Plenty of Profit Potential for Punters at Cheltenham 2018
The Cheltenham Festival is increasingly becoming a major betting event, even outside of the UK and Ireland where it remains the premier horse racing festival. Wagering on the 28 races is expected to once again exceed $AUS 300 million, enough to put it in the same league as the Melbourne Cup or Kentucky Derby.
The Festival (13th-16th March) has gone from strength to strength in recent years, now comprising of 28 races, half of which are Grade 1 races. The highlights include the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers’ (World) Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Potential Cheltenham runners are discussed and scrutinised from the very moment the national hunt racing season begins in October. Below are a few who look like having a big impact this year, perhaps netting a tidy profit for those betting on the races. For an expert guide, check out the latest betting tips for Cheltenham Festival punters by Freebets.co.uk.
Irish trainer Willie Mullins, who has started to make a name for himself in the Melbourne Cup (three of his runner finished in the top 10 in 2017), is always a big fixture at the Cheltenham Festival, winning the top trainer award five times in the last seven years. One of his hot new prospects – Getabird – looks likely to be running in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (the opening race) at odds of 9/4 (3.25). The unbeaten six-year-old looks a class act and could extend Mullins’ record of five victories in the race.
Altior has now won 12 races in succession, taking in the Arkle and the Supreme Novices Hurdle in that run. He is set to take on the Queen Mother Champion Chase this year and, while that would not be in the same vein as winning the Cox Plate, Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Guineas, it would be nevertheless quite a hat-trick for Nicky Henderson’s star horse. He is currently available at 8/11 (1.72) to win the Champion Chase, but punters should beware of the talents of Min (9/4, 3.25) and, possibly, Douvan (9/2, 5.50) in the race.
The horse that has dominated all the betting chatter about potential Gold Cup winners. Might Bite won the King George VI Chase in December and looks primed to make it a special double with victory in the Gold Cup on the last day of the Festival. Worth around $AUS 1,000,000 in prize money, the Gold Cup is the most valuable non-handicap chase in the UK. It is notoriously tough to win too. While Might Bite has been given early odds of 4/1 (5.00), he should face some very stiff opposition from last year’s winner Sizing John, as well as the likes of Native River, Road to Respect and Killultagh Vic.
Un De Sceaux:
Another marvellous horse from Willie Mullins’ operation, Un De Sceaux will also be gunning for a third Cheltenham Festival win in 2018. While the 10-year-old has sometimes not delivered in the biggest races, he nonetheless has a knack for winning those just marginally below the elite level. The Grade 1 Ryanair Chase looks like his most likely options once again (he won it last year) and odds of 3/1 (4.00) could be the best value of the Festival.