Ladbrokes' Hayley O'Connor marks your card for day 1 of Cheltenham 2015 5 years ago

Ladbrokes' Hayley O'Connor marks your card for day 1 of Cheltenham 2015

Our woman on the ground is here with all the tips you'll need for Day 1

Twice in my life I've been "papped". Clearly not because I'm a superstar (yet) but because I was in a domain of fame, and oddly enough, both were at Cheltenham. The first time I was getting off a.. wait for it... CHOPPER at the course and all these flashes started going off from where the photographers were perched, but faded fast as I drew closer.

The second was yesterday morning when I was riding out at the racecourse among the best National Hunt horses in the world. It was 8am and there were snappers everywhere by the gallops, trying to get images of these champions going through their pre-race workouts.

Myself and my charity race ride Hurricane Ridge stared wide-eyed around us as Jezki walked like a panther in front, unfazed if not charmed by the "click click clicks".

I've had some surreal moments in my life, but cantering behind the fastest winning Champion Hurdle winner at the track in Cheltenham was well up there in the Pinch-Myself Stakes.

I know I am a sentimentalist at times, and hands up, my judgement is clouded, but Jezki has to be better value than Faugheen in the betting for the Champion Hurdle today.

The highest-rated horse Faugheen has beaten is rated 161. Hurricane Fly had a mark of 173 when Jezki beat him in this last year. Granted, Faugheen is a machine, but the ground is quick and Jessica Harrington's charge is a speed merchant, so with very little in it, I'm going for the considerably better priced horse.

The opener looks almost certain to go the way of the punters and I can't find a single reason not to back Douvanin the Supreme Novices at 1:30. He's solid and not underpriced in my opinion. An each-way shot could be outsider Seedling who I think could run into some money.

Un De Sceaux in the Arkle could be the performance of the week, and I hope he does win regardless of our hefty liability on him, because it's horses like him that puts racing in people's bones. However, I'm cautious of labelling him as a 'safe bet' because he'll need total precision if he is to run and jump fences at the speed he does at the track today.

Like a sheep I'm going to follow the money on Nina Carberry's mount Very Wood in the 4:40 but I'll go against the grain in the race prior, the Mares' Hurdle taking on Annie Power because of her extended 311-day absence off the track, opting for Polly Peachum instead, putting a line through her last run.

I hope I'm better at picking out stars at the Festival than the poor photographers, but even if impostors trip us up here and there in our betting, today will be bursting with the A-listers of National Hunt, so sit back and enjoy...