Horses To Watch At Cheltenham Festival
The Cheltenham Festival is only months away now, and already punters are looking over the biggest races to find out who they can stake their money on. If you place your money on the Kentucky Derby odds, in the US, for the bettors in the United Kingdom this event is as important. The country stops for the signature event of the Magners Gold Cup on the final day of action.
The jumps season only started in October, but from that very first race punters have already been adding their names to their list of horses to look out for in March. But, what horses should gamblers be putting their money on when the biggest festival in jumps racing starts?
Altior- Queen Mother Chase
If you’re looking for one of the sure-fire bets for the Cheltenham Festival, then you would be hard-pressed not to have money on Altior. The Nicky Henderson trained superstar has won the last two installments of this race, including last year’s success which was a length and three quarters over Politologue. His air of invincibility has slowly disappeared over recent months, but that shouldn’t put punters off the Altior.
His only defeat in his last 19 runs came as Ascot in November when he was stepped up in distance. He will likely return back to two miles for the festival, which will mean staying way clear of Cyrname who beat Altior by two and a quarter lengths. With no Cyrname in the Queen Mother Chase, Altior should win comfortably.
Min- Ryanair Chase
This race last year stole all the headlines as Bryony Frost became the first woman to win a Grade 1 event at the Cheltenham Festival, and while many punters will be hoping that she can repeat the feat aboard Frodon again, there is a serious challenger in the form of Min. The Willie Mullins-trained horse was expected to be the long-time challenger to Altior but struggled with the distance. He has been stepped up in trip and has been one of the stars of the past two months.
Min has rediscovered his very best form, and a first win at Cheltenham could be on the horizon. He produced a mesmeric performance at the Aintree Festival in April last year, as he won by 20 lengths from Politologue to win the JLT Chase, and that form has continued this season. He won the Memorial Punchestown Chase in Ireland to end 2019 and is the early favourite for the Ryanair Chase. The race has the potential to be one of the standout events of the festival, as Frodon is also in tremendous form, but Min would be the preference.
Lostintranslation- Gold Cup
The big race of the festival is also one of the most competitive betting markets. Al Boum Photo is leading the way at present, while his stablemate Kemboy is a close favourite. However, one of the most enticing runners in the race is Lostintranslation, who will be looking to avenge a narrow defeat at last year’s festival. Connections are certainly looking for new avenues for this eight-year-old as it hasn’t been able to overcome Defi Du Seuil consistently enough to stay at the same class.
The Gold Cup was also the long-term plan for Lostintranslation, and his early-season form shows that this could be the best round. Since the defeat at Cheltenham last year, he has won three of his four starts; with his only defeat coming when it was pulled up at Kempton on Boxing Day.
His odds for the Gold Cup would have been shorter if he had won that race, which means punters have a realistic winner of the signature event at a marvelous price.
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