Cheltenham Festival 2022 Each-Way Tips: Four Big-Priced Selections To Follow
Races at the Cheltenham Festival are beginning to take shape, so our in-house tipster Steve Chambers has been given the unenviable task of trying to find some each-way value in the 28 race markets, and he's picked out four horses that could run decent races in March at decent odds...
Adagio - David Pipe - 33/1 for Champion Hurdle
Reigning Champion Hurdle heroine Honeysuckle is a red-hot odds-on favourite to retain her crown on March 15, and if she can come through Sunday's Irish Champion Hurdle unscathed then her position at the head of the market for the opening day showpiece looks untouchable. However, the current 8/11 about her claiming Grade 1 glory in March is awfully short six weeks away from the race, and with her dominating the market then there's some each-way value to be had.
One contender that could head into the race under the radar is the five-year-old ADAGIO, who was a fine runner-up in the last season's Triumph Hurdle at the festival, and he looks to be improving with every run. Currently a 33/1 chance, the David Pipe-trained youngster followed up his Cheltenham run with a second placed finish in the Grade 1 juvenile event at Aintree, while he kicked off this campaign with a fine second behind West Cork in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Under the burden of top weight that day, Adagio ran an almighty race in defeat, and the Pond House team have subsequently come out and said his preparation that day was a little rushed. Off the track since, Pipe is eyeing up either the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury (currently 12/1) or the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton. Not out of the first two in seven starts over hurdles, Adagio is yet to run a bad race over obstacles, and while only two five-year-olds have won the Champion Hurdle since 2000 (Katchit in 2008 and Espoir D'Allen in 2019), this youngster can still be open to some notable improvement. With most of the rivals in behind Honeysuckle having tried and failed when trying to topple the wonder mare, it could be Adagio's turn to have a crack, and it would be no shock to see him make the frame.
Coeur Sublime - Henry De Bromhead - 12/1 for Grand Annual Chase
Henry De Bromhead's Coeur Sublime finally broke his chasing duck at the third time of asking at Gowran Park last weekend, and while he was expected to win in comfortable fashion (sent off 1/6 favourite) he produced a fine performance to scoot to a 10-length success in a Beginners Chase. The former classy hurdler had previously bumped into former ante-post Arkle favourite Ferny Hollow on his first two chasing starts, so he was always going to find it tough to get the better of that Willie Mullins-trained star.
Following news Ferny Hollow will miss the Cheltenham Festival, connections of COEUR SUBLIME could be tempted at a crack at the Arkle, and he's a current 25/1 shot for that event with the bookmakers, but he was well beaten behind Ferny Hollow and Arkle hope Riviere D'etel in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase on Boxing Day, so he may be sent handicapping.
In the aftermath of his Gowran Park win, De Bromhead mooted a possible tilt at the Grand Annual on March 16, and he's duly been trimmed to a 12/1 shot for that 2m handicap chase, and if he were to line up then he'd be extremely interesting. We are yet to receive the handicap entries for the festival yet, but were Coeur Sublime to be handed an eye-catching mark for the event then De Bromhead could well have a major player, and he warrants a play.
Chatham Street Lad - Michael Winters - 40/1 for Ryanair Chase
With reigning Ryanair Chase hero Allaho looking one of the Irish-trained certainties of the week in the 2m 5f Grade One on March 17, there could be a depleted field taking on the Willie Mullins-trained raider at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, but one horse that is set to take him on is the Michael Winters-trained Chatham Street Lad.
Allaho dominates the betting at 5/4, with the Champion Chase bound Energumene next in at 8/1, while it's 10/1 bar that Mullins duo in the betting, so it's certainly an each-way market to get stuck into. A sensational 15-length winner of the 2020 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham during his novice campaign, CHATHAM STREET LAD was last seen at the festival running a creditable race in the Marsh Novices' Chase, as he finished a decent fourth behind Chantry House.
Seventh in the Munster National at Limerick in his first start this campaign, Winters' raider then finished a distant third in the Betfair Chase behind A Plus Tard, which certainly answered the questions on whether he could turn into a Cheltenham Gold Cup horse. The answer to that is certainly no and Winters has earmarked a crack at Allaho on the Thursday of the festival, and having beaten the ill-fated Midnight Shadow in impressive style in that Cheltenham romp last season, then Chatham Street Lad has shown he relishes the Ryanair trip, and he could be a potential lively outsider, if conditions are in his favour.
No Ordinary Joe - Nicky Henderson - 18/1 for County Hurdle
Nicky Henderson last trained the winner of the County Hurdle back in 1997 when Barna Boy was victorious, but the Seven Barrows maestro can taste victory again in the 2m handicap hurdle as 20/1 chance NO ORDINARY JOE looks to have a terrific chance, if lining up on the final day of the meeting.
He was a gallant third behind West Cork and the abovementioned Adagio in the Greatwood at Cheltenham two starts ago, and that was having ran with the choke out for most of the way, as Nico De Boinville struggled to settle him. Having run free for most of that event, he showed his ability by being so close to the winner that day, and a repeat of that effort should see him go very close.
He was next seen at Ascot and was duly sent off favourite, but yet again he raced freely throughout and was subsequently pulled up. If Henderson is able to get him to settle during his races, and the hustle and bustle of a County Hurdle should help him do that, as they go a rapid pace from the flag fall then he has to be a huge player.
He's entered for the Betfair Hurdle (14/1), but his current mark of 136 looks very appealing, so if connections have their eyes on the County then they could bypass Newbury and let him line up at Cheltenham off that eye-catching mark then he is worthy of notable each-way interest.