Cheltenham 2016 betting tips: Min, Annie Power and Killer Crow preview

Racing Post’s betting editor Paul Kealy previews the first day of the Cheltenham Festival with some tasty tips

The Tipster
By The Tipster
Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday Photo: Ed Whitaker

It’s not long now until the greatest show on turf and day one of the Cheltenham Festival is set to start yet again with a Willie Mullins-trained, Rich Ricci-owned hotpot in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Min is going to be a short-priced favourite and his form is working out nicely, but Nicky Henderson may have the horse to stop connections rattling up a Supreme four-timer.

Enhanced odds: Get 9/1 on Min to win Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Altior is seriously fast, as he showed when sprinting away from his rivals at Kempton over Christmas, and in any normal year he’d be favourite.

The Stan James Champion Hurdle has been badly depleted with the loss of last year’s brilliant winner Faugheen to injury, followed shortly afterwards by his closest victim and stablemate Arctic Fire.

Another stablemate, the brilliant mare Annie Power, has been drafted in to save the day, but I couldn’t back a horse for a 2m championship when she hasn’t run over the trip for two years. I’ve backed three-time Cheltenham winner Old Guard at a big price, but more in hope than expectation.

Enhanced odds: Get 10/1 on Annie Power to win Champion Hurdle

In the closing Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase I can see a gamble developing on Gordon Elliott’s Killer Crow. The ever-shrewd Elliott put the feelers out when entering this one for a handicap at Cheltenham’s trials meeting in January, primarily to find out what mark the British handicapper would give him.

The answer was 136, which looks certain to guarantee him a run, and Killer Crow has since been locked away in his stable, primed to explode on the big day. In the Racing Post Arkle Chase, Douvan, last year’s Supreme winner, simply looks bombproof.

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