2016 Cheltenham Festival horse racing tips
2016 Cheltenham Festival horse racing tips
The 2016 Cheltenham Festival is now right around the corner!
As although with the current weather tipping ahead is risky and the ground is a massive factor, so bare this in mind as we today bring you our 2016 Cheltenham Festival horse racing tips, news and views for the festival ahead.
The biggest horse racing festival of the year and the pinnacle of the National Hunt season takes place next week starting on Tuesday the 15th of March and will last for 4 unbelievable days of racing (with Channel 4 racing on the Saturday it will be 5 days!) which will comprise the Champion Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the World Hurdle and, of course, the Gold Cup.
Excitement over Cheltenham is already awash
3 weeks ago we had the Willie Mullins trained red-hot favourite to defend his Stan James Champion Hurdle crown Faughteen pull out of Cheltenham with ligament damage.
Can Annie Power step in?
Will his stablemate Annie Power, a horse owned by Rich Ricci with a racing record of 13 wins from 15 runs be able to step in and take down the Champion Hurdle?
Annie Power was in danger of becoming the forgotten star. She has run just twice since falling when well ahead at the final fence as a heavily backed favourite last year at Cheltenham. This allowed her stablemate Glens Meldody to land the Mares Hurdle. A fall that saved the bookmakers millions!
Both jockey Ruby Walsh and Annie Power where happily quickly on their feet, but Power seemed destined for the less prestigious Mares Hurdle this year – a race she would have probably won easily. Faughteen’s unfortunate injury though opens a door for Power in the Champions Hrd. A victory at Punchtown on the 17th of Feb was a good warm-up win for her, and although trainer Willie Mullins has gone on record to say he’d ideally like 1 more race for final preparations, she seems to be the one to slam your money down on, and indeed Annie Power is my banker tip of the day for Tuesday’s card.
Bookies give their verdict on Victoria Pendleton’s Cheltenham chances!
The other big news of the festival is Victoria Pendleton (the Olympic cyclist gold medal winner) has been confirmed to ride the Paul Nicholls trained Pacha Du Polder at the Foxhunters Chase on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 18th.
Pendleton who is sponsored by betting exchange Betfair had her first success as a jockey when she won a hunter chase in Wincanton on Pacha Du Polder in Somerset by 29 lengths but she has been unseated twice recently including a tumble after her foot slipped from the stirrup on her horse Supreme Danehill at Kingston Blount in Oxfordshire.
As such, Pendleton has faced some harsh criticisms in her abilities.
Going by the odds they have laid down the bookies are reckoning that her time would be better spent on her bike than at Cheltenham next week with odds of 16.0 to back available on the exchanges right now, and her ride sits as 6th favourite overall in the 40 runner extended three-and-a-quarter miles race.
That being said, the horse is unproven over the distance and the bookies have squeezed the odds in anticipation of the interest the horse will receive having her on board. With just 16 rides only under her belt Pacha du Polder is the last horse most would be looking at. Never ridden an undulating course or one as demanding as Chelt, the ditch at the top of the hill & the 2 downhill fences are going to be massive issues for her. The horse doesn’t usually run 3m and is a doubtful stayer.
A cheeky each-way bet would be the best I would go for this horse, but on reflection that would be a stretch! There should be extra places paid out at many bookies for this race, so check each bookie for who is paying out on the most places for this one.
Ones to watch out for;
The big favourites are likely to run supreme, especially the Willie Mullins trained horses.
The Willie Mullins A team of Min (3.45 fav Supreme Nov Hrd), Douvan (1.44 odds-on fav at the Arkle Nov Chs), Annie Power (3.50 fav Champion Hrd), Vroum Vroum Mag (2.08 fav mares Hrd), Un De Sceaux (1.97 fav Champion Chs), Augusta Kate (7.2 fav Champion Bumper), Outlander (5.9 2nd fav JLT Nov Chs), Limini (2.08 fav Dawn Run Nov Hrd) and the three Gold Cup horses Vantour, Djakadam and Don Poli who are all available to back at 6.6 odds on the exchange and all tied as 3rd joint favourites – (behind Don Cossack and Cue Card) are all good shouts.
Outsiders to consider;
Part of the Willie Mullins B-Team, I would consider the below three horses very seriously.
Is 4th favourite in the JLT Novice Chase on the 17th of March at 7.6 to back on the exchange behind the likes of Bristol De Mai, Outlander and Garde La Victoire.
He travelled well in the Grade 2 Ten Up Chase at Navan last month and although he fell at the final fence in the Ten Up Chase, but it is reasonable to assume that he would have run out a clear winner of the race had he not landed steeply.
Winner of his maiden hurdle over two miles in November last season, he also won a Grade 3 contest at Cork the following month. He is talented and could be worth a punt or an each-way bet.
Is in great form with a perfect record of 4 wins from 4 runs, and with speculation that Ruby Walsh could ride Yorkhill instead of the current fav Min in the Supreme Nov Hrd expect the fav’s odd’s to drift out and Yorkhill’s to come in, so get your bets on Yorkhill now.
And our final outside tip….
Felix Yonger is in the Champion Chase as a wingman for Un De Sceaux, and is 6th fav at 16.5 to back to win and 3.75 to be placed on Betfair exchange.
He has won six of his last seven races so is in tip-top form, and with an overall record of 12 wins, 6 runner-ups and 1 3rd place from 23 races he could be very much worth a to be placed bet.
Felix Younger won the recent Grade 2 Tied Cottage Chase back at Punchestown and has won over the longer distance of two and a half miles, but he does has the pace for two miles. We know that he can operate at Cheltenham, and he goes well on good ground.
2016 Cheltenham Festival schedule;
Tuesday 15th March: Champion Day
Wednesday 16th March: Ladies Day
Thursday 17th March: St Patrick’s Thursday
Friday 18th March: Gold Cup Day
Saturday 19th March: Normal Channel 4 Racing
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