The Cheltenham fixture list gets underway in earnest this weekend with their traditional curtain raiser 3-day meeting, starting on Friday. The feature race is The Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase on the Saturday.
We take a look at the best bets on offer for this 3 day bonanza with best odds provided by our partner firms, Bet365, William Hill, Bet Victor, Betfred and Boylesports.
The Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase, Saturday 12th November
We assess the market leaders and pick out the best each way bet of the race.
The current market leader (5/1 Bet365, William Hill) caught the eye as a novice chaser last season where he scored victories in a beginners chase at Punchestown before narrowly landing a Grade 3 at Thurles.
Clearly has potential and holds all the right characteristics for this kind of contest but better value to be found elsewhere. Ireland also has a poor record in this race having only struck once this century in 2009 with Tranquil Sea.
This Jamie Snowden trained 6-year-old also has the right statistics behind him. He is a Grade 2 winning chaser and stayed on well against Riders On The Storm in the Mildmay at Aintree in April. Looks unexposed with best odds of 7/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Bet Victor and Boylesports.
This Paul Nicholls trained 5-year-old looked the real deal after landing a handicap at Newbury impressively last November. Has not totally fired since but ran creditably in an Ayr novice chase last April.
Nicholls thinks he could run a big race in a fast run handicap coming off the pace, but that is challenging to do in a race like this. However, the Paul Nicholls horses are firing on all cylinders currently so this unexposed entry can take his chances at 10/1 with Betfred.
Seems to love this track and comes solidly into the reckoning after an emphatic win here over course and distance, beating some seasoned Cheltenham handicappers back in April.
Some very consistent performances at Cheltenham before that, being placed in two major handicaps. Evidently knows his way around here and is our selection at 7/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Bet Victor and Boylesports.
Best Each Way Bet!
And that is without doubt the old boy course specialist, Coole Cody, who scored here at the last Festival and has a run under his belt having run in a competitive handicap hurdle.
This will be more to his liking and is too tempting to ignore at 20/1 with Bet365.
Other Best Bets
The Mucking Brilliant Paddy Power Handicap Chase, Friday November 11th
This race always seems to suit progressive chasers and Amrillo Sky trained by Joe Tizzard seems to fit the bill. Caught the eye when impressively winning a Newbury handicap in February this year, he followed this up with a creditable fifth in the Grand Annual at The Cheltenham Festival. 4/1 with Boylesports.
Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, Sunday 13th November
Two selections for this big field handicap hurdle on the Sunday.
This looks to be the best of the Paul Nicholls’ entries for the meeting. The current strike rate of the team cannot be ignored as the champion trainer is simply on fire at the moment. This 5-year-old has recovered well from a summer breathing op by picking up a couple of handicap wins lately, most noticeably at Chepstow where he clobbered the field in a Class 3 event.
This is much harder of course but he looks well treated based on his recent form and sure to progress. Has been well backed in recent days. Best odds of 6/1 with William Hill.
If you are looking for consistency then do not look further than the Ben Pauling trained Severance, although each way is the best option as the 6-year-old does tend to hit the crossbar regularly. If he can reproduce the form of his 2nd to Hacker Des Places from the April Aintree meeting this year then he has excellent place claims at 16/1 with Bet365, Bet Victor, Betfred and Boylesports.
Stolen Silver: The Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase, Saturday 12th November 7/1 Bet365, William Hill, Bet Victor and Boylesports.
Coole Cody. Each Way: The Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase, Saturday 12th November 20/1 Bet365.
Amarillo Sky: The Mucking Brilliant Paddy Power Handicap Chase, Friday November 11th, 4/1, with Boylesports.
Sonigino: Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, Sunday 13th November 6/1 William Hill.
Severance: Each way. Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, Sunday 13th November 16/1 with Bet365, Bet Victor, Betfred and Boylesports.