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Seven big value ante-post bets for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival may be over, but we are already counting down to 2019 and we have some big value bets for next season's spectacular.

Willie Mullins has always rated this horse very highly, and I really hope he can progress into a smart novice hurdler for the yard next year. The form of his bumper win has worked out very well, and the fashion in which he won the race was really impressive. He will be campaigned over hurdles and I imagine the two-mile trip will be perfect for him. The Supreme is a race for speed, and he seems to have plenty of it.

Fergal O’Brien has never trained a Festival winner but Time To Move On is arguably one of his best prospects after two wins from two in bumpers. He is a half-brother to Barney Dwan so I imagine this trip will be spot on for him, meanwhile he has always been regarded as a highly exciting young horse for the yard. He should have a massive season ahead of him over hurdles.

I really cannot split this pair as I am such big fans of both. On The Blind Side has proved a really classy novice hurdler this season for Nicky Henderson. He has so much potential over fences, and a longer trip and I think the RSA will be a big target and he will only continue improving with that race in mind. Topofthegame has developed into a smart hurdler, but a campaign over fences has always been the plan. He fell on his chasing debut, but I imagine he will progress into a very smart prospect over the larger obstacles.

Nico de Boinville celebrates after guiding Altior (left) to victory in The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Altior was truly fantastic in the Queen Mother last week and it is really hard to see anything beating him to the Champion Chase prize once again. He battled hard up the hill and to win a championship race by seven lengths on unfavourable ground is a sign of how talented he really is. I expect him to sustain his place at the very top and it will take one really special horse to deny him a fourth Cheltenham Festival prize.

I have always regarded this horse really highly and I have to say I wasn’t too surprised when she won the Mares Hurdle this season. I do think chasing is where she will unleash her real ability and I really hope she is plotted towards this race, with Laurina aimed for the Mares Hurdle. She is clearly very talented, jumps slickly over fences and could be a big dark horse ahead of this race.

The reason this horse is such a big price is because we are so uncertain whether he will get the three-mile trip, but I am confident he will. Willie Mullins’ impressive Arkle winner has proved truly superb now sent chasing and his win at Cheltenham sent a big message to the racing world. He should be campaigned with the big one in mind, and he seems to have a lot of class, loves Cheltenham and jumps excellently. He has the exact profile of a Gold Cup winner, and the yard are desperate to land the big one!

*AOR = Available on request*

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Seven big value ante-post bets for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival

James Stevens looks ahead to next year's Cheltenham Festival and identifies six ante-post bets that offer forward-thinking punters excellent value.

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