The Cheltenham Festival is almost upon us and while the war between punters and bookmakers has yet to kick off – one bookie has revealed the horses they fear winning the most.
The meeting is as much about getting one over the bookies as it is the action on track – and with a number of runners fancied to back up their short odds, bookmakers will be hoping for an upset or two.
Betfair's Barry Orr has revealed their major liabilities for jump racing's biggest four days.
Happygolucky, Festival Trophy 'Ultima' Handicap Chase
The seven-year-old fits plenty of key trends for this race and has been well backed over the last fortnight for a trainer enjoying an excellent season so far.
"The Ultima looks a weak since declarations came through and we have only seen money for one horse and that’s Happygolucky.
"Kim Bailey has a good record in these types of races at the Cheltenham Festival and punters can see no other winner in this – he’s 7-2 from 5-1."
Goshen, Unibet Champion Hurdle
The Gary Moore-trained five-year-old had the 2020 Triumph at mercy before an unseat at the last. Interestingly, the Champion Hurdle is being run on Goshen's sixth birthday. Birthday celebrations? Perhaps…
‘"Since Goshen's impressive win in the Kingwell Hurdle, he's been very popular amongst backers to gain redemption in the Champion Hurdle and is now challenging Epatante for the second favourite spot behind Honeysuckle – currently 4-1."
Bob Olinger, Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
Henry de Bromhead's top-class novice hurdler made a highly promising start to his hurdling career when runner-up to last season's Champion Bumper hero Ferny Hollow at Gowran Park in November.
‘"Bob Olinger has been a preview night talking horse and since then he's attracted huge amounts of support. It looks a really good renewal of the Ballymore and, at 2-1, Bob Olinger would be a bad start to the Wednesday for the layers."
Tritonic, JCB Triumph Hurdle
Tritonic – runner-up to Highland Chief in the Golden Gates – looks more than capable of returning King to the winners' enclosure at the festival following the horse's dominant display in the Close Brothers Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday 27 February.
"Tritonic and Zanahiyr are tussling at the head of the betting with preference just for Tritonic at 2-1 – he took over at the head of the market after his impressive display at Kempton.
"This looks a straight shootout between the best of the UK and the best of the Irish 4-year-olds and at present bookmakers will be cheering for the Irish."
Galopin Des Champs, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
Ran well at Leopardstown behind Supreme Novices' Hurdle favourite Appreciate It last month. Going up in trip should suit and is well-fancied to at least make the frame.
"Galopin Des Champs had been put up on a few preview nights by Ruby Walsh as a dark horse and we've seen no shortage of each way cash since, with his price contracting from 25-1 into 10-1."
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