Cheltenham 2018 Odds: Big Guns On Track, Big Decision For Robbie and More

Cheltenham 2018 Odds: Big Guns On Track, Big Decision For Robbie and More

All the latest news, tips odds and more for the 2018 Cheltenham Festival big races, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

When it comes to horse racing betting, the Cheltenham Festival is without doubt the greatest show on turf. After a whole year of waiting, and the ever-unfolding drama of the build up to the meeting, it is nearly upon us once again. Here we take a look at how things are shaping up in the week’s Championship contests.

Champion Hurdle: Elgin Enters Picture

Almost all winter the Day 1 feature has been about one horse and one horse only, at least in terms of the most likely winner, and it is Buveur D’Air who maintains his status as the odds-on favourite at 4/7 with Unibet.

Whilst we would all love to see the mighty Faugheen (13/2 with Betfair) bounce back to his best, the Willie Mullins-trained 10 year old faces something of a tall order from a trends perspective – no horse so old has won the race since Sea Pigeon back in 1981 – without even accounting for the fact that he needs to bounce back from two below par runs.

Betting at odds-on isn’t to everyone’s taste, but for those seeking an each way alternative, what about Alan King’s Elgin? Undoubtedly, he has a lot to find if he is to win the race, but the six year old does at least have a progressive profile. He gave useful yardstick Ch’Tibello weight and a beating last time out and has a win at the track to his name. Seeming likely to be supplemented for the race, the 20/1 available with Ladbrokes looks like decent each way value.

Queen Mother Champion Chase: “Aeroplane’s” Season To Take Off At Festival

Willie Mullins has made no secret of the regard in which he holds Douvan. So good has the horse known as the “Aeroplane” been in his prime that comparisons with the mighty Arkle have been made by more than one observer.

It has been here at the Cheltenham Festival where the son of Walk In The Park has produced two of his career defining moments, winning both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Arkle Chase with consummate ease. The most recent Festival memory for Douvan fans is somewhat more painful though, with the horse found to be lame when finishing seventh in this contest last year. The fact he was sent off at odds of just 2/9 that day is a good illustration of the ability he possesses when on song.

All but ruled out of this race earlier in the season, Douvan now looks set to make the journey over having shown marked improvement at home. Will he be ready to hit peak form after a year on the side-lines? He can be backed at 4/1 with BetVictor.

Lying in wait is Nicky Henderson’s Arkle hero, Altior. This one has had issues of his own but returned to the track in simply devastating form at Newbury last month when proving miles too good for the talented Politologue. At 8/11 with Betfair, Altior will be the first name on many lists of Festival bankers.

Stayers’ Hurdle: Tight At The Top In Open Event

It looked for a long time as though Jedd O’Keefe’s Sam Spinner (5/1 with Bet365) would be the horse to start favourite for the Day Four highlight, following his near flawless performances over staying trips to date.

The five year old has however been knocked off his perch at the head of the betting market by the Jessica Harrington runner, Supasundae (4/1 with Betfair). Last season’s Coral Cup king put in an excellent effort when second to wonder mare Apple’s Jade over this trip two starts back, before winning the Irish Champion Hurdle. A race in which he counted Faugheen amongst his victims.

Sam Spinner and Supasundae now have company in the battle for favouritism though, in the form of Alan King’s Yanworth. This one has been all the rage with punters since this contest was confirmed as his Festival target. Having beaten Supasundae at Aintree last year and being perfectly at home on soft ground, its not hard to see why. The 5/1 with Ladbrokes is now amongst the best price available in our odds comparison tables.

Gold Cup: Has Robbie Made The Right Choice?

Irishman Robbie Power enjoyed a Cheltenham Festival to remember last season, with the undoubted highlight being the success of Sizing John in the meetings Blue Riband contest. Power looks set to team up with the defending champion once again, but it can’t have been an easy decision to make to turn down the ride on Our Duke in favour of the late Anne and Alan Potts runner.

In Our Duke, we have an Irish Grand National winner, with stamina to burn who seems almost certain to arrive at the top of his game following a success over Presenting Percy last time out in Ireland. In contrast, Sizing John was well beaten in the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown on his most recent start, fading out of contention in most uncharacteristic fashion.

It is unwise to write off a horse on the back of one poor display though, and with the eight year old found to be clinically abnormal post-race, it seems likely that he may have had a legitimate excuse that day.

Power himself likened the choice to that faced by Ruby Walsh when deciding between Kauto Star and Denman. Sizing John may not be quite in that league just yet, but a win here will bring him that bit closer. Has Robbie got it right?

The 6/1 available with Betfair are the best betting odds available for Sizing John, with the same firm going 9/1 about Our Duke.