Cheltenham Festival 2015 betting tips for the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the 2015 Festival.
We are only one week away from the most famous roar in racing, when the tapes fly back and the Cheltenham Festival 2015 gets underway. On a competitive opening day, the highlight is the Champion Hurdle so let's take a look and find some betting opportunties.
Champion Hurdle 2015 Preview
Faugheen (5/4 Paddy Power) has always been to the fore in the market but since his impressive Christmas Hurdle win at Kempton he has been the clear favourite. A winner of all his eight starts, by a grand total of 74 lengths, he has rightly earned the nickname of 'The Machine.' We are yet to see Willie Mullins son of Germany get embroiled in a battle but it seems harsh to crab him on anything he has done so far.
The New One (3/1 bet365) was a fast finishing third in the race last year having been badly hampered early on. It's been hotly debated ever since whether he would have won such was the way he stormed up the hill. As per usual, the field went a strong pace so it might be that it was more his excess stamina kicking in as a multiple 2m4f winner as he also got outpaced coming down the hill. His runs this season have been solid enough but whether there is any improvement left is questionable.
JEZKI (5/1 Betfred) is the defending champion and his season looks to have been built around the Champion Hurdle. Connections won't be too fussed that they have been beaten three times by Hurricane Fly already this season with 'the Fly' looking far more primed for those assignments with the quest for more Grade 1 success the aim for him. We can't discount Hurricane Fly (8/1 Coral) by any means as he is unquestionably an equine superstar but he might just find others have too much up the hill, especially on quicker ground.
There isn't an awful lot to fancy at bigger prices with most outsiders already vanquished foes for those mentioned above. One that isn't though is the Eddie O'Grady trained KITTEN ROCK (33/1 bet365). He was keen when running at Navan, still pulling Mark Walsh's arms out three from home before finally seeing off Glen's Melody after a mistake at the last by that rival. He then followed up with a comfortable win in a Grade 2 contest at Gowran where he was a short priced favourtie. The basic form is well below what will be needed to win this contest but it's hard not to expect more improvement while a stronger pace should enable him to settle better.
Overall little value left in the market for the Champion Hurdle with Faugheen my idea of the winner but now too short to get involved with until the bookies try and get him on the Monday. JEZKI has had his whole season mapped out with this race as his ultimate aim and he is undoubtedly seen to best effect in a big field on better ground. It's hard to see Jezki out of the first three at Cheltenham so at 5/1 he looks a good E/W bet to nothing. KITTEN ROCK has a bit to find on the formbook but has enough there already to be a top 6 contender and is worth a tickle at a price just in case the race falls apart.
Ante-Post Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle Tips:
JEZKI (E/W) (5/1 Betfred)
KITTEN ROCK (E/W) (33/1 bet365)
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