As day one of the Cheltenham Festival begins, Irish Post Sport's betting columnist Karl Hedley selects his two best bets of the day. Keep an eye on The Irish Post website each day this week for more hot tips.
2.05, Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade 1) (2M)
Rock On Ruby has made the transition from hurdling to chasing with the minimum of fuss and is undefeated in this new sphere.
He may have beaten very little to achieve that but he has rock solid Cheltenham form that will stand him in good stead. Noel Fehily shall once again ride and the combination could prove to be a formidable one.
Champagne Fever scoped badly in recent weeks and although he remains unbeaten at Cheltenham it remains a massive worry. When he ran in the Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown last time he was taken on for the lead by Defy Logic and that made him prone to error.
Dodging Bullets was disappointing when beaten by Module last time and a bigger threat may come from Trifolium. He bounced right back to form when running away with the Irish Arkle and has run well here before.
He will have the assistance of Bryan Cooper and that too is a plus. The English have dominated this race in recent years though and Rock On Ruby can continue that trend.
3.20, Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (2M 110Y)
Hurricane Fly is as rock solid as they come and has won 20 of his 22 starts. He is quite simply a star and with the field likely to cut up further he is likely to prove very difficult to beat. Ruby Walsh is a massive asset to the horse’s chances and going by recent reports, Willie Mullins has him in peak condition.
The New One has excellent form around Cheltenham and has won in four of his six appearances here. He can reverse recent form with Nicky Henderson’s My Tent Or Yours now that he is runnning in his own back yard.
He still has eight pounds to find with the selection on official ratings but that may not be good enough. My Tent Or Yours has never won at this track and for that reason he is passed over despite AP McCoy choosing him over Jezki.
Dessie Hughes gets his horses here in prime condition and Our Conor is likely to prove a massive threat. If for whatever reason Hurricane Fly fails to deliver he will be there to pick up the pieces.