Tag Archives: Cheltenham Festival

4 Cheltenham Festival Races Irish Horses Are Expected to Dominate in 2019

Cheltenham Festival winners’ enclosure” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Carine06.

A prevailing trend at the Cheltenham Festival in recent years is for Irish trained horses to absolutely tear it up when they come over to England.

Nothing illustrates that better than the fact that the Prestbury Cup – a trophy awarded either to Great Britain or Ireland for the most winners at each Festival – has gone back to the Emerald Isle in each of the last three years.

Although there’s still a while to go until Cheltenham 2019, with the Festival taking place between March 12 and 15, some races already have a strong Irish presence in the futures betting. With that in mind, here are four Cheltenham Festival races in particular where Irish raiders are set to dominate.

Mares’ Hurdle

All but one previous running of the Mares’ Hurdle over two-and-a-half miles have been won by horses trained in Ireland since the race was added to the Festival in 2008.

Irish champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins especially targets this event and has won it nine times before with four different horses.

Despite possible Mares’ Hurdle contenders Laurina, Limini, and Stormy Island joining 2018 winner Benie Des Dieux in his Closutton stable, it’s former charge and now Gordon Elliott trained Apple’s Jade that is a hot betting favourite with bookmakers.

Cross Country Chase

Another Festival race where the Irish really have dominated is the Cross Country discipline. A thoroughbred horse needs abundant stamina in its pedigree in order to last home for three-and-three-quarter miles.

Although run as a handicap until become a conditions race in recent years, all but two renewals have gone to Emerald Isle based horses.

Subsequent Aintree Grand National hero Tiger Roll is the +250.00 favorite with Paddy Power to win the Cross Country two years running for Elliott and owners Gigginstown House Stud.

However, the improving My Hometown and relative Cross Country discipline veteran Josie’s Orders head a strong contingent from the specialist stable of Enda Bolger and another of Ireland’s leading owners JP McManus.

While British and French-trained horses have done well in the Cross Country handicaps run at other Cheltenham race meetings, off level weights it’s easy to why Irish runners with experience of bank races do so well.

Stayers’ Hurdle

The British staying hurdle division – that is horses over the smaller National Hunt obstacles running at around three miles – looks very weak this year.

While a home contender looks sure to emerge from the pack in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot over the Christmas period, it’s no surprise to find five Irish trained horses towards the head of the betting.

Leading those is 2018 winner Penhill for Mullins and his stable has won the Stayers at Cheltenham in each of the last two seasons.

While he needs minimal racetrack prep, popular veteran Faugheen would bring the house down were he to win this at current futures Cheltenham odds of 10/1 with Paddy Power.

Last year’s second Supasundae is a highly consistent hurdler at Grade 1 level across a variety of distances for Jessica Harrington, meanwhile, and Elliott may have a hand to play too.

The aforementioned mare Apple’s Jade, if the owners are bold enough to take on the geldings, would have claims if lining up, alongside the highly-regarded Samcro.

Ryanair Chase

While the last three Ryanair Chase winners were all Ireland based, there’s another factor in play for the 2019 running.

Many owners and trainers will want to avoid reigning Queen Mother Champion Chase star Altior, who is the undisputed king of the two-mile division.

That means stepping horses up in trip to the Ryanair’s extended two-and-a-half miles as a result.

Again, the first four in Paddy Power’s Ryanair Chase betting are all Irish trained and headed by John Durkan Memorial winner Min.

The last two Ryanair winners Balko Des Flos and Un De Sceaux may lineup again, alongside Henry De Bromhead trained talent Monalee and the highly-regarded Footpad.

Cheltenham Festival Tips and Predictions

Even if you’re not entirely invested in betting on horse racing, the opportunity to bet on some of the bigger race meetings is something that a lot of people will take an interest in. This is an occurrence that’s been proven through the sudden interest that vast numbers of people take in the Aintree Grand National when it arises, where it seems like everyone across the UK will place their bets on a horse to win or finish each-way.

In terms of festivals, Cheltenham Festival is likely to be the only horse racing event where everyone remains engrossed from start to finish. If you’re yet to try your hand at backing your own Cheltenham Festival tips, it’s not something that you should completely rule out, as it’s certainly worth considering due to the fun that can be had from horse racing betting when it’s done responsibly.

Whether you’re a regular punter with an eye for winning horse tips, or if you like the thought of having a go and seeing what all the fuss is about, we’ve considered the factors that make betting on Cheltenham Festival tips so worthwhile:

More than one hotly-contested race meeting

Although the Cheltenham Gold Cup is undoubtedly the biggest race at Cheltenham Festival, there’s more races to indulge in, with it being one of the only festivals where it’s not primarily focused on one race ahead of all others. This is very different to Aintree Festival, where everything hinges on the massively popular Grand National.

Bookmaker odds available months in advance

If you’re interested in betting on The Festival to such a point that you want to lock in your bets as soon as possible, you’ll be able to do this on most bookmaker websites and apps months before all horses are even confirmed to race. By doing this, experienced punters are able to get the best available price before anything changes, but it’s unlikely that any newcomers to betting on horse racing will be quite so keen.

Plenty of places to pick up a tip and back your bets

Building your own Cheltenham Festival tips is possible through the many websites that provide all of the statistics and form necessary prior to placing your bets. While it’s to be expected that you might have a go at making your own bets, there are other means of finding a Cheltenham bet, including on the many horse tipster websites on the internet. The same can be said for backing your bets, where bookmaker websites and apps come in high numbers to accommodate you in choosing the one that best suits your needs.

Cheltenham Festival: No Horsing Around

If ever in doubt about the popularity of horse racing and the excitement it evokes in enthusiasts, bookmakers, and pundits, it is important to note that even with six months to go for the Cheltenham Festival, punters are already analysing horses and jockeys, looking for the next big bet.

March 12th will see the commencement of the four-day festival that is considered one of the top racing events in the entire world. Cheltenham Festival, in comparison with the Grand National, is more local with few international entries. It also has more hurdle races unlike the flat tracks of other competitions. These differences make Cheltenham a lot more challenging and thrilling for jockeys as well as bettors who have more than 25 races to place bets on, increasing their chances of winning.

Altior

Punters are eagerly awaiting March 13, 2019 to see Altior in action at the Cheltenham Festival. With odds of 6/4, he is already a favourite among bookmakers to win the all-important Queen Mother Champion Chase. Altior dominated the Champion Chase during the festival in 2018 coming in first and had won the Arkle Chase year before that. With speed and stamina both evident in every stride, punters need to keep a keen eye on this one as he is bound to perform spectacularly in 2019 as well.

Samcro

Samcro has been one of the most debated horses in the competition. Whether he will run in the Gold Cup or should he wait out another year, everyone associated with horse racing has been discussing his future and second-guessing decisions taken by the owners. Nevertheless, he remains a favourite when it comes to the Arkle Trophy with 5/1 odds and the RSA Chase with 8/1 odds, both of which are undoubtedly favourites when it comes to betting. Trained by the legendary Gordon Elliott, Samcro won the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdles in 2018 in a remarkable manner, making him the one to look out for.

Midnight Bite

The “big one” at the Cheltenham Festival is the Gold Cup. A dream win for every jockey, trainer, and horse, it is hotly contested, on the field and in the stands. For a punter too, this is the ultimate race to partake in at the festival and Cheltenham betting offers for 2019 are already looking positive with options that can add to the winnings. The nine-year-old Midnight Bite is presently the favourite with 5/1 odds having come in second at last year’s Gold Cup. He is followed closely by Presenting Percy, another horse that has proven its popularity, and Native River, both of whom are listed at 6/1 odds.

Commander of Fleet

Not ignoring some of the other races that are part of this institutional festival, Commander of Fleet is among bookmakers’ choice for winning the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at 16/1 odds and also the Champion Bumper with 25/1 odds. The “smaller” races are an excellent opportunity for bettors to further their winnings and with limited horses running, they require less analysis, which is a big bonus. But, do keep in mind that Cheltenham is an experience that not only consists of racing but also dance, music, food, and even shopping, so make sure you enjoy every aspect of this great festival.

The Cheltenham Festival vs. the Grand National

The Cheltenham Festival is a United Kingdom meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar that takes place annually in March at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The meeting usually coincides with Saint Patrick’s Day. The Cheltenham Festival originated in 1860 when the National Hunt Chase was first held at Market Harborough. It was initially titled the Grand National Hunt Meeting and took place at several locations since its institution.

The Stayers’ Hurdle, first ran in 1912, is the oldest race from the Cheltenham festival that is currently a championship race. The Gold Cup, established in 1924, was originally a supporting race for the County Hurdle which was the main event of the first day, but that quickly changed and in the following seasons it became a championship race; however, for many years it was still used by the trainers as a preparation race for the Grand National. The Cheltenham Festival race prize money is second only to the Grand National, also a National Hunt horse race held annually in April at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. Its course over which the race is run features much larger fences than those found on conventional National Hunt tracks like The Cheltenham Festival.

Until 2005 The Cheltenham Festival had traditionally been held over the course of three days, but this changed with the introduction of a fourth day, meaning there would be one championship race on each day, climaxing with the Gold Cup on that Friday in March.

Unlike Royal Ascot and many other top flat racing events in Britain and Ireland, the Cheltenham Festival does not have a history of attracting many international contenders. Races held in the United States are flat races unlike the hurdle and steeplechase races in the UK.

The number and type of races at the Cheltenham Festival has changed dramatically over the years of its existence. It has grown from a two-day meeting to a four-day meeting. In 2017, there were 28 races.

Cheltenham Festival – 4 West Ham Players Try Commentary

Four West Ham United Football (UK Soccer) Club players try their hand at English horse racing commentary and see how difficult it is to be a race horse broadcaster.

Below is a video showing ITV Racing’s Richard Hoiles attempt to teach West Ham players Joe Hart, Patrice Evra, Mark Noble and James Collins how to do horse racing commentary. As we horse lovers know, horses don’t come in large variety of colors, so it can be hard to determine what horse is racing and is coming down the winning stretch.

To assist these ‘newbie’ broadcasters in accuracy, Richard Hoiles displays the players a flip chart overviewing how to determine the differences in the horses via showing a horse’s racing silk colors, a horse’s markings and head gear worn, and emphasizing enthusiasm.

The men had 5 minutes to study a chart describing the horses and jockeys in the race for reference. Then each player went in the booth to do their own commentary watching a classic Cheltenham betting moment.

It is a riot watching the players learning the basics before taking their exam. But who would end up top of the class, and who would have to stay behind to do extra homework? Hint – check out defender Patrice Evra.

Watch the video to find out:


Betway Insider

The Latest Hot Tips for the Cheltenham Festival

As each day passes, the updates on the runners and riders for the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival come in thicker and faster. Many of the most fancied horses hold entries for two or even three races, with the owners and trainers keeping their options open as to which horses they will ultimately run where.

Often, it is a case of choosing between a better chance of victory in a support race and an outside shot of glory in one of the big money showcase events, and it is intriguing to watch the agonizing decision making as the entries slowly but surely fall into place.

This final jostling also has a major impact on the betting odds – after all, if a strong horse holds an entry for a minor race, it will inevitably be a favorite, and if the trainer withdraws it, the field suddenly becomes wide open.

An expert eye to make sense of it all

The Festival has the eyes of the racing world upon it from all corners of the globe, but to get a feel for the latest developments and gossip, it is important to have a source of information that’s close to the action. Racing Tips has a team of experts monitoring the news from the top stables, and keeping track of the bookmakers to provide a constant stream of festival predictions in the run up to the great event. Here are some of the latest stories that have attracted their attention.

Getabird to take flight

The news that Harry Fry has had to withdraw If The Cap Fits from the Supreme Novices Hurdle removes the biggest obstacle for Getabird in the opening race of the festival. Anything can happen in this race, and outside shots have a habit of doing well, so it is by no means a foregone conclusion. But the Mullins trained gelding has always been a warm favorite, and the withdrawal of the horse seen by bookies as his closest rival has pushed the temperature up a couple of degrees.

More questions than answers in the Stayers

A couple of weeks ago, we ran through the favorites for the key races, and Sam Spinner was at the top of the tree for the Stayers Hurdle on Thursday. That has been turned on its head by a number of factors. Supasundae’s fabulous win in Dublin has contributed to make the horse the new favorite among bookmakers, while Alan King’s decision that Yanworth will be a runner has also sent the oddsmakers into a spin. The advice from the tipsters? Ignore the battle for the favorites and place an each way bet on Nicky Henderson’s L’Ami Serge – with all the jostling higher up the betting card, this horse is still being offered at 12/1 and that’s just too good to refuse, particularly given that Henderson seems quietly confident in this one.

Cue Card in the RyanAir

One of the best loved horses on the circuit, everyone would love to see the 12-year-old Cue Card romp to glory in the Gold Cup, and no one more so than trainer Colin Tizzard, who didn’t have a single winner at last year’s festival. He is sorely tempted, and told reporters: “There is no reason why we shouldn’t go for the biggest one. Is that harder to win than the Ryanair?” The answer is that yes, it is, and this is one occasion when the head needs to rule the heart. The rumors are that Cue Card is likely to be withdrawn from the Gold Cup and race in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday, particularly given the news that Waiting Patiently, the horse that narrowly beat him to glory in the Ascot Chase last week, is now a doubtful starter.

Meri Devie Finds Form to Give Mullins Added Hope for Champions Day

With the Cheltenham Festival getting ever closer, all the talk is centering around just how many more trophies legendary trainer Nicky Henderson will add to his already overflowing cabinet. Over the years, he has trained a remarkable 55 Cheltenham winners, and with favorites like Might Bite, Buveur D’Air and Altior tipped to win the showcase races, there is every chance that he will take the tally above 60 this year.

A flying start for Ireland?

However, his long-term rival Willie Mullins is determined that Henderson will not have everything his own way. The Irishman is only seven winners behind Henderson in the all-time Cheltenham stakes, and as they cast their eye over the Tuesday race card, the tipsters at Cheltenhamracing.net think that Champions Day provides Mullins with the best opportunity to chalk up some early winners before his arch-rival has a chance to unleash the big guns.

Getabird and Footpad are two horses that are early favorites, but there could be some surprises later in the day, if Meri Devie can repeat the promise she showed at Punchestown last week. Let’s take a closer look at Mullins’ chances on the opening day of the festival.

Supreme Novice Hurdle

The opening race at Cheltenham is always something extra special, and has a real carnival atmosphere. It is also a tough one to call, with a large field and a track that is something of an unknown quantity till it has been seen in use. There are still more than 50 horses in contention, but Willie Mullins’ Getabird is the favorite among bookmakers and the UK media.

Mullins has also entered Duc des Genievres and Laurina, both of which are enjoying shortening odds and could certainly be worth a look as each way bets.

The Arkle 

After the frenzied action of the opening race, there is a feeling of the festival settling down into a rhythm with The Arke, an altogether calmer affair, with a far smaller field of entrants. Here, bookmakers are strongly leaning towards Mullins making it two out of two. Footpad was the early favorite when the runners were first announced, and has remained at the top of the betting cards ever since. As the days have gone by, the odds have shrunk steadily, and few are now offering anything better than even money.

If any horse can spoil the party, most eyes are on Petit Mouchoir, who ran Footpad desperately close at Leopardstown last year. But don’t overlook Brain Power. He might not be Nicky Henderson’s most famous horse at the festival, but those in the know think he could have the makings of a future star.

Mare’s Hurdle

Last year’s mare’s hurdle was won by the Gordon Elliot trained Apples Jade, and she is favorite to make it two in two years. However, Meri Devie’s strong performance in Dublin after an otherwise inconsistent season gives Mullins another opportunity to steal a march on Henderson. Mullins commented that she jumped well, and he feels she is ready to show what she can do at the next level. The distance is longer, but he said: “Two and a half miles is no problem to her.” Some bookmakers are offering odds as long as 40/1. Does the Irish trainer know something they don’t?

The Champions Hurdle

So what of the showpiece race on Champions Day? From the word go, the pundits have said Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air will romp to a second successive victory. Does Mullins have a horse that can pull off an upset? Henderson himself certainly thinks so, and the bookmakers agree that Faugheen is one to watch. The 10-year-old suffered a dip in form at the Dublin festival, but Henderson knows that if anyone can bring the horse to peak fitness at the right time, it is his long time friend and rival.

Nicky Henderson Remains Tight Lipped about Terrefort’s Cheltenham Chances

The Cheltenham Festival is looming ever closer, and champion trainer Nicky Henderson has more at stake than anyone. Over the past 40 years, he has trained countless Cheltenham winners, and 2018 looks set to be no different – he has trained three of the favorites from the four showcase festival races.

But while Might Bite, Buveur D’Air and Altior have dominated the racing media to date, there is a growing question mark over one of the most promising five-year-olds in racing. Will the exciting Terrefort even take to the track at this year’s festival?

The view from bookmakers and tipsters

Despite still being a month away, there are new tips available every day in the run up to Cheltenham. The team at Cheltenham Fest provide expert insight for all the races, and feel that the real drama will come from the support races, such as the RSA Chase on Ladies’ Day, and the JLT Novices Chase, which is the first race of the day on Thursday. Both are races in which Terrefort is provisionally entered, but Henderson has warned that this highly promising gelding might miss the festival entirely.

About Terrefort

Henderson is a man who knows a winning horse when he sees one, and Terrefort could be something very special. He only took over training the horse a month ago, but has already seen him win twice, at Huntingdon and Sandown. The Sandown win, in particular, was impressive, and Henderson will be careful not to overwork the youngster.

Henderson commented that Terrefort needs to run on soft ground to avoid risk of injury. He complemented the owners, saying they support his decision either way and added: “He has surprised us a lot, and it might be worth looking after him a bit.”

Who to back?

If Henderson decides to keep Terrefort back till Cheltenham 2019, which horses are the ones to watch in the RSA Chase and the JLT Novice Chase? The Anthony Honeyball trained Fountains Windfall is the horse that has attracted all the early discussion. He beat some high-quality opposition at Kempton last month, to win by five lengths in the 32Red.com Handicap Chase. Bookmakers are now quoting 8/1, and the odds are ever-shortening. Monalee, trained by Henry De Bromhead, is another to watch, after a fabulous win at the Dublin Festival last week.

As for the JLT Novice Chase on St Patrick’s Day, punters, bookmakers and tipsters are all eyeing up Willoughby Court. Trained by Ben Pauling, this horse is undoubtedly another star for the future, and if he doesn’t go up against Terrefort this time around, there will be plenty more opportunities. A six-year-old gelding, he shocked everyone with some big wins at Warwick and Cheltenham last year. The latter was one of the classic races of 2017, as he and Neon Court slugged it out all the way for a near photo finish. Bookmakers have already slashed their odds to 4/1, making him the runaway favorite.

Get Ready for Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival

Mention the Cheltenham Festival to a non-racing fan, and they will immediately think of glamourous ladies in extravagant dresses and hats, sipping champagne as they watch the action. The showcase event of the day is the Queen Mother Champions Hurdle, a race named in honor of the late wife of King George VI. She was a fanatical racegoer and was a familiar face for TV audiences around the world.

Picking the winners

Her Royal Highness did not just attend for the fun and champagne; she also loved to place wagers on her favorite runners, and thousands will be following in her footsteps this year. There are seven races on Ladies’ Day, and with tips for every race, the tipsters at Cheltenham Fest can give some expert advice to royals and commoners alike! Here are their top tips for what promises to be a thrilling second day at the Cheltenham Festival.

The RSA Chase

The third race of the day, and the one immediately preceding the showcase event is the RSA Chase, and it is well worth catching. The bookmakers have Presenting Percy as the 3/1 favorite, but the tipsters only have eyes for Fountains Windfall. Trained by Anthony Honeyball, the horse shocked everyone with a big win at Kempton last month against some top ranked competition. He is currently available at 8/1.

The Queen Mother Champions Chase

In general, the odds settle and the picture becomes clearer as a race draws closer. For the main event of the day, however, there are still questions to be answered, and the bookmakers’ favorite could change. Currently, Nicky Henderson trained Altior is odds on to win. The horse looks head and shoulders above all others and is currently enjoying an eleven race winning streak.

The complication is that this might be Altior’s first race in almost a year after a long injury. Henderson insists he is fitter than ever, and the bookmakers clearly agree, but all was thrown into disarray by confusion over whether the horse will get a run out at Newbury this weekend. If he doesn’t, it makes the horse something of an unknown quantity, and the odds might start to lengthen.

The tipsters’ advice is to take advantage of the confusion and place an each way bet on 14/1 outsider Great Field. He’s in great form, and a fabulous win in Dublin last year proves he’s well capable of rising to a big occasion.

The Cross Country Chase

With the showcase race out of the way, there is no letup in the action, with more races to come. Next up is the Cross Country Chase. Last year, Cause of Causes won in style and he is the 7/2 favorite to repeat the feat for a second year in succession. Our tipsters can see no better place to bet your money on a winner, but for an interesting each way option, they have singled out Auvergnat. This is a horse with plenty of experience, who has been finishing consistently in the top four over recent outings.

A Guide to This Year’s Cheltenham Festival Favorites

Racing is big business in the UK, and while the Grand National might be the most famous event in the National Hunt racing calendar where betting is concerned, the Cheltenham Festival beats it in terms of sheer entertainment.

The festival takes place over four days at Prestbury Park, a picturesque racecourse just outside the usually quiet and quintessentially English town of Cheltenham, close to the English and Welsh border. Every March, thousands of racegoers take over the town to witness 28 top class races, culminating in the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup at 3:30PM on the final day.

Two nations battle

One of the most compelling factors of Cheltenham is that it is not just a race between horses. There is also national pride at stake between the English and the Irish. Every year, there is an informal battle to see which country can scoop the most trophies. In particular, look out for two of the most famous trainers from either side of the Irish Sea.

Willie Mullins is from an Irish family that has been riding, breeding and training horses for generations. In 2015, he set a festival record with eight of the 28 winners.

However, when it comes to overall festival wins, even his record is surpassed by English trainer Nicky Henderson. He has been in the business for 40 years, and has been particularly successful at Cheltenham.

The battle between Mullins and Henderson is one of the most intriguing sideshows in British horseracing, and it all comes to a head at Cheltenham.

Picking a winner

So much for the trainers, then, but what of the horses? With four days, 28 races and literally hundreds of entrants. It is little surprise that an estimated £500 million ($700 million) will be bet trackside and online in the days up to and including the festival. For the casual observer, it can be hard to know where to start, which is why we have asked the tipsters at Cheltenhamfestival.net to single out the pick of the festival runners. There are certain to be a few surprises along the way, but here are their picks for some of the top races, whether you are looking to back an outright winner or an each way shot.

Champions Hurdle
To win –  Buveur D’Air
To place – My Tent Or Yours

Last year, Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air was an outsider who won the race in relative comfort. This year, the horse has gone from strength to strength, and the bookmakers have him as odds-on favorite to retain the trophy.

Another from the Henderson stable, My Tent Or Yours, came in second last year. This was the third time in four years he had done so, and at 16/1, racing fans are already queueing up to place their each way bets.

Queen Mother Champion Chase
To win – Altior
To place – Great Field

Going into Ladies’ Day and it’s three for three for Nicky Henderson from our expert tipsters. Altior has been unbeatable in his recent outings, with an amazing 11 straight wins, dating back to October 2015. The bookmakers have him at even money to make it a round dozen.

The outsider to watch is Great Field. He is the first Willie Mullins horse to get a mention and is also in winning form.  There’s every chance he could pull off a surprise, and is certainly in with a good chance of placing.

Stayer’s Hurdle
To win – Sam Spinner
To place – L’Ami Serge

This could be one of the most closely fought of the showcase races, but Sam Spinner, trained by Jedd O’Keefe, is the bookmakers favorite. However, our tipsters fancy Nicky Henderson’s L’Ami Serge as the archetypal dark horse, who could easily pull off a surprise win.

Gold Cup
To win – Might Bite
To place – Native River

The romantics might fancy last year’s winner Sizing John, but for the realists, it’s Henderson all the way. Might Bite looks like the class of the field and will be tough to beat.

Outside the main combatants, Native River is coming into form at just the right time. He came third last year and is well capable of doing so again.