There are only a few months until the Cheltenham Festival kicks off, so if you haven’t thought about your fantasy league team yet then it’s time to start selecting your stable. The countdown to the event is definitely on, and excitement around one of the year’s biggest racing festivals is building every day, so if you want to get involved in a fantasy league there hasn’t been a better time to start. But if you’re unsure of the best horses and trainers to back, here are a few tips to help you choose your team or bet online this Cheltenham festival.
Of course the main race everyone will have their eye on this festival is Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. Currently the bookies favourite to win the Gold Cup is last year’s runner up Djakadam, with odds of 4/1 if you bet online. Ridden by Ruby Walsh, the horse impressed many with his performance during the two-and-a-half-mile Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase. Djakadam looked confident over all of the jumps, especially the final fence which allowed him to gain a 12 length lead on the final turn.
Another strong possibility to take the Cheltenham Gold Cup is Don Poli. The horse ridden by Bryan Cooper managed to scrape victory at the Betfred Lotto ‘£100K Cash Giveaway’ Chase after beating Many Clouds in a sprint from the final fence. Don Poli managed to win the RSA Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and is now in the running to do the same in this year’s Gold Cup. If you bet online on him now, Betway currently have him as third favourite at 11/2. But if you want to put your money on an outside chance, you can find out all the odds and bet online at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival on the Betway website.
But when you play the fantasy leagues, every race is as important as the final headlining race of the festival. There are 28 races over the four days of the festival, so it can get complicated on choosing your dream stable for your fantasy league. One of the most open races of the Cheltenham Festival at the moment is the Champion Bumper race, with the bookies struggling to decide who is the most likely to win. If you bet online on the Betway website, you’ll find that four horses – Admiral Chief, Lucky Pass, Fulham Road and Some Neck – are all joint favourites at a very tempting 14/1. As this is the only race of the festival without any obstacles, this is one of the races where a good choice could really separate you from the rest of your fantasy league.
There is still a lot of time left for more horses and jockeys to stand out from the crowd as favourite for any of the 28 races. Some of the Irish entries will be racing for the last time just six weeks before the festival starts, so these odds could change massively after those races. But it’s a good idea to get your first draft down early so you know what horses to keep an eye on in the lead up to March’s Cheltenham Festival.