(4.8 minutes read)
The countdown to Cheltenham Festival 2022 is firmly ticking down with around 60 days to go until the Cheltenham Roar heralds the start of Day 1 on the 14th of March!
We’ve taken this early opportunity to cast our eye down the ante post betting lists for the big 5 major races: The Cheltenham Gold Cup, The Queen Mother Champion Chase, The Champion Hurdle, The Ryanair Chase and The Stayers Hurdle.
One of our major partner firms, bet365 have been first off the blocks with the early offers by providing punters with NON RUNNER NO BET and BEST ODDS GUARANTEED for the big 5 races!
We’ll look at the Cheltenham Festival 2022 best bets under this offer and also check out the ante post odds offered by our other partner firms, including Betfred who also offer NRNB on four of the big Cheltenham races.
THE CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP
The jigsaw is looking a little clearer now that most of the big prep races are done and similar to last year, the Irish look set to dominate once again.
Despite a narrow defeat by the highly progressive Galvin in the recent Savills Chase at Leopardstown, the Henry de Bromhead trained Betfair Chase winner A Plus Tard still looks the one to beat on paper.
Rachel Blackmore will be greatly determined to add The Cheltenham Gold Cup to her recent tally of significant credentials and this horse is reportedly jumping better than last year where he ran a gallant second to Minella Indo.
Price wise he is 3/1 with bet365 (NRNB, BOG) which is a fair price considering the offer. William Hill and Boylesports also offering 7/2 but at full ante post rules.
Galvin ultimately looks the biggest danger and seems to be improving with every race. However, the balance of power slightly rests with A Plus Tard as we know he can handle the demanding Cheltenham Gold Cup trip. Galvin is 5/1 best odds with bet365 (NRNB, BOG).
Former winners Minella Indo and Al Boum Photo should all be at the business end: Al Boum Photo great value at 10/1 with Betfred (NRNB), Minella Indo best at 8/1 (William Hill, Bet Victor) or 7/1 NRNB with bet365 and Betfred.
GOLD CUP BEST OUTSIDER BETS
The pinnacle race of jump racing has provided some mild shocks down the years so we’ve whittled down a short list of value priced outsiders:
His run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year can be forgiven. His recent brilliant win in the Long Walk Hurdle suggests he may be back to near his best and it shouldn’t be forgotten he has the scalp of Minella Indo from the 2020 RSA Chase.
Snippets of Lostintranslation's best ability were evident in his Ascot win over Master Tommytucker in late November but his recent King George run was a bit of a setback. Needs decent ground and if it comes good for mid March he’s in with a squeak at 50/1 best odds (William Hill, Bet Victor).
Ran a relatively decent race in The King George and now remains to be Paul Nicholls’s chief hope for The Gold Cup after Frodon was not declared for any Festival races in the recent announcements.
The plan is to enter Saint Calvados for the Ascot Chase and take it from there. Has a Ryanair Chase runner-up badge to his name and could be anything with good ground. 66/1 with Bet Victor and 40/1 with bet365 (NRNB, BOG).
THE QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
22nd January is without doubt the key date in the run up to the 2mile championship chase decider. Race favourite rivals Shishkin and Energumene will finally meet in the highly anticipated Clarence House Chase at Ascot.
It’s rare and extremely welcome that two Irish/British rivals of such high profile and calibre will meet this side of The Cheltenham Festival.
Shishkin is currently trading at 4/5 with bet365 (NRNB, BOG) and that will seem generous if he puts Energumene to the sword in the Ascot clash. Evens with full ante post rules available with William Hill and Boylesports. Energumene is available best at 15/8 with bet365 (NRNB, BOG) and that will also be good value if Energumene turns the tables on Shishkin.
Difficult to split these two at the time of writing. Shishkin probably tips the balance marginally based on his impressive Desert Orchid Chase victory, where he hammered Tingle Creek winner Greaneteen by 10 lengths.
However, Energumene’s win in the Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase at Cork in December was equally as impressive. The Clarence House clash will therefore be a race to savour, if both turn up..and that’s a big if, when considering the previous last minute withdrawal dramas from Henderson and Mullins is anything to go by.
PUT THE KETTLE ON
Plenty of shrewd ante post punters must be raising their eyebrows and wondering what colossal price they should take for current champion and Cheltenham specialist, Put The Kettle On.
He is one tough horse to get past over 2 miles at Cheltenham, so 25/1 (William Hill, full ante post rules) has to be one of the each way steals of the Festival week. 16/1 at bet365 with NRNB and BOG.
CHACUN POUR SOI
Chacun Pour Soi, it could be argued, has now been exposed at Cheltenham but he is still a talented juggernaut at this trip and should not be discounted. 12/1 with William Hill or 7/1 with bet365 with NRNB and BOG.
THE CHAMPION HURDLE
Not much has altered since early autumn. Current champion and pride of the De Bromhead yard, Honeysuckle, continues to lead this relatively weak market at 4/6 (bet365, NRNB, BOG) and it’s near inconceivable that this mare will relinquish her crown come March. Betfred also offering 8/13 with NRNB.
Runaway Supreme Novices winner Appreciate It’s chasing campaign has been delayed and this therefore brings the Mullins trained 8 year old into the equation.
Ultimately this is a very risky ante post option based on Mullins’ habit of altering plans last minute. 5/1 (bet365, NRNB, BOG) for a risk free each way option or 7/1 with William Hill (full antepost rules apply).
THE STAYERS HURDLE
The stayers championship is a little murky at this stage as the high profile entries are weighing up targets and commitments, whether it be hurdling, chasing, distances or both.
Very lightly raced in recent seasons Klassical Dream, however, remains on course for The Stayers Hurdle after an accomplished seasonal reappearance in the Grade One stayers event at Leopardstown over Christmas.
As long as his fragility doesn’t come back to haunt punters, he looks decent enough value for 2/1 with bet365 (NRNB, BOG) or 5/2 with Betfred (NRNB).
CHAMP & FLOORING PORTER
Champ’s Cheltenham destination is very much up in the air with Henderson and owner JP McManus both agreeing that all options should be kept open after Champ’s brilliant success in the Long Walk Hurdle.
The Stayers Hurdle however would be no surprise as this seems a much easier competition than Champ’s other target, The Gold Cup.
Needs to make up 2 lengths over Klassical Dream on this season’s form but Cheltenham is a different proposition for last year’s sensational winner Flooring Porter. If allowed to dictate, he could be very difficult to peg back in any conditions.
Great value at 5/1 for Flooring Porter with bet365 (NRNB, BOG) as Champ and Klassical Dream connections are keeping their options open.
PAISLEY PARK A FORLORN HOPE?
Paisley Park looks past his best now but should be considerably shorter than the 25/1 currently offered by Betfred (NRNB), 16/1 bet365 (NRNB, BOG) or full rules at 33/1 with Bet Victor and Boylesports.
THE RYANAIR CHASE
Back to back wins in this race are rare, the last one being Albertas Run back in 2011. However, this year looks promising for Allaho to retain his title over a fairly mediocre opposition.
Therefore the 7/4 on offer with bet365 looks like the best ante post bet for the week: Allaho will almost certainly go off at odds on, unless Energumene is scared off by the clash with Shishkin in the Champion Chase or Envoi Allen runs back to his very best.
Fakir Doudairies, Saint Calvados and King George winner Tornado Flyer all have claims in one form or another.
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (8pm 13th January 2022) and are subject to change.