Four fantastic beasts to be found on day one of Cheltenham
Altior: the headline act of the opening day of the festival
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Four fantastic beasts on day one of Cheltenham
By Andrew Dietz 1:55PM 12 MAR 2017
Ballyandy Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Impressive Betfair Hurdle winner sets the standard in the curtain-raiser and boasts festival-winning form having claimed the Champion Bumper last year.
What they say "He would be one of my best chances of the week. He's in good nick, is versatile ground-wise and has pleased us since Newbury."
Sam Twiston-Davies, rider
Star power 2/5
Fuelled comparisons to Sprinter Sacre with four impeccable performances over fences and would be a major shock if he failed to join the legendary chaser on the Arkle roll of honour.
What they say "This horse could jump with Douvan in the Champion Chase or you could switch him tomorrow to hurdles if you needed to, but we've gone down the Arkle route."
Nicky Henderson, trainer
Star power 5/5
Yanworth Champion Hurdle
Yanworth: has only been beaten once over hurdles
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
He might not have impressed everyone with his jumping but has only suffered one defeat, when second to Yorkhill in last season's Neptune, in eight hurdle starts and should be suited by the strong pace of a championship race.
What they say "He's unbeaten this season and we've had a lovely, clean run. He's in a good place physically and returning to a course as stiff as Cheltenham will suit him."
Alan King, trainer
Star power 3/5
Vroum Vroum Mag Mares' Hurdle
Versatile mare who had myriad festival options but is set to return to defend her title, although Ruby Walsh has deserted her for younger model Limini.
What they say "It would be tough to ask her to go anywhere else. Maybe she had a cold brewing at Doncaster, but we're much happier with her now."
Willie Mullins, trainer
Star power 3/5
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