Cheltenham’s Favourites: Native River rises—Douvan never compromises
Leicester City, Donald Trump, Brexit—with the underdog victories of last year, one thought has crossed every punters’ mind, “Why didn’t I bet on them months ago!” For this year’s Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup, a few punters may have the same thoughts in hindsight.
The Gold Cup’s dark horse comes to light
The penultimate prize of the Cheltenham Festival is of course the Gold Cup—which makes this year's favourites journey to the top even more exciting. The current favourite to take Cup this year is Native River. However, if you had seen his name on the board only a few months ago, he wouldn’t even had crossed your mind as a potential winner. Thanks to his success in the Welsh Grand National, Hennessy Gold Cup, and Denman Chase, he has seen an amazing odds journey from 33/1, all the way to 3/1.
Native River seems to have also gotten a break to reach the top slot due to certain absences. Colin Tizzard's (Native River’s trainer) other major contender, Thistlecrack, has been pulled from the festival due to a season ending injury at the end of February. Bad news for Thistlecrack, good news for Native River, and news of mixed emotion for Tizzard.
Douvan: The Champion of Chase
The shortest odds of the whole festival go to Douvan in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. As arguably the best jump horse in training, Douvan has been a solid bet for the Champion Chase since Christmas—and bookmakers are taking no risks with him. With his odds currently as low as 1/4, Douvan is definitely second to none. The highest his odds have been leading up to the festival has been 2/5—all signs are pointing at to a win.
For the Stayers Hurdle, Unowhatimeanharry has consistently been the odds favourite since last year. With minor fluctuations, Unowhatimeanharry has been no higher than 5/2 since his odds became available.
No sure thing
The Cheltenham Festival is full of favourites and odds defying victories. To get the best out of the festival, it helps to listen to the experts who have a keen eye on every horse in the race. Our own Stephen Harris will be very active throughout the the festival, so be sure to follow his tips on the day. With an average 40% win rate on all his horse racing tips, Harris knows how to find value at Cheltenham. At last year’s festival, Stephen used his knowledge to counter the odds by successfully tipping 2 races from his Value Angle of the day (one at 8/1, the other at 9/1), as well as a successful ew selection at 16/1.
For more tips on getting the most out of Cheltenham, visit our pages on how to stay on top of each day at Cheltenham.