Timeform Shortlist: Cheltenham Festival, Tuesday March 13

The 2018 Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday
The 2018 Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday
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Timeform's free Shortlist comes from Cheltenham and the opening day of the 2018 Festival on Tuesday.

1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (1) 2m87y

Timeform Top Rated:

  1. 164p 4. GETABIRD W. P. Mullins R. Walsh
  2. 163p 15. SUMMERVILLE BOY Tom George Noel Fehily
  3. 162 6. KALASHNIKOV Amy Murphy Jack Quinlan

Analyst's Verdict: Summerville Boy's defeat of the reopposing Kalashnikov in the Tolworth received a boost when that one landed the ultra-competitive Betfair at Newbury last month. The Tom George-trained 6-y-o might represent a bit of value against Getabird, who looks sure to make a bold bid to enhance his yard's excellent recent record in this race.

2.10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase (Grade 1) (1) 1m7f199y

Timeform Top Rated:

  1. 182p 2. FOOTPAD W. P. Mullins R. Walsh
  2. 178p 5. SAINT CALVADOS Harry Whittington Aidan Coleman
  3. 176p 3. PETIT MOUCHOIR Henry de Bromhead Davy Russell

Analyst's Verdict: Footpad has looked a natural over fences and is taken to confirm last month's Leopardstown form with Petit Mouchoir, for all it wouldn't be a surprise to see Henry de Bromhead's charge get closer this time. Saint Calvados confirmed he's an exciting prospect when running away with a Warwick Grade 2 last time and is also expected to make his presence felt in a good renewal despite the small field.

2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (1) 3m1f

Timeform Top Rated:

  1. 169 1. GOLD PRESENT Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
  2. 167p 12. COO STAR SIVOLA Nick Williams Lizzie Kelly (3)
  3. 166 15. MINELLA DADDY Peter Bowen Sean Bowen

Analyst's Verdict: Coo Star Sivola has plenty to recommend him, having run really well over hurdles at the last 2 festivals and boasting a progressive profile over the larger obstacles too. An impressive winner on soft ground last time, he is taken to land this competitive handicap. Gold Present hasn't put a foot wrong this term and rates the chief threat, whilst Ramses de Teillee is also of interest.

3.30 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (1) 2m87y

Timeform Top Rated:

  1. 181 1. BUVEUR D'AIR Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
  2. 174 10. MY TENT OR YOURS Nicky Henderson Aidan Coleman
  3. 173+ 5. FAUGHEEN W. P. Mullins R. Walsh

Analyst's Verdict: Buveur d'Air has barely broken sweat when landing all 3 starts this season and should take all the beating in his bid to win this race for the second year running. The fitting of a hood seemed to have an adverse effect on Melon in the Irish Champion and he's capable of bouncing back now with the headgear discarded, while My Tent Or Yours also makes the shortlist having finished runner-up in the race 3 times previously.

4.10 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (David Nicholson) (Grade 1) (1) 2m3f200y

Timeform Top Rated:

  1. 174 1. APPLE'S JADE Gordon Elliott J. W. Kennedy
  2. 162+ 6. LA BAGUE AU ROI Warren Greatrex Richard Johnson
  3. 157 3. INDIAN STREAM Neil Mulholland Tom Scudamore

Analyst's Verdict: Hard to look beyond last year's winner Apple's Jade, who has been much too strong for the males this season and should prove tough to beat back against her own sex. Benie des Dieux could emerge as the big danger if she can translate her smart chasing form to hurdles and her yard has dominated this race.

4.50 National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase (Grade 2) (1) 3m7f170y

Timeform Top Rated:

  1. 166 5. JURY DUTY Gordon Elliott Mr J. J. Codd
  2. 165 11. RATHVINDEN W. P. Mullins Mr P. W. Mullins
  3. 163 15. SIZING TENNESSEE Colin Tizzard Mr Barry O'Neill

Analyst's Verdict: Gordon Elliott has won 2 of the last 3 renewals and looks to have a strong hand once again with Jury Duty and Mossback. The former has looked the ideal type for this race for some time so gets the nod, with the booking of Jamie Codd another big plus. No Comment lacks chasing experience but is still an intriguing runner having very much caught the eye when third on his chasing debut in a Grade 1 at Sandown.

5.30 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed) (1) 2½m78y

Timeform Top Rated:

  1. 160p 8. RATHER BE Nicky Henderson Jeremiah McGrath
  2. 159p 2. ANY SECOND NOW T. M. Walsh Mark Walsh
  3. 159p 20. MISTER WHITAKER Mick Channon Brian Hughes

Analyst's Verdict: His mishap at Plumpton aside, Rather Be has looked a graded-level chaser this season, landing the odds with the minimum of fuss on a couple of occasions, and the suspicion is that the assessor is yet to catch up with him in this sphere. Any Second Now has yet to taste success over fences, but this strongly-run race will suit him, with Barney Dwan another to consider in what is a very compressed handicap.

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