Cheltenham Festival Betting 2018 Winner Odds & Predictions

A preview of the big races to come from Cheltenham 2018

Cheltenham Festival

The 2018 edition of the Cheltenham Festival starts on March 13th, 2018 and runs over a fantastic and thrilling four days. The famous ‘Cheltenham Roar’ will be going up as the first race for the Festival, the Supreme Novices Hurdle, lights the way. There is so much hype once again surrounding the major Festival, one of the biggest on the racing calendar and it features the best of the National Hunt season that there is.

Across each of the four days of the Festival there will seven races going off which features some high-class Grade I races like the Champion Hurdle, the Stayers Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup. Each of the four days will produce at least one Grade 1 race, with the full list of those Grade 1 races being the Champion Bumper, Triumph Hurdle, Ryanair Chase, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Challenge Trophy, RSA Chase, Champion Hurdle, World Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and the feature race, the Gold Cup.

There will be 28 races then in total across the four days of national Hunt action at Prestbury Park. Big runners like Altior, Might Bite, Sizing John and Buveur D’Air will be testing themselves in the Festival, while top jockey’s like Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty will be scrapping it out for Festival supremacy. Then there is the clash between top trainers Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson and Gordon Elliott to get the most winners across the four days. It’s a celebration of British horse racing at its best and we take a look at some of the top races and other Cheltenham 201 betting market.

Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival

13:30 The Sky Bet Supereme Novices’ Hurdle Race (2m abt ½f Hurdle)
14:10 The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase (abt 2m Chase)
14:50 The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase 3m (abt 1f Chase)
15:30 The UniBet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 2m (abt ½f Hurdle)
16:10 The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race 2m (abt 4f Hurdle)
16:50 The J T McNamara National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Steeple Chase) (abt 4m Chase)
17:30 The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase 2m (abt 4½f Chase)

Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival

13:30 The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle Race )2m abt 5f Hurdle)
14:10 The RSA Steeple Chase (3m abt ½f Chase)
14:50 The Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (2m (abt 5f Hurdle)
15:30 The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase (abt 2m Chase)
16:10 The Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase (3m 6f Chase)
16:50 The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race (2m abt ½f Hurdle)
17:30 The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race) (2m abt ½f Bumper)

Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival

13:30 The JLT Novices’ Chase (2m abt 4f Chase)
14:10 The Pertemps Network Final (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (abt 3m Hurdle)
14:50 The Ryanair Steeple Chase (2m abt 5f Chase)
15:30 The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (abt 3m Hurdle)
16:10 The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (A Handicap Steeple Chase) (2m abt 5f Chase)
16:50 The Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle (2m abt 1f Hurdle)
17:30 The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase (3m abt 2f Chase)

Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival

13:30 The JCB Triumph Hurdle (2m abt 1f Hurdle)
14:10 The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle Race (2m abt 1f Hurdle)
14:50 The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race (abt 3m Hurdle)
15:30 The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase (3m abt 2½f Chase)
16:10 The St. James’s Place Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (3m abt 2½f Chase)
16:50 The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race (2m abt 4½f Hurdle)
17:30 The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (2m abt ½f Hurdle)

Supreme Novices Hurdle – March 13th

This is the race which kicks off all the excitement at the Cheltenham Festival being the curtain raiser to the whole thing. It is usually a pretty thrilling race that is turned out as well and Getabird has been so heavily backed to win this opener he is in at 6/4 odds with bet365* (betting odds taken on March 7th, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.) and we like the look of him to go and deliver. Class all the way, but there is great each value in looking at Paloma Blue before shortening any further towards single figures.

Champion Hurdle – March 13th

Will this be the procession for Buveur D’air that a lot of people are accepting it to be? Probably. This is such a star performer and head and shoulders should dominate this race and has the ability to dominate this division for a long time to come. He is heavily at odds on at 8/15 for the race* (betting odds taken on March 7th, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.) and that says a lot. Faugheen, Yorkhill and My Tent Or Yours are in the mix as challengers, but none are carrying the kind of form that the favourite is. My Tent Or Yours in double figures for an each way punt looks tremendous value though given his record in the race of four times runner-up.

RSA Chase – March 14th

This produced one of the best races of the Festival last year with Might Bite edging out Whisper by a nose. We’re probably not going to see that kind of thrill again. Heading up the field at 5/2 odds with bet365 is Presenting Percy* (betting odds taken on March 7th, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.) but this does look a wide open field. You have the real threat of Monalee in there at a short price, while Black Corton and Elegant Escape look fairly evenly matched, the latter being a great each way option. However, we would opt to take on the favourite by backing Monalee to deliver in the step up in distance at 3/1 odds.

Queen Mother Champion Chase – March 14th

Will Douvan line up for the race to make a return after his huge disappointment twelve months ago? After going off as the favourite he picked up an early injury, jumped terribly as a consequence and finished seventh, opening the door for Special Tiara who is coming back for a title defence. Odds on favourite is the mighty unbeaten Altior who is seven for seven over obstacles. Min though has been in tremendous form and could seriously challenge while making a great each way outside bet is Great Field at sixteens. This could all be about whether or not Min is up for the task on the day of bringing down Altior. It’s worth a shot.

Ryanair – March 15th

This could be Un De Sceaux moment in the Cheltenham spotlight as he has looked in some pretty solid form already this season although they have been routine wins against substandard opposition. He is the reigning champion but is likely to face stiffer challenges than he did in winning last season’s renewal. Waiting Patiently is one of those who gets in the picture after taking down Cue Card at the Ascot Chase. Balke Des Flores ran a great Christmas Chase at Leaorpadown at the back end of last year to finish second. Then you have Cue Card who has a history in the race with is 2013 win but it has been a while he has been in the winner’s circle.

Stayers Hurdle – March 15th

Formerly known as the World Hurdle this year’s field is being headed up by Irish Champion Hurdle winner Supasundae. After back to back defeats to Apple’s Jade to open the season with Supasundae delivered a showing of staying power in holding off Faugheen at Leopardstown to get the Irish Champion Hurdle in early February. That shapes up well for his challenge in this one stepping back up in distance. Sam Spinner is a rapidly improving horse and could show well given his form, while The New One goes for three miles for the first time after misses in recent Champion Hurdles. Still, Supaunde looks such a strong show for this.

Cheltenham Gold Cup – March 16th

The crown jewel of the Festival. Who will get themselves into the history books this year? Might Bite after his thrilling win in the RSA Chase last season at Cheltenham is going as the favourite over reigning champion Sizing John. The latter had a poor run over Christmas and so he will have to rediscover his best, and if he brings his best, he can get closer to landing the blow over Might Bite in this one. Our Duke is a potential outsider chance with a lot of promise but has produced some telling mistakes notably in the Irish Gold Cup and at Gowran this season. Road To Respect won the Christmas Hurdle and will have some appeal in the each-way market for a run at this. However, Might bite is unbeaten over the fences since he suffered that fall in that Kauto Star Novices chase last season. There is an air of raw talent about him but with his win at the RSA Chase last year putting him in good stead here. He has settled down since then and can deliver at 3/1 odds with bet365* (betting odds taken on March 7th, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.), but it may be a tight scrap with the reigning champion Sizing John.


Top Trainer Cheltenham 2018

Gordon Elliott triumphed last season with six winners at the Festival which snapped the dominance that Willie Mullins was running on at the Festival. Mullins has topped out in each of the four previous renewals of the Cheltenham Festival so last season shook things up a bit. Still, Mullins is the even-money favourite at bet365 to get back to the top of the pile followed by Elliott at 2/1* (betting odds taken on March 7th, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.). Nicky Henderson is really the only other trainer in contention but is a long way back at 9/4* (betting odds taken on March 7th, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.) as he looks for what would be his fourth top trainer title at the Cheltenham festival and his first since 2012.

Top Jockey Cheltenham 2018

When will the dominance of Ruby Walsh at the Festival come to end? It has been pretty much procession from the top jockey really as he has won the last five top jockey titles at the Cheltenham Festival and nine of the last ten. The only one to have broken his spell on the Festival is Barry Geraghty who topped the charts in 2012 with five winners. Walsh is once again going as the odds-on favourite at 4/5 with bet365* (betting odds taken on March 7th, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.) to top out this season and it’s hard to pass that up.