Betting on the Cheltenham Festival allows punters to pick certain trainers to scoop up several wins with their selection of horses, and many of the Cheltenham betting offers involve enhancements on certain trainers to pick up several wins throughout the week. This article covers the trainers worth keeping an eye on in this year’s Festival.
Irishman Gordon Elliott was the most successful trainer at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival when saddling six winners. This article discusses his plans for the forthcoming meeting and those of other trainers likely to feature prominently during the four-day fixture.
Samcro has been mentioned as the most likely winner of the meeting for Elliott with the horse unbeaten under National Hunt rules, and with his intended target being the Ballymore Properties Novice Hurdle on Wednesday. He has barely been troubled to win his three hurdle races this season.
Among the other more high-profile contestants from the stable, Apple’s Jade is considered a decent bet to retain the OLBG Mares Hurdle on the opening day while Cause Of Causes will seek to repeat his win of last season in the Glenfarclass Cross Country. He has also registered two other previous wins at the Festival.
The Irish trainer saddled the winners of seven races at the 2016 festival which was one fewer than his performance in 2015, but his stable then suffered from the withdrawal of the Michael O’Leary Gigginstown House Stud horses. Yet, he has recovered from that setback with several fancied horses for this festival.
Getabird could remain unbeaten over hurdles by claiming the opening race of the week as he is favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, while Mullins could also win the following race with Footpad who has yet to be beaten over fences ahead of the Arkle. Other horses to note are previous festival winners Faugheen (Champion Hurdle) and Douvan (Queen Mother Champion Chase) but with question marks regarding the fitness with both horses. Meanwhile, Un De Sceaux will attempt to retain his Ryanair Chase title
Younger horses to watch include Laurina (Mares Novices Hurdle) and two impressive juveniles in the Triumph Hurdle (Stormy Ireland and Saldier), whereas Mullins has entered both Killultagh Vic and Total Recall in the Gold Cup and they can be considered live contenders.
Several winners are expected to emerge from the Henderson yard during Festival week and he is favourite to saddle a big race hat-trick with Buveur D’air (Champion Hurdle), Altior (Queen Mother Champion Chase) and Might Bite (Cheltenham Gold Cup).
Among his other fancied runners are both Apple’s Shakira and We Have A Dream in the Triumph Hurdle, with the former horse winning all three of his previous juvenile contests at Cheltenham. Chef Des Obeaux is another young horse to note in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle on the final day after winning easily over a similar distance is his past two outings.
Paul Nicholls was responsible for Festival stars such as Kauto Star, Denman and Big Bucks in past seasons, but he has not been so successful in recent years. However, Nicholls should not be underestimated with Black Corton considered as one of his better bets at the meeting in the RSA Chase after impressing at Ascot is his previous appearance.
The consistent Frodon could emerge as a decent each-way hope in the Ryanair Chase as with Politologue in the Champion Chase, while Pacher Du Polder is expected to feature in the Foxhunters Chase after winning the race last season. Yet, Virak is considered a better prospect for that contest having won both of his starts this season with Wonderful Charm hoping to improve upon his second position from 2017.
The West Country Trainer is hopeful of Cue Card repeating his efforts of 2013 when he won the Ryanair Chase, whereas Native River is fancied to improve upon this third-placed effort in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup after a much lighter campaign this term. Both horses displayed their well-being in recent races after long absences.
Tizzard’s horses have lately emerged from a poor period of form and Grand Vision could prove to be a worthwhile each-way bet in the Foxhunters Chase with the grey gelding winning twice and finishing second in his three races this season.
The Irish trainer will hope to repeat her Cheltenham Gold Cup success of last season with Sizing John, although the horse ran poorly in his previous race at Leopardstown. Stable mate Our Duke has emerged as viable alternative after winning his last race at Gowran Park.
Harrington will also be represented by Supasundae in the Stayers Hurdle with the horse beating Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle during February.
Veteran horse The New One has been earmarked for the Stayers Hurdle after featuring in the last four renewals of the Champion Hurdle. He has completed six previous victories at Cheltenham racecourse and although he won in the Haydock mud during January, he has yet to feature in a race over three miles or more.
Ballyoptic could be a worthwhile each-way option in the RSA Chase as he was challenging Black Corton in an early season race at Cheltenham before a last fence blunder. He recently returned to form when winning at Wetherby.
Former flat horse Redicean has won all three of his juvenile hurdles at Kempton, but King is hopeful of a bold display in the Triumph Hurdle. Yanworth is more likely to feature in the Stayers Hurdle after failing to convince over fences and he started favourite for last season’s Champion Hurdle before finishing seventh.
Other trainers worth watching at the meeting include Harry Whittington, Ben Pauling, Harry Fry and Henry De Bromhead while Northern raiders Ruth Jefferson, Brian Ellison and Jedd O’Keefe are hopeful of at least one success.