Cheltenham ante-post betting picks: Weekend evaluation – February 19-20
A round-up of the latest Cheltenham Festival ante-post odds after some standout weekend performances at Haydock and Gowran Park
The Festival is looming large on the horizon, with only three weeks left in the countdown to the greatest present on turf.
It was one other busy weekend of motion in Britain and Ireland, maybe the ultimate one with real Cheltenham clues obtainable before the big event in the Cotswolds.
Here’s our latest take a glance at some of the horses who enhanced their credentials and could be of betting interest for the Cheltenham Festival.
Cheltenham ante-post betting picks
Odds correct at time of publishing and could additionally be subject to vary.
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Teahupoo emerges as rival to Honeysuckle
Five-year-olds don’t are probably to win the Champion Hurdle – the hole from See You Then successful for the primary time in 1985 to Espoir D’Allen scoring in 2019 tells us that.
However, the victory for Gavin Cromwell’s ill-fated Espoir D’Allen was a minimal of a reminder that the old sporting adage “if you are ok, you’re old enough” applies to the race.
It may be that the Gordon Elliott-trained five-year-old TEAHUPOO is now the chief hazard to unbeaten mare Honeysuckle in next month’s Champion Hurdle, regardless of his age.
Teahupoo missed Cheltenham last March, instead heading for Fairyhouse in April the place he suffered the one reversal of his profession behind Fred Winter Hurdle winner Jeff Kidder.
This season he has been excellent in profitable all three starts, with final year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Quilixios behind on all three events. On Saturday, Teahupoo easily beat that rival into third, with 155-rated Darasso eleven lengths behind in second, in the Grade 3 Red Mills Trial at Gowran Park.
It was an impressive displaying and units him up for the Champion Hurdle in three weeks. Jockey Robbie Power was fulsome in his reward afterwards, admitting that Teahupoo has matured a lot since final spring. He could presumably be the chief risk to the unbeaten mare within the day one showpiece.
Selection: Teahupoo to win the Champion Hurdle @
Hillcrest can outstay Irish raiders
Opposing the Irish at Cheltenham hasn’t proved rewarding of late and there shall be one other huge party of raiders this 12 months, however Albert Bartlett contender HILLCREST appears a worthy residence longing for Britain.
Henry Daly’s cost received a Grade 2 trial for the race at Haydock on Saturday in fantastic fashion. The useful Green Book duelled with him for the lead for shut to 2 miles, the pair forging forward.
But Green Book eventually cried enough as Hillcrest demonstrated his depth of stamina to win the prolonged three-mile contest by eight lengths. Daly suggested afterwards that the horse is already the most effective he has skilled and pinpointed the Albert Bartlett as his goal.
The Irish hand looks robust within the Albert Bartlett but Hillcrest is clearly a proficient stayer and he already has successful Cheltenham form in the e-book.
Selection: Hillcrest to win the Albert Bartlett @
Melon price a flyer in Ryanair?
Although he has yet to win a race on the Festival, MELON has an admirable report at Cheltenham. He has been a runner-up 4 occasions at the meeting, with last year’s blip within the Ryanair the only black mark towards his name in the Cotswolds.
On Saturday Melon gained the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend, ending a barren spell that stretched back to December 2019.
His stablemate Allaho is a short-priced favorite to retain the Ryanair crown however maybe Melon might be an each-way contender. The likes of Energumene and Chacun Pour Soi are shorter within the betting however surely heading for different competition targets.
Saturday was a reminder that Melon nonetheless possesses plenty of expertise and, despite holding a quantity of entries next month, the Ryanair Chase looks the race greatest suited to him.
Selection: Melon to win the Ryanair Chase @
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