The contest has been fairly open in previous years as Samcro won the event for Gordon Elliott, although Willie Mullins has pulled off four victories in the event. Elliott will go for his second win on the bounce and he has an impressive charge in the form over Battleoverdoyen to achieve the feat. The bay gelding has won all of his three races, including his last outing in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.
He has not competed in the United Kingdom and more importantly Cheltenham, which raises a few concerns. Nicky Henderson’s Champ has outstanding credentials, winning his last four races in a row. He produced a fine performance last time out in December at the Challow Novices’ Hurdle to win the event by a comfortable margin. It should be a good battle between the two horses, but give the edge to Champ due to his experience at odds of 11/43.75+2752.752.75-0.36 with Bet365.
RSA Novices’ Chase
This race drops hints about which horse will challenge for the Cheltenham Gold Cup next season. There are quality competitors in the race, beginning with the bookmakers’ favourite Delta Work. The French-bred horse has won all three of his meets this term, producing a fine display last time out to win the Neville Hotels Novice Chase. Elliott’s charge has form on his side and a victory last season at Cheltenham under his belt in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle.
Santini is there with Delta Work at the top, although he finished third last time out in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and has also endured an injury scare. He could even miss the race should Henderson withdraw him late. Topofthegame does have a shot, finishing second in his two races this term, while he only missed out in the Coral Cup by a neck last year. Delta Work is the option for this one at odds of 2/13.00+2002.002.00-0.50 with Bet365.
The Coral Cup is seemingly stacked in the favour of one horse, but Cheltenham is one of the great equalisers, especially given that Uradel is not an outstanding competitor. Mullins’ charge does not have a victory this term, producing his best finish in the Cesarewitch Stakes. He was beaten out on the line by Low Sun at Newmarket in October and has not been great since. Brio Conti won his last outing and does have form entering the race, although not the pedigree at Cheltenham.
Vision Des Flos finished sixth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle last season, but did win the National Spirit Hurdle in February. Cracking Smart had an excellent start to his career, but he has tailed off over the last couple of years due to injury. Elliott’s charge was solid at the Boyne Hurdle last time out and could surprise at good value at odds of 14/115.00+140014.0014.00-0.07 with Bet365.
Min has won his last two races, but he has not faced a competitor of the quality of Altior. Look for betting odds for the race without Altior for value. The bay gelding will take the win comfortably at odds of 2/51.40-2500.40-2.500.40 with 888Sport.
Cross Country Chase
This one also feels like another lock for the favourite. There are not many horses of the ilk of Tiger Roll. He was dominant in the event last season, claiming the crown by a comfortable margin. Elliott’s charge used the momentum of his victory at Cheltenham to take into the Grand National. Tiger Roll triumphed at the National with a great run, managing to see off the threat of Pleasant Company on the line.
He was off the pace as Josies Orders won the Cross Country Handicap Chase in November, placing fourth. Enda Bolger’s charge will provide tough competition for Tiger Roll. He is a former champion in the event, triumphing in 2016. Bolger also sends Auvergnat into the race with an impressive pedigree. The two horses do boast quality, but enough to defeat Tiger Roll. Take Elliott’s horse for the win at odds of 5/42.25+1251.251.25-0.80 with Bet365.
Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
This contest promises to be one of the more open races of the day. Elliott emerged with the victory last season as Veneer of Charm took the crown. Paul Nicholls has been the most successful trainer in the race, securing three victories with his last coming in 2016 when Diego du Charmil triumphed. His best hope this time around is a 25/1 shout in the form of Dogon, so it would be a surprise to see him claim the crown in 2019.
Joseph O’Brien has the favourite Band of Outlaws, who has won his last two races to enter the Festival with form. Chief Justice is an intriguing horse out of Elliott’s yard, recording two victories in the term. At odds of 12/113.00+120012.0012.00-0.08 he provides a great deal of value in an unpredictable race at Bet365.
Mullins has dominated the Champion Bumper, reeling off nine wins in the event since 1992. He arrives with an impressive charge to take the crown on this occasion. Blue Sari does not have a lot of experience, but the bay gelding put forward a dominant performance in his only outing, finishing 11 lengths ahead of the rest of the field at the P.J. Foley Memorial Flat Race.
Envoi Allen has reeled off three victories on the bounce and will provide fierce competition for Mullins’ charge. His performance in the Matheson last time out was impressive, defeating Meticulous by one-and-a-quarter lengths. Elliott’s charge has the form if not quote the explosive potential of his rival. Therefore take him at odds of 10/34.33+3333.333.33-0.30 to beat Blue Sari for the win at 888Sport.
Champ To Win Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Wednesday 13th March 2019 13:30 GMT
Delta Work To Win RSA Novices’ Chase
Wednesday 13th March 2019 14:10 GMT
Cracking Smart To Win Coral Cup
Wednesday 13th March 2019 14:50 GMT
Altior To Win Champion Chase
Wednesday 13th March 2019 15:30 GMT
Tiger Roll To Win Cross Country Chase
Wednesday 13th March 2019 16:10 GMT
Chief Justice To Win Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Wednesday 13th March 2019 16:50 GMT
Envoi Allen To Win Champion Bumper
Wednesday 13th March 2019 17:30 GMT
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