Who Is The Strongest Festival Fav? + 20/1 Acca!

Paisley Park and Aidan Coleman win the Stayers' Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival

The greatest show on turf is now edging ever closer, with last weekend’s Festival Trials Day giving us plenty more to mull over.

This weekend sees the Dublin Racing Festival take centre stage – with selections for all fifteen races across the two days available on our free horse racing tips page – whilst Sandown also hosts a quality card which features the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Chase.

Taking a closer look at the Cheltenham Festival, Joe Eccles has picked out four Cheltenham Festival favourites – identifying which he feels has the strongest chance of victory, and producing a 20/1 accumulator, read his views below.

Benie Des Dieux – Mares Hurdle

Since its inception in 2008, the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle has been farmed by Willie Mullins – with the master of Closutton landing the race on nine occasions, with six of those victories coming via the legendary Quevega.

Benie Des Dieux took the prize in 2018 and would have won last year’s renewal but for falling at the final flight – she currently heads the market for this year’s renewal at a best-priced evens money.

A facile winner of the Galmoy Hurdle on her seasonal reappearance, she should prove difficult to beat if taking up this engagement, with her only real danger likely to come from Honeysuckle – albeit that mare may be Champion Hurdle bound.

Strength of chances: 9/10

Envoi Allen – Ballymore Novices Hurdle

Unbeaten in his seven starts to date, Envoi Allen has quickly developed into one of the most exciting National Hunt horses in training.

A Grade 1 hurdles winner the last twice, his likely Festival engagement is the Ballymore Novices Hurdle – a race his trainer Gordon Elliott took with fellow talking horse Samcro back in 2018.

Winner of last season’s Champion Bumper, the track will hold no fears, and he is expected to have an army of Irish fans cheering him up the famous Cheltenham hill come March.

Strength of chances: 8/10

Tiger Roll – Cross Country Chase

The much-loved Tiger Roll preserved his status as a Cheltenham Festival legend with a wide-margin victory in last year’s Cross Country Chase – adding to his Festival wins in the Triumph Hurdle, National Hunt Chase, and the 2018 Cross Country Chase.

Gordon Elliott’s dual Grand National winner is set to return to Cheltenham in March for another crack at the Cross Country, and if he arrives in the same form as last year, he should have too much for his rivals.

His main threat to a remarkable fifth Festival success is likely to come from the newly JP McManus-acquired Easysland.

Strength of chances: 8/10

Paisley Park – Stayers Hurdle

The Andrew Gemmell-owned Paisley Park brought his winning sequence to seven when taking the Cleeve Hurdle on Festival Trials Day.

An impressive winner of last season’s Stayers’ Hurdle, he is likely to be a warm order to maintain his crown in March.

At this stage, he rates as the strongest Festival favourite, albeit that could change should Benie Des Dieux be re-routed to this contest.

Strength of chances: 10/10

If you think all four horses hold strong chances of success, the combined accumulator is currently priced up at odds of 20/1 with Ladbrokes.

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