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Cheltenham Festival Tips
Fri, 27 Jan 2017, 11:00 – Mon, 2 Jul 2018, 14:00 GMT
In terms of pulsating sporting atmosphere, it doesn’t really get much better than the Cheltenham Festival.
Read Our Cheltenham Festival Tips 2017 Below!
A whole season of jumps racing has been preparing for this four-day extravaganza at Prestbury Park and punters are at fever pitch in anticipation of when the gates open.
Punters do battle with bookmakers. Jockeys to battle with each other.
And the horses take centre stage. There really is no other sporting occasion like it.
Cheltenham Tips 2017 - Day One
The party gets started on Tuesday, where the Champion Hurdle takes centre stage. Quite who will be attending that party – at this stage – is a murky picture.
One thing we do know for certain though is that the two market leaders and former champs Annie Power and Faugheen won’t be taking each other on due to the fact they’re both owned by Rich Ricci.
And now, with Annie Power ruled out with injury, Faugheen, despite being off the track for nearly a year and half, is the one to beat.
It’s hard to see the old guard of The New One, My Tent Or Yours or Nichols Canyon reversing previous years form around, so the likely challenge will come from Christmas Hurdle winner Yanworth and Ryanair Hurdle scorer Petit Mouchoir.
The phrase “Willie Mullins bingo” has been formulated across the industry due to the trainer’s overly secretive and last minute nature of his plans with his horses for the Festival.
Cheltenham Tips Day Two
However, the Champion Chase - to be on run on the Wednesday - looks cut and dry in terms of Mullins’ runners.
It’s Douvan. Douvan. Douvan.
The most outstanding two-miler in training has made the transition from hurdles to fences seamlessly in the past two years, extending his unbeaten run to 12 races for Mullins. And what’s even more remarkable is that he’s never really looked in any danger, even in his two successes at the Festival.
In 2015, he ran them ragged from the front in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and a year later he was in a league of his own in the Racing Post Arkle.
There is little strength in depth on the two-mile scene this year, meaning this should be a cakewalk for Douvan and quite a sight for those in attendance.
However, this year’s novice chasers look a cut above. If Douvan stays down this route we might have a tantalising prospect of him v Altior v Yorkhill next season. Mouth-watering.
Cheltenham Tips Day Three
One of the main attractions of the Cheltenham Festival and National Hunt racing in general is the affinity generated with horses coming back year after year.
The Stayers Hurdle, or the World Hurdle as its better known, is a great example of the buzz created with returning champions.
Big Buck’s and Inglis Drever just for starters.
We may have a new staying hurdling legend on our hands this year in the form of UKnowWhatIMeanHarry, who has shot to the top of the ante-post markets.
He has Festival winning form on his side too, having landed the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle last season. We’ll be finding out if he’s up to the job on the Thursday, which is also St Patrick’s Day at the Cheltenham Festival.
Cheltenham Tips Day Four
Overnight on the Thursday, the next batch of Guinness will be shipped over in anticipation for Gold Cup day. Arguably, it’s the most exciting and important day on the racing calendar.
The crowds flock from all corners of the UK for this one and this year’s feature race is shaping up to be a corker as we have a new superstar on our hands.
A horse that public have taken to their hearts. Thistlecrack is that horse and come the Friday of the Festival, we’ll be finding out if he really is the real deal.
At the time of writing, the King George winner can be backed around the Even money mark – that makes the race a simple equation for punters. You’re either with him, or against him.
Those that will take him on will point to his exuberant nature at his fences and the fact he’s not been tested over three miles plus as yet. But those that pile into the double your money price will say he’s a freak of nature.
The one of the very best we’ve ever seen. The Frankel of jumps racing.
All these imponderables will be answered mid-March. Can’t wait!