Sports News

Cheltenham Festival: The best outside picks for the big races

We are now just one week away from the most hotly anticipated week in horse racing and Park Life Sport have a few picks which could upset the favourites and help you beat the bookies. Book makers are expecting to take in thousands of bets on superstar horses such as Altior and Buveur D’Air who are big favourites to win their respective events, but the money may lie in backing some of the less favoured horses to stage an upset or two.

Champion Hurdle (Tuesday 13th March)

This race is being treated as the “Buveur D’Air vs. Faugheen race”, with the defending champion Buveur D’Air heavy favourite at 4/7 but Faugheen offering stiff competition, having already won the race in 2015. However, there might be profits to be made from betting on My Tent or Yours at 10/1. Faugheen has struggled to return to former glory following an injury in 2016, losing several big races since, and while Buveur D’Air is quite rightly the favourite, at 4/7 you may not be getting value for money if you’re not willing to gamble a larger sum.

Champion Chase (Wednesday 14th March)

All the talk in the build up to this race is about superstar horse Altior and the return of last year’s heavy favourite Douvan, who famously finished a dismal seventh due to injury. Altior is the heavy favourite for this year’s Champion Chase at 8/11 and most punters will be lumping large wagers on the horse. Although, last year’s defeated favourite Douvan reminds us why it is sometimes unwise to rely on an apparent ‘banker’. As it happens, Douvan is the horse we believe offers the best value for money in Wednesday’s headline event; at 9/2 the horse offers the strongest competition to Altior and has just as impressive a record, winning 14 of its 16 races. We recommend including Altior in some doubles and trebles to boost the odds, but if you are going to back one horse for this race, providing it runs, we suggest going with Douvan. There is still a question mark over whether or not Willie Mullins will enter Douvan, with the horse still needing to prove its fitness, but the suggestion is that Mullins is very happy with the horse and it is likely it will run in the Champion Chase.

Gold Cup (Friday 16th March)

The headline event on the final day of race week is the Gold Cup and this is one of the races that will take on the most wagers. Defending champion for this race is Sizing John, however we would strongly advise against banking on the horse to defend its crown. The horse was out of sorts in the Christmas Chase finishing in seventh place and the favourite for this race, Might Bite, is in stellar form leading into the festival. Might Bite is a fairly safe bet however, there is uncertainty over the horse’s capability over the final stretch of this race, so we think a good bet might Native River at 6/1. The horse has run impressively recently and has several wins under his belt.

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