Champion Bumper Betting Odds and Other Races of the Cheltenham Festival 2017

Champion Bumper Betting Odds and Other Races of the Cheltenham Festival 2017

There have been some highly significant races in recent weeks with implications for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival (which runs from 14th to 17th March 2017). Native River’s victory in the Denman Chase suggests that stablemate Thistlecrack might not have things all his own way in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Elsewhere Ballyandy has put himself in the frame as a decent each way bet for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after triumphing in the Betfair Hurdle.

Here, though, we take a look at four of the slightly less prestigious – but no less exciting – races at the Cheltenham Festival as we give you our latest predictions and betting tips to help you land some racing winners!

National Hunt Challenge Cup

The Grade 2 JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase – to give it its rather elongated title – has been run at Cheltenham since 1860 and is almost four miles in length.

Jonjo O’Neill is the leading trainer for the race having won it on six occasions, including last year with Minella Rocco. For once the Jackdaws Castle trainer hasn’t got any entries this time so we’re forced to look elsewhere.

At the time of writing the leading light in the bookies’ eyes is Noel Meade’s A Genie In Abottle who is priced as long as 7/1 with Coral and as short as 5/1 with Bet365 (who are offering Non Runner No Bet on the race). Of his four chases to date, the six year old has one win, two seconds and a third and has a chance here, but at these odds we’re heading further down the betting.

A fine each way shout in our eyes is the 16/1 shot (with Betfred and others), American. Harry Fry’s seven year old has won both his chases to date, including a Listed race at Warwick last time out, and we think he’ll perform on the bigger stage here.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

The Albert Bartlett, also known as the Spa Novices’ Hurdle, has only been a feature of the Festival since 2005, but it’s already become a favourite of many a punter – especially those who backed Unowhatimeanharry in 2016!

The runner to beat in this year’s renewal has to be Gordon Elliott’s Death Duty who has won six of his eight runs to date including a nine length demolition of the field in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Naas in January. Priced at rather slim betting odds of 11/4 with Betway, he might be too short for some, but we fancy he’ll get the job done.

Each way value can be found in the form of Nicky Henderson’s Constantine Bay who is available at 20s with Sky Bet (when only priced at 14s elsewhere as shown in our odds comparison). With four wins and a second from five runs and three from three over hurdles, this six year old looks well priced to feature in the places at least.

Pertemps Final

The Pertemps Final is a Listed race run over three miles that is open to runners aged five and older. Often going off with a large field, it’s a tough one to call, especially before the final field has been established.

When looking for pointers it’s worth noting that 10 of the last 13 winners carried under 11 stones, and that Jonjo O’Neill is the leading trainer with four wins to his name (most recently with Holywell in 2013).

The current 10/1 favourite for this year’s renewal (with Stan James) is Tobefair, trained by Debra Hamer. The seven year old has been in a rich vein of form having won his last seven races. This could be the moment he lands a really big win, though we would recommend keeping your money in your wallet until the weights are out.

Champion Bumper

The most prestigious National Hunt Flat race on the calendar, the Champion Bumper adds a little variety to the Cheltenham Festival. The Bumper often brings a smile to the face of Willie Mullins, who’s saddled eight winners of the race…. and even rode the winner he trained back in 1996!

It is therefore no surprise to see the top two in the betting – Carter McKay and Ballyward – hailing from his stables. Of the two we favour the value offered by the betting odds of 9/1 available with Coral for Ballyward. The five year old has only competed in one NHF race – at Leopardstown in December – but he stormed it by 16 lengths, and given Mullins’ supreme ability to pick out the right runners for this one, we predict Ballyward could have a very good chance of success in the Champion Bumper this year.