Cheltenham Festival Ante Post Longshot Tips

The Cheltenham Festival is less than 4 weeks away so we asked the Racing Breaks Tipster to write a blog that absolutely no one was asking for, 5 Ante Post selections for the Greatest Show on Turf.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Racing resumed last Wednesday after 6 days of the Equine Flu related shutdown. As we approach the Festival, value is to be had in some of the Ante Post markets. We are yet to find out the impact that the Equine Flu situation, and subsequent vaccinations, will have on Trainers either side of the Irish Sea. Throw in unseasonably quick ground all season and this is one of the weirdest and unpredictable lead ups to a Festival that I can remember. Here we have a quick look at the 5 best Ante Post bets for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

Shattered Love 33-1 (Betfair) - Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup  

Presenting Percy is all the rage for the Cheltenham Gold Cup but at odds of 11/4  does not offer value for a horse that is yet to run over fences this season (Entered in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park 16/02). The forgotten horse of this year’s Gold Cup is last year’s JLT Chase winner Shattered Love. It is easy to forget how impressive she was in beating Terrefort by 7 lengths, Kemboy was back in 4th. She proved her ability remains when running 2nd to Min (the 2nd best horse in training) over an inadequate trip in the John Durkin earlier in the season. Forget her run at Christmas when trainer Gordon Elliott said she returned having jarred her legs on unsuitably quick ground. Normally the Gold Cup goes to a second season chaser and Shattered Love provides the best value of all them.

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Elixir De Nutz 14-1 (Bet365) - SkyBet Supreme Novices Hurdle

Most punters like to look for a horse from the Mullins or Henderson stables for the Supreme but how about a horse that has already won a Grade 1 and won over the course and distance that the race is run. Elixir De Nutz may not be a typical “sexy type” that the people will latch on to for the Supreme but value can be found with Colin Tizzard’s inmate who has the experience needed for this race which many of the other runners will not have. Also throw into the mix that Tizzard has said his horses received their flu jabs over Christmas, Elxir De Nutz will have had a clear preparation for the Festival when some of his rivals may have not.

Gardens of Babylon 16-1 (William Hill) - JCB Triumph Hurdle

Many people will see tipping Joseph O’Brien’s third choice in the Triumph Hurdle as madness. However, with the market suggesting Fakir D’oudairies to line up in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, Gardens of Babylon is likely to be Joseph O’Brien’s second choice still having to reverse the result with Sir Erec of the Spring Juvenile at Leopardstown. Sir Erec was mightily impressive but the way the race unfolded is likely to have suited him. Sir Erec was given an easy lead with the race being run at an absolute crawl. As an ex-flat horse he was able to quicken up impressively off that pace. At a different course on a different day Gardens of Babylon will have a chance to reverse the form if ridden more positively. Furthermore, placed horses in the Spring Juvenile have an excellent record of doing just that.

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First Assignment 16-1 (Betfair) - Pertemps Final

This tipster first learned of the plan for this horse after sharing a few Tequilas with Ian Williams at a Christmas function. The run last time out suggested that the plan is currently going well, very quietly ridden at Warwick to protect a handicap mark at the same time as qualifying for the final at the Festival. More impressive is the form of First Assignment’s run at Haydock in November finishing 1¾ lengths behind Stayers Hurdle favourite Paisley Park. Having won twice at Cheltenham earlier at the season there is no doubt that First Assignment likes Prestbury Park.

Ballycasey 20-1 (Bet365) - Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

Last Year’s winner and Grand National hero Tiger Roll is likely to be a very warm order for this race but Ballycasey could prove value in this market. Running an eye catching 5th to Fact of the Matter at the course in December showed that he took a liking to the course. Quite quietly ridden he can improve if ridden nearer the front of the pace and is likely to have the assistance of Patrick Mullins. Unsuited by the banks of Punchestown last time out, Willie Mullins is likely to have his charge tuned for this race and the way that the race is run often means there is a sprint at the finish and can suit a horse which has proven form over 2 miles.