Article written

  • on 11.03.2015
  • at 11:36 PM
  • by KT

Cheltenham Festival 2015 Tips – Day 3 (Thursday)

Day 1 of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival was excellent, with a 2/1 winner and 4 places at 12/1, 12/1, 10/1 and 25/1. But Wednesday was a real struggle, and we’ll be hoping to bounce back on World Hurdle day!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BigBettingBlog for more Cheltenham Festival news, tips, competitions and banter. Why not tweet us your selections/winners and we’ll RT a few of the best.

Good luck if you’re following any (or all!) of our picks.


1:30 JLT Novices’ Chase

Vautor demolished the field in last year’s Supreme Hurdle and will be popular among the Irish, but we like the look of PTIT ZIG (9/2). Paul Nicholls’ runner was 4 from 4 before taking a tumble at Ascot last time out and should be there or thereabouts if that didn’t take too much out of him.

PTIT ZIG – 2pts Win @ 9/2 (William Hill)

Profile of recent winners:

  • 3 of the 4 winners were trained in Ireland
  • 8 of the 12 win or places horses won on their previous start
  • The Scilly Isles Chase & Dipper Chase should be a good guide
  • There has been no winner of a Festival novices’ chase since 1990 aged over 8 at up to 3m ½f

Best offers on the race:

SkyBet » Refund if your bet on the JLT is 2nd/3rd (£25 max, ALL customers)
Coral » Refunded bets if your horse is a faller.
Bet365 » Back a winner at 3/1, get a free bet on next race (£25 max, ALL customers)
BetBright » Refund if your horse is 2nd to the Fav (£25 max)


2:05 Pertemps Final (H’cap Hurdle)

Very few winners of one of the 16 qualifying races have gone on to actually claim this prize, so those should be treated with caution. Edeymi appears to have been aimed at this for some time, whilst AP McCoy’s choice to ride Regal Encore is a clue in itself, but we’ve opted for Nicky Henderson’s CALL THE COPS (10/1) despite having to contend with a 5lb penalty for an impressive performance at Doncaster last time out.

CALL THE COPS – 1pt E/W @ 10/1 (SkyBet, 5 places)

Profile of recent winners:

  • 13 of the last 14 winners were officially rated 142 or lower
  • 16 of the last 18 winners hadn’t won a qualifying race
  • 10 of the last 11 winners started at double figure odds
  • 7 of the last 9 renewals were won by horses aged 8 and over
  • 3 of the last 6 winners finished in the first five in the Fixed Brush Hurdle
  • Respect Jonjo O’Neill, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Willie Mullins and David Pipe
  • JP McManus has owned 3 winners
  • Respect the Irish challenge
  • Only 1 winning 5 year-old in the race’s 41 year history

Best offers on the race:

Coral » Refunded bets if your horse is a faller.
Bet365 » Back a winner at 3/1, get a free bet on next race (£25 max, ALL customers)
BetBright » Refund if your horse is 2nd to the Fav (£25 max)


2:40 Ryanair Chase

This looks like a decent race on paper and were backing BALDER SUCCESS (8/1) to continue on an upward curve after winning the Ascot Chase. Don Cossack is probably the one to beat on raw form, but has yet to win going left-handed and is worth taking on at the price.

BALDER SUCCESS – 1pt E/W @ 8/1 (Paddy Power)

Profile of recent winners:

  • 16 of the 19 winners and runners-up had won at Cheltenham before
  • All 7 winners since it became a Grade 1 race had run in the King George VI Chase before
  • Since the upgrade to Grade 1 status, horses with solid 3m form have taken over
  • 4 of the 10 winners finished in the first 3 in the Ascot Chase
  • 9 of the 10 winners went off at 6/1 or shorter
  • Only 1 of the 8 Peterborough Chase winners to run has even placed
  • No Irish trained winners to date

Best offers on the race:

Coral » Refunded bets if your horse is a faller.
Bet365 » Back a winner at 3/1, get a free bet on next race (£25 max, ALL customers)
BetBright » Refund if your horse is 2nd to the Fav (£25 max)


3:20 LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE

This is hardly a vintage renewal of the World Hurdle and the fact that we are tipping up ZARKANDAR (11/2) highlights that perfectly. Most of the field have some sort of doubt cast over them, including last year’s Coral Cup winner Whisper, who was turned over at 2/5 on her only run of the season. Saphir Du Rheu carries the famous colours of Big Buck’s, and it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him run well.

ZARKANDAR – 2pts Win @ 11/2 (Paddy Power)

Profile of recent winners:

  • The last 15 winners all finished in the first two in their last outing
  • 7 of the last 14 winners or runners-up prepped in the Cleeve Hurdle
  • 8 of the last 12 winners won last time out
  • 10 of the last 21 winners ran in the Long Walk Hurdle
  • The last 14 winners started in the first 4 in the betting
  • The last 13 winners finished first or second on all hurdle starts that season
  • 9 of the last 13 winners were bred in France
  • 10 of the last 13 winners had won a pattern race over 3 miles
  • No 5 year-old has ever won
  • Just 1 front runner has placed since 1996

Best offers on the race:

Coral » Refunded bets if your horse is a faller.
Bet365 » Back a winner at 3/1, get a free bet on next race (£25 max, ALL customers)
BetBright » Refund if your horse is 2nd to the Fav (£25 max)


4:00 Byrne Group Plate (H’cap Chase)

David Pipe has won 3 of the last 5 runnings and MONETAIRE (7/1) could go well this time around, following up on an impressive win at Newbury on just his 2nd UK start. You could make a case for a number of these runners however, including Un Ace, Caid Du Berlais and Make A Track.

MONETAIRE – 1pt E/W @ 7/1 (Bet365)

Profile of recent winners:

  • 25 of the last 27 winners were officially rated no higher than 141
  • 24 of the last 27 winners had run in the last 6 weeks
  • 15 of the last 16 winners had run no more than 16 times over fences
  • French bred horses have won 50% of renewals since 1999 from a small representation
  • 8 of the last 10 runnings won by Venetia Williams, Nicky Henderson and David Pipe trained horses
  • 13 of the last 14 winners started at a double figure price
  • 6 of the last 12 winners and runners-up were novices
  • 10 of the last 15 top-three finishers came from the bottom 7 horses in the handicap
  • 19 of the last 23 winners had run at the Cheltenham Festival before
  • Just 1 Irish trained winner since 1951
  • Just 1 horse carrying over 11st has finished in the first 3 in the last 6 years

Best offers on the race:

Coral » Refunded bets if your horse is a faller.
Bet365 » Back a winner at 3/1, get a free bet on next race (£25 max, ALL customers)
BetBright » Refund if your horse is 2nd to the Fav (£25 max)


4:40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup (H’cap)

Another tough handicap to round off the day, and we’re taking an each-way punt on MASTERS HILL (14/1).  The selection will have to saddle 11-11 but has one of the better jockeys in the saddle and could run a big race. Champagne James has been knocking on the door this season whilst Just A Par could also spring a surprise.

MASTERS HILL – 1pt E/W @ 14/1 (SkyBet)

Profile of recent winners:

  • 15 of the last 21 winners were aged 8 or 9
  • 21 of the last 24 win and placed horses were ridden by non-claiming amateur jockeys
  • 8 of the last 10 runnings were won by non-claiming amateur jockeys
  • Give precedence to horses towards the top half of the handicap
  • The last 14 winners ran over at least 3 miles last time out
  • 6 of the last 10 winners ran in a handicap chase at Cheltenham earlier in the season
  • Just 1 of the last 32 winners were Irish trained
  • The last winner not to run in a handicap last time out was in 1985
  • Paul Nicholls has 1 placed horse from 16 runners

Best offers on the race:

Coral » Refunded bets if your horse is a faller.
Bet365 » Back a winner at 3/1, get a free bet on next race (£25 max, ALL customers)
BetBright » Refund if your horse is 2nd to the Fav (£25 max)


Huge thanks to CheltenhamTrends.co.uk for supplying us with all the stats and figures on the Cheltenham Festival.

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