Severn Sport’s Road to Cheltenham Festival 2022: 8 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 in March 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 with about two months to go until all eyes are on Cheltenham (as it currently stands) we would get a couple of our tipsters together to cast their eye on ante-post fancies.

Check out the selections below as Damon Highet and Tuffley Rovers defender Joel White join Ryan and Kelsey in having their say on three picks, their pre-festival NAP (best tip), their NB (next best) and of course, their pre-March fancy for the Gold Cup.

It is worth noting that two of the four last year correctly tipped Minella Indo to win the Gold Cup at 10/1 – which was a better price than the winner went off at (8/1).

Kelsey De Maria talks you through his ante-post fancies for the Festival

My NAP selection is Ferny Hollow in the Arkle. Absolutely love this horse. I thought Cheveley Park Stud might have sent Quilixios in this, and they still could! But the 2020 Champion Bumper winner is still undefeated over fences and I’d back him to continue that form.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 6/4 (William Hill; Betway, bet365)

The next best is Classic Getaway in the Martin Pipe. I know you’re probably thinking this is a brave call given that £570k six-year-old was upstaged recently by stablemate Cash Back at Clonmel. However, it was his first run over hurdles it was a very good run and showed plenty of promise. I’m not too concerned by what I saw.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 14/1 (bet365)

I tipped the winner in the Gold Cup last year about six months prior to race day, so I’ve got a lot to live up to. I’m siding with Galvin this year, who I’ve been a huge fan of since his debut in 2018. He loves Cheltenham, can stay up the hill and has a lot of gas in the tank.

Last year’s winner Minella Indo isn’t to be sniffed at with 7’s available for him too though!

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 5/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, SkyBet, BetVictor, Betway)

Damon Highet has been a core part of our Horse Racing coverage on Severn Sport

My first selection is Dysart Dynamo for either the Ballymore or Supreme. I watched this win on the weekend and was hugely impressed – as were a lot of people! A proper engine and travels on the bridle strongly. Dysart Dynamo made some good horses in the race look pretty average, which for me is very eye catching. Mullins record at Cheltenham speaks for himself and whilst I would go for the Supreme, it would be typical Willie Mullins for him to show in the Ballymore later in the week!

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 4/1 for Supreme Novices Hurdle (bet365, Coral, BetFred, Ladbrokes, SkyBet, Betway, William Hill);

5/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle (bet365, Betfair, Paddy Power, SkyBet)

The next best sees me go for Royal Kahala in the Close Brothers Mares Hurdle. A strong stayer over this trip and will likely sit in behind the pace and come with a run mate and battle up the hill in the finish. Currently represents good value for me and unlike some of the tipsters in the league, I like to offer value!

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 9/1 (Betfair, Paddy Power)

For the Gold Cup itself Minella Indo is likely to be most people’s favourite if you can look past A Plus Tard. However, I like to look at horses who have their first run in the Gold Cup and also look at potentially overlooked horses and for me I think Allaho has what it takes in terms of class. I just hope he stands the test of the Gold Cup trip.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 33/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, SkyBet, Unibet)

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Joel White (right) along with Myron Turner (left) were Severn Sport Tipster League Runners Up last year, having won it in 2020

My NAP selection is Champ in the Stayers Hurdle on the Thursday. Staying over hurdles is key to Champ’s make up I believe and realistically if he can run like we have seen him at Cheltenham previously, then no horse will get near him in the Stayers.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 9/2 (William Hill)

My next best is a weird one as I am going for Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle. It might be a bit boring but she just wins!

She was going to be my NAP, but I didn’t want to put a short price up, but she will be in nearly every pre-Festival accumulator.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 8/11 Favourite (Betfair, Paddy Power, SkyBet, William Hill, Unibet)

For the Gold Cup I am going for Al Boum Photo. I think that he is a great each-way price right now and considering his record in the race it screams a great bit of value in the ante-post market.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 10/1 (Coral, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Betway, BetVictor, William Hill)

Ryan Butler consistently picks the most places during the Tipster Leagues

My first selection is a proper NAP in Galopin des Champs in the RSA (Brown Advisory Novices Chase). I was lucky enough to get on at 8/1 earlier in the season and after a dominating win last time out in some places the price is as short as 11/8 Favourite – a good kicker for any pre-Festival accumluator.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 6/4 Favourite (bet365, Coral, Betfred, Ladbrokes, BetVictor)

My next best is one that may slip under the radar. I have been following Charlie Sharp on Twitter this year and he puts on an array of ante-post bets for Cheltenham on using only free bets he gets from his accounts and one he tipped up was Pink in the Park in the Champion Bumper. I was able to get on at 20/1 and the price has halved since a win last time out, so there is a chance PITP will be right in the mix come race day.

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 12/1 (bet365)

The Gold Cup market is a hot one. Incredibly last year’s winner is only 3rd favourite in the market at the time of writing and you can line up 10 different tipsters and they would probably give you 6,7 or even 8 different selections after recent races. I’m backing the current second favourite in market in Galvin. Again it’s another horse I have been lucky enough to get on at a bigger price earlier in the season. As it stands he shows good value and has the Cheltenham form to back it up!

Best current price (as on at time of writing): 5/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, SkyBet, BetVictor, Betway)

And of course, we couldn’t go without getting the verdict from the King, Colin Gay, the Co-Chairman of Slimbridge who says the following:

It’s very early for predictions and as you know I don’t like looking too much until at least the evening before, but usually the morning of the race is the best time.

My selections are based on horses that have won for me in the past, but may well change before the day as I’m not happy about Digger [Joel White] being tempted to copy my selections…as always.

NAP – Honeysuckle (Champion Hurdle) – Best current price (as on at time of writing): 8/11 Favourite (Betfair, Paddy Power, SkyBet, William Hill, Unibet)

NB – Sporting John (Stayers Hurdle) – Best current price (as on at time of writing): 20/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, SkyBet)

Gold Cup – GalvinBest current price (as on at time of writing): 5/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, SkyBet, BetVictor, Betway)

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