Free tips The Cheltenham Betting Frenzy is Underway!
There’s still several days to go but, if you are a bet365, Boylesports, BetVictor, Paddy Power or Stan James customer, Cheltenham’s Festival races are very much under orders.
That’s because these firms are amongst the first to offer ‘non-runner, no-bet’ terms on all of the 28 races which make up the four-day racing feast.
This is one of several Cheltenham concessions which have been unveiled in recent days.
Paddy Power have doubtlessly unleashed the best Festival offers with losses refunded on win bets on horses which finish second in any of the first five races every day of the Festival. That’s right, back a horse to win which finishes second and you will be compensated with a free bet matching your stake up to £20/€20.
SkyBet are also refunding bets of up to £/€20 on wagers placed on any loser in the opening race at the Festival on all four days. More and more such bonuses will be unleashed on lucky punters as the Cheltenham clock unwinds but where will the all-important winners come from?
Unquestionably the Champion Hurdle is one of the biggest puzzles of all. This year, the race which can normally be narrowed down to a few runners, has eight runners trading at odds of 10/1 or less.
David Pipe’s Moon Racer, who landed the Champion Bumper at the 2015 Festival, has been all the rage in the Champion Hurdle betting market in recent days. The eight-year-old, who is short in the betting for the Supreme Novice Hurdle, is two-from-two over hurdles.
Interestingly the firms which are not ‘non-runner no-bet’ terms about this candidate, such as Ladbrokes, are offering 16/1 about the Irish-bred son of Saffron Walden. However, if you want the ‘non-runner no-bet’ caveat, 10/1 is the best price you can get.
Unlike the Champion Hurdle the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Arkle Trophy look like forgone conclusions. Altior is top-priced 1/3 for the Arkle with SkyBet or Boylesports who are the best firms to place your bets on the Nicky Henderson trained runner – who is unbeaten in nine races over obstacles – as they will refund bets if he does not line-up.
1/3 is also the best price available about Douvan in the Champion Chase. Unbeaten in all of his nine chase starts, the Willie Mullins’ trained runner has been described as a ‘penalty kick’.
Naturally these are not ‘get rich quick’ prices but doubling the pair together will pay just short of 4/5.
Harry Handy 5/4 in Stayers Hurdle
These are the only two odds-on shots amongst the Festival’s 28 races. But there is a chance Unowhatimeanharry could go off at odds-on in the Stayers Hurdle. 5/4 is the best price currently available about the JP McManus owned horse who is another runner enjoying a long winning streak.
The nine-year old, who was unsuccessful in his first 11 races over hurdles, is unbeaten since November 2015 meaning he has won his last eight. That change in fortunes coincided with his transfer from trainer Helen Nelmes to Harry Fry.
On the Fringe our Banker Bet
But our banker of the meeting is On the Fringe who will be bidding to land the Foxhunters Chase for a third successive year. Now 12-years-old the Enda Bolger trained horse has also won the Aintree Fox Hunters Chase and the Punchestown Festival Hunters Chase on two occasions.
His seasonal reappearance, at Leopardstown in February, was full of promise – he finished an eye-catching second to a younger and very capable rival, Foxrock, despite looking burley in the parade ring.