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Friday, 21 January 2022

Three Horses Who Represent Great Each-Way Value at Cheltenham

We are edging closer to the biggest week of the year in National Hunt racing with the Cheltenham Festival in March. As ever in jumps racing, all roads lead to the meeting. 

The entries are now in for the four-day event and here are some horses which represent great value if you are looking for some ante-post each-way bets before the festival. 

Champion Hurdle – Epatante (9/1) 

It is not often that a former winner of the Champion Hurdle has odds of 9/1 in the betting at Cheltenham for the premier hurdle contest of the meeting. The 2020 winner could not defend her crown last year as Honeysuckle established herself as the new star of the division.


Nicky Henderson’s runner has had a much better campaign this season heading into the festival. She finished in a dead-heat for first place in the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and then scored emphatically in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle. Given how well she has performed in his two outings this season, Epatante should be one of the leading Cheltenham betting tips for those who are opposing Honeysuckle. Last year’s winner is clearly the one to beat, but she is far too short in the market now for a repeat victory.

Champion Chase – Nube Negra (12/1) 

Nube Negra was less than a length away from winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2021. He had to settle for second place behind Put The Kettle On. That was Dan Skelton runner’s sixth start over fences, so this horse is capable of delivering much more.

 

The season started well for the eight-year-old as he won the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, scoring by six lengths ahead of Politologue and Put The Kettle On, respectively. Skelton’s star chaser was not at his best in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase last time out. In what is unusual for him, he was not fluent over his fences. The only positive of that race was that he finished ahead of Chacun Pour Soi, one of the fancied runners for the Champion Chase.

Nube Negra could be the forgotten horse in the 2m chase race on day two of the meeting. If you ignore his last run, he goes into the feature race of the day with big claims. 

Cheltenham Gold Cup – Asterion Forlonge (14/1) 

If you look at the form of Asterion Forlonge this season alone, it would be hard to make a case for him in the most prestigious stayers’ chase race in the sport. However, he was travelling well in both of his races before coming down. 

Willie Mullins’ runner made the trip over for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton. He was running on well when he fell at the last fence in the festive feature

The extra distance in the Gold Cup may just take away some pressure from his jumping. As long as this horse has the stamina to get up the hill, something Mullins must be confident about, he may be good enough to win an open renewal of this race this year. 

Good luck with your Cheltenham Festival bets. Hopefully, it ends as a successful meeting for you.

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