Cheltenham 2019 – Cash-In On These Value Picks

The art of horse racing betting is not always about picking the favorites. Sure, anyone can tell you that a horse like Justify or American Pharoah is going to pick up the big wins, but the odds are often so low that you’d almost be better off putting you money in a bank.

Getting value from your bet – pinpointing where you can get some extra for your outlay – can be a tricky business. Of course, bookmakers aren’t stupid, and horse will be long odds for a reason, but each new race offers a chance for redemption and sometimes that occurs on the grandest stage at all.

On the horizon is the Cheltenham Festival (12th-15th March) – the UK’s most thrilling jumps racing showcase, but one that is getting more attention worldwide. Below we have picked some horses who might be worth your attention; those who undoubtedly have class, but form and other factors have caused the odds to become inflated.

Might Bite – Cheltenham Gold Cup

888sport’s latest Cheltenham odds for the Gold Cup show Presenting Percy as the 4/1 favorite. However, it seems to be a default option, as Presenting Percy hasn’t run yet this season, whereas several competitors have flattered to deceive. Top of the list is last year’s runner up and starting favorite, Might Bite. The 2017 King George VI Chase winner is arguably the best long-distance chaser in Britain on his day, but he had some terrible form over November and December. 20/1 is cited by 888sport – around four times his starting price last year – a bargain if trainer Nicky Henderson gets Might Bite right again. Might Bite is undergoing a wind operation and won’t be in action until the Gold Cup itself, so it’s going to be fascinating to see if he can be ready in time.


Faugheen – Stayers’ Hurdle

There are a number of things that must go right if Faugheen is to cap off a wonderful career with a win in the Stayers’ Hurdle. He led the ante-post markets throughout the summer and early autumn, but he has now drifted out to 10/1 after finishing a disappointing runner-up in his season debut and falling in the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle. Is “The Machine” worth one last shot at another big win at Cheltenham? Above everything else, punters might go back to one thing: Faugheen trashed the current 6/1 favorite and last year’s winner Penhill in the Irish version of this event in April. The 13-length victory showed Faugheen somewhere near his best. In his prime, no horse in this race would get anywhere close to the great Faugheen.

Sharjah – Champion Hurdle

Sharjah’s season got off to a slow start, but by winter the 5-year-old was firing on all cylinders, beating Faugheen in the Morgiana Hurdle and a host of likely Champion Hurdle candidates at Leopardstown just after Christmas. Here’s the catch: if Sharjah contests the Champion Hurdle, he will be up against two-time champion and 5/4 favorite Buveur D’Air. Is the 10/1 for Sharjah worth a punt? Buveur D’Air looked unbeatable over hurdles for a two-year period, but finally showed a chink in the armour by losing to Verdana Blue by a shoulder in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. That should encourage the other Champion Hurdle contenders, with the ever-improving Sharjah among the pick of the bunch.