Mar 15, 22 days ago

2017 Cheltenham Festival Preview

2017 Cheltenham Festival Preview

There’s another four days of top-class racing to look forward to this week as the Cheltenham Festival returns.
While plenty of big names are absent from this year’s Festival, there are still plenty of impressive horses looking for a share of the £4.1 million prize money. Keep reading for our Cheltenham Festival betting preview.

Four big races head Cheltenham Festival betting
A year ago, Cue Card threw away victory in the Gold Cup when falling three fences out. Paddy Brennan rides the horse again this year with Cue Card bidding to become the oldest Gold Cup winner since What A Myth in 1969.
It is likely to be one of the three favourites for the race, alongside Native River and Dkajadam who is looking to make it third-time lucky after finishing second in each of the last two Gold Cups.
There could be a huge story on Friday when 23 year old Lizzie Kelly becomes the first female jockey in 33 years to line up in the Gold Cup. Having become the first woman to win a Grade 1 event in Britain and Ireland over fences, she rides Tea For Two, a 50/1 chance.
Yanworth is the favourite for the Champion Hurdle but a better bet may be one of the two Nicky Henderson horses. Buveur D’Air is the second favourite while Brain Power has recorded two impressive wins in handicap events this season.
Few horses will go off at shorter odds this week than Douvan in Wednesday’s Queen Mother Champion Chase.
This is a race Willie Mullins has yet to win but the odds-on favourite goes on any ground, and is proven over the course and the distance having previously won the Arkle.
2015 Arkle winner Un De Sceaux went off as the odds-on favourite last year and could be a contender on soft ground while Altior and Fox Norton will also feature strongly in the betting.
Unbeaten in every start since November 2015, Unowhatimeanharry is the favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle. The eight year old is also unbeaten at Cheltenham, including a win in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett last year.
Having also won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, he is a clear favourite, from Vroum Vroum Mag and Shaneshill.
See all the odds here.

Lots of value in Cheltenham betting

After finishing fourth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last year, Tombstone is the favourite for this year’s Coral Cup and is one of the best ante-post bets of the Festival.
Gordon Elliot’s horse easily accounted for Jezki last time out despite being officially 20lbs wrong at the weights and he has only raised 1lb for that win. He will go off in Wednesday’s race with at least 7lbs in hand which means he should be backed at the 9/2 currently available.
If the inconsistencies in his jumping have been ironed out, then Yorkhill has a terrific chance in Thursday’s JLT.
He won the Neptune last year with a huge leap at the last, beating one of this week’s other ante-post favourites, Yanworth. With Ruby Walsh on board – 52 Festival wins to his name – he is a terrific bet at 5/4.
If you’re looking for a long shot to back then you could do worse than Soldier in Action in the Triumph Hurdle.
He is big and strong, won a decent handicap at Goodwood and has plenty of experience. If the weather is good and the ground dries up, the 20/1 on the Nicky Henderson 4 year-old will look like terrific value.
See all the odds here.

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