Cheltenham Festival betting has for some become as much a part of the yearly calendar as Christmas or Birthday’s.
Male and female racing enthusiasts have deliberated for months about the nuances of each race and tomorrow the 26 race, 4 day festival kicks off in earnest.
Horse race betting falls into 2 categories at Cheltenham. Those that bet as everyone else is and those that bet with some firm knowledge of the lie of the land. Here we will try and fall in the later and first up is the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday. All the statistics point to Sowhit as the most likely winner at 6/1 on extrabet however Go Native still has all the public money at 18/5. Admittedly there are some injury worries however what’s for sure is that no clever punters are on Binocular at 7/1. Talking of clever punters the whispers are that Starluck at 12/1 could be the surprise in the pack with last year’s winner Punjabi has done little wrong to be considered at 7/1.
Over the course of the Festival betting one would think that cream will rise to the top and it’s therefore understandable why champion trainer Paul Nicholls is ½ to be the top trainer again. To list his potential winners would be to guild the lily but considering many of them are ridden by Ruby Walsh it’s understandable why he is also a ½ shot. Barry Geraghty always goes well round this track and at 4/1 he has attracted some money this week. On the flip side we can’t pay people to back AP McCoy at 7/1 to be top jockey.
The Cheltenham Festival spread bets are as interesting as ever with Total Festival Distances down to 97-107 from 110-120. Remember that’s how much the 1st horse beats the second horse by in lengths in each race over the whole meeting. Elsewhere the number of winning favourites is being roundly sold at 6.2 with the likes of Cheltenham Banker Dunguib, Big Bucks and Master Minder all on the drift.
Chris Shillington gives the word from the betting ring at extrabet “There’s no calm before the storm here at extrabet. The phones are red hot and the bets are flying in. We’ve had more trades than ever pre-Cheltenham and it looks set to be a record week. It’s either Bognor or Barbados for or traders this year depending on results”.
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL BETS
CHAMPION HURDLE BETTING
Go Native 18/5
TOP FESTIVAL TRAINER
N Henderson 4/1
W Mullins 8/1
A King 12/1
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL SPREAD BETS
Total Lengths 97-107
Winning Favourites 6.2-6.7.
Biggest Winning Distance 17-18.5 Lengths Biggest Winning Starting Price 48-49 Festival Starting Prices 310-325