No sooner has the dust settled on four excellent days of action at the Cheltenham Festival that punters and pundits alike are already looking towards how the betting markets are shaping up for next year’s Festival.
Here at 888sport, we take a look at some of the key races over the past week and gauge what impact the results have had on the Cheltenham ante-post front for next March.
Native River and Might Bite were installed as 6/1 co-favourites for the 2019 Gold Cup after a thrilling dual in this year’s race.
Joining them on 6/1 is the RSA Chase winner, Presenting Percy. Patrick Kelly’s raider landed the race in comprehensive fashion by 11 lengths from Monalee and is now considered a genuine Gold Cup contender.
Presenting Percy’s jockey, Davy Russell, was keen however to play down the hype surrounding the horse, believing it is too early just yet to describe Presenting Percy as a future Cheltenham Gold Cup contender despite his convincing victory last week.
The leading jockey at the four-day Festival is keeping an open mind as to what the future holds for the seven-year-old, putting his faith fully behind Patrick Kelly’s training ability.
Anibale Fly, who finished in third place at 33/1, was immediately backed into 14/1 from 33/1 for the Grand National at Aintree and also closed to 14/1 from 20/1 to win the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday.
Buveur D'Air retained the Champion Hurdle title with a thrilling victory from Melon and will be bidding to make it a hat-trick of wins in 2019.
The 4/6 favourite held on by a neck under jockey Barry Geraghty to give trainer Nicky Henderson a seventh victory in the race.
Buveur D'Air was passed by Melon on the uphill finish before battling back to triumph from the 7/1 shot, with 25/1 chance Mick Jazz in third.
Buveur D’Air is quoted at 7/2 to keep hold of his title next season. Melon is an 8/1 chance.
Queen Mother Champion Chase
Altior claimed the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham to remain unbeaten over jumps.
In the process he was winning at the Festival for a third successive year in a third different race. Next year he will be hunting down Festival win number four and hoping to retain his Champion Chase crown. Perhaps he will still be unbeaten when he lines up again in March 2019?
Second in the betting for next year’s race is Footpad at 5/1. He is also rated as a 12/1 chance for the Gold Cup should he land up there.
Footpad ran out a dominant winner of the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase at Cheltenham last Tuesday.
His trainer Willie Mullins believes Footpad could develop into a serious contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup following his brilliant display in the contest.
Valiant runner-up Min is a 12/1 chance to return to Prestbury Park and take top honours next time around.
Penhill struck for the second year running at the Cheltenham Festival when springing a 12/1 surprise for trainer Willie Mullins in the Stayers' Hurdle. Successful in the Albert Bartlett in 2017, Penhill had been missing for 323 days but easily blew off the cobwebs up the hill, showing no race-rustiness at all.
Last August, Tony Bloom, the horse's owner as well as the Brighton & Hove Albion football chairman, admitted that the horse might not run again. Bloom had wanted to take him to the Melbourne Cup but an injury curtailed that trip and the rest is history.
With Paul Townend on board, Penhill belied his 12/1 odds by out-lasting Supasundae (6/1) up the Prestbury Park hill with Wholestone finishing strongly in third.
Penhill (7/1), Supasundae (8/1) and Wholestone (16/1) are the prices on offer should these three horses return next year for another crack at the race.
2018 Results Recap
- 1:30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
1.Summerville Boy - T George - N Fehily - 9/1
- 14:10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
1.Footpad - W Mullins - R Walsh - 5/6f
- 14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
1.Coo Star Sivola - N Williams - L Kelly - 5/1
- 15:30 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)
1.Buveur D'air - N Henderson - B Geraghty - 4/6f
- 16:10 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1)
1.Benie Des Dieux - W Mullins - R Walsh - 9/2
- 16:50 National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase (Grade 2)
1.Rathvinden - W Mullins - Mr P Mullins - 9/2
- 17:30 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed)
1.Mister Whitaker - M Channon - B Hughes - 13/2
- 13:30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
1.Samcro - G Elliott - J Kennedy - 8/11f
- 14:10 RSA Insurance Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
1.Presenting Percy - P Kelly - D Russell - 5/2f
- 14:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
1.Bleu Berry - W Mullins - M Walsh - 20/1
- 15:30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
1.Altior - N Henderson - N De Boinville - Evsf
- 16:10 Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase)
1.Tiger Roll - G Elliott - K Donoghue - 7/1
- 16:50 Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
1.Veneer Of Charm - G Elliott - J Kennedy - 33/1
- 17:30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1)
1.Relegate - W Mullins - Ms K Walsh - 25/1
- 13:30 JLT Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
1.Shattered Love - G Elliott - J Kennedy - 4/1
- 14:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
1.Delta Work - G Elliott - D Russell - 6/1
- 14:50 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)
1.Balko Des Flos - H De Bromhead - D Russell - 8/1
- 15:30 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1)
1.Penhill - W Mullins - P Townend - 12/1
- 16:10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
1.The Storyteller - G Elliott - D Russell - 5/1f
- 16:50 Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2)
1.Laurina - W Mullins - P Townend - 4/7f
- 17:30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase
1.Missed Approach - W Greatrex - N McParlan - 8/1
- 13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)
1.Farclas - G Elliott - J Kennedy - 9/1
- 14:10 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)
1.Mohaayed - D Skelton - B Andrews - 33/1
- 14:50 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
1.Kilbricken Storm - C Tizzard - H Cobden - 33/1
- 15:30 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)
1.Native River - C Tizzard - R Johnson - 5/1
- 16:10 St. James's Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase
1.Pacha Du Polder - P Nicholls - H Tucker - 25/1
- 16:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
1.Blow By Blow - G Elliott - D Meyler - 11/1
- 17:30 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap (Grade 3)
1.Le Prezien - P Nicholls - B Geraghty - 15/2
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*