Ante-post horse racing betting tips for the Irish best value bets on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival
The opening day of the Festival gets proceedings off to a flying start. From an Irish perspective, Willie Mullins dominates the ante-post betting markets, and its highly likely that Ireland will claim a good number of the major races at this year’s Festival. With that in mind I will be examining the ante-post markets for the Festival and offering up the best Irish ante-post bets that offer value to punters.
Irish Ante-Post Day 1 Festival Betting Tips
Every year there are a few “certainties” going to the Festival and year upon year we see our fair share of them getting overturned. However, its hard not to be impressed by Un De Sceaux, especially after the manner in which he disposed of two other Irish contenders in Clarcam and Gilgaboa. The latter is likely to be stepped-up in trip so will avoid the French bred at Cheltenham while Carcam should struggle to overturn the form if he takes on his rival once again.
At prohibitive odds though, Un De Sceux doest appeal and in terms of value, the other Mullins’ runner VAUTOUR (12/1 Paddy Power) is intriguing. He had been the ante-post favourite for this race ever since he demolished the Supreme Novices’ field last year. Although he currently heads the markets for the JLT I’m not totally convinced he will be stepped up in trip and, if he does run against his stable companion, I’ll be siding with the Ricci owned horse at generous odds. He has winning Festival experience, is proven on a sound surface and, bar the blip at Leopardstown when he ploughed through the 7th and could never recover his form, he has solid form.
The feature race on the opening day of the Festival is the Stan James Champion Hurdle where, yet again, Mullins sends over a strong favourite in Faugheen following an impressive prep run at Kempton over Christmas. Despite improving this year, when he won last year’s Neptune I wasn’t overly impressed by his jumping and, although his technique has been sharpened up, he still has questions to answer and his prohibitive odds are far too short to justify getting involved with.
Of the others, the fancy prices about Hurricane Fly have disappeared following his third win of the year over arch rival and last year’s Champion JEZKI (6/1 William Hill). He himself looks to represent the value bet from an Irish perspective. His odds look to be fairly generous for a horse that comes to life in the springtime as he showed last year when claiming this race. He will be trained with one contest in mind, and will likely head to Cheltenham firing on all cylinders.
Day 1 Irish Value Betting Tips –
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Written by Conor Day