2018 Cheltenham Festival Hot Pots

2018 Cheltenham festival

2018 Cheltenham Festival Hot Pots


There are 28 races at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival and it’s the most competitive meeting of the year. There are five odds-on favourites and the accumulator pays over 11/1. All these bankers look good things but the bookmakers nearly always get one beat. In 2015 Annie Power’s fall at the last hurdle saved the industry a fortune. Despite the cramped odds statistically two of the five will be overturned. The problem is identifying the races and then deciding whether to be a backer or a layer. Here is a guide to the five hot pots at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.

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Champion Hurdle


Buveur D’Air (8/15) is well clear on ratings and can get the acca off to a good start by winning the Champion Hurdle again. The winner in 2017 has improved and no genuine challenger has emerged in Britain. Faugheen has lost some spark and would have to produce his best form to give Buveur d’Air a race. This is an odds-on shot that should be shorter in the betting and the one not to oppose. BACK!
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Mares’ Hurdle



Apple’s Jade (8/13) is the defending champion but could be vulnerable. The horse has the best form in the race but lost at Newcastle in 2016 when running below form. Apple’s Jade was outpaced by the decent Irving receiving seven pounds. That form makes the horse’s odds seem short despite running at a much higher level in other Grade 1 races. There is just a slight doubt Apple’s Jade can deliver. LAY!

Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle


Samcro (8/11) is the horse all of Ireland will be backing. There has been no pressure in remaining unbeaten but its more potential than form on the track. Samcro has only won at Grade 3 level and this race will be a different proposition. Visually the horse looks like a world beater but the greatest test is yet to come and Samco could be found wanting at Cheltenham. LAY!

Champion Chase


Altior (8/11) has claims to be the best horse in training and could be as good as Sprinter Sacre. The horse has won different races at the last two festivals and looks nailed on to win the Champion Chase. Altior has the best form in the race and should beat Douvan even if that horse fires on all cylinders in what could be the race of the week. BACK!

Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle


Laurina (4/6) is the best novice amongst the mares so cannot be opposed in their championship race. Willie Mullins has won both renewals to date and can maintain his 100% record. Laurina is ahead of the field on ratings and form and could be value at a lower price. In a relatively weak division this odds-on favourite can oblige. BACK!


If we dismiss the two vulnerable horses the treble on Buveur d’Air, Altior and Laurina pays about 100/30! Backing and laying short-priced favourites is fraught with danger but we have identified the way to play it Cheltenham.

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