Rating the Cheltenham Festival favourites: Banker or bust?

Got your Cheltenham festival bankers sorted yet? With the countdown gathering pace, we are just four days away from the big event. We now know which horses are likely to be popular in the betting and we will try to forecast the fate of the shorties in this article.

Let’s assess the five shortest favourites from the perspective of whether they seem value at current prices.

Arkle Chase

Favourite Shishkin (odds 8-15)

Winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last year and looks a top class chaser in the making. Energumene has been withdrawn from the race due to being lame so now odds of 8-15 are unattractive. Allmankind is a sketchy jumper but if he gets a soft lead out in front, he will be very hard to peg back. Captain Guinness is also another with a ton of ability who could improve.

Verdict Bust

Mares’ Hurdle

Favourite Concertista (odds 5-6)

Powered up the hill to a stunning 12-length success in the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. Won two races stylishly this season but there has to be question marks over the form. She was impressive but was taking on quite average horses. Black Tears beat her by 5 lengths in receipt of 2lbs in a valuable Leopardstown handicap in February 2020.

Verdict Bust

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

Favourite Monkfish (odds 4-6)

Put up a stunning performance when winning the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown by 11 lengths. He seems to be getting better with each run. You can tell this by looking at the distance he is now putting between himself and Latest Exhibition. Paul Nolan’s runner went so close to beating him in the Albert Bartlett last year. Monkfish is the real deal and is a huge Gold Cup prospect for next year.

Verdict Banker

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Champion Chase

Favourite Chacun Pour Soi (odds 1-1)

Short odds to provide Willie Mullins with an elusive first victory in the feature event on day two of the Cheltenham Festival. Dominated his rivals in the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown last month and on form nothing should live with him. However, Willie has an atrocious record in this race and this will be just his first ever start around this track.

Verdict Bust

Marsh Novices’ Chase

Favourite Envoi Allen (odds 8-11)

Unbeaten superstar and if at his mercurial best will be very hard to beat. However, in light of the recent events at Gordon Elliott’s stable, a change of scenery just over a week away from the festival is not ideal. New people handling him, a new setting, everything is new. Will that upset his rhythm? I wouldn’t be willing to take 8-11 to find out. He is also facing hardened chasers. Whilst he is an amazing horse, we yet don’t truly know how good he is over fences and he’s too short to back.

Verdict Bust

Get clued up for the festival with the latest Cheltenham tips and Cheltenham free bets to get a head start on your festival punting.

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