It’s a big week for punters this week, especially those that like a bet on the horses as it is the Cheltenham Festival! The event gets underway on Tuesday (today) with Champions Day, followed by Ladies’ Day on the Wednesday, St Patrick’s Day on Thursday and finally Gold Cup Day, when the biggest race of the week will be contested.
However, on each day there are a number of massively important races to enjoy and in this article, we are going to take you through some of those very big races and give you our top tips for each of them.
If we can replicate our 18/1 success when backing Justin Thomas to win the Players Championship this past weekend, as we did last week, then we should be in for a very good week!
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Let’s now begin by taking a look at the biggest races across the week at Cheltenham starting with Wednesday’s Ladies Day, given that the action is already underway on the first day.
Day Two – Ladies Day
- 2.30pm – The Coral Cup
Nicky Henderson mounts have won the last two Coral Cup races and the trainer will stand a great chance in this competitive race with Craignechie and Monte Cristo. This race is always one of the most fiercely competitive of the festival and there are a number of horses that stand a good chance including Guard Your Dreams, Blue Sari, Botox Has and Birchdale. The pre-race money seems to be going on Koshari and Grand Roi but in truth, this is as open a race as is being run at the festival this week and picking a winner is tough.
Tip – Forego the winner bet here and back each way in this very open race and with that in mind Olly Murphy’s Thomas Darby (12/1) is a good bet having not finished outside the top three in its last eight races.
- 3.05pm – The Queen Mother Champion Chase
This races sees last year’s winner, and the runner up from two years ago, Politologue back to try and become the latest two-time winner of this race. Paul Nicholl’s charge has had a first and second on its return to action this season and is still one of the quality options in the field, even if Put The Kettle On is being backed a little more willingly. Nube Negra has attracted a little money too, but the quality horse in the field is Chacun Pour Soi, who has won all three races this season and will likely start the race the odds on favourite.
Tip – A nice easy one this, if the horse runs well, then this is Chacun Pour Soi’s race to lose (10/11).
Day Three – St Patrick’s Thursday
1.55pm – Pertemps Final
Although Irish horses have dominated this popular race in recent years, there is a strong British presence in this years race. Most notably led by Imperial Alcazar, trained by Fergal O’Brien who bounced back after an early season flop to win well at Warwick in January. Champagne Platinum, The Bosses Oscar and Southfield Harvest are also reckoned to be in with a good chance of success here in what should be a closely fought contest.
Tip – This is going to be a cracking race and a great start to a busy St Patrick’s Thursday, it will be close but I am tipping Imperial Alcazar (5/1) to land the win here.
2.30pm – Ryanair Chase
Few trainers have enjoyed as much success at Cheltenham over the years as Willie Mullins and the Irishman has three outstanding prospects in the Ryanair Chase in last year’s winner Min, Melon and the horse that probably has the best current form of the three Allaho. Mister Fisher, trained by Nicky Henderson, Fakir D’Oudaries and Imperial Aura are probably the three most likely challengers to the Mullins trio in what should be a very open and intriguing race.
Tip – None of the horses has perfect form heading into this race and Min’s (5/1) experience last year may well hold her in good stead here to land the win.
3.05pm – Stayers’ Hurdle
There’s really only one question to answer in the Stayer’s Hurdle this year and that is whether anybody can beat Paisley Park. He won this race back in 2019 and while he wasn’t as sharp last season, he has been back to his best this year. Looking at the field, Bacardys, who finished third last year, Flooring Porter, Lisnager Oscar and Sire Du Berlais are amongst the main challengers along with The Storyteller and Vinndication, but for me, there’s only one winner here.
Tip – Another relatively easy one to predict this one as I am backing Paisley Park (2/1) to land the win here.
Day Four – Gold Cup Day
2.30pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
There’s a very strong number of entries from Ireland and France in the Albert Bartlett this year with the likes of Alaphilippe, Adrimel, Barbados Bucks, Fakiera, Stattler, Threeunderthrufive and Torygraph all very well fancied. Of that group, Adrimel has won on all three starts thi season while Alaphilippe has four wins and a second on his most recent record. This is going to be a cracking race and I feel any of that group has a solid chance of success if they run and jump well.
Tip – A tough one to call this year in the Albert Bartlett, I do place a lot of stock in form though and as such I think Adrimel at 11/1 is the horse to back.
3.05pm – Cheltenham Gold Cup
Gold Cup day sees many viewers checking out whether Al Boum Photo can follow Best Mate into the history books as the latest horse to win three Gold Cups in a row. The horse faces a stern test from a number of rivals in this race including Champ and A Plus Tard, plus the likes of Frodon, Santini, Minella Indo, Kemboy, Native River and Royale Pagaille are all very much in with a shout. However, these chances at horse racing immortality don’t come along too often so it is one that many will be hoping Al Boum Photo can take.
Tip – Al Boum Photo has a chance to join the legends at the Cheltenham Festival and I think it is an opportunity he will just about do enough to take. Back him at 11/4.