While the Cheltenham Festival is almost upon us i am going to look into each day of the racing, explaining where the value in the markets is and give knowledge to the speculation of what horses will be in what races due to the upcoming supplementation of the horses.
The first race of the Festival is the Supreme Novices’Hurdle and leading the Betting is Willie Mullins 4/1 shot Melon, this horse has won two out of its five starts and under Willie Mullins knowing his reputation at Cheltenham has a strong chance.
Nonetheless this Supreme Novices Hurdle will be the closest it has been for a long time as behind him in the early betting is Moon racer who has been heavily tipped at 4/1 for Trainer David Pipe who has won four out its last five and poses a massive threat, with this also at 4/1 on many bookmakers sites is Neon wolf for Harry Fry who has won four out of its last four but would before the ground to have a slight bit of rain in it.
Other horses to look out for in the first race of the day are Ballyandy at 5/1 for the experienced Nigel Twiston-Davies and For the past leading Trainer Paul Nicholls 8/1 outsider Movewiththetimes. These are the horses to look out for if they are all supplemented in this race.
The eagerly anticipated second race of the day is the Racing Post Arkle Trophy where the strong favourite and banker of the festival for many punters is the glorious Altoir at 2/7 trained by Nicky Henderson, who for many is being tipped to be the leading trainer at this years meeting. Altoir is speculated to be ridden by Jockey Nico De Boinville.
Other leading contenders in the Arkle are last years Neptune Investment Management Novices winner Yorkhill at 3/1 for Willie Mullins who is usually ridden by Jockey Ruby Walsh and Each Way contender Charbel at 8/1, but i cant see anyone catching Altior in this one.
The Ultima Handicap Chase is the third race of the day and this is race is still very widely speculated as to what horses are going to be in this race. However noticeable names that are in the mix for this one are Champers On Ice at 10/1 for David Pipe, The Druids Nephew at 10/1 for Trainer Neil Mulholland, Henri Parry Morgan who goes off at 12/1 for Peter Bowen and last years Cheltenham winner Un Temps Pour Tout at 12/1 again for David Pipe. these are the standout names who could potentially be racing in the Ultima.
One of the biggest races of the day is the fourth race on Tuesday. The Champion Hurdle. Leading the betting is owner J P Mcmanus’s Yanworth at 3/1 who has something to prove after his disappointing second in the Neptune at last years festival. Close behind Yanworth is the 4/1 shot Buveur D’Air for Nicky Henderson who has really strong claims in this years race.
Other leading contenders in this race that is tightly contested is Henry De Bromhead’s golden horse Petit Mouchoir who at 5/1 to one for me is a solid Each Way bet. One of Willie Mullins strongest horses Vroum Vroum Mag could be supplemented into this ahead of the Mares hurdle and is best priced at 7/1. Another strong Each Way shot is previous Cheltenham winner The New one who is currently at 16/1 in the market and loves it round this track.
Moving on to the next race is The Mares Hurdle. Willie Mullins if he supplements Both horses should have a first and second here. Limini leads the betting at 5/4 after last years triumphant win on the Thursday and Mullins second claim is VVM who in this race is 2/1. the only horse from the markets that could supposedly catch the two is Gordon Elliot’s Apples Jade who is at a 5/2 starting price.
The sixth race of the day is the JT Mcnamara National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase. where again this race is all on speculation compared to others a lot of different horses could be put in. leading claims in the market are coming from A Genie In A Bottle at 9/2 for Owners Gigginstown House Stud. noticeable names that could be supplemented are Bigbadjohn at 12/1 and Bellshill at 14/1 for Willie Mullins.
The last race of the day is the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. this is again another race of speculation however the favourite at the moment is Foxtail Hill at 7/1 for Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. Noticeable name Itsafreebee is 10/1 for Dan Skelton.
Overall the roar on the Tuesday to start the festival is always breath-taking and lets hope that this festival is as good or if not better than any we have ever seen before.