Cheltenham 2020: Tony Keenan’s Day One tips
Notebook looks the ideal sort for the Arkle, while Supasundae is each-way value
1:30 - Asterion Forlonge
Winning a Grade 1 straight out of a maiden hurdle is unusual but Asterion Forlonge did just that at the Dublin Racing Festival, a feat that puts him in some illustrious company in his yard with Hurricane Fly, Mikael D’Haguenet, Nichols Canyon and Yorkhill having done the same for Willie Mullins. That win is close to, if not, the best form on offer and with improvement likely after just three starts, he can go well if curbing a tendency to jump right.
2:10 - Notebook
The winner of both the main Irish trials for the Arkle in fast times, Notebook looks the ideal sort for the race as he both travels strongly and jumps well, while a tendency to idle in the finish means there may be even more to come. He threatened to boil over before his last start at Leopardstown and that is a concern in front of this much bigger Cheltenham crowd but it didn’t prevent him running his race then and seems overly factored into his price.
3:30 - Supasundae (each-way)
It could be a year, or even two, too late with Supasundae and the Champion Hurdle but in this season’s weak running of the race he has an each-way chance; no horse in the field has won more Grade 1s that him while he is also proven at the festival. Though only fourth on his most recent start, he is famously lazy and tends to need that first run back so can be expected to take a step forward now.