With nothing but top-quality runners in every race, the Cheltenham Festival can be notoriously tough for punters to pick winners.
But not impossible. So we quizzed an industry insider this week to ask him if he had any tips… and he did!
Our man picked out three horses whose odds were, in his esteemed opinion, ‘rather generous’.
Elixir De Nutz – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Trained by last year’s Gold Cup winner Colin Tizzard, Elixir De Nutz comes to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with arguably the best form in the book, but is surprisingly being overlooked at a very good price.
The five-year-old has progressed with every run this season and is expected to progress again after a short break in order to be primed for this race.
A front runner that is hard to pass, Elixir De Nutz won at the highest level earlier this season with a commanding victory in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.
More importantly, he has also already won at Cheltenham in taking style – a major positive because of the course’s undulating track.
At 7/1, this horse is set to outrun his odds and will be in fine fettle to get the meeting off to a flyer for connections.
Bellshill – Gold Cup
Could Bellshill have the golden touch for Willie Mullins? The Cheltenham Festival’s most successful trainer has one trophy missing from his CV – the Cheltenham Gold Cup – and, having finished second six times previously, Bellshill might well be the horse that can give him that elusive victory.
As shown in previous years, you need a horse that can truly stay the distance and have star quality about them to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Bellshill has both in abundance.
He also has good form at the Cheltenham Festival, having finished second on a few occasions – a vital positive for Gold Cup contenders.
A winner of the Irish Gold Cup a few months ago, the nine-year-old is a good each-way bet in the race with vibes from the yard suggesting he is in the form of his life ahead of the meeting.
Odds of 12/1 could look a steal on Gold Cup Friday evening.
Adjali – Triumph Hurdle
All the rage in the Triumph Hurdle is about Sir Erec, but Adjali is a horse to keep a close eye on.
If you forgive his last run, the Nicky Henderson-trained juvenile has form to suggest he should be at least half his price.
At a recent media stable tour, with most eyes on Altior and Buveur D’Air, the Seven Barrows master confessed to a select group of shrewd journalists that Adjali was his best outside chance of the Festival. At 16/1, it’s certainly worth siding with this contender for a potential big payout.