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Five weeks to go – Five big-priced outsiders to watch out for at the Cheltenham Festival

Three chase prospects, an unlucky loser and a former Grade 1 winner make the list of potential high-odds challengers at the Cheltenham Festival

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Horses running at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse

With only 35 days remaining until the greatest show on turf, the best contenders on the National Hunt circuit are preparing to march on the hallowed ground of Prestbury Park.

However, there are some entrants that have flown under the radar and potentially show some value at the Gloucestershire meeting.

Here are five high-odds outsiders that could produce a big performance at the Cheltenham Festival.

Captain Guinness – Arkle Chase @ 25/1

It must be noted that there are two seriously rated contenders lined up for this contest in the form of Shishkin and Energumene, but there could be some each-way value at the very least here in Henry De Bromhead’s talented youngster.

Captain Guinness’ raw ability caught the eye in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle last season, running a cracker to finish second behind Andy Dufresne. He looked a real threat in last season’s renewal of the Supreme before unfortunately being brought down by the falling Elixir D’Ainay late on.

The six -year old has shown a fair level of promise since switching to fences this season and was looking a possible threat to Energumene in the Irish Arkle before falling two out.

At an enticing price of 25/1, Captain Guinness still has room to improve at this level and could well be an undetected threat in this year’s edition of the Arkle Chase.

Chantry House – Marsh Novices’ Chase @ 25/1

After rounding off a promising season with a strong third in the Supreme, Nicky Henderson sent the seven-year-old novice chasing this term.

Chantry House gathered some interesting after hacking up by 26 lengths on his debut over fences, but was disappointing when odds-on favourite in a Novices’ Chase at the International meeting at Cheltenham at December.

However, Henderson’s prospect was found to have a minor back issue after the race and therefore could be excused for that performance.

Chantry House can improve further if his previous form is anything to go by and if his trainer decides to run him in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, then he could push Envoi Allen all the way.

Goshen – Champion Hurdle @ 25/1

The victim of one of the most dramatic moments of last year’s Festival, Goshen left punters speechless when he unseated rider Jamie Moore on the final fence when around 10 lengths clear in the Triumph Hurdle.

The loss seems to have stayed with the five-year-old, as he finished last in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December. However, Gary Moore’s runner looks like a go hard or go home type contender when looking at his form. On his four finishes over hurdles, Goshen has won by 23, 34 and 11 lengths while losing by 29 lengths.

If he turns up on the day, he could well be unstoppable if at his best and has shown himself as a force to be reckoned with in previous runs. A slight gamble to take on his current form, but 25/1 is a sweet price for a gelding that has shown strong ability.

Itchy Feet – Stayers’ Hurdle @ 25/1

With the seven-year-old not taking to fences as well as hoped this season, last season’s Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase winner has been reverted back to hurdles.

He was due to run in the rearranged Cleeve Hurdle on Saturday at Wetherby, but the meeting was abandoned. That could have gave some clues to how Itchy Feet would have performed on his return to the smaller obstacles, but there is no question that Olly Murphy’s star acquisition has a lot of ability.

With some decent hurdling form on his record, including a strong third in the Supreme in 2019, he could a surprise contender in the Stayers’ Hurdle if his trainer decides to take the plunge.

St Barts – National Hunt Chase @ 33/1

A promising chaser for Phillip Hobbs, St Barts has shown impressive ability in his short time over fences. After a strong second on his chase debut, he made all on his next start to claim his first victory over the larger obstacles off a mark of 128.

Philip Hobbs’ gelding relished the 3m distance and although his true level of stamina is yet to be tested, he could progress even further.

St Barts has shown the capability to cope with testing ground and could well be a future chasing star for the Somerset trainer. 33/1 is a very generous price if his trainer opts to send the seven-year-old to the Festival.

*Odds are bet365 and are subject to change

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Betting

Weekend Cheltenham Clues: Elimay now clear favourite for the Mares’ Chase

JP McManus owned Elimay a cosy winner of Saturday’s Opera Hat at Naas

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Elimay and Mark Walsh win at the Punchestown Festival 2019 at Punchestown Racecourse, Ireland

A weekend which saw several key meeting abandoned due to the weather, punters were left with three jumps cards across England and Ireland to engage with over the two days.

Elimay produced an impressive performance at Naas on Saturday, as she landed the hotly-contested Opera Hat Mares Chase.

The seven-year-old made strong headway three out, took the lead from Gordon Elliott’s Shattered Love before the last and went clear in the run-in to win easily by 5 ½ lengths.

Willie Mullins’ mare has seen her price for the Mares’ Chase cut even further, as the current favourite was trimmed from 4/1 to 5/2.

Shady Operator got Sunday’s action underway, as the eight-year old landed the P.P Hogan Memorial Cross Country Chase at Punchestown.

Enda Boldger’s gelding, who is now 14/1 for the Glenfarclas Cross County Chase, went clear at the last before staying on to win by 2 ½ lengths from Peter Maher’s Blast Of Koeman.

Thedeviliscoachman recorded his second victory in 16 days, as the gelding claimed the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle.

The five-year-old kept on well and fought off a late challenge from the progressing French Light to take his third win over hurdles in four starts.

Noel Meade’s runner is a 16/1 shot for the County Hurdle, while he also remains at 20/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Competing in handicap company for the first time over fences, The Big Dog landed a maiden victory over the larger obstacles as he took the 80,000 Punchestown Grand National Trial.

Peter Fahey’s runner travelled well throughout the contest and looked to be cruising when he kicked clear on the home turn.

However, Screaming Colours made up ground late on and produced a late challenge, but The Big Dog kept on well and battled back to win by half a length.

The eight-year old now holds a price of 20/1 for the National Hunt Chase and the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Festival in March.

Meanwhile across the Irish Sea, Wilde About Oscar returned to winning ways after a strong performance in the Bet At racingtv.com Listed Novices’ Hurdle at Exeter.

The six-year-old, who is 20/1 for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, travelled well throughout and saw off favourite The Glancing Queen in the run-in by 7 ½ lengths.

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Betting

Three value-priced Irish runners to consider over the weekend

The three Irish runners you need to side with this weekend

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Irish runners race at the 2010 Punchestown Festival at Punchestown Racecourse

With the weather wiping out all but one National Hunt meeting in Great Britain, jumps fans turn to the Irish cards in search for some value selections.

Here are three runners that could hint some value in the meeting across the Irish sea.

UTHRED (2.00 PUNCHESTOWN, SUNDAY) – 9/2 (William Hill)

A bright prospect from Joseph O’Brien’s yard, Uthred makes the step up with a tough assignment on his hands. The six-year-old hasn’t been seen since December 2019, but he has shown his ability on his three starts under rules. A strong second in a maiden hurdle at Cork, he quickened up well on his final outing to win by 4 ½ lengths in a Listed bumper. If Uhtred can continue to show promise, he could easily be in the mix here and take on the likes of Power Of Pause and Thedevilscoachman.

ALL ABOUT JACK (4.00 NAAS, SATURDAY) – 12/1 (bet365)

Colm Murphy’s six-year old may not have caught the eye in his first year over hurdles, but he could take his first rules win here at Naas. He was unlucky not to win at Punchestown after being beaten by a neck and he can be forgiven for being pulled up on his last outing after being found to be suffering from heat stress. However, the gelding could have more to come if his bloodlines are anything to go by. His sire has produced Stayers’ Hurdle winners Paisley Park and Lisnagar Oscar, as well as Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby and dual Aintree Hurdle victor Oscar Whisky. At a predicted price of 12/1, there could be some each-way value if the six-year-old lives up to his potential.

MONBEG NOTORIOUS (4.30 PUNCHESTOWN, SUNDAY) – 40/1 (Paddy Power + Betfair)

A part of the six-strong Gordon Elliott force in the Irish Grand National Trial, Monbeg Notorious could well be a surprise contender for the County Meade trainer. A winner of Thyestes Handicap Chase off a mark of 137 three years ago, the ten-year-old has struggled this season after being pulled up on both starts. But he is now back at an interesting mark and is a strong runner on heavy ground. With further rain predicted in County Kildare, this could be a huge opportunity for Monbeg Notorious to roll back the year and at 40/1, there is some clear each-way value if the place terms are right.

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Betting

Cheltenham Festival – Antepost Specials to consider for this year’s meeting

Doubles, trebles or outright left field selections of the betting sort, here’s some value prices to take advantage of before this year’s Cheltenham Festival

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Envoi Allen and Davy Russell jump the last hurdle in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse

Antepost betting usually revolves around the win and each-way selections for the Festival, but bookmakers have come up with even more ways to bet on the National Hunt showpiece.

With specials markets now including owners, stables, place markets and even next year’s meeting, there is plenty of value to be found if you know where to look.

Here are some specials to consider for this year’s Cheltenham Festival and beyond.

Cheveley Park Stud to have 5+ placed horses at the Cheltenham Festival – 4/1 (Sky Bet)

Renowned for the talent they have produced on the flat, Cheveley Park Stud have stepped up their game in the National Hunt discipline in recent years and look ready to launch an attack on this year’s Festival. Envoi Allen (Marsh Novices’ Chase) and Allaho (Ryanair Chase) are favourites for their respected contests, while talented youngsters Quilixios (Triumph Hurdle) and Sir Gerhard hold second favouritism in their maiden bows at Prestbury Park. A Plus Tard (Gold Cup) and Ballyadam (Supreme/Ballymore) complete the six-strong squadron and all look destined to perform well. Five of these competitors to place in their selected contests looks achievable.

Royale Pagaille to win any race at the Cheltenham Festival – 4/1 (William Hill)

A horse with clear ability to compete with the very best, Venetia Williams’ seven-year-old sent racing fans into a frenzy last month after easily winning the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Handicap Chase by 16 lengths. The Cheltenham Festival is clearly on the agenda for the gelding, as he possesses entries in the Festival Novices’ Chase, Marsh Novices’ Chase, National Hunt Chase and the Gold Cup. The exciting novice has been tipped to be a major threat to Al Boum Photo should he targeted for the Festival’s feature race, but with connections currently undecided where to send Royal Pagaille, this special seems to be worth some value.

Monkfish to win the Festival Novices’ Chase & The Gold Cup 2022 – 14/1 (Paddy Power + Betfair)

Willie Mullins turned some heads earlier this month when he stated that he had put together his strongest bunch of novice chasers yet. The questions raised by that comments were answered at the Dublin Racing Festival with both Monkfish and Energumene blitzing apart their opponents in emphatic fashion in the Flogas Novice Chase and Irish Arkle. Monkfish has captured the imagination of the racing sphere with his fluent jumping and effortless performance, even though he has only raced over fences three times in his career. The seven-year-old is a real Gold Cup contender in time to come for the Closutton trainer and the gelding shouldn’t have any difficulty in landing the Festival Novices’ Chase this time round. A special to consider if you have the patience.

Abacadabras (Champion Hurdle), Champagne Classic (Any Race), Duffle Coat (Any Race) and Metier (Any Race) all to place – 33/1 (Sky Bet)

It could be considered a high-priced longshot, but this is a seriously interesting price for four talented runners. Abracadabras ran a valiant second in the Irish Champion Hurdle and with last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up being targeted for the Festival’s edition of this race, he could land among the places at Prestbury Park once again. Champagne Classic, who hasn’t been seen since December 2019, is among a wide-open contest in the Cross Country Chase and the former Grade 1 winner could be an interesting contender should he return. Unbeaten novice hurdler Duffle Coat is entered in three races and could be a threat in whichever contest he is aimed at, while Metier caught the eye with his 12 length victory in the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle. All four seem capable to at least finish among the places and 33/1 could be a bit of a steal here.

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Cheltenham Races TEst

With the Cheltenham Festival just around the corner, it’s time to get back into the spirit of this grand occasion, and for that, you’ve come to the right place.

With the offset commencing on Tuesday 16th March featuring The Unibet Champion Hurdle, you could be right there experiencing it all up until the final few races trickle through following The Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday 19th March.

Cheltenham Racecourse hosts the most anticipated event of the racing calendar where punters and racing enthusiasts can experience this exciting event from a number of perspectives, whatever the weather.

Four days of extraordinary racing offers a prize pool of over £4.5 million to the hopeful participants, with passion and emotion tantalising the senses of all in attendance.

Kissing the beautiful Cotswold countryside, Cheltenham Racecourse was voted the greatest racecourse in the world by The Racing Post in 2019. Each of the three magnificent Cheltenham Racecourse enclosures gives you a stunning view of the alluring surroundings.

The Cheltenham Festival offers world-class hospitality available to suit a wide range of budgets, so, if you wish, you could step up the quality of your experience to ensure you make the absolute best of this fascinating horseracing occasion.

Besides the racing, you can visit the shopping village featuring approximately 70 bespoke, carefully selected vendors for a mixture of essentials and luxuries. You can also indulge yourself at the bars and listen to live music all throughout the Cheltenham racing calendar.

Betting Tips

If you’re looking for the most diligently researched professional betting tips for the Cheltenham Festival 2021 races, our team of competent, experienced tipsters will provide all the fruitful information you need to make the most lucrative betting decisions possible.

The in-depth information we offer on favourites, horses to look out for, trainers, jockeys and more can mean it won’t just be the horses, trainers and jockeys getting Cheltenham results.

Tickets

Whether you have attended this enthralling event before and you’re looking for your annual fix, or you’ve been intrigued by the captivating aura that surrounds these races inducing the desire to make your Festival debut, you can find all the information you need on Cheltenham tickets right here.

Standard entry tickets are very affordable and there is a range of package options to suit your exact needs, so whatever your budget, The Cheltenham Festival 2021 will be the place to be this March.

Festival Guide

Any information you’re looking for on the festival including dates for the diary, the racecourse, the horse trainers, the jockeys, festival history, where to eat, where to stay and how to get there can be found right here at cheltenham.co.uk.

Race Calendar

The Cheltenham Festival 2021 features a variety of 28 breathtaking races, with 7 per day over the course of the four-day festival. Our race calendar makes it very easy to keep track of exactly what is going on and when.

The highlight of day one will be the Unibet Champion Hurdle with a prize pool of £450,000. Day two sees the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase take place where records continue to be broken.

Day three presents The Ryanair Chase and The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle race, both in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Then Finally, Friday hosts the grand finale in the form of The Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The full Cheltenham race schedule is available right here, from the Tuesday 10:30 gate opening to the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle final race at 5:30 pm on Friday.

Hospitality

The beauty of the Cheltenham races is the sheer quantity of options when it comes to how you want to experience it.

If you head down to The Festival simply to view the races and absorb the exciting atmosphere you don’t need to break the bank. If you’ve set a higher budget for this pulsating occasion, you can get plenty for the money you want to spend.

You can choose from any of the 11 onsite restaurants for your evening meal, with a variety of restaurant types from The Horse & Groom Pub to the Champions Walk restaurant, you can choose the atmosphere that’s served alongside your meal.

Those with a higher budget and more cash to splash will be delighted by the range of luxury experience options, including viewing boxes with private bars, Room With a View packages complete with Bentley and helicopter transfers, and the luxurious Orchard Pods suitable for up to 20 guests with a private balcony.

Free bets

Free bets are a fantastic opportunity to step up the thrill of the races with a chance to recoup some of your festival expenditures, increase your spending money, or even strike it lucky and walk away from your exhilarating day with a smug smile.

Free bets work just like real bets except there is no risk involved. You can place a stake on your favourite horse and if it wins, so do you. Real cash.

The Cheltenham Festival is amongst the busiest periods of the year for bookmakers and betting sites, so they always come up with some incredibly tempting sign-up offers and free bets to lure you in. The high competition between the bookies is good news for you, as they compete to offer the most generous free bet deals.

We scour the web for all the best betting deals – including free bets – and provide you with a one-stop-shop to accumulate your free bet funds, meaning less time searching and more time sitting and sipping.

Odds

It’s thanks to the high competition between bookmakers that you can get such fantastic prices on the horses. Odds are competitive, so very high profits are possible.

We’ll make sure you have access to all the best odds from all the best betting sites, so you can experience how profitable the Cheltenham races can truly be.

Track all the odds as the Festival approaches ever closer so you know exactly who to look out for and back when the big week finally arrives.