Please Note: Next Race meeting is Wednesday 24th April 2024

Who to keep an eye on at Cheltenham? State Man for starters..

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest event on the National Hunt racing calendar anywhere in the world and the roar that greets the tapes flying up for the opener on Tuesday always raises a smile for racing fans of any creed.

The 28 race extravaganza from March 12-15 invites comparisons with its equivalent in Flat racing at Royal Ascot, although it’s a newbie by comparison. The modern day Festival started life as the National Hunt Meeting in 1911.

What to look out for

If you want to place a bet on a major horse racing event, the next big event worth having a flutter on is this week’s Cheltenham Festival, which features some of the world’s best horses, jockeys and trainers.

Today’s most trusted South African online bookmakers like 10bet are already offering some of the iGaming industry’s most competitive odds for the 28 races that are scheduled to take place over the four-day event, adding to a highly competitive betting market.

All the talk is of two horses in Friday’s Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup. Last year’s winner, Galopin Des Champs, is seeking a repeat bid, looking for back-to-back wins. Galopin Des Champs is the current odds-on favourite to win, followed by Fastorslow.

If you were to place a wager right now on either of these horses, you would be looking at the following average odds:

  • Horse name: Galopin Des Champs (odds-on favourite to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup). Trainer: WP Mullins. Owner: Mrs Audrey Turley. Decimal odds: 2.00. Fractional odds: 1/1. American/moneyline odds: +100. IPR (implied probability rate): 50%
  • Horse name: Fastorslow (second odds-on favourite to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup). Trainer: M Brassil. Owner: Sean & Bernardine Mulryan. Decimal odds: 5.00. Fractional odds: 4/1. American/moneyline odds: +400. IPR (implied probability rate): 20%

Other front runners to keep an eye out for in this race are the leading British challenger Shishkin at 7.00 (6/1 or +600), with a 14.30% IPR, Gerri Colombe at 11.00 (10/1 or +1,000) with a 9.10% IPR, and L’Homme Pressé at 15.00 (14/1 or +1,400) with a 6.70% IPR.

Fastorslow comes into the race as one of very few to have downed Galopin des Champs. Their record currently stands at 2:2 after the Mullins horse outplayed his younger rival in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival.

Fastorslow has the most amusing back story. Owner Sean Mulryan of Ballymore property fame, purchased the horse from Arnaud Chaille-Chaille, who trains on the Atlantic coast where the Gironde river joins the sea. In a conversation with Chaille-Chaille, the latter asked him what he’d like to call the horse. Mulryan replied, “Is he fast or slow?”. A miscommunication brought about by a clash of Irish brogue and French Bordeaux dialect led inexorably to a memorable name.

If you are looking for online sports betting in South Africa, one of the most trusted sites you can turn to today is the official 10bet website. You must be at least 18 years old to register your free 10bet SA account, and it takes less than a minute to sign up. South African bookies are just the latest in a long line of oddsmakers piggy-backing Britain’s most famous Springtime racing event.

Champion Hurdle chances

The other major race you may also want to place a wager on is on day 1 – the Champion Hurdle at 15:30 on Tuesday.

The race has been the subject of great drama this past week after a disappointing racecourse gallop from hot favourite Constitution Hill led to his withdrawal with an infection.

Odds-on favourite State Man was previously running for second place if all are to be believed. Unbeaten this season, he carries the weight of Irish money behind him. If you were to place a wager right now on either of these horses, you would be looking at the following average odds:

  • Horse name: State Man (odds-on favourite to win the Champion Hurdle). Trainer: WP Mullins. Owner: Mrs J Donnelly. Decimal odds: 1.44. Fractional odds: 4/9. American/moneyline odds: -225. IPR (implied probability rate): 69.20%

Other front runners to keep an eye out for in this race are Irish Point at 6.50 (12/2 or +550) with a 15.40% IPR, and Not so Sleepy at 153.00 (12/1 or +1,300) with a 7.70% IPR. Iberico Lord, supplemented at a late stage for £18,000, is no also-ran either.

How to pick winners

One of the easiest ways to pick a winner at the Cheltenham Festival would be to bet on one or more of the favourites to win the race outright or to place each-way (E/W) bets. For example, you can usually place an each-way bet on a horse to either finish or at least place in the top 3-6 positions (each website is different on how many positions its E/W bet pays. It’s an irony of recent success at the Festival by Willie Mullins that his horses now dominate virtually every race betting forecast. With 6 winners required to break a first Festival century of winners, he stands head and shoulders above his peers for the quality of bloodstock in his care.

Final note

The thing to remember and what every British trainer is telling himself in the face of overwhelming Irish superiority, is that the favourites don’t always win. In other words, do a little more research into some of the other runners and consider things like their current form, who the horse trainer is, and which jockey will be riding that horse on the day.

Place more strategic bets by researching horses’ weight and age, track/course conditions and form, looking for race comments and tips (by experts), and whether they’ve been gently treated by the handicapper.

Finally, when placing bets at fully licensed and regulated South African online bookmakers, such as the globally renowned 10bet website, always remember to gamble responsibly and only spend money you can afford to lose.

 

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