Welcome to my amateur preview of the Festival! One of my great difficulties with meetings like Cheltenham is that I end the week wishing I'd had more on the ones that did well and had fewer bets elsewhere!
There's no answer to the first problem of course, but there is to the second. As with so many punters, it's all too easy to have too many bets. I find that I dilute the good ones with a plethora of might have beens. This year although will have probably 2-3 smaller bets each day, however I've picked out four which will be the backbone of my week. I'll have singles and e/w trebles/fourfold on them.

I believe that in each case they have outstanding form claims, wouldn't have it any other way. Shop around for best prices and place terms on what should be a competitive week from the bookies with great offers around.

The first day is perhaps the most difficult, unless you have a strong view on the Champion Hurdle. I don't and therefore I've gone to the mares race and my e/w bet of the day is UNE ARTISTE e/w 11/2 (Chelt 4.40 Tues). Has one serious blemish on its dancecard, when refusing to race at Punchestown last year. However its two runs since have seen successes over Kentford Grey Lady. She was second in this race last year, blundering at the final flight when looking as though might get within chatting distance of Que Vega. Only five, Une Artiste is therefore a clear form pick for a place, and at that age still has real prospects of improving.
As to that refusal, this is Cheltenham with the eyes of the world on, and I would be amazed, if the horse refuses, were the bookies not to fall over themselves to refund stakes, if only for the publicity! That is factored into this bet, hope it's not tested but confident that the bookies would refund all bets on the horse.

Wednesday's selection is UNION DUES e/w (9/1) in the bumper. i backed Golantilla e/w at 25/1 within minutes of its Cork success in January, and i'm very happy with that of course, however Union Dues has had two races, winning a Grade Two last time, and came from near last to first that day. Katie Walsh gave the horse a vital lesson in how to race that day, and that experience is invaluable, something the likes of once raced facile winner Golantilla hasn't been taught 'in action'. The Union Dues form has worked out well and it gets the day two vote.

Thursday's selection is FIRST LIEUTENANT (7/2) for the Ryanair. This is the right trip and even though the horse still has a Gold Cup entry, this must be the right choice. His head second to Tidal Bay last time over 3m, which stretched his stamina to breaking point, is top class form. He'll get a lovely toe into this from Cue Card (the 'heart' selection!) and arrive on the premises between the last two fences before staying on strongly up the run in. Course form of 1,2 is of course a big bonus and he'll be very hard to beat

The final day's vote goes to OUR CONOR (4/1) NAP. This horse has done everything asked of it since switching to hurdles, putting a highly rated Willie Mullins pair to the sword last time. neat and slick over the hurdles, has a lovely racing attitude and blistering turn of foot, comes out best on the clock too. No doubts over stamina and will handle the ground as well, having raced in the mud at Galway on the flat. He's not far off bombproof frankly, the only question I can find is lack of course experience, however he's been to a variety of tracks and none of them have caused any bother. Ruacana would have been one of the best English form yardsticks but was well behind the Irish star last time and Our Conor is the Nap of the meeting.

ONE-A-DAY LUCKY 15; SINGLES AND E/W TREBLES/FOURFOLD: prices as per Monday lunchtime

Tues: Une Artiste e/w (11/2)
Wed: Union Dues e/w (9/1)
Thurs: First Lieutenant (7/2)
Fri: Our Conor NAP (4/1)


Thanks for reading, there is an undercard at Meydan on Thursday and i'll post here if there's anything.