The Cheltenham Festival is huge in the world of horse racing. Over four days every March, the best National Hunt thoroughbreds compete in 28 different races so, if you like to bet, you’re spoiled for choice.
Many punters like to get their bets on well in advance and sometimes receive better odds than on the day of the races. With that in mind, here are our early 2019 Cheltenham Festival betting tips.
Elixir De Nutz (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle)
There’s no substitute for proven form at Cheltenham racecourse when it comes to the Festival. In the meeting’s traditional opening event, the Supreme for novice hurdlers, only one horse fits the bill.
Elixir De Nutz has two wins from three starts at the Gloucestershire track over the approximate two-mile distance of this race. While others are more respected than others, given who owns and trains them, there are reasons to bet against them.
Horse racing in the UK was temporarily suspended to prevent an equine flu epidemic, and that caused a key prep race for Supreme favourite Angels Breath at Huntingdon to be cancelled. There has also been a strong suggestion that JP McManus could run Fakir D’Oudairies in this race at the age of four after purchasing the Finesse Juvenile Hurdle winner.
Juvenile horses very seldom take on their elders at the Festival, and it might be too much too soon. With the market principals having their prep interrupted. With these question marks hanging over them respectively, an each-way punt elsewhere makes sense. Colin Tizzard’s Grade 2 course and distance winner Elixir De Nutz ticks plenty of boxes because he also has a Grade 1 victory.
Altior (Queen Mother Champion Chase)
Every Cheltenham Festival has one horse that looks a banker and Altior – unbeaten over obstacles in 17 starts – looks just that again this year. He has already won three times in as many seasons at this meeting for British Champion jumps trainer, Nicky Henderson.
When it comes to Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham, Altior is the best bet of the day according to social betting and tipster service betconnect, because he looks sure to scare the opposition away. We are talking about a superstar horse who is a short price with very good reason. Altior has won virtually every top two-mile chase there is on offer in the UK.
A successful defence of his Champion Chase crown looks assured, as many rivals are set to avoid getting beat by him again and run over a longer distance in the Ryanair Chase later on in the meeting.
Quel Destin (Triumph Hurdle)
Paul Nicholls has had two winners of the four-year-olds-only Triumph Hurdle in the past, and Quel Destin has course and distance winning form in the book. While the Irish juveniles look very impressive, McManus and trainer Joseph O’Brien may keep the aforementioned Fakir D’Oudairies and Sir Erec apart.
The latter is a hot favourite for this and respected on both his Flat and Irish jumps form. However, he is very short in the Triumph Hurdle betting as a result. Quel Destin is the leading British juvenile and has improved since leaving France to land back-to-back Grade 2s and a Grade 1 at Chepstow.
Nicholls has a real battler on his hands, who has dug deep to win his last couple of starts. Quel Destin looks a fine each-way bet for the Triumph at double-figure odds as a result.