Cheltenham National Hunt Chase
National Hunt Chase betting verdict
The opener on race day two is the longest race of the entire festival and one for the most promising amateur riders. Derek O’Connor took all the plaudits for his ride on Chicago Grey for trainer Donald McCain a year ago, but Soll currently heads the market for this event, should Willie Mullins’ gelding take in the race. Stamina holds the key to this event and the marathon four mile trip could catch several of these runners out, but two horses that feature heavily at the top end of the market are Harry The Viking and Teaforthree. Get a free £25 bet with William Hill.
Beshabar is another who might be struggling to get up the hill after four miles round Cheltenham so the horse who could give Alfa Beat the most to do could be Some Target who proved his stamina for this sort of trip last time out.
National Hunt Chase odds
Winning amateurs of this chase in the past have gone on to become highly respected jockeys and it will be interesting to see who rides for the top stables. Last year it was Katy Walsh (younger sister of Ruby) who celebrated her first ever Cheltenham Festival success aboard French chaser Poker de Sivola. Ferdy Murphy’s 7yo won at 14/1 by two-and-half lengths which is evidence that there is value to be had in the novices’ market. In fact, punters may want to shy away from the favourite in this one; only one favourite has won in the last decade in which time horses 33/1 bar have triumphed in.
Some punters will argue the ability of the jockey is vital if a horse is going to perform and get the best out of their mount. But here, we enter the unknown a little with regards these apprentices and their capabilities. However, a few have caught the eye over the past twelve months or so, notably Sam Twiston-Davies riding for his father and it would also be unwise to overlook any novice chaser ridden by Nina Carberry and/or Katie Walsh. It promises to be a truly fantastic race on the big stage at Cheltenham for these youngsters but perhaps for this race its best to focus attention on the top trainers. Look no further than Jonjo O’Neill, the Irish ex-jockey has trained four winners since the turn of the millennium and money is sure to arrive for his runner(s) again.
In previous years…
Recent runnings of this event suggests the older horses tend to see the trip out better than their younger competitors. The four miles is a real test of stamina and the extra experience is a huge advantage, seven and eight year-olds have done well previously but finding the balance between an experienced horse and an expose one could prove a tough nut to crack. Younger horses with fewer miles on the clock should not be discounted though, Tricky Trickster won the 2009 running as a 6yo which makes this one of the hardest races of the entire festival to call. The National Hunt Steeple Chase is probably one in which many betting folk may discard as a betting race yet still cast a watchful eye over the next generation of potential jump jockeys.
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