Bookies wary of Cheltenham Festival 2021 favourites on day one

Bookmakers are wary of the favourites as several continue to be well-backed for day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Appreciate It (1.20) and Honeysuckle (3.05) are the two attracting plenty of support with Betfair.

Market leaders Shishkin (1.55) and Happygolucky (2.30) are also proving popular.

Some punters have combined the first four favourites in accumulators, while Concertista is also a short price for race five.

The final two races appear more open according to the market.

Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said: ‘’In the Festival opener, the Willie Mullins trained, Appreciate It, has been back as if defeat is out of the question and is, undoubtedly, the best backed horse of the day.

"On the Exchange, he has been matched at a high of 13/8 but is now odds-on 5/6. So far, there has been £2.5m matched in the race and 60 per cent of it has been on the hotpot from Ireland.’’

‘’In the feature event, the Champion Hurdle, off at 3.05 Honeysuckle has been smashed up on the Sportsbook and is 11/8 from 9/4.

"We have also seen plenty of cash for Alnadam is the Ultima Chase at 2.30pm, he’s 8/1 from 14/1.’’

On the weather front, light rain is expected by noon.

Cheltenham clerk of the course, Simon Claisse told ITV Racing: "We had a dry fortnight and we had a bit of rain over the weekend – so we're really pleased with the conditions.

"I said earlier that it wouldn't take a huge amount of rain to change the conditions from good to soft back to soft and that's exactly what has happened.

"The forecast today, though, after a little few spots of rain in the air at the moment, is a dry and sunny afternoon with temperatures rising up 12 or 13 degrees."

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