The start of a new year means the build-up to the Cheltenham Festival has officially begun and bet365 are offering Non-Runner No Bet as well as Best Odds Guaranteed on five of the week’s most anticipated Grade 1 races.
The feature race of day one at The Festival is the Champion Hurdle and it’s no surprise that Nicky Henderson’s stable star Constitution Hill heads the betting at 1/4.
Also in the picture for Champion Hurdle glory is Willie Mullins’ State Man at 7/2 and Vauban at .
It remains up for debate whether Henry de Bromhead will decide to take on Constitution Hill with last year’s victor Honeysuckle or instead target the Mares’ Hurdle. For those in the Champion Hurdle camp, she is available at 10/1, or get Non-Runner No Bet and Best Odds Guaranteed at .
Day two of The Festival brings the Champion Chase and it’s Ireland versus Great Britain with a likely clash between last year’s winner Energumene (4/6) for Willie Mullins and Alan King’s Edwardstone (5/2), most recent winner of Sandown’s Tingle Creek Chase.
One of the biggest questions ahead of The Festival is which race Willie Mullins will target with Galopin Des Champs, with some critics posing question marks over his staying power for the Gold Cup. If these are valid concerns, Mullins may instead opt for the Ryanair Chase, where he can be backed at 14/1, or get 1/1 with Non-Runner No Bet and Best Odds Guaranteed.
A more certain contender for the race is Allaho (5/4), who last year become the first horse to emulate the success of Albertas Run and claim successive victories in the race.
Willie Mullins’ Blue Lord can be backed at 5/1 to spoil the Allaho party, while Shishkin is 6/1 to get back to winning ways after an unsuccessful last two starts.
Another of day three’s highlights is the Stayers’ Hurdle, where a competitive market is headed by recent winner of the Christmas Hurdle, Home By The Lee (11/2), closely followed by Blazing Khal (), Klassical Dream (7/1), and reigning Stayers’ Hurdle champion Flooring Porter (7/1).
Stayers’ Hurdle stalwart Paisley Park is available at 12/1 for Emma Lavelle.
The week reaches a crescendo with Friday’s Gold Cup, with Galopin Des Champs 6/4 to put previous Cheltenham nightmares to bed and achieve ultimate Festival glory.
Venetia Williams will be hoping that L’Homme Presse (6/1) can bounce back from unseating jockey Charlie Deutsch in the King George after his hopes were scuppered at the last fence by Bravemansgame, a 7/1 Gold Cup contender for Paul Nicholls.
Last year’s winner A Plus Tard is 6/1 for Henry de Bromhead.
(Odds correct at time of publishing. Best Odds Guaranteed applies to the Non-Runner No Bet markets in the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Ryanair Chase, Stayers' Hurdle, and Cheltenham Gold Cup).