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newscheltenham new year races 1 january tips

Cheltenham New Year Races 1 January Tips & Best Bets from All the Handicaps

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Stage Star runs at Cheltenham New Year races

There are four handicaps on the card as Cheltenham New Year races kick 2024 off with a bang, so see what our experts’ 1 January tips are below. A disappointing turnout for the the feature Premier Handicap is all about topweight STAGE STAR (NAP) following-up on his Paddy Power Gold Cup win (2:05).

Trained by Paul Nicholls, this gelding by Fame And Glory runs in the New Year’s Day Handicap Chase off an 11lb higher mark. That is unlikely to stop Stage Star in his quest to land a fourth outing over fences at Cheltenham. It’s fair to say that the best betting sites are all running scared from this horse.

There’s a ready explanation why Stage Star is feared so much by bookies. All but two of the other entries will have to run from out of the handicap. It puts most of a depleted field at a major disadvantage. Stage Star beat subsequent Coral Gold Cup hero Datsalrightgino here on Festival Trials Day last January.


He then took the Grade 1 Turners Novices’ Chase and confirmed placings with Notlongtillmay on his reappearance at the November Meeting. On all known form, there is simply no opposing Stage Star. He looks value at odds against and 6/5 with 888sport to follow-up en route to a tilt at the Ryanair Chase in March.

Matata an Exciting Prospect at Cheltenham New Year Races

Earlier on the card, the extended 2m Close Brothers Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (12:55) can go to another topweight in MATATA. Seemingly saved for a run at the home of jumps racing, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ son of Vadamos was mightily impressive on his bow over fences at Ffos Las.

Matata jumped well and made all the running in the Norton’s Coin Trophy there in October. He won with any amount in hand and was thus value for plenty more than the winning margin of 10 lengths. A 9lb rise from the handicapper actually looks lenient, as the runner-up has since scored at Newcastle after finishing fifth in a hot race at Ascot that has thrown plenty of subsequent victors.

The main danger to Matata in Libberty Hunter faces a swift turnaround with horse racing betting sites preferring the two last time out winners in the field. Owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede have retained rider Daryl Jacob again aboard the favourite. Arkle Trial second Petit Tonnerre drops in class, but needs to brush up his jumping.

Plenty points to Matata defying topweight and a mark of 143. If he takes to Cheltenham, then connections may look at the Grand Annual or aim even higher for the Arkle come the Festival. Matata probably won’t go off at anything like the 11/4 bet365 offer before final declarations with the yard enjoying such a fine season.

Progressive Inch House Also Among 1 January Tips

Cheltenham New Year races also include the extended 3m 1f Paddy Power Handicap Chase (1:30) where it’s hard to get away from the in-form INCH HOUSE. Trained by Jonjo O’Neill, this dual Newbury winner has a 17lb hike in the weights to overcome for those successes. Even though his head carriage is awkward, Inch House has bundles of talent and was bought out of Ireland for fences.

The runner-up from his Dromahane Point-to-Point success, purchased by the same connections, won over this course and distance at the December Meeting before Christmas. Inch House has a 7lb higher mark from the assessor than owner-stable companion Are U Wise To That now.

He heads the ante post betting for obvious reasons. A progressive novice is precisely what the bookies fear and Inch House tackles some relatively exposed rivals. Venetia Williams veteran Cloudy Glen is next best in the market, but vulnerable to younger legs. Irish raider Stumptown hasn’t jumped fluently since his neck second here in the Kim Muir.

Angels Breath is lightly-raced for his age, yet injuries that kept him off the track for so long may have robbed him of ability. Last year’s winner Rapper would’ve been an each way contender, but hasn’t been declared. The 11/4 with BetMGM about Inch House is again a fair price.

The Newest One an Each Way Punt

Completing our 1 January tips is November Meeting runner-up THE NEWEST ONE now given a stiffer stamina test on the New Course in the 3m Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle (2:40). Also representing the Twiston-Davies stable, this Oscar gelding stayed on up the hill and was only beaten by a length in the Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle.

Carrying silks made famous by The New One, The Newest One then finally broke his maiden tag over hurdles with a Chepstow novice success. He absolutely hacked up in South Wales, leaving his closest rival trailing some 19 lengths in his wake. As the assessor has only nudged his rating up 2lb for that, The Newest One may still be well-handicapped.

He looks a credible each way betting proposition based on that fair treatment and his previous Cheltenham effort. Butch and Ed Keeper have their own claims. Both have more to offer as a stayer too, but nothing like double figure odds with their potential. The Newest One pushed Inch House in this sphere at Chepstow last season too.

Plenty of those prominent in the betting have chances, yet the value lies with backing a local trainer. The Newest One is 11/1 with BetUK to go one better off a 7lb higher mark here. Stable conditional James Turner is aboard again and taking 7lb off with his claim.

Cheltenham New Year Races 1 January Tips

  • Stage Star (NAP) in the New Year’s Day Handicap Chase (2:05) @ 6/5 with 888sport
  • Matata in the Close Brothers’ Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (12:55) @ 11/4 with bet365
  • Inch House in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase (1:30) @ 11/4 with BetMGM
  • The Newest One (E/W) in the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle (2:40) @ 11/1 with BetUK (3 places, 1/4 odds)


Jamie Clark
Jamie Clark
Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark has been with from the very beginning and penned the very first pieces of content that appeared right here. Known for his horse racing expertise, his strong gambling knowledge comes from childhood where he was surrounded by both horses and betting. The godson of a former on-track bookmaker at Market Rasen Racecourse, Jamie ended up working in the same industry and became Sports Editor of heavyweight bookies Coral for three years before they merged with Ladbrokes. After a successful spell freelancing for other big names in the business, he helped us launch this site with his skills, experience and ability coming in useful. Read long form content across a range of betting subjects from Jamie right here.

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