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Cheltenham Festival: 5 antepost bets that are worth considering


Check out our Cheltenham betting tips page for Chad’s best bets throughout the 2021 festival. 

The Big Breakaway – Brown Advisory Novices Chase (Wednesday, 13:55)

Long-time antepost favourite Monkfish is going to take all the beating in the second race of the day on Wednesday having been imperious in all three of his starts over fences this season.

However, he is already an odds-on shot and likely to get even shorter as the fields cut up, so it’s worth looking for value elsewhere – and The Big Breakaway represents just that.

The six-year-old gelding has always been held in high regard by his connections, with some saying he could be the best horse to go through Colin Tizzard’s ranks. Considering he’s also trained Native River and Cue Card, that’s a glowing endorsement.

The Big Breakaway made light work of his rivals in his debut over fences at Cheltenham in November when most of his stablemates were struggling for form. That his yard has now started to produce a few good winners suggests they might be hitting a purple patch at just the right time.

He found 2m 3f too short on his next start and was only beaten by the speedy Shan Blue in the Kauto Star over 3m when the Kempton track was likely too sharp for him. A return to Cheltenham should suit and he looks a great each way bet at the current prices.

Botox Has – Coral Cup (Wednesday, 14:30)

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A return to better ground will suit Botox Has, who looks to have been laid out for this competitive handicap.

Gary Moore’s five-year-old is two from three at Cheltenham, with his sole defeat at Prestbury Park coming at the hands of Allmankind, who finished third in the Triumph Hurdle last season and is the third favourite for this year’s Arkle.

You would be inclined to put a line through his last two starts as they came on soft and heavy ground, which isn’t ideal for this fluent mover. Despite that, he still had enough class and ability to keep on and finish sixth in the Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle at Ascot last time out.

He’s guaranteed a run and, if he carries under 11st, he should go very well. He’s only small, so wouldn’t want to carry lots of weight, but he’s talented and his team know how to get a horse ready for a big target.

Put The Kettle On – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday, 15:05)

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The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase looks set to be a cracker this year, with Chacun Pour Soi heading the market following an unbeaten season so far that has included three wins and two Grade 1s.

However, he is nine years old and yet to run at Cheltenham. He’s known to be rather fragile, so you’d have to question whether a test on good ground would suit him.

Such conditions would be perfect for last year’s Arkle heroine Put The Kettle On. She is three from three at Cheltenham, so we know she loves the track, and, although she finished third behind Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown last time out, she was doing her best work late on around a course that is more suited to speed than stamina.

A mare has never won the Champion Chase but Put The Kettle On is a very talented horse who gets the 7lb mares’ allowance, which could be easily help her finish in the frame. She is a fair price to be placed.

Come On Teddy – Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (Thursday, 13:55)

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The Pertemps looks a good renewal this year with both Imperial Alacazar and Champagne Platinum attracting plenty of antepost support.

The former was a good winner at Warwick last time, but the horse to take out of that race was the third-placed Come On Teddy, who didn’t have the race run to suit and didn’t seem to love the layout of the course.

He was much better on his previous start when he was an impressive winner at Cheltenham, beating the 150-rated On The Blind Side, coming from last to first and win going away.

His connections have spoken highly of him in the build-up to this 3m hurdle race and he looks good each-way value at this stage.

Alaphilippe – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Friday, 14:30)

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Excluding last year’s renewal, which was an absolute cracker of a race, the Albert Bartlett tends to not be won by the best horse, but by the most battle-hardened. It’s a test of both speed and stamina that can come very early in a horse’s career, meaning fancied horses often underperform.

The current favourite is Stattler, trained by Willie Mullins and owned by the sponsor of the race, so there’s no doubt this would have been his target all campaign. At the current prices, he could be a good each-way price himself, as there’s no doubt he’ll go off shorter once he’s declared.

However, I was very impressed with the Fergal O’Brien-trained Alaphilippe, who coasted to victory by 14 lengths after stepping up to 3m at Haydock last time out. He looked willing and wasn’t stopping through the line, which suggested he wasn’t too tired and enjoyed his new test of stamina.

He was a point-to-point winner over 3m, so there wasn’t any doubt over whether he’d stay, but he did so in impressive fashion – beating Mr Harp, who finished second in a Pertemps qualifier at Warwick the time before, splitting Imperial Alcazar and Come On Teddy.

If he’s in the same vein of form at the Festival then I expect him to be doing his best work late on and he could very well finish in the placings.

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