The Cheltenham Festival for horse racing will be upon us in just about a month, marking one of the first major European events of the 2014 season. Known for packing a variety of competitions along with a festive fan atmosphere, the Cheltenham Festival always offers fun opportunities for those who enjoy watching and betting on high-profile events.
In looking ahead to some of this year’s biggest races, we’ll make use of the Betfair online betting odds and news updates regarding some of the favourite horses. While not every competition from the festival has posted odds, the marquee racing events’ odds will continue to be updated from now until the days on which the races are held—so here are some tips for those inclined to wager!
The Champion Hurdle
The St. James Champion Hurdle event is the marquee competition of the first day at Cheltenham, and it should be a very closely contested race this year. With the current betting odds, there are co-favourites for the Champion Hurdle, with horses The New One and Hurricane Fly both coming in at 1/3 odds to win. While it should be noted that Hurricane Fly is the defending champion, The New One is said to be in great form, which could mean this one truly is neck-and-neck.
Queen Mother Champion Chase
The highlight event of day two at Cheltenham (March 12), the Champion Chase should be particularly exciting this season due to the status of the favourite competitor, Sprinter Sacre. Sprinter Sacre is the defending champion of the event but was considered doubtful to compete again because an irregular heartbeat. As of now, Sacre is expected to race, and is the even-odds favourite. However, if you doubt the horse’s condition, second favourite Sire De Grugy has appealing 3/1 odds worth looking at.
Ladbrokes World Hurdle
Day three is more about St. Patrick’s for a lot of festival-goers, but the World Hurdle event is a great draw as well. Popular favourite Big Bucks will be back in the field this year after missing the event in 2013 and is slated as a 9/4 bet to win. Annie Power at 9/2 is a popular pick, too, and a capable upset contender, but many would argue it’s foolish to bet against Big Bucks!
Cheltenham Gold Cup
As always, the Gold Cup will cap off the festival, and this year’s favourite is Bobs Worth, with 11/5 odds to win, with Silviniaco Conti behind at 4/1. This is another case of a defending champion against a worthy challenger, but given the odds disparity Silviniaco Conti will likely become a trendy bet.
There are additional races to keep crowds entertained and betting activity will be present for each of them. But it’s these marquee events that make Cheltenham so enjoyable year in and year out—so watch out for these!