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Cheltenham Festival tipping guide: Buveur D’Air has look of a champion

• Mud-loving runner will be ideally suited by heavy ground
• Outsider Ch’Tibello worth a place bet in Champion Hurdle

If there were any doubt about the state of the ground for the Cheltenham Festival, it was erased by the GoingStick reading of 5.3 taken on Monday afternoon. That is the lowest published reading at the track for five years, suggesting the surface will be even more testing than usual for midwinter racing.

Speed will have nothing to do with what happens for the next four days. Anything that wants spring ground had better wait for Aintree. The capacity to endure is what is needed, in punters as well as horses.

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