Autopilot Leads

Thursday, March 7, 2019

What The Bookies Don’t Want You To Know At Cheltenham

1. Take Advantage Of Special Offers

This may sound contradictory to the title but the bookies want you to become their regular as a punter. They want you to place all your bets in one place. At the Festival there are so many offering different bonuses, you must shop around.
Some of the best offers to take advantage of are:

  • Money back if your horse loses (risk free betting is our favourite offer!)
  • Extra places – get 4, 5 or even 6 places paid Each Way instead of just 3
  • Money back if the favourite beats your horse
Each of these can provide an easy cash, free bet or bonus boost to your Cheltenham bankroll, allowing to you bet less but win more.

2 Don’t Read Too Much Into Trainer Quotes

Trainers may see their horses each day but that often means that they don’t see the bigger picture. Some trainers are constantly positive in the face of stiff tasks, unerringly positive about every horse in their yard – even if it’s finished last on its four starts…
While it’s not a bad idea to at least take note of what we are told as punters from the yards themselves, don’t take it as gospel as animals have a habit of making fools of the best of us.
With so many trainers having blogs and putting out comments, don’t let them sway you off a strong opinion!

3 - Watch The Markets Closely

While a drifter (horse which increases in price) in the market doesn’t always lose, it is a solid sign that someone doesn’t think it is likely to win. A close watch of the betting can foretell a forthcoming news story.
This works the other way, as our daily market movers show. A horse’s price tumbling is worth a second look, especially at the Festival with handicaps where bigger bets can be placed than the rest of the year – so it takes more money to move the price. Late money at the Cheltenham track (sometimes reported on ITV) is the most telling.

4 - Follow The Trends

The “trends” will be widely banded about by experts before Cheltenham – for example, 14 of the last 16 winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup had run over fences at Cheltenham before.
Stamina and experience trends are especially notable. Cheltenham has a steep uphill finish and some races tend to be won by horses with extra petrol in the tank to get them up that difficult finish.
Listen to the experts (and check out our racecards) to help narrow down your shortlist for the big races by removing unsuitable horses.

5 - Consider Second And Third String Horses

We see this all the time both flat and jumps, the hot favourite turned over by a lesser fancied stablemate.
The trainer and jockey (even Ruby Walsh!) won’t get it right all of the time and when even the least fancied of three still cost £300,000 after bolting up in a point to point, there is value to be had by challenging the favourite.

Cheltenham Outsiders That Could And Should Be Considered

Annamix [Supreme Novices’ Hurdle]

Hardline [Arkle or JLT Novices’ Chase]

Espoir D’Allen [Champion Hurdle]

Easy Game [Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle]

Bacardys (Stayers’ Hurdle – Thursday)

Coney Island (Ryanair Chase – Thursday)

Shattered Love (Gold Cup – Friday)

Brewin’upastorm – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

Pacha Du Polder – Foxhunter Chase

Politologue – Ryanair Chase

Trainers To Have On Your Side For Cheltenham

1. Gordon Elliot

This year, the Grand National-winning trainer holds live chances in several of the championship and Grade 1 events including Apple's Jade in the Champion Hurdle and Delta Work in the RSA Novices' Chase. It would be difficult to argue with his odds of 11-10 to finish the four days as leading trainer.

2. Nicky Henderson

The master of Seven Barrows may have been overtaken by Willie Mullins as the leading trainer in festival history but he still plans to run a formidably powerful team – lead by the brilliant Altior and dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D'Air.

3. Willie Mullins

Ireland's champion trainer needs little introduction and overtook Nicky Henderson as the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history. Having saddled eight winners in 2015, seven in 2017 and seven again last year, the pressure is once again on for the master of Closutton.
Bellshill and Kemboy in the Gold Cup, Faugheen in the Stayers' Hurdle and Laurina in the Champion Hurdle.

4. Paul Nicholls

The trainer, who has been leading trainer at Cheltenham six times, has been in the doldrums as far as saddling Grade 1 winners at the festival is concerned but will saddle a stronger team this time, lead by King George VI Chase hero Clan Des Obeaux, while he also holds live chances with Quel Destin and Frodon too.

5. Henry de Bromhead

Henry de Bromhead returned to the winner's enclosure with the ill-fated Special Tiara after six years without a win and he returns with several interesting prospects for this year's meeting.
Balko De Flos, last season's Ryanair winner, has not produced the goods so far this term but he would have a live chance on softer ground, while Grade 1 scorer Monalee holds entries for both the Gold Cup and Ryanair.
6. Nigel Twiston-Davies
The Gloucestershire-based trainer did not manage to get on the scoreboard last term but managed to pick up second and third placings last year including with Wholestone in the Stayers'.
Twiston-Davies won the 2010 Gold Cup with Imperial Commander and if the forecast rain falls it will suit his dual Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai. Arguably his best chance of the week lies with Betfair Hurdle winner Al Dancer, who won a handicap over course and distance in December and is the general 3-1 favourite for the Supreme.