2014 CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL BETTING – THREE ANTE POST VALUE BETS
TV Bet has analysed the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival in search of value ante-post bets at the big meeting. Here we have highlighted three horses, each of which is currently trading at a double figure price, which punters are advised to include within their 2014 ante-post Cheltenham betting portfolio.
Race: Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase, March 11
Best Cheltenham odds: 14/1 – SkyBet
This Grade 3 contest, better known as the Festival Handicap Chase, is invariably fiercely competitive and, looking at the entries, this year’s renewal is unlikely to be any different. However, the one that stands out is Annacotty who has quickly made up into a very useful novice chaser this season; he landed the Feltham Novices’ Chase in first-time blinkers at Kempton on Boxing Day and, though that was hardly the strongest of the Grade 1 races, it was hard not to be impressed with the manner of his victory.
Martin Keighley’s charge subsequently finished a highly creditable second in a well-contested 2m 5f novices’ handicap at Cheltenham won by the progressive Indian Castle. The six-year-old tackled the fences at Prestbury Park with real gusto and battled well up the hill, leaving the impression that stepping back up to 3m at the Festival will be in his favour. Up just 2lb for that effort, Annacotty remains competitively treated and is a must-bet in this Grade 3 contest.
Race: Byrne Group Plate, March 13
Best Cheltenham odds: 16/1 – William Hill
Though below his best in his first three starts of the season, Tap Night shaped as though he was peaking at just the right time when third behind Wishfull Thinking and Double Ross in a valuable handicap at Cheltenham towards the end of January. The seven-year-old peaked during the spring last season and it appears that his trainer, Lucinda Russell, has fine-tuned his campaign with the big meetings here and at Aintree once again very much in mind.
The aforementioned duo could renew rivalry with Tap Night in the Byrne Group Plate, but the Pleasant Tap gelding will enjoy a pull at the weights with Wishfull Thinking and Double Ross at the Festival, while it also augurs well that his stable has been in terrific form of late. He’s simply too good to miss at 16/1 with William Hill.
Race: Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, March 14
Best Cheltenham odds: 12/1 – Betfred
The ante-post market for the Grand Annual, the final race of the Cheltenham Festival, has been dominated by Irish raider Ted Veale. He landed the County Hurdle at last year’s Festival and has clearly been trained with this race in mind by the shrewd Tony Martin. However, he will have his work cut out to beat the progressive Next Sensation who has won his last three completed starts, most recently at Doncaster where he produced an exhibition round of jumping.
He’s been raised 9lb for that, but the runner-up in that race, God’s Own, subsequently filled the same spot in a Grade 2 novices’ chase at Kempton, so the form looks strong. Next Sensation’s sound jumping technique will stand him in good stead at Prestbury Park, while he is clearly well suited by racing left-handed. Michael Scudamore’s charge rates a solid bet at 12/1 with Hills.
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