Cheltenham tips: Who to back for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival: All you need to know

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Cheltenham is back once again this week, although there won’t be any crowds to cheer on the horses for the final straight. With four days of action coming up, we have all of the tips you need for feature races at Cheltenham.

The sport’s most famous event gets underway in Gloucestershire on Tuesday March 16.

The festival will feature 28 races in total, as the UK’s top jockeys go head-to-head.

We start with Tuesday’s feature race, the Champion Hurdle, before culminating in the Gold Cup on Friday afternoon.

Express Sport spoke to the experts at Betfair for the best tips ahead of the Cheltenham Festival this week.

The first feature race of the week gets underway at 3.05pm on Tuesday – the Champion Hurdle.

The race will last just over two miles, and it’ll include eight hurdles along the way.

Last year’s winner, Epatante, will be looking to retain its crown, but faces stiff competition from Honeysuckle, who has won every race that she’s featured in so far.

Honeysuckle goes into the race as the firm favourite, but we also shouldn’t rule out Epatante or Goshen, according to Betfair spokesperson, Barry Orr.

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“A Cheltenham Festival like no other kicks off without crowds, but despite the absence of spectators, there is no shortage of quality action on day one,” he told Express Sport.

“Tuesday’s feature race, the Champion Hurdle, is one of the most eagerly-anticipated races of the meeting.

“Irish challenger Honeysuckle is the 2/1 favourite, as the talented mare looks to extend her unbeaten run over hurdles to 11 wins from 11 races.

“Honeysuckle faces tough competition from last year’s winner and 7/2 fancy, Epatante, who was well-beaten at Christmas by Silver Streak.

“Goshen is another horse fancied by punters following his recent win on just his second appearance over jumps this season.

“He would be a popular winner among racing fans after unseating his rider in heartbreaking fashion at the final hurdle, when well-clear of the competition in last year’s Triumph Hurdle.

“The race will ignite the Festival in thrilling fashion if the front three are at their best.

“But we also can’t rule out Abracadabras (15/2) or last year’s second Sharjah (11/1) from making their mark.”

Betfair – Champion Hurdle winner

  • Honeysuckle 2/1
  • Epatante 7/2
  • Goshen 4/1
  • Abacadabras 15/2
  • Sharjah 11/1
  • Aspire Tower 14/1
  • Silver Streak 14/1
  • James Du Berlais 20/1
  • Saldier 50/1
  • Not So Sleepy 66/1

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