The Cheltenham Festival is upon us, and over four days the whole racing world has their eyes on what is happening at the home of national hunt racing. 28 races will be ridden, we will see both horses and jockeys putting everything on the line to try and be victorious, but who will be the ones to come out on top?
The Irish challenge once again looks to be strong, and they are sure to have many winners across the week. Their bankers for the week look to be Apples Jade and Samcro, while many others appear to have outstanding chances and are sure to be well backed. The British are going to rely on Nicky Henderson, a man who currently holds the likes of Buveur D’Air, Altior and Might Bite in his yard.
For many people, this is the best sporting week of the year, a week full of highs and lows, and one that is there to be savoured by fans of this great sport.
Buveur D’Air looks to be a great bet in the Champion Hurdle, and he will be one of the main pieces in many Cheltenham accas this week. He isn’t a great price though, which will force many people to look elsewhere for each way value. One place they may look is Elgin, a horse who has been supplemented for the race, costing the owners £20,000. He is a young handicapper, but clearly going the right way and it is interesting that he is pitched in here.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, this looks like being a good day for the Irish with Footpad, Getabird and Apples Jade all looking to have great chances, there will be many Irish doubles and trebles on those three.
All eyes on Altior here, can he dominate the two-mile chasing division for the next few years? He was hugely impressive on his seasonal debut when you consider he won’t have been any more than 80% fit and is going to take some beating. He, like Buveur D’Air, will be in many week-long accumulators.
In the other races, Samcro and Cause of Causes are both heading to the Festival with huge hopes on their backs for Irish trainer Gordon Elliott. Samcro especially will be carrying a huge amount of Irish money. For the home team, Black Corton would be a very popular winner of the RSA Chase for female jockey Bryony Frost.
The big clash in the Stayers Hurdle is Supasundae vs Sam Spinner, two horses looking to reach the top level. Both are exciting horses who have few miles on the clock, and it will be interesting to see if either can go on to dominate this race like many talented horses have done in the past.
Elsewhere, from an emotional point of view, Thursday is dominated by Cue Card. One of the most loved horses in training, going for the Ryanair Chase after failing to land a Gold Cup in recent seasons. A win for Cue Card would take the roof off Cheltenham, with huge emotional outpouring guaranteed both on the course and from those watching at home.
Gold Cup day and a chance to see who can lift the most prized trophy of the week. The youngster Might Bite takes on the older stay Native River, with many others in contention in what looks to be a wide open betting heat. This race has a little bit of everything, and it will be interesting to see what type of horse comes out on top, a class horse or an out and out stayer.
The Foxhunters Chase takes place after the big one and this is known as the amateur riders Gold Cup. The same course and distance is used, and many old favourites will be in here, all ridden by amateurs who are looking to land one of their biggest races of the season.
What Can I Watch on TV?
Tuesday 13th March – ITV, 1:30 pm
The opening day of the festival is Tuesday and you will be able to watch five races live on ITV like you will every single day of the festival. The racing begins with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, and the feature on day one is the Champion Hurdle, a race Buveur D’Air will be looking to win for the second time.
Wednesday 14th March – ITV, 1:30 pm
The second day of the festival centres around the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the star attraction in this one is Altior. He could be set to dominate this division for the next few years, and for many punters, he is a banker of the meeting.
Thursday 15th March – ITV, 1:30 pm
This is a hugely popular day, with a huge Irish contingent coming over to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The feature is the Stayers Hurdle, where the Irish will be hoping Supasundae can bag them a victory in the race, while British hopes mainly rest with the young up and coming Sam Spinner. The real storyline on Thursday though could be Cue Card in the Ryanair Chase. A Hugely popular veteran of the game, there won’t be a dry eye in attendance if he can get his head in front.
Friday 16th March – ITV, 1:30 pm
The Gold Cup features on the final day of the festival, the race of the week as far as attention and interest goes. We have the young vs the old, the British vs the Irish, class horses vs grinding stayers, this race has it all and is sure to be a huge spectacle that many will tune in for.
On Tuesday the Irish will be looking to get off to a great start with Getabird (15/8), Footpad (5/4) and Apples Jade (8/13) all looking to have strong hopes. Those horses along with Buveur D’Air (4/7) will form many accumulators, both on the day and for the entire week. While it is only the first day of four, the Tuesday will shape betting for the week, punters will want to get off to a great start and there are many strong fancies for people to get stuck into.
On Wednesday Altior is the main attraction and he is currently priced up at 8/11. One of the biggest Irish fancies this week is Samcro in the first race, and he is currently a 4/6 shot. Expect to see plenty of doubles on those two this Wednesday, and like the first day, these two races will shape the battle between punters and bookmakers for the rest of the week.
Sam Spinner (9/2) and Supasundae (5/1) will battle it out on Thursday in the Stayers Hurdle and there is sure to be plenty of money for them. Both look to have great futures and this could be the day that they make it to the top table in racing. Elsewhere, those hoping Cue Card can land a fairytale win can back him at 7/1 to do so, a win that would please everyone within racing.
Friday is Gold Cup day and right now Might Bite (7/2) is the favourite over Native River (11/2). As we get more rain over the week that may change, with money coming for Native River who is proven on soft ground. Elsewhere, other soft ground horses include Definitly Red (16/1) and Total Recall (16/1) so those two could also prove to be popular as punters back according to the weather.
Getabird 50/1 to Win Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Ladbrokes
Those who are looking to open a new account in preparation for the Cheltenham Festival may want to take a look at this offer from Ladbrokes. It is available to new account holders only, and when you sign up with Ladbrokes you have the chance to back Getabird at a huge 50/1 for the opening race of the festival. This is a far bigger price than is available elsewhere, and if you fancy Getabird then you really need to be taking a look at this great deal.
Buveur D’Air 50/1 to Win Champion Hurdle – Coral
Another offer for those wanting to open a new account is with Coral and this centres around the feature race on day one. This offer is with Coral, and they are offering a huge 50/1 on Buveur D’Air to win the Champion Hurdle, and right now he is odds-on to do so, so this is a huge price. He is looking for back to back wins in the race, is fancied by many and if you fancy him too then this will give you a great deal on him winning the race.
Double You Winnings on Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – William Hill
The first race of the festival is the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and it is always a big betting heat. William Hill are offering both new and existing customers the chance to double their winnings on the first race of the festival, and this will be paid out in cash. This only applies to the first bet you place on the race, but it is a great way for punters to get some extra cash if they are lucky enough to back the winner, something that will set you up brilliantly for the week ahead.
Money Back on All Losers in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Coral
Coral are offering a special on the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle too, and their special is that they will give money back on all losers in the Supreme. If you back a loser then you will be given your money back as a free bet, to a maximum of £25. This is a great offer from Coral, available to new and existing customers and is effectively them giving you a no risk bet on the first race of the week.