Cheltenham Trials Day Betting Preview
Cheltenham Trials Day is often seen as one of the most informative days of racing for punters ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, which is now less than two months away in March. Throughout the day tomorrow, we will see many festival clues over a variety of different distances and codes, from novice hurdlers up to experienced staying chasers who are aiming for Gold Cup glory.
As far as betting goes, this is a day to place bets in the hope of winning on the day, and also one that will be valuable for your Cheltenham Festival bets, there is a lot to look at and take in this weekend. Of the seven races on the card at Cheltenham, four are live on ITV giving punters the chance to watch some big names and festival hopes live on terrestrial television and here is a preview of those four televised races.
1:50 Grade Three Handicap Chase
The runners in this race are all top handicappers and as such you can expect plenty of them to turn back up at the festival to square off in one of the many handicaps that are spread across the four days.
Of the horses, in this race, the standout appears to be Brelan D’As, who is still a novice and that means he will have a huge amount of options open to him regarding what race he runs in at the festival. Having been tried at two miles and three miles this season, he now goes in the middle over two and a half miles, which could be his optimum trip. Based on pieces of his form this handicap mark of 132 is certainly workable, and there are few better at bringing on young chasers than his trainer Paul Nicholls.
Elsewhere, Siruh Du Lac comes here looking to land his hat trick and he is sure to be popular with punters, although this is yet another step up in class for him, so I am siding with Brelan D’As.
2:25 Cotswold Chase Grade Two
The Cotswold Chase is known as the trial race for the Gold Cup, although if we are being honest, none of this field would be regarded as anything other than big outsiders for the main one in March. The two horses at the head of the betting for tomorrow are strong handicappers who have proven themselves by carrying big weights to victory in good races and move into graded company tomorrow.
I like Frodon a lot, and you cannot deny that this horse is a true warrior who will give it his all tomorrow, but I’m not sure he is cut out for this race, which is run at a trip slightly further than his best. Over two and a half miles I would fancy him, but the test here of over three miles puts me off.
Instead, I really like the strong staying Elegant Escape, who comes here on the back of a victory in the Welsh National. On official figures, he has improved 9lbs this season, but I think he has done a lot more and his rating is more than good enough to take this one. Frodon will try his heart out, but the staying power of Elegant Escape will win the race for me.
3:00 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Grade Two
A trial for the race which has the same name at the festival, the Ballymore. This is for novice hurdlers over two and a half miles and we are likely to see a star of the future win the Ballymore, and it could be one in this field. Nicky Henderson has a typically strong set of novice hurdlers this season, and one horse that could be towards the top of the pecking order is Birchdale.
After winning a point to point in Ireland he was bought and sent over to Nicky Henderson, and we have seen him just once so far. He won nicely at Warwick that day, and the form looks to be strong despite him showing small signs of inexperience. This horse is only going to get better with more races under his belt, and there is no doubt he is an exciting prospect. He should take all the beating here, and a win here would likely move him towards the head of the Ballymore market at the festival.
Brewin’Upastorm brings solid graded form to the race, after finishing fourth in a Grade One at Newbury behind Champ, who also comes from the Henderson yard. Just like the favourite, this is another horse that will get better with time, and he could be one of many top quality novice hurdlers this season.
This is certainly a race to follow in the future, but on the day I am siding with Birchdale, and he looks to be a quality novice who is worth following in the future.
3:35 Cleeve Hurdle Grade Two
The Stayers Hurdle trial shows just how wide open the race at the festival is and how the youngsters are coming to take over. The three favourites for this race are Paisley Park, Midnight Shadow and Black Op, which are two youngsters who are making their mark and Black Op who returns hurdling after an average chasing campaign. We are waiting for someone to take the staying hurdling division by storm and dominate it, one of these three could be the horse to do it.
Of the youngsters, Paisley Park looks as though he could be the one, and his form this season shows he more than deserves his place in this field and at the festival. He has won all three starts, two handicaps and a Grade One, and that is amongst the best form on offer from this season here.
Of the more experienced older runners, Wholestone looks set to come out on top at his favoured track, but this one looks to be between the youngsters, with Paisley Park getting my vote.
Cheltenham Trials Day Betting Odds
Frodon and Elegant Escape head the betting for the Cotswold Chase, and they are going to battle it out all day today and tomorrow to see which one will be sent off the favourite. They are both available at around 5/2 or 11/4 right now, although I would not be surprised to see punters latch onto the strong staying Elegant Escape and make him favourite on the day.
The strongest favourite of the day could well be Birchdale, who is already as short as 7/4 with some bookmakers to win the Ballymore trial. He is one of many top novice hurdlers in the Henderson yard, and they appear to think he is close to the top of their pecking order. If he is, then he wins this, and will no doubt shorten for the festival.
Paisley Park, Midnight Shadow and Black Op are all the 4/1 co-favourites right now for the Cleeve Hurdle as we look for something to come out and dominate the staying division. The older, experienced brigade are behind them in the betting, but if someone is looking for one of them to back then Wholestone at 10/1 offers each way value.
Cheltenham Betting Offers
Bet Victor Horse Racing New Customer Offer
Horse racing fans who are looking to open a new betting account this weekend should check out the horse racing welcome offer that Bet Victor are currently running. When signing up with them through this offer, after staking a bet of £5 when you sign up, you will receive £30 in funds to spend on their website.
The funds are split as follows:
£10 horse racing free bet (odds of 1/1 or greater)
£10 any sport free bet (odds of 1/1 or greater)
£10 casino chips
This is a great new offer and gives you free bets to use on horse racing and other sports, as well as a casino bonus to try out their casino.
Betway Money Back if Second on ITV Races
If you are placing a bet on the ITV racing this weekend then you should try to look for an offer that you can take advantage of. One consolation offer out there is this one from Betway, where you can receive your money back if you finish second in a race covered live by ITV.
No one likes finishing second, but with this offer, it isn’t so bad, and you get your stake back as a free bet to try and win again. This offer is only available on races shown live on ITV, and there needs to be six or more runners in the race for it to count.
Betfair Free Bet with a 3/1 or Greater Winner on ITV Races
Those looking for an offer on the racing this weekend that rewards you for having winners should look at this offer from Betfair. If you back a winner with them on any of the races covered by ITV, and the SP is 3/1 or greater, you will receive a free bet token to the same value of your stake on the winner.
This is to a maximum of £25 and after receiving it you have 48 hours to use your free bet token. If you are looking for rewards after backing winners, this is the offer for you.