THE Cheltenham Festival began on Tuesday and the Kingsland based Champion jockey Richard Johnson didn't have the best of starts suffering an unseat from his mount Brewin’upastorm in the Arkle Challenge Chase on the first day.

The Champion Jockey, who only made his return to race-riding two weeks ago after breaking his arm in January, was unseated from Brewin'upastorm at the fourth-last fence.

Johnson after having been stood down by the racecourse doctor was replaced aboard his intended mount No Comment in the subsequent Ultima Chase and the outsider Gumball in the Champion Hurdle by Aidan Coleman.

Despite missing out on his mounts Johnson was optimistic he will be back in action on Wednesday for three rides.

He said: "I landed awkwardly and jarred the hip but I'll be absolutely fine to ride on Wednesday."

These rides include Honest Vic for trainer Henry Daly in the Coral Cup, Zoffee in the Boodles Hurdle and Adrimel in the concluding days Bumper for Much Marcle Tom Lacey.

Johnson has a ride for his Irish trainer Gordon Elliott on Thursday in the Stayers Hurdle aboard Apples Jade but his mount needs to recapture her best form to enter calculations whilst later on the card trainer Kerry Lee’s stable star Happy Diva has a live chance in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase.

As a previous course winner the Byton trained runner, due to be ridden by usual jockey Richard Patrick, will be well fancied to give her supporters a determined run for their money.

Other local interest is the Eastnor father and son partnership of trainer Matt and jockey Stan Sheppard who also have their The Bay Birch at the bottom of the handicap.

The following Mares Hurdle race sees Bromash trainer Michael Scudamore sends out his Rose and Millie, to be partnered by Brendan Powell who scored on the opening Tuesday aboard The Conditional.

The concluding race on Thursday the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase sees the Venetia Williams trained and Lucy Turner ridden One Style as an interesting entrant who is unbeaten in her last four runs and it would be no surprise to see them run well at big odds .

Sadly Johnsons intended mount, previous winner Native River is a non-runner due to injury in Friday’s showpiece the Cheltenham Gold Cup but he has an impressive book of rides for the four days and these include, Thyme Hill for his retained trainer Phillip Hobbs in Friday's Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle.