Top 8 Races to Bet on at Cheltenham Festival 2018
There will be 28 races at Cheltenham Festival 2018, each of which will display some excellent horses. Bookmakers are pretty clear on who they think will win, but as is always the case with major horse racing betting events, the odds are constantly changing, especially with horses competing elsewhere leading up.
Each race is distinguished in one way or another and steeped in cultural history. While many have undergone facelifts over the years, certain classics have remained similar to their original conception. If you haven’t already picked out the races that you’ll be betting this year, we’ve compiled a list of the best for you to consider:
JLT Novices’ Chase (Thursday, March 15th)
This race was originally sponsored by Jewson the builders merchant and was established in 2011 as a new race at the Festival. Its leading jockey is Ruby Walsh, who has won on Vautour in 2015, Black Hercules in 2016 and Yorkhill in 2017. The leading trainer for this race is Willie Mullins, who has 4 wins since its inception.
The favourite for the 2018 Golden Miller Novices’ Chase is Footpad who is currently 2/1 over at Paddy Power.
Champion Hurdle (Tuesday, March 13th)
The Champion Hurdle is the most prestigious hurdling event in the National Hunt calendar. Its winners list has many of the highest rated hurdlers in horse racing’s history including National Spirit, Istabraq, Hatton’s Grace and Persian War. Its leading trainer is Nicky Henderson who has 6 wins under his belt.
If you’re looking for a decent outside shot for the Champion Hurdle at the 2018 festival, consider Melon, who’s currently 14/1 with Betfair.
Festival Trophy (Tuesday, March 13th)
Not all Grade 3 races are considered exciting, but the Festival Trophy (originally the National Hunt Handicap Chase is a major exception as winners of this race will often take part in the Grand National (albeit not always during the same season). The 2016 and 2017 races were won by Un Temps Pour Tout, who will not be running this year.
The favourite this year is Buveur D’air, a previous Cheltenham winner, who’s at 4/9 to win with Betsafe.
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Friday, March 16th)
Twelve hurdles make up the task for the Spa Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham. This race was introduced at the festival in 2005 when a fourth day was added to the meeting. Its leading jockey is Irishman Tony McCoy, who has won 3 times in 2006, 2007 and 2013. It will be the last race before the Gold Cup on the Friday of the 2018 festival.
Check out Santini for this one. He is currently 7/1 with William Hill, where you can also get Non Runner Insurance.
National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup (Tuesday, March 13th)
The National Hunt Challenge Cup is the longest race at Cheltenham at 4 miles long. It is open to horses five years and older and is run on the old course. There are twenty four fences to be jumped, with the race considered a serious test of strength and endurance for its horses.
Take a look at Dounikos, who is 9/1 with Unibet, for the 2018 edition of this race.
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday, March 14th)
Sponsored by Betway, this is the leading minimum-distance chase in the National Hunt calendar and is the feature race on the second day of the festival. The title of the race is in recognition of the Queen’s support of jump racing. The most successful horse in this race Badsworth Boy, won three in a row - 1983, 1984 and 1985.
Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle (Tuesday, March 13th)
The injury of If The Cap Fits changed up the field for this one. The Supreme Novices Hurdle is a fan favourite due to it being the opening race of each festival. It will begin at 1:30pm on Tuesday, March 13th and will be run at a length of over two miles and half-a-furlong.
The favourite for the first race at Cheltenham 2018 is Getabird, who is being offered at 6/4 at Grosvenor Sports.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup (Friday, March 16th)
The Gold Cup is Cheltenham’s best-loved race and is always a staple for Cheltenham betting fans. Alongside horse racing fanatics, the Gold Cup sees once-a-year bettors partake in their masses. It is the fourth last race of the festival and is run at a distance of over 3 miles and 2 furlongs.
If you’ve been scouting for a winner at the Cheltenham 2018 Gold Cup, try Sizing John at 6/1 with Black Type.
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