Cheltenham Festival Handicap Tips – Four Selections for an Each-way Lucky 15 Bet (£1 EW returns £71,830)
The Cheltenham Festival handicaps, which account for nearly a third of the races over the four days, are notoriously difficult and, in some cases, nigh on impossible, puzzles to solve.
However, more often than not, the odds of reward are correspondingly high, which goes a long way to explaining why, despite their complexity, these races remain hugely popular with the average punter. In an effort to take some of the “donkey work” out of poring over the formbook, we’ve cast an eye over the Festival handicaps and produced a shortlist of four horses, which we believe could go well at “working man’s” prices and would make up the perfect each-way lucky 15 bet.
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Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Wednesday, 2.30pm)
Langer Dan (50/1 or 40/1 BOG & NRNB) finished sixth, beaten 4¾ lengths, in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, a.k.a. the Fred Winter, at last year’s Cheltenham Festival off a handicap mark of 135, so merits close consideration off a mark of 131 this time around. He underwent wind surgery after two modest efforts early in the 2020/21 season, but put in an eye-catching performance on his return to action at Market Rasen in February. Racing over 2 miles ½ furlong on that flat, sharp track, he held no chance from the second-last flight, but nonetheless kept on well to finish a never-nearer fourth, beaten 6½ lengths. He has his stamina to prove, but shapes as though he needs further than the minimum trip these days, so an extra half-a-mile or so could be ideal.
Selection: Langer Dan (40/1 with bet365)
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Wednesday, 4.15pm)
Zanza (10/1) was readily outpointed by Allmankind, who was receiving 8lb and has since completed a hat-trick, in a novices’ chase at Warwick in November, but a line through the winner gives him the clear beating of ante-post favourite Sky Pirate. He warrants further examination on that score alone and may, indeed, have beaten Sky Pirate at Cheltenham last time, but for falling at the third last, when close up and going easily. Zanza was conceding 11lb to Sky Pirate on that occasion, but is due to receive 7lb here, so it’s frankly hard to fathom why his ante-post odds are quite so generous.
Selection: Zanza (10/1 with bet365)
Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Thursday, 1.55pm)
As far as recent trends are concerned, it is worth noting that, since the turn of the century, just two winners qualified for the Pertemps Network Final by winning one of the series qualifying races, as opposed to finishing in the first six at least once. However, Imperial Alcazar (8/1) was catapulted to the head of the betting after comfortably winning his qualifier at Warwick in January, on just his second attempt at or beyond three miles, and an 8lb rise in the weights seems unlikely to prevent him from making a bold bid to follow up. He was strong at the finish at Warwick and, granted his hold-up style of racing, three miles on the New Course, where stamina is paramount, should suit him admirably.
Selection: Imperial Alcazar (6/1 with bet365)
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Friday, 4.50pm)
The Festival wouldn’t be the Festival without having a crack at the very last race of the week and our suggestion in the “gettin’ out stakes” is Guard Your Dreams (25/1). Nigel Twiston-Davies’ 5-year-old came from another parish to finish a never-nearer sixth, beaten 7 lengths, in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and looks to be crying out for a step up in distance. He has been ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies on all six starts so far, but appears straightforward enough and, with further improvement likely over an extra half-a-mile or so, the son of Fame And Glory has bright prospects.
Selection: Guard Your Dreams (25/1 with bet365)
Cheltenham Each-Way Lucky 15 Tip
Wednesday 2.30pm – Langer Dan (40/1 with bet365)
Wednesday 4.15pm – Zanza (9/1 with bet365)
Thursday 1.55pm – Imperial Alcazar (5/1 with bet365)
Friday 4.50pm – Guard Your Dreams (20/1 with bet365)
Best Odds Guaranteed & NRNB for Cheltenham
When betting on the Cheltenham Festival, you should always look to get the best value for your bets, especially when you are betting on odds on shot such as these four horses.
That is where the bet365 promotions of non-runner no bet and best odds guaranteed comes into play.
Best odds guaranteed: if you bet on any horse at Cheltenham and the starting price is bigger than the odds you took, you will get paid out at the bigger odds if your horse wins.
Non-runner no bet: If you bet on a horse and it doesn’t run, you get the cost of your bet refunded in cash.
bet365 sign-up offer for Cheltenham:
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Cheltenham Festival Sign-up Offers
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