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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Gold Cup Favourite to miss Newbury and head straight to Cheltenham

This week’s meeting at Newbury will be seen by the racing world as a last chance to get a good look at some of the most newsworthy runners and riders in the run up to the Cheltenham Festival. But while Nicky Henderson is still teasing the media about whether or not we will catch a glimpse of Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Altior, he has been unequivocal about his biggest star attraction. Might Bite is heading straight to Cheltenham.

Henderson had considered running the horse at Newbury in the Denman Chase, where he would get to run with other Gold Cup contenders, including Native River and Cloudy Dream. But ultimately, he felt there was nothing to be gained. Part owner David Minton commented: “As far as I was concerned he was never really going to run this weekend. Nicky has basically always been happy to go straight [to Cheltenham] with him.” 

Can anyone beat Might Bite? 

The tipsters feel that the biggest competition will come from last year’s winner Sizing John, and the fact that he is not running at Newbury will certainly have been a factor in Henderson’s decision to go straight to Cheltenham. Minton agreed that Jessie Harrington’s surprise package from 2017 will be one to watch, but questioned whether she had managed to get him to full fitness for this year. He added: "There's no one better than Nicky to produce a horse right for the big day." 

A big pay day for punters? 

If all goes to form, there is the argument that the fans and professional gamblers will struggle to enjoy a lucrative pay day. However, the experts at Aussie betting site Bettingpro.com.au say it all depends on how you place your bets, and are offering quaddie tips for enterprising punters hungry for a big win. With the rise of international gambling, the Australian phenomenon of quaddie betting is attracting a growing following and involves betting on the last four races on the card. 

Essentially, it follows the same principle as the traditional accumulator. Last year, quaddies the bookmakers took a record number of quaddie bets on the Melbourne Cup, and also paid out some impressive winnings. Like any accumulator, quaddies can mount up fast. At Melbourne, it paid out over $6,000, and back in 2007, a rank outsider won the final race at the Melbourne Spring Carnival, bringing the prize pot up to an eye-watering $1.4 million. 

Try a quaddie at Cheltenham? 

So could a quaddie be the way forward for Cheltenham race goers who want to finish the festival week on a high note? There are certain to be plenty of takers, so after Might Bite in the Gold Cup, where will the smart money be wagered in the final three races? The tipsters fancy Foxrock in the Foxhunter Chase, Off You Go in the Martin Pipe Handicap and Any Second Now in the Grand Annual. With post ante odds of 8/1, 12/1 and 14/1 respectively, the winnings could be astronomical.

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