Cheltenham Festival Tips 2019 — Which horses to back in 4 day spectacle?

The Cheltenham Festival begins Tuesday March 12th 2019

The Cheltenham Festival is like no other — held in the leafy suburb of the spa town of Cheltenham, nestled neatly in the Cotswolds, England, the town comes alive in March as the top horses from Ireland and England do battle over four days.

The Cheltenham Roar being one of my favourite moments of the season as they gallop off in the Supreme Novices.

Cheltenham Festival Tips

In this guide I recommend what I am currently backing on. As always the handicaps are difficult to calculate based on so many entries, I will update as the entries become clearer, but if you can pick them you can easily find few 25/1+ winners at this time of year.

Supreme Novices Hurdle Tip — Elixir DeNutz –14/1 (EW)

Has been performing really well this season with three wins, including two at the track. Has beaten some useful sorts and he won the Supreme trial in a respectable time that was over nine seconds quicker than Summerville Boys winning time for this race last year!

Al Dancer and Fakir D’Oudairies both have great chances as well.

Whatever the result as always the Cheltenham roar will raise the roof and the glory of the festival will commence.

Arkle Trophy — Lalor 10/3

Sadly with Le Richebourg injured that takes out a banker in this race for me. Hopefully his injury clears up and we see him back in action next season.

Therefore I look back at the likely card for the race and see 2 strong candidates in Lalor, Glen Forsa and potential EW value in Hardline.

Lalor won impressively in the Arkle trial back in November and given his course form warrants favouritism and is my tip.

Given the route for Glen Forsa is unclear but this has been touted as his preferred race, I think he still has a cracking chance.

He is my tip in the JLT but connections may see the bigger pot and potentially a slightly weaker field here anything why not!

Personally though I think he’s better over a slightly longer trip than this.

Cheltenham Festival Racegoers at the winning post

1.30– The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Battleoverdoyen–5/1

The way he has been finishing his races have really caught my eye.

Impressive when seen at Nass in January landing a grade one with relative ease and likely would have been via further if he hadn’t of made a small error at the last.

Should take this once again for Gigginstown who took the honours last season with Samcro and the Irish have a great record in the race with four of the last five winners.

4.10 The Glenfarcles Cross Country Steeple Chase Auvergnat — 6/1 (EW)

He finished fourth and didn’t quite produce the good I’d hoped for in the later stages of the race.

Another year older and wiser and after beating Josies Orders twice last season.

I’m sticking loyal with Auvergnat that he can take victory at his fifth attempt at the course and third attempt at the Festival.

Tiger Roll will be the talking horse in the race and is one of the most talented horses on the planet, he proved that with his recent grade 2 victory over hurdles beating some smart performers with ease.

If firing here he will be difficult to beat but I will take on at the price he is.

1.30 — The JLT Novices’ Chase Glen Forsa — 8/1 (EW)

Has really impressed me the way he has gone about his business this season and comfortably beat Kalashnikov last time out.

Clearly versatile given his victories have been over a range of distances this season.

I had hoped he would make it into the Close Brothers and replicate the victory for the same connections that Mister Whitaker managed last season but his latest victory has put him on 150 which is too higher mark to do that.

Defi Du Seuil , Lostintranslation and Kildisart all warrant a lot of respect here but I’m keen on Glen Forsa who has improved hugely over the course of the season and can take another step forward here.

2.50 — The Ryanair Steeple Chase Monalee — 6/1

Was unlucky to come up against Presenting Percy last season in the RSA.

The second time he has hit the crossbar at the festival after coming second to Penhill in the Albert Bartlett the year before.

Won the Grade two Red Mills Chase with relative ease last time out and has been targeted at this.

Looks in my mind the most likely to stand up and do so.

It would be great to see one of my favs Un De Sceaux in full flow and take the win but the old boy now eleven, soon to be twelve this year will need a huge performance to take this.

He wasn’t disgraced though when second to Altior in the Tingle Creek so has to be respected.

4.10 – The Brown Advisory & Merribelle Stable Plate Handicap Steeple Chase Spiritofthegames — 20/1 (EW).

Ran credibly when third at Festival trials day here to Kildisart. Raised one pound for that run and now on the same mark as the winner last year The Storyteller.

So it’s a winnable mark for the race but it maybe slightly high given that what The Storyteller won off was the highest winning mark for the last eleven years.

He is a smart performer and I think he can make the frame here.

If your looking for a better handicapped horse I feel Guitar Pete slipping down the ratings four pounds to 135 from his sixth placed finish last season is a good EW price at 40/1.

Given a bit too much to do last year and smacked four out.

If ridden a bit more prominently he can get in the places again and fight for victory.

2.50 — Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Relegate — 16/1 (EW)

Hasn’t set the world on fire since winning the Champion Bumper last season, won an average looking maiden hurdle at Naas in December last year but really caught my eye when she stayed on like a train over 2m 6f in a grade one at Leopardstown, given too much to do on that occasion after not travelling or jumping as well as expected.

Loves a bit of cut in the ground and hasn’t been beaten when soft is in the going. She can make her presence felt here and will go off shorter if turning up.

Resources:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/43260198

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/19/sports/horse-racing/a-mix-of-beer-bragging-rights-and-horse-races-at-the-cheltenham-festival.html