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Time to Start Planning for the Cheltenham Festival

"Cheltenham Racecourse" by Jim (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Cheltenham Festival is edging closer and now it is time for horse racing fans to start making their plans and thinking about the bets they want to place. We are going to see a lot of Cheltenham contenders running over the next four or five weeks as final preparation for the big event in March. Be sure to watch as much racing as you can over the coming weeks; it will help out your punting when the main week of action finally arrives.

Many people will have already placed ante-post bets on the Cheltenham Festival, as now is a popular time for doing so. You will have already seen horses that have impressed you so far and, by backing them now, you can get on before those horses impress other people and the price drops. Ante-post betting is always fun, and you can find yourself backing horses at huge odds, that are less than half of that on the day.

If you are looking to place bets then it is often best to research and get a second opinion on your selections. Timeform have been covering racing for a long period of time and their racing tips online are always very popular with punters. They analyse the runs of horses and create their own rating system, which points you in the right direction when it comes to picking out the winners. With so many horses performing well, it can often be hard to compare the form of victories over different distances and at different tracks, and that is where Timeform is a great help.

"Cheltenham Racecourse" by Nilfanion (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The four Championship races at the festival are likely to draw the biggest attention right now and the Gold Cup is in meltdown after a disappointing performance by last year’s winner Sizing John, and a season-ending injury to Thistlecrack. Might Bite is the current favourite, although, after seeing him nearly throw away the RSA Chase at the festival last season, it will be interesting to see how many punters trust him.  

In similar style, the Champion Hurdle market is also in turmoil right now and recovering after Faugheen was pulled up over Christmas. Just as punters thought they were going to get to see a great clash between Faugheen and Buveur D’Air, hopes were dashed and it remains to be seen whether or not Faugheen will make the festival.

The markets for the Champion Chase and World Hurdle have also had their moments, with the injury to Douvan and the questions marks over Altior causing chaos for punters in the Champion Chase market. The World Hurdle hasn’t seen anything like the other three; that race has seen horses added to it, rather than pulled out of it.

The Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner, and now is the time to prepare, watch as much horse racing as possible, and get yourself ready for the main event. With the right preparation, a successful Cheltenham should be within reach.

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