Severn Sport’s Road to Cheltenham Festival 2021: 4 weeks to go

Here at Severn Sport not only do we cast our eyes over Gloucestershire Football, but we also follow horse racing and in particular the road to the Cheltenham Festival in March.

As part of our annual coverage we host a tipster league for the meeting and get local players involved as part of the fun and this year with the fact there isn’t much football happening currently we have had time to actually take in the early stages of the jumps season and get ready for the festival properly.

So with that being said we thought we would start having a look at ante-post fancies and how some of our tipsters feel the big week will go. Last month we had our ‘8 weeks to go’ preview – which you can read here.

This time we are asking our tipsters for three things, 1) Their tips for the opening race of the festival – the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, 2) The favourite they are most likely to take on and 3) Their fancy of the day, each day.

Check out the selections below as Damon Highet and Slimbridge defender Joel White join Ryan and Kelsey in having their say.

(All prices correct at time of writing via

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Kelsey De Maria a.k.a The Sidekick

My tip in the Supreme was actually Ferny Hollow before injury ruled him out of The Festival. Because of that I’m siding with Gaillard Du Mesnil. He’s also entered in the Ballymore on Wednesday so there’s a chance he goes in that but if not I can see him doing well in this. He sauntered to success at Leopardstown over Christmas and was successful again there less than 10 days ago (at the time of writing) when stepping up in trip.

Gailiard Du Mesnil to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle – 20/1 (bet365, William Hill, BetFred)

If you’re looking to take on a favourite, I’d avert your gaze to the Champion Bumper on Wednesday and tell you to go against Kilcruit, the current 11/8 favourite, with Sir Gerhard. The £400,000 Cheveley Park stud is 3 from 3 so far under Gordon Elliot and I expect him to add to his tally at Prestbury Park.

Sir Gerhard to win the Champion Bumper – 3/1 (bet365, Sky Bet, BetFred, betway)

Tuesday fancy: Turning attentions to the final race of the day and I like Coko Beach at 12/1 in the National Hunt Chase. Did well in The Coral Cup last year before a long lay-off, placed in four of five races since return (the other was a four-runner contest won by Envoi Allen at Fairyhouse).

Coko Beach to win the National Hunt Chase – 14/1 (bet365, William Hill)

Wednesday fancy: I’ve been hammering home my faith in Bob Olinger in the Ballymore for months. I’m on at 25/1 and he’s now best priced 9/2 after back-to-back successes at Navan and Naas. He’s had the perfect prep for this.

Bob Olinger to win the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – 9/2 (bet365)

Thursday fancy: I’m looking at Conflated in the newly named Paddy Power Plate at 14s. Strolled to a 17-length success at Navan in December and the drop back to two and a half miles should prove ideal.

Conflated to win the Paddy Power Plate – 18/1 (bet365)

Friday fancy: Elimay looks the one to beat in The Mares Chase, looking at the each way terms I like Dame De Compagnie. Plenty of form around Cheltenham, including Coral Cup success at last year’s Festival.

Dame De Compagnie to win the Mares Chase – 11/1 (William Hill)

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Damon Highet a.k.a The Sweet Prince

I am not even sure that my tip will end up going for the Supreme, but My Drogo has impressed me all season, looks gritty and up for the fight. Fav looks tough to beat and Mullins knows how to win a Supreme but if he goes here 20/1 for My Drogo is great value.

My Drogo to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 20/1 (bet365, William Hill)

The favourite to take on is Chacun Pour Soi in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. He deserves to be 5/6 because of how the division has settled so far this year. Altior looks vulnerable, Politologue beaten and some of the new kids on the block haven’t done it at the highest level – so 5/6 makes sense.

But this division has been a mine field and I am putting faith in First Flow who caused an upset last time out goes here at 14/1 and is again fantastic each way value right now.

First Flow to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase – 14/1 (bet365, William Hill)

Tuesday Fancy: I’m looking at the Champion Hurdle and Goshen if he ends up in the final declarations, Moore must have some faith he can win it and what I saw last year bar the last hurdle blunder was like something you rarely see at Cheltenham. Got to give him a chance at big odds.

Goshen to win the Champion Hurdle – 25/1 (bet365, William Hill)

Wednesday Fancy: I do like the look of Kilcruit in the Champion bumper, however I can’t bet anything at 13/8 at Cheltenham being a small stakes player so I will go for Some Neck in the Cross Country. Some Neck was a talented horse under Willie Mullins and clearly retained ability so now looks like he likes the cross country track and looks a value bet at 20/1.

Some Neck to win the Cross Country – 25/1 (William Hill)

Thursday Fancy: It looks like Paisley Park and Thyme Hill have it between them to be honest but at a longer price who always runs his race, Ronald Pump is again storng value at around 14/1 after finishing second last year. Worth a punt.

Ronald Pump to win the Stayers Hurdle – 16/1 (William Hill)

Friday Fancy: I haven’t watched a lot of the Irish racing this season but they have the front three in the market in the Triumph Hurdle and the best of the English seems to be Adagio. Adagio has Cheltenham course form which eliminates the unknown here whereas with the Irish horses you take that risk, albeit they are clearly very good. Looks value at 9/1 so I’ll take it.

Adagio to win the Triumph Hurdle – 10/1 (William Hill)

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Joel White (right) along with Myron Turner (left) a.k.a Top Trotters (C)

My tip for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle has to be Appreciate It. I tried to find an angle to avoid the favourite in the first, but I can’t find one. It will be too strong in a finish for the rest.

Appreciate It to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 7/4 Fav (bet365, William Hill)

There are always a few favourites who look strong in ante-post betting but struggle on the day and for me the one to take on is Allaho in the Ryanair Chase.

I can’t believe he is the favourite now after Min pulled up last time out. Personally, I think Melon will win the face from the front.

Melon to win the Ryanair Chase – 12/1 (bet365)

Tuesday Fancy: It has to be Concertista in the Mares’ Hurdle. Now that Honeysuckle is destined for the Champion Hurdle, Concertista will take some stopping.

Concertista to win the Mares’ Hurdle – 6/4 Fav (Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair)

Wednesday Fancy: I actually agree with Kelsey from the last post and Bob Olinger in the Ballymore catches my eye. I have followed this horse since it’s first run and has he improved every time. Granted it is a tough race but can see him coming out on top.

Bob Olinger to win the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – 9/2 (bet365)

Thursday Fancy: No introduction needed from me on this one. Paisley Park is the best horse in training and wins on the line.

Paisley Park to win the Stayers Hurdle – 10/3 Fav (bet365)

Friday Fancy: In the Mares Chase on Friday I am looking at Elimay. She has improved with each run this season and with this being a new race at the festival this season she should go close.

Elimay to win the Mares Chase – 5/2 Fav (bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair, BetVictor, BetFred)

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Ryan Butler a.k.a Bacon

The Supreme is weird for me. I am looking at some of the races and there are favourites who are odds on yet Appreciate It is still 6/4 with Sky Bet on the ante-post. Willie Mullins should kick off what could be an unreal week for him in style.

Appreciate It to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 7/4 Fav (bet365, William Hill)

My favourite to take on is Chacun Pour Soi in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. As I said above there are favourites who are odds on currently and this is one of them.

But you look at some of the others listed in the race like Altior, Politologue, Nube Negra and First Flow and they are all capable of mounting a serious challenge with the latter getting my ante-post money.

First Flow to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase – 14/1 (bet365, William Hill)

Tuesday Fancy: In a now packed Champion Hurdle I like the look of Silver Streak at 10/1 for some each way ante-post value. Improving every time I watch him and will be competitive once again.

Silver Streak to win the Champion Hurdle – 11/1 (bet365, William Hill)

Wednesday Fancy: Monkfish is the one to beat according to the market for the RSA Chase, but I think The Big Breakaway again offers good each way ante-post value at 14/1 currently.

The Big Breakaway to win the RSA Chase – 14/1 (bet365)

Thursday Fancy: We are at the point where a number of horses are listed for multiple races during the week so it becomes a guessing game as to who runs where in some cases. But if Vinndication turns out in the Stayers Hurdle then he can offer good value at 25/1 currently.

Vinndication to win the Stayers Hurdle – 25/1 (bet365, Sky Bet, William Hill)

Friday Fancy: There has been talk that Gentlemansgame may not go to Cheltenham for Mouse Morris, but after a strong second last time out I fancy him for the Albert Bartlett if he makes the trip to Prestbury Park.

Gentlemansgame to win the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle – 14/1 (bet365, William Hill)

Check back on Severn Sport in the build up the Gold Cup Festival in March, the highlight of the jumps racing calendar

Cover photo copyright with Getty Images

Photo of Joel White and Myron Turner Copyright with Brian Rossiter; please visit his wonderful albums via Twitter @BrianRossiter1 or Flickr