Cheltenham Festival Tips: My Banker, Lay and Big-Priced Champion Chase tip

Cheltenham Festival Tips: Paisley Park goes for glory in the Stayers' Hurdle.
Cheltenham Festival Tips: Paisley Park goes for glory in the Stayers' Hurdle.

Sean Raymond picks out his banker for the Cheltenham Festival, as well as his lay of the meeting, along with a big-priced tip in the Champion Chase...

The arrival of March is a significant milestone for fans of the jumps with Cheltenham now just a matter of days away.

It will not be a normal Festival in 2021 with a distinct lack of tweed coming through the turnstiles, but thankfully the sport on the track is set to be as exciting as ever. The best equine stars from both sides of the Irish Sea will be crossing swords at the mecca and there are three horses in particular I am keeping a close eye on… 

Banker

Envoi Allen and Monkfish are of course the two that stand out in this category this season and it is hard to argue against the claims of either. The two Irish trained stars have been hoof perfect in their appearances this season and it would be a surprise if either got beat at Prestbury Park in their respective assignments.

There is however another horse lurking at a bigger price that is going into my banker category this season, with the rejuvenated PAISLEY PARK the one to follow in the Stayers’ Hurdle. The 2019 winner of the race flopped in the defence of his crown this time last year, but has bounced back this term to prove himself the one to beat.

Narrowly beaten by Thyme Hill in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on seasonal debut, the Emma Lavelle-trained star turned the tables in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot. The winning margin that day may have only been a neck, but Paisley Park was value for more than that having been held up in heavy ground.

Missing the Cleeve Hurdle may have been a blessing in disguise with another race in testing conditions likely to have been on the cards. Still only nine, Paisley Park can be forgiven his poor run at the Festival last year and with a distinct lack of opposition likely to be taking him on, the old hero can regain his crown at a decent price.

Stayers' Hurdle
Paisley Park silk

Paisley Park

Lay

The Henry De Bromhead-trained HONEYSUCKLE stunned the Dublin Racing Festival last time out with a brilliant win in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

The unbeaten mare had shown plenty of promise during her career but that performance was on a different level as she rocketed herself to the head of the Champion Hurdle prices. The seven-year-old produced a career best to destroy some good horses at Leopardstown that day but the Champion Hurdle is another step up again.

A best price of 3/1, at the time of writing, seems a touch too short about a horse in Honeysuckle who only beat Benie Des Dieux half a length to win the Mares’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park twelve months ago. There is no doubt she appears to have improved again but in Epatante and Goshen she does face two potentially worthy rivals.

Prior to losing last time out when clearly something was amiss, Epatante was considered a stone-cold certainty for a second Champion Hurdle by many, while it was hard not to be impressed by the way Goshen cruised to victory at Wincanton recently.

The Champion Hurdle is always the highlight of the week for me and this season will hopefully be no different thanks to these three exciting horses. Honeysuckle is clearly a huge talent but given the level of potential opposition and her previous form at Cheltenham, which wouldn’t be good enough, I am happy to take her on at the prices.

Big-Priced Selection

Looking for something at a bigger price is always the most enjoyable aspect of any Cheltenham Festival with some terrific animals lurking further down some of the race markets.

Trainers and owners up and down the country are busy preparing their stars for a trip to Gloucestershire and my selection for this category is an old favourite. SCEAU ROYAL has been mixing at the top table of jumps racing for what seems like years now but the Alan King-trained stalwart is still only nine.

A hugely consistent horse on the big stage, Sceau Royal is always there or thereabouts when he rocks up to Prestbury Park in March and I believe he can do the same in 2021. Outside of Chacun Pour Soi, there are huge doubts about the majority of the contenders in the Queen Mother Champion Chase betting. 

It is exactly the kind of year that could see something like Sceau Royal finish in the place money at a price of 20/1 which is far too big to ignore from an each-way point of view. This is a horse who was good enough to finish third in the Champion Chase in 2019 before returning last year once again to finish a respectable fifth.

A comfortable win over the Cheltenham Gold Cup bound Champ in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury recently shows he is in good nick and ready to run well. Connections will be hoping for decent ground to see the horse to best effect but at the prices and given the doubts about some of his likely contenders, Sceau Royal looks a lovely each-way poke for punters to go to war with.

Queen Mother Champion Chase
Sceau Royal silk

Sceau Royal (EW)

lost
Cheltenham Festival Races
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus

#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Get Up To £100 In Free Bets
#AD New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Money Back As CASH Up To £20 (APP Only)
#AD 18+ Playsafe. New UK users only. The cash refund will equal the amount of your first deposit up to £20. Payment restrictions & T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
£10 Welcome Offer
#AD UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. BeGambleaware.org T&Cs apply
Latest racing results
Newcastle
19:00
1st Blazing Hot
2nd Portelet Bay
3rd Porfin
Newcastle
18:30
1st Tell'Em Nowt
2nd Clear Angel
3rd Barrington
Newcastle
18:00
2nd Outrun The Storm
3rd Athollblair Boy
4th Sir Benedict
View All Today's Results