Cheltenham Festival Tips: Check out Ed Quigley's best bets

Cheltenham Festival Tips: Can Chantry House cause a shock and down Envoi Allen?
Cheltenham Festival Tips: Can Chantry House cause a shock and down Envoi Allen?

Ed Quigley previews the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and picks out some of his best bets for the entire week...

TUESDAY

The action for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival gets underway in the Supreme, where a lot of eyes will be on Appreciate It to get favourite backers off to success in the opener. Unbeaten in three starts over hurdles, including the last two at Grade 1 level, he looks rock solid at the top of the market. Those three wins have all gone on very testing ground, and with ground likely to be no worse than on the slow side of Good to Soft on the Tuesday, he may just be susceptible to something with a turn of foot. My antepost tip for this was BALLYADAM and I think he has rock solid claims of reversing the form. Only three lengths behind Appreciate It at the Dublin Racing Festival despite making a mess of the last flight, he can make amends here.

Last year's Supreme winner, SHISHKIN looks to have an open goal to land the Arkle after the late defection of Energumene, and I think on better ground Captain Guinness can follow him home. 

The Ultima looks wide open, and at an each-way price, I wouldn't put any one off DELIRE D'ESTRUVAL for the Ben Pauling team. Still lightly raced and open to improvement over 3m, he was pulled up at Kempton on his comeback after injury, but with that run to get the ring-rust out of him and the headgear back on, I think he could easily be in the shake-up for connections that went agonisingly close 12 months ago with Kildisart. 

The Champion Hurdle looks an absolute belter and I am staying loyal here to my antepost position with ABACADABRAS. This race should be run at a furious pace and will set the race up nicely for the horse who did everything but win when second in last year's Supreme when pipped by Shishkin. Of the 'big three' at the top of the market, I think the percentage call is the unbeaten Honeysuckle, but it will be interesting how she is ridden with the likes of Not So Sleepy and Goshen in the field. Epatante is hard to work out on the back of being thumped at Kempton by Silver Streak but if in the same vein of form as last year will be right in the thick of it once again. At a monster price, I can't resist a small each-way bet on SALDIER who hasn't sparked in two starts this season. However, he thumped Sharjah amongst others when winning the Grade 1 Morgiana in 2019. Still only 7, he may have unfinished business. 

I think DAME DE COMPAGNIE can serve it up to Concertista and Roksana in the Mares' Hurdle, and as flagged up previously, HELL RED could be a bit of a dark horse in the Boodles.

Naturally, a lot of eyes will be on those at the top of the market for the National Hunt Chase, but as a big-priced each-way alternative, I think NESTOR PARK can massively out run his odds as I think this marathon trip will suit. If he can iron out a few jumping blemishes, he could get himself involved in the finish. 

Already Advised:
1.20 Ballyadam, 14/1 NRNB
3.05 Abacadabras, 16/1
4.15 Hell Red, 20/1

Tuesday Selections:

13:55 Tue - Arkle Chase
Shishkin silk

Shishkin

won
14:30 Tue - Ultima Handicap Chase
Delire D'Estruval silk

Delire D'Estruval (EW)

Pulled Up
15:05 Tue - Champion Hurdle
Saldier silk

Saldier (EW)

lost
15:40 Tue - Mares Hurdle
Dame De Compagnie silk

Dame De Compagnie

lost
16:50 Tue - NH Chase
Nestor Park silk

Nestor Park (EW)

Pulled Up
Cheltenham Festival Tips

WEDNESDAY

The Ballymore has the potential to be an epic battle where I am tentatively on the side of BOB OLINGER. Gaillard Du Mesnil could be a formidable challenger, and I already have my colours nailed to the mast with Bravemansgame. This has the potential to be race of the week.

It is hard to see past Monkfish in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, but obviously any resemblance of value has disappeared. He should win and will probably be favourite for the 2022 Gold Cup after this assignment. My antepost fancy The Big Breakaway should at least be in the mix for the Colin Tizzard team who are in much better form than they were throughout the bulk of the winter. I think their other representative for this race, FIDDLERONTHEROOF could easily come into the equation. He is unexposed over 3m, and his form of having subsequent Grade 1 winner Sporting John behind him at Exeter earlier in the season reads well.

I like Grand Roi in the Coral Cup, and I wouldn't be ruling out a big run from THOMAS DARBY under top weight. I thought they might roll the dice in the Stayers' Hurdle with the Olly Murphy representative, but they have decided this stiff track over an intermediate trip will suffice. I envisage him staying on well up the Cheltenham hill.

Chacun Pour Soi looks to be ticking more or less all the right boxes in the Champion Chase, with the exception of any form at Prestbury Park. I expect him to get the job done, but equally expect a big run from the Harry Whittington trained ROUGE VIF. The yard are in much better form than they were during the winter and better ground will suit. He pulverised the field in a C&D Handicap off 156 back in October, and a return to that form could see him in the shake up. The race will be run at a frenetic gallop with First Flow and Politologue in attendance, and this looks an absolute corker!

I am really keen on the claims of Zanza in the Grand Annual, and will be happy to sit out the Cross Country and Champion Bumper.

Already Advised:
1.20 Bravemansgame, 25/1
1.55 The Big Breakaway, 40/1
2.30 Grand Roi, 20/1
3.05 Greaneteen, 28/1

Wednesday Selections: 

13:20 Wed - Ballymore Novices Hurdle
Bob Olinger silk

Bob Olinger

won
13:55 Wed - Brown Adv Novices Chase
Fiddlerontheroof silk

Fiddlerontheroof (EW)

placed
14:30 Wed - Coral Cup
Thomas Darby silk

Thomas Darby (EW)

lost
15:05 Wed - Queen Mother Champion Chase
Rouge Vif silk

Rouge Vif (EW)

lost

THURSDAY

It should be straight forward for Envoi Allen in the Marsh Chase if he brings his A-game to the table, but I genuinely think CHANTRY HOUSE can serve it up to him. The Nicky Henderson-trained gelding had an operation for a kissing spine after disappointing at Cheltenham in December, but looked back in the groove with a very smart performance when winning at Wetherby last month.

Another Seven Barrows inmate, CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM looks a major player in the Pertemps Final. Lightly raced, and running off 139, he made eye-catching late headway to qualify for this at Haydock, and can thrive with the headgear back on. I am keen on his chances.

The Ryanair looks so wide open and you can make a case for six or seven of these. Fakir D'Oudairies has been my long term fancy for this, and looks to have a good a chance as any. With the weather looking decent for the week, MISTER FISHER has to come into the reckoning for Nicky Henderson. He looked a class act when landing the rescheduled Peterborough Chase at Cheltenham when last seen and looks rock solid here, with crucially, ground looking as though it is coming in his favour. If there was a joker in the pack, Samcro couldn't be ruled out, given that the best two performances of his career to date came at this meeting.

The Stayers' Hurdle was dealt a blow when Thyme Hill was ruled out through a minor muscle injury on Friday, and as a consequence, his price has shortened significantly. I have no strong view on this, but based purely on his proximity to Monkfish in last year's Albert Bartlett, FURY ROAD rates an each-way player.

CARIBEAN BOY looks to hold every chance in the Plate, and conditions should dry up in his favour, whilst in the Mares' Novice Hurdle, HOOK UP looks the one to beat.

I have flagged up the claims of BOB MAHLER in a previous column, and has now shortened up. He was third in the Kim Muir last year, and is dangerously well treated off 5lb lower this time around for the Warren Greatrex stable. Good ground could well be the key to him.

Already advised:
1.20 Chantry House, 12/1
2.30 Fakir D'Oudairies 25/1
3.40 Caribean Boy, 20/1
4.50 Bob Mahler, 33/1

Thursday's Selections:

Thu 13:55 - Pertemps Final
Champagne Platinum silk

Champagne Platinum

lost
14:30 Thu - Ryanair Chase
Mister Fisher silk

Mister Fisher

Pulled Up
14:30 Thu - Ryanair Chase
Samcro silk

Samcro

Pulled Up
15:05 Thu - Stayers Hurdle
Fury Road silk

Fury Road (EW)

Pulled Up

FRIDAY

I am firmly in the Tritonic camp for the Triumph Hurdle. Rated 99 on the flat, this horse has serious gears, and has now made it two from two over hurdles. Stopwatch celebrities have knocked his time of the Adonis, but he did it with consummate ease and on decent ground could take some stopping for the Alan King team, who have a very good record in this contest. He is my strongest fancy on the Friday.

Third Time Lucki and Thyme White would be my two versus the field in the County Hurdle, drying ground helping the course of both of those individuals. Both are strong travellers and look well handicapped to my eye.

The Albert Bartlett looks a guess up, but I would be prepared to forgive PATS FANCY after he ran no sort of race at Doncaster, and could cause an upset for the Rebecca Curtis team who do well in this event. 

I find the Cheltenham Gold Cup a bit of a head scratcher, as Al Boum Photo goes in search of joining a very select group by trying to land a third Cheltenham Gold Cup. Based on his one spin at Tramore, it is hard to put a handle on where he is in comparison, but would pick the Henry De Bromhead duo of A Plus Tard and Minella Indo against the field. A Plus Tard was very impressive in the Savills Chase, and coming here a fresh horse may well be a shrewd move. Minella Indo has lost the plot in the jumping department, but if Jack Kennedy can get a tune out of him, he cannot be overlooked given the strength of his Festival Form.

The Hunter Chase and The Martin Pipe are not contests I have a handle on at present, but I really like the claims of SHATTERED LOVE in the inaugural Mares' Chase. She is a previous Cheltenham Festival winner and the step back up to 2m4f should really suit her.

Win, lose or draw, have a very happy Cheltenham Festival!

Friday's Selections:

Fri 13:20 - Triumph Hurdle
Tritonic silk

Tritonic

lost
Fri 13:55 - County Hurdle
Third Time Lucki silk

Third Time Lucki

lost
13:55 Fri - County Hurdle
Thyme White silk

Thyme White

lost
Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
Pats Fancy silk

Pats Fancy

Fri 15:05 - Gold Cup
A Plus Tard silk

A Plus Tard

placed
Fri 15:05 - Gold Cup
Minella Indo silk

Minella Indo

won
16:15 Fri - Mares Chase
Shattered Love silk

Shattered Love

placed
Cheltenham Gold Cup
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