Bookies Survive Opening Day At Cheltenham As Benie Des Dieux Is Edged Out

Punters are looking to get their own back on day two of the Cheltenham Festival after bookmakers came out relatively unscathed from the first day of racing action.

Shishkin was easy to back and survived a drift to 6/1 to land the opening race of the festival as the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle went the way of Nicky Henderson’s charge, while favourite backers had to wait until the fourth race to score a winner when Epatante landed the spoils in the Champion Hurdle having gone off the 2/1 market leader.

Darver Star had turned into the biggest liability of the day for BoyleSports in the Champion Hurdle, but disappointed customers were consoled with free bets on the 17/2 shot as he finished third behind an SP favourite, triggering the firm’s promotion covering the whole the festival.

Benie Des Dieux was one of the most popular favourites of the opening day, but 9/4 second favourite Honeysuckle got the better of a fascinating dual in the Mares’ Hurdle.

The first three races went our way and with Benie Des Diuex being turned over later, we were breathing a sigh of relief because things could have been much worse. We are a bit more fearful about Wednesday because Envoi Allen, Tiger Roll and Appreciate It are all very popular favourites.

They look well suited to make it a much better day for the punters.