The dust has barely settled on the 2018 edition of the Cheltenham Festival, and already attention is turning to the 2019 festival and how the lessons we learned at Prestbury Park in March can be used to our betting advantage.
As we know, there is a rich lineage of horses performing well in certain races one year and then going well in another renewal 12 months later, and so if we follow those trends we can actually place some early Cheltenham 2019 predictions and bets at handsome ante-post prices.
1. The Arkle Chase 2019 Tips
Samcro was hugely impressive in winning the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the festival in March, and that caps a fine start to the racing career of this exciting six-year-old.
He has been installed as the 2019 ante-post favourite for the Arkle (8.00), the RSA Chase (9.00) and the JLT Novices Chase (5.00), which shows just how highly he is rated by those in the game.
The Arkle is a huge step up in class from the Ballymore, and so Samcro’s trainer Gordon Elliott has to be sure his horse will be ready in March; alternatively, of course, he could bank another easy pay day by holding his charge back for the JLT Novices’ Chase.
That’s the path Willie Mullins chose with Yanworth, the 2016 Ballymore winner, while with his behemoth Faugheen he opted to enter the Champion Hurdle a year after his Ballymore triumph; Faugheen duly obliged.
As far as the Arkle Chase 2019 goes, there is a pair to watch at 21.00. Summerville Boy and Kalashnikov duked out the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the festival this year – the latter wining by a head, and with Douvan and Altior both taking the Supreme-Arkle route that is the likely destination for this pair too. Keep an eye on their form in the next 12 months or so.
2. Queen Mother Champion Chase Prediction
This is one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the festival, and also one of the most difficult to predict!
In the past decade alone Master Minded and Sprinter Sacre won this race twice, as did Moscow Flyer just prior to that, and so a decent place for punters to start would be the 2018 Champion Chase winner, Altior (2.75).
This outstanding eight-year-old won the Champion Chase handsomely in March as the 2.00 favourite, and there’s every chance that Nicky Henderson will re-enter his charge in this race at the 2019 festival.
And why not: Altior has an incredible record at the festival, winning the Supreme Novices Hurdle and the Arkle prior to his triumph in March.
Should Henderson decide that Altior’s future lies in the Ryanair Chase or Gold Cup, then a decent back-up bet might just be Min (9.00). The seven-year-old has twice tasted defeat at the festival to Altior – no shame in that – and had to settle for second in the Champion Chase in March.
But seven of the last ten winners of the Champion Chase were aged eight or over at the time of their win, and so Min – with another year’s worth of experience – could be a really serious contender in 2019.
3. Cheltenham Gold Cup 2019 Betting Tips
The path to glory in the Gold Cup, the festival’s headline race, can take many roads. The 2018 champion, Native River, is a proven stayer who has won both the Welsh Grand National and the Hennessy Gold Cup Chase. The 2018 favourite, Might Bite, has taken a different path; triumphing in the quicker RSA Chase and King George VI Chase, amongst others.
The conditions at Cheltenham tend to dictate who goes well in the Gold Cup – Native River won in the mudbath of 2018 - and so making predictions early on is tricky.
But one horse who has certainly stormed into contention is Presenting Percy (7.00), who was so impressive in winning the RSA Chase at the festival in March.
The seven-year-old will need to prove he can make the step-up in trip to 26f, but at this early stage he looks a standout contender for the Gold Cup in 2019.
We will try to update the article the closer the event gets. Expect to see some more Cheltenham 2019 betting tips from our users. You can also check out our community section for other horse racing betting tips.
You can also get a bit more insight into the Cheltenham 2019 ante-post betting odds with our second article. Go check it out!