Cheltenham Festival tips: Ballyandy looks Supreme bet to squash Melon

Bill Esdaile
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Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday afternoon (Source: Getty)

TAKING on a well-fancied Willie Mullins horse in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1.30pm) sounds like risky business.

The Irish trainer has a remarkable record in the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser, responsible for three winners and a second in the last four years.

However, backing his charge this time around requires a huge leap of faith.

With only one run under his belt, a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown, Melon's chances are based almost entirely on hype and reputation.

He heads the betting at 5/2, while BALLYANDY, winner of last year's Grade One Champion Bumper, has some of the best form in the field and can be backed at 7/2 with Star Sports.

He ran a stormer to take the Betfair Hurdle last time out and has been saved for this race since.

Not only has his hurdling improved with every run, but he will be suited by the likely furious pace of the Supreme as well as that famous Cheltenham hill.

It may also be worth having a saver on HIGH BRIDGE, who was sixth in last season's Champion Bumper and has since rattled off a hat-trick over hurdles.

He looks overpriced at 16/1 with Star Sports.

There aren’t many tougher races to solve this week than the Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50pm).

The case for the likes of Singlefarmpayment and Noble Endeavor are obvious, with the former looking particularly well-treated.

I prefer to look further down the list with A GOOD SKIN catching the eye at a monster 33/1 with Sky Bet.

He ran much better than his finishing position suggests last time and was second in last season’s Kim Muir.

It may also pay to take a chance on Jonjo O’Neill’s GO CONQUER who is also available at 33/1 with Star Sports.

His horses are just beginning to hit top gear and he can go well too.


Ballyandy 1.30pm Cheltenham

High Bridge e/w 1.30pm Cheltenham

A Good Skin e/w 2.50pm Cheltenham

Go Conquer e/w 2.50pm Cheltenham

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