Contenders at Cheltenham after Death of a Champ and Several Injuries

Many bookmakers are looking at which horses are still contenders at this year’s Cheltenham Festival due to several horses having been injured and the tragic accidental death of last year’s champ. While it is possible to keep up with the entrants and ongoing odds at – Cheltenham Festival 2017, you might want a quick glance as to which horses are still in the running, some favourites and a bit of news to hold you over. It’s less than a month away, but there’s still time to size up the contenders and begin assessing your odds.

A Look at the Champion Hurdle ‘Injured List’

This race on opening day is probably going to be one of the most difficult to lay odds on if your horse is out due to injuries. On the injured list are Faugheen and Annie Power, both of which are out this year due to injuries. If either was your pick, it’s time to start looking at the other contenders! Both have been winners in the past and with both out with injuries, which horses are left and are there any favourites?

Can Willie Mullins Make it 4 of 5?

After last autumn’s falling out with Ryanair’s CEO O’Leary, it doesn’t look as though Willie Mullins has suffered much because one of his stars, Neptune won both Novice Chases this season. However, that isn’t the entire story and now Mullins will need to dig into his reserves to come up with stars to replace the two injured horses out for the count, Neptune and Yorkhill. It is possible that Yorkhill will be able to race by mid-March but that is still questionable and at the moment with Mullins having won 3 out of 4 in 2015, will he be able to add another, making it 4 out of 5? At the moment, it’s anyone’s guess. Having been a favourite, the loss of Yorkhill in the Champion Hurdle could dampen Mullins’ chances of a win in this race.

What about Nicky Henderson and Buveur Dair?

This season Nicky Henderson has a top contender, having won both over-fence races this season, Buveur Dair. Therefore, it is with pleasure and considerable thought that Henderson decided to enter his champ in the Champion Hurdle on Day 1. Last year, Buveur Dair finished third to Altior and Min in the Supreme Novice Hurdle, and won easily earlier in the year at Sandown, but will he have the same gusto in the Champion Hurdle? Perhaps a look at what bookies are laying odds at will help you decide!

Gold Cup Loses a Star

When last year’s champ died due to a tragic training accident, the door opened up for a new favourite for the Gold Cup on the final day of Cheltenham. Collin Tizzard’s Thistlecrack is one of three favourites along with another Tizzard horse, Native River and Cue Card who is currently known for being rated highest as a chaser. So, which horses are now favoured and will O’Leary’s Outlander make a bid for the Cup? Fans wait anxiously for Cheltenham Festival from 14 March through 17 March and if the luck of the Irish has anything to do with the outcome, Outlander just might come in for his Irish owner and CEO of Ryanair.

Although it’s sad that betters need to wager on which horses are still in the running rather than on their favourites, there have been many such years in the history of the Cheltenham Festival so it’s only a matter of rethinking your odds. Check with your bookmaker to see which horses they favour and start from there. It’s less than 4 weeks away, but there’s still time to consider your odds. As the time approaches more news will be released, so stay on top, wager per your strategy and may the luck of the Irish be with you.

Feel free to comment this article

About the Author


Tesla is the football betting analyst and tipster. I'm in this more than 17 years, so you can follow my FREE football betting tips and predictions and make a good decision before you place your bets.