - Planet Sport Bet Managing Director)


Firefox - Gordon Elliott rarely sends runners to Cheltenham for the sake of it, and his sole entrant Firefox appears to have been campaigned with this race in mind. It’s worth noting that in December this six-year-old saw off the highly-rated Ballyburn, who is now odds-on favourite to land the Gallagher on Wednesday. (John Fearn - Tipstrr)


14:10 (Cheltenham) Arkle Challenge Trophy

Hunters Yarn (Paul Kealy) - It's absolutely wide open. Gaelic Warrior is without doubt the most talented horse in the race, but I can't see him winning this without coming under pressure. So the unexposed one I like his Hunters Yarn, if he can get by without making any mistakes, I think he's a very, very good horse. You've got to have a couple of quid on Matata, who is a much bigger price and he's in a lot better shape now.


Hunters Yarn (Mick Fitzgerald) - So many of these horses have ifs and buts about them, but I'm with Hunters Yarn too I think he's a good horse. JPR One I love the way he jumps and I like the way he travels. But the problem will be he'll be trying to win the race and if he's trying to win the race, I think he'll be found out.


Hunters Yarn (Harry Cobden) - I'm a massive Hunters Yarn fan. But his jumping certainly worries me, he rather goes through some of them rather than goes over them. You can't forget Il Etait Temps, his form is fairly solid. They'll want to go a good gallop and he's a little bit keen. But I'd be very interested to see how Paul Townend rides in this race.


Master Chewy e/w (Tom Scudamore) - The one I like at a big price to come along and pick up the pieces, but I can't see him winning it, is Master Chewy who will thrive on the pace of the race.


JPR One (Mike Grenham) - If Gaelic Warrior’s jumping is on point then he will take some beating, but going left-handed does not suit him to this point. Instead, JPR One is backed to get an early winner on the board for the home side.


JPR One - He should have won at Cheltenham, he unseated at the last after a stumble after being clear of the rest which is surprising given he's such a good jumper. He was then third at Sandown and then back to winning ways in January. But he's a lovely horse and it would be great for Joe Tizzard to get his first Cheltenham winner. (Liz Bachelor - Horse Racing On Another Planet podcast)


14:50 (Cheltenham) Ultima Handicap Chase

Trelawne (Mike Grenham) - Harry Cobden has a real chance to claim this prize on Trelawne. Kim Bailey has two in the race but I think this chap will love the trip and could be a great spare for Harry.


The Goffer (Paul Kealy) - I backed him last year and he was fourth, really, really good race should have finished third but according to Davy Russell he went a bit too soon on him and and just got caught out a little bit when the pace quickened up. The Goffer is supposed to be absolutely flying at home and he's two pound lower in what doesn't look as good a race as it was last year. Big chance.


Twig (Tipstrr) - Has won over the trip, ran well to finish second here in October, and has run well and won in big fields before. Ben Pauling has been in great form throughout the season and Beau Morgan claims a useful five pounds. (Andrew of Fiosrach - Tipstrr)


Harry Cobden - I kick off this year’s Festival with Trelawne in the Ultima for Kim Bailey.

I watched back some of his races and he looks a pretty quirky type, but he is yet to run a bad race and some of his form does read pretty well, including the third to Ginny’s Destiny and Grey Dawning at Cheltenham in December.
I do think he’s got quite a lot of ability and this race might just be what he needs. In smaller fields he might lose a bit of concentration but where there are more runners there’s less daylight and I think that might help him.

Hopefully there’s a bit more to come off a mark of 144 and I’m quite hopeful he can run well.


15:30 (Cheltenham) The Champion Hurdle

State Man (Tom Scudamore) - He jumps, he gallops quicker than anything else, he can make the running, he can hold up. Constitution Hill is an exceptional horse and I think we'll see how exceptional he is by State Man beating the rest of them by 15 lengths.


State Man (Harry Cobden) - I'd have to agree, I can't have Irish Point, he's been sort of trained and campaigned for the Stayers, then all of a sudden Constitution Hill is a non runner so he goes to for the Champion Hurdle. I think State Man is a good thing. One horse I like is Zarak The Brave, good each-way price.


Iberico Lord e/w (Mick Fitzgerald) - They supplemented Iberico Lord. He's a very good traveller, he's won two of the biggest handicaps this year, he's a very, very good jumper, soft ground won't be a problem and he'll be ridden to be placed. So he probably has got a good chance of that.


State Man (Paul Kealy) - State Man is just miles better than all of these. Constitution Hill is so good, that we probably don't appreciate how good State Man is. Be interesting to see how Iberico Lord runs. It's a bold move to supplement a horse from a yard whose horses can't finish races at the moment.


State Man (Mike Grenham) - It’s very hard to oppose State Man in the Champion Hurdle. With Constitution Hill absent, this horse is just too good for this field.


Not So Sleepy e/w (Liz Bachelor) - Would be such a good story for a smaller stable. Seems like a real character and obviously won at Sandown for the moved Fighting Fifth. I can't see State Man getting beat, but Not So Sleepy is the type of horse that could pick up the place money.


16:10 (Cheltenham) Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle

Telmesomethinggirl e/w (Mike Grenham) - Another strong favourite here in Lossiemouth. She’s by far the most likely winner but how about a pop each-way on Telmesomethinggirl representing the de Bromhead-Blackmore pairing, this mare won at the Festival in 2021 and can give a good account of herself once again.


Love Envoi  e/w (Scott Allen) - Runner-up in this race last year behind Honeysuckle and finished second to Lossiemouth at Cheltenham in January. Interesting price so shouldn't be discounted to get among the places.


Echoes In Rain e/w (Tipstrr) - Lossiemouth is expected to take this comfortably, but one of Mullins' other runners Echoes In Rain, is well worth a closer look. After being somewhat unfortunately to find herself in State Man’s company in her three outings this term (2nd, 3rd, 3rd behind him), so she should find more joy against her own sex here, having been pulled away from another clash with the Champion Hurdle favourite.


READ MORE: Harry Cobden’s Planet Sport Bet Cheltenham blog: Big field might suit Trelawne in Ultima


Planet Sport Bet offer: Bet minimum £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if the qualifying terms are met (see table below) earn a £5 free bet for every £20+ cash bet, or a £20 free bet for every £100+ cash bet 





if the favourite wins (includes co and joint) 



if My Mate Mozzie is in the 1st 3 



if Weveallbeencaught is in the 1st 4 



if State Man wins by over 7 lengths 



if Lossiemouth wins by over 8 lengths 



if Lark In the Morning is in the 1st 3 



if Embassy Gardens wins the race 


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