Eye On Cheltenham Festival – 17th January

In this series of articles we will look at some of the main winners and losers to come out of this weekend’s big race meetings and see how these performances have affected their chances of scoring a festival victory, when Cheltenham comes around in March. All these thoughts will be utilised to help us pick our Cheltenham festival betting for the big event!

Cheltenham Betting Positives

Willie Mullins trained Black Hercules jumped really well throughout to claim his second win of the season, winning the Listed Race at Warwick. The odds-on favourite was challenged late on by a very game Definitely Red, but was never overly worried, kicking on after the last to win by three lengths. He’s currently the 6/1 favourite for the National Hunt Chase, but he looks more suited to a shorter trip. The RSA looks his most likely destination and after this impressive win, his odds have really come in, from 25/1 at the start of the week, he can now be found at a shortest price of 8/1.

L’Ami Serge made his second reappearance of the season, easily winning at Wetherby from a starting price of 1/6. This was the second easy win for Nicky Henderson’s highly rated six year old and he looks in good shape to improve on last year’s fourth place in the Supreme Novices Hurdle. L’Ami Serge’s Arkle odds have moved in from 10’s to as low as 6/1, making him the second in the betting, behind the odds on favourite Douvan. Douvan beat him easily at the festival last year, a rematch looks like a very realistic and exciting prospect.

The final qualifying race in the Pertemps series was won by Mark Bradstock’s Flintham. The seven year old made all off the top weight, holding off a much lighter Pobbles Bay and staying strong over the final fence to take victory. Missed Approach is currently the 8/1 favourite for the final series event on day three of Cheltenham win, but this has seen Flintham’s odds slashed from 33/1 to 16/1 with some bookmakers.

There were also good wins for the Venetia Williams trained Gardefort, and Russe Blanc, who provided Kerry Lee with a second Grade race winning weekend in a row. Sempre Medici didn’t always look like an odds-on favourite in his race at Naas, but finished very strongly to win by five lengths. He looks set for another crack at the County Hurdle where he finished sixth as a 33/1 shot, his odds for this year’s race have shortened from 25/1 to as short as 16s.

Finally, the big race over in Naas was won by Roi Des Francs, who prevailed over the 4/7F, landing his second Graded victory in just under a year. This performance has seen his odds for the RSA slide in from 25s to 12s, as well as coming in from 12/1 to as short as the 5/1 second favourite for the National Hunt Chase.

Thomas Hobson - Cheltenham betting tips

Thomas Hobson’s jumping still fails to impress

Cheltenham Betting Negatives

The losing odd-on favourite in that Naas race was Pont Alexandre. The eight year old wouldn’t have been too rusty going into the Grade 2 Novice Chase at Naas, having already claimed an easy winner in December, but a poor jumping display saw him finish second in the three horse race. This has seen his odds for the RSA dramatically drop, from 8/1 at the start of the day to much lower 20/1 mark.

Despite claiming a one-two in the feature Leamington Spa Hurdle, Willie Mullins won’t be too encouraged. Thomas Hobson made all, looking very impressive for three quarters of the race. But the ground and trip eventually took its toll, his jumping became erratic as he tired on the approach to the finish line. Second placed Open Eagle was in prime position to take advantage, but he too struggled down the home straight and failed to pass his flagging stable mate.

Hobson’s odds for the Neptune have come in from 25/1 to 14s, but he doesn’t look like a credible title challenger. Open Eagle was as short as 14/1 for the Supreme Novices, but can now be found at a shortest prices of 25/1. The favourite going into the Warwick race was Born Survivor, but he was disappointing and never really featured, eventually finished fourth. This poor display has seen his Neptune odds slip from 33s to a 50/1 outsider.

Previous Eye On Cheltenham Festival Articles

10th January – feat. Min, Ptit Zig, Mountainous and Adrien Du Pont

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