Few sports events on the planet create more of a betting frenzy than the Cheltenham Festival. It’s a veritable feast for punters for a wide variety of reasons. For a start, there are 28 quality races featuring the best jumps horses in the business. Secondly, as we saw in 2016 and 2018, bettors can really give the bookmakers a battering. Finally, the nature of national hunt racing means that some horses, trainers and jockeys get the knack of winning at Cheltenham specifically, making the betting more intriguing.
However, as with all major sporting events, the key to betting success is cutting through the hype and applying some logic to your betting. Below we are going to look at some candidates for Cheltenham races that scream value, as well as some to avoid.
One to Avoid – Tiger Roll
Possibly the biggest name in national hunt racing right now, and you can see why Tiger Roll is as low as 10/11 for Cross Country Chase. The double Grand National winner has owned this race in the past. However, his trainer Gordon Elliott doesn’t seem enthused about his preparation this season. The price is just too short to take that chance. Moreover, you would think all energy would be going towards the Grand National in April.
One to Back – Al Boum Photo
Double Gold Cup winners don’t come around too often, but Al Boum Photo really looks the type to do it again. More importantly, there is a feeling that many of his competitors just don’t have it in him to compete over the longer trip and that gruelling uphill finish. Al Boum Photo sauntered up the hill last year, and he seems in even better condition. The 9/2 from William Hill looks a gift, especially given the fact he is as low as 7/2 elsewhere.
One to Avoid – Clan Des Obeaux
You’ll hear a lot about Clan Des Obeaux potentially landing the King George VI Chase and Gold Cup double, but the former is quite a different task than the latter. Moreover, Clan Des Obeaux had little competition in a subdued version of the 2019 King George VI Chase, so take the victory with a pinch of salt. His price of 8/1 might tempt some, but the evidence of last year should turn you off.
One to Back – Envoi Allen
A best price of 5/4 (Ladbrokes) for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle shouldn’t put you off – Envoi Allen is the real deal and a future superstar. Moreover, there is always the chance to boost those odds through bookies’ promotions. Follow the link to learn what are enhanced odds. There were a few options for him going into this one, but choosing the Ballymore feels like the safe one for his connections. Victory is all but guaranteed.
One to Avoid – Abacadabras
Unless you have a superstar-in-the-making like Altior or Douvan on your hands, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle can be a little bit unpredictable. While a talented horse, Abacadabras is not in that category. He’s as low as 4/1 for the Supreme with SkyBet and a couple of other outlets, and that should be avoided. Asterion Forlonge is a much better alternative at 11/2 with William Hill.
One to Back – Faugheen
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We mentioned that one should cut through the hype, and there is always going to be that around the great Faugheen. And yet, it’s completely justified. He’s coming to the end of his career, but he is three from three over fences and can sign off in style in the Marsh Novices’ Chase. 8/1 (Betfair) is only going to shorten between now and the festival due to Faugheen’s popularity, so fill your boots and watch one of the best horses of this generation say goodbye to a crowd who absolutely adore him.