Jamie Codd blog: Cheltenham day one selections

Ten-time Cheltenham Festival-winning rider Jamie Codd gives his selections for day one of the meeting as he prepares to partner National Hunt Chase favourite Run Wild Fred on Tuesday…

Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (1.30)

I can’t wait to hear the crowd this year for the first race of the Festival. I am expecting a massive attendance and I am sure the runners are going to get a huge reception. It’ll be wild, the biggest cheer you will hear for a long time. And what a race to start.

The Supreme is going to be a cracker. It’s a small field but a very good field and there is class in every runner.

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You can make a case for a lot of them, but for me Mighty Potter could be the forgotten horse. He’s got a good each-way chance.

It’s going to be a very fascinating race but he could be the value. He’s a big chaser in the making but he was a Grade One winner at Christmas. Gordon Elliott [trainer] really likes him and at the price he is he could represent a good bit of value.

Selection: Mighty Potter (6/1 – Sky Bet*)

Image:
Mighty Potter landed the Grade One Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown when last seen

Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (2.10)

This is a really competitive race. The form revolves around Blue Lord and Gordon’s mare Riviere D’etel, who is getting a mare’s allowance.

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We are probably lacking a real star. Edwardstone has been really impressive, but he was a 150-rated handicap hurdler, so there is a question about whether he is going to be ultimately good enough.

I think you are looking at Riviere D’etel and, possibly at a bit of a price, I think Coeur Sublime could run a massive race. He was a classy hurdler, who finished second in a Triumph. The nice ground will suit him, he seems to be a good jumper.

Henry de Bromhead has a good record in the Arkle with horses like Sizing Europe and Put The Kettle On and Coeur Sublime might fit the bill.

Selection: Coeur Sublime (14/1 – Sky Bet)

Image:
Henry de Bromhead’s Coeur Sublime won at Gowran Park in January this year

Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50)

Another competitive race. Some highly rated horses have won this and I am going to side with Death Duty.

He was a very classy horse in his younger days and won well the last day in Punchestown. More importantly he seems to be able to run off a pound lower in the UK than his Irish mark and I think that’s going to come into play.

He has improved massively all year from his run in the Paddy Power Chase to the Thyestes and into Punchestown. He is a horse you want to keep the right side of and I think he will run a big race.

Selection: Death Duty (10/1 – Sky Bet)

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Death Duty

Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (3.30)

This is all about Honeysuckle. She is unbeaten, 14 from 14 and a really good mare. I for one would like to see her win again as I think she deserves to another Champion Hurdle and is brilliant for racing.

I think Appreciate It is a very good horse but it’s going to be a massive ask of him to come into a competitive Champion Hurdle field without a run. I think he could fall a little bit short and go on to do better things after Tuesday.

Teahupoo is an improving horse and we are hoping he is good enough but we won’t know until after the race.

Selection: Honeysuckle (8/13 – Sky Bet)

Image:
Honeysuckle and Rachael Blackmore after winning the Champion Hurdle last year

Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (4.10)

This is a very competitive race. I thought Queens Brook’s run behind Burning Victory the last day was good and she seems to be improving this year.

She was third behind Ferny Hollow and Appreciate It in the 2020 Champion Bumper and that is very strong form. I think she has a massive chance and seems to be back in good order.

Gordon has changed a few things in her training. She is a filly that is going to run a huge race.

Selection: Queens Brook (4/1 – Sky Bet)

Image:
Queen’s Brook and Jack Kennedy jump the last to win the Fairyhouse Hurdle

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (4.50)

This revolves around Gaelic Warrior who is having his first run for Willie Mullins. A lot of people think this horse was 10lb ‘well in’ before going to Willie’s and if Willie can improve him again he may be 20lb ‘well in’ off 11st 1lb.

The one I like is Paul Nicholls’s horse Bell Ex One who is having his first run for the stable. He had some good Irish form and I think the change of stable is interesting. I will be fascinated to see how he runs.

Selection: Bell Ex One (28/1 – Sky Bet)

Off The Fence: The Cheltenham Preview Show!

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Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase (5.30)

I will be in action here on Run Wild Fred and am really looking forward to this.

He fits the bill as he is a second season novice who holds some really good form. He won a Troytown, finished second in an Irish Grand National, second in a Thyestes and second in a Grade One behind Fury Road so has strong lines of form.

It will be up to Stattler, Vanillier and Pat’s Fancy to step up to his level.

I wouldn’t swap Run Wild Fred and think he is a great ride to have in this and I would be hopeful he could win.

Selection: Run Wild Fred (15/8 – Sky Bet)

*All prices correct at time of writing

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