Our editor @Dgconnolly1 has reasoned seven things that could help you survive the four days at the Cheltenham Festival
1 – KNOW YOUR LIMITS Even if you think that a horse simply cannot be beat, only bet an amount of money that you can afford to lose. There are likely to be many shock winners at this year’s Festival, as there are every year and you only need to bet a small amount to make any race fascinating.
2 – DON’T BE HASTY Typically, us punters are flawed, we see the opening race of the Cheltenham festival as an opportunity to get an even bigger betting bank for the week ahead however generally we end up chasing our money after race one. Take your time as there are 28 races, bet rational and build up your profit, slowly but surely. The bookies will be more than pleased to take it all off you at once, but you have to think rational to turn a profit. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
3 – WATCH THE AMATEUR JOCKEY BOOKINGS Irish amateur riders such as Derek O’Connor, Jamie Codd, Patrick Mullins and Noel McParlan are massively superior to some of their British equivalents. The horses that are ridden by O’Connor and Codd in particular, should be the first port of call for any of the Qualified Riders’ races over the duration of the week. I’d say you won’t be too far away with them lads.
4 – THE MULLINS FACTOR Willie Mullins has an exceptional record at Prestbury Park, he has been known as Mr Reliable by his deluges of profitable backers. Every year he comes to this venue with a battalion of well-tuned up thoroughbreds, rarely does he disappoint. In particular his handicap runners appear to go under the radar, yes Ruby Walsh is the stable number one jockey but that doesn’t automatically mean he is on the winner. Don’t be afraid to back his outsider in the race for value.
5 – DON’T UNDERESTIAMTE ELLIOTT It’s wise not to underestimate anything Irish trainer Gordon Elliott sends to the festival, each year his team is getting better and better. The chances of him being leading trainer at this year at the festival is very high. I wouldn’t overlook any of his runners in the competitive handicaps, they always are there are abouts.
6 – LEARN THE LINGO If you’re one of those social individuals during Cheltenham week then it’s critical you learn a few expressions to help the old timers know just how much of a naïve fool, you are.
- ‘McCoy will be missed this year’
- No horse under 7 and over 10 has won the Gold Cup since 2001′
- It’s hard to beat “Russell” in a photo finish
- ‘Sure, Willie Mullins will be champion trainer’
- Presenting Percy wins the Gold Cup doing hand-stands
- Obvious but nonetheless crucial.
- ‘It’ll be the Willie and Ruby show’
- ‘Ireland will win the Prestbury Cup, Elliott is sending over the best from the stable’
- There’s a fairly obvious trend developing here.
- ‘You can’t beat the Cheltenham Roar’
- We’re sure there’s something about a hill as well.
- ‘Nicholls and Henderson are bound to get a few winners’
- Gordon Elliott is some trainer, he will win plenty this year
- I won plenty today however I am still marginal down in profit
7 – ENJOY YOURSELF This is the greatest spectacle in the equine calendar and an absolute must visit on any sports fan’s bucket list. Rules are made to be broken, so don’t limit your enjoyment however try and be wise. If you do get the bug, remember there’s racing almost every day of the week, the more you enjoy and watch it, the likelier you are to have a profitable punting week at Cheltenham.