Betfred Racing News
|Tuesday 6th March 2018|
Cheltenham 2018: Altior Tops The Bill On A Wonderful Wednesday!
Dependent on how the first day of action has panned out on the testing turns of Cheltenham’s Prestbury Park, bookmakers up and down the land could be feeling brash or taking cover come Cheltenham Wednesday.
One thing for certain, is that they will have a mouth-watering Queen Mother Champion Chase renewal to offer betting on – and the main event will be one not to be missed.
Nicky Henderson saddles the odds-on favourite Altior, who will be looking to make it 13 outings unbeaten over obstacles. The 2016 Supreme Novice Hurdler (5/5 in the discipline) and 2017 Arkle winner (7/7 over fences prior to the 2018 Festival) will take all the beating, but looks set for his toughest test ever against a host of handy opposition.
Most likely to pose a threat are the Willie Mullins pair of Min and Douvan. With Min racking up four convincing wins over timber (having his only other run – and win – over the big sticks taken off him in the Stewards’ Room), many feel he could be the one to avenge Supreme Novices' Hurdle defeat and dethrone the mighty Altior.
But in Douvan, could the former king be set to make a glorious return and dethrone jumps racing’s current star? Not seen since his 2017 no-show in this very race, trainer Mullins declares himself “more than 50% sure” the mighty one will make his return in this year’s race. There’s question marks for certain, but with 13 consecutive victories prior to that injury-influenced defeat, will a fully-fit Douvan cause Altior distress?
Elsewhere, the exciting Samcro looks set to put his red-hot reputation on the line in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle. Undefeated in six starts, and winning his last four by a combined 50 lengths, this Irish prospect will be an odds-on chance (barring divine intervention) to notch up an impressive victory for Gigginstown, trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Eddie O’Leary. Can anything stop him?
In the RSA Chase, early betting suggests that Irish prospects will be again fighting it out at the finish. Pertemps Handicap Hurdle winner Presenting Percy and Flogas Chase winner Monalee. But with all the big names of the training game holding some interesting entries, who will claim this year’s renewal?
Other highlights of Ladies Day Wednesday include the marmite Cross Country Chase, where Enda Bolger will surely be deploying his usual raft of staying stars around the testing alternative course. Will the five-time winning trainer make it six successes?
The Champion Bumper will be a typically hot stomping ground full of future winners, while the Coral Cup and Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle offer two testing puzzles for those who enjoy the study of highly competitive handicap fields. But will it be punters or bookies who reign supreme on a tantalising day two?
Remember, you can enjoy Non Runner No Bet all races, extra places, Fred’s Pushes and more – all right here at Betfred.