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2020 Cheltenham Festival tips - Top five bets in the “win any race” special market

Jonathan Vine in Tips 14 Nov 2019
Envoi Allen flies over the final hurdle during his victorious reappearance.

We take a look through the “win any race at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival” special markets and highlight our top five ante-post punts.

Personally, I love having an ante-post punt. Sure, you get your hands burnt on a regular basis, but you can find excellent value in the ante-post markets, if you’re willing to take the risk. 

When it comes to the Cheltenham Festival, most punters chose to wait until the New Year, where many bookmakers attach Non-Runner No Bet stipulations to their Festival markets. If you don’t wish to wait that long and want the ideal bet with a safety net, then the “win any race” market is where you should look.

Several bookmakers are currently providing a special “win any race” market for the Cheltenham Festival, and the list of runners available to back in said market is pretty vast. We’ve taken a look through the list in full and identified our top five ante-post bets in the “win any race” at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.

2020 Cheltenham Festival "Win Any Race" Tips

5. Laurina



Laurina was one of the most disappointing horses at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. Willie Mullins’ mare carried an unbeaten record into the Champion Hurdle, but produced a surprisingly flat performance, failing to land a blow as Espoir D’Allen scooted to victory. It will take more than one poor performance, however, to halt Laurina’s rise to the top of the sport and there are plenty of options open to Mullins and his team during the upcoming campaign.

The plan seems to go chasing with this big, scopey mare and it would be a surprise if Laurina didn’t take to the larger obstacles. She currently sits prominently in both the betting for the Arkle and the JLT at Cheltenham. If things were to go wrong over fences, then Mullins has the option of the Mares’ Hurdle, a return to the Champion Hurdle, or even an ambitious tilt at the Stayers’ Hurdle. 5/1 about Laurina to win any of those races looks very good value to me!

4. Champagne Classic



Champagne Classic was unfairly branded “the worst horse” Gigginstown Stud owned after winning the 2017 Martin Pipe, and Gordon Elliott’s charge made Michael O’Leary eat his words by beating Penhill in a Grade One at Punchestown a few weeks later. Elliott’s charge then spent over 600 days on the sidelines, returning with two strong- placed efforts in Graded novice chases before suffering another set-back in the spring.

Elliott’s eight-year-old began his second season as a novice chaser with a comfortable victory at Fairyhouse, before beating National Hunt Chase runner-up, Discorama to a Listed prize at Wexford two weeks later. That three-and-three-quarter mile Grade Two looks to be Champagne Classic’s first choice at Cheltenham, but he could be rerouted to the RSA, if the likes of Battleoverdoyen, Dallas Des Pictons and Samcro fail to prove themselves to be genuine stayers.

3. Champ



I was a little surprised when Nicky Henderson revealed Champ was to go novice chasing this season. Certainly, he has the size and scope to deal with fences. I just felt he had untapped ability as a top-draw staying hurdler and Henderson would fancy his charge’s chances if he ever were to come up against Paisley Park.

Champ will set out on the road towards the RSA Novices’ Chase at Newbury later today and should make a winning debut over fences. Henderson has spoken of his regret at not taking Champ to the Albert Bartlett last year, instead of the Ballymore, where he was beaten by City Island. Despite Henderson obviously favouring the three-miler this year, the JLT could turn out to be an option for Champ and it also wouldn’t be a shock if Henderson’s eight-year-old ended up in the Stayers’ Hurdle. He’s certainly capable of winning any of the three.

2. Defi Du Seuil



Despite plenty of talk surrounding a late switch to the Arkle, Defi Du Seuil turned up in the JLT at Cheltenham and saw off Lostintranslation to scoop a second Grade One over fences. Philip Hobbs’ charge then looked a little tired at Punchestown, where he was beaten over two-miles by the hugely impressive Chacun Pour Soi, leaving many with the false impression that he doesn't have the pace to triumph over the minimum trip.

The Ryanair looks the obvious target for Defi Du Seuil and he currently leads the betting for that Grade One on a top-price of 8/1. However, with Altior’s route back to Cheltenham looking a little foggy, thanks to his planned tilt at the King George, the two-mile division is looking decidedly open. Hobbs and owner, JP McManus could favour a tilt at the Queen Mother Champion Chase over the Ryanair, making Defi Du Seuill’s price in the “win any race” market look extremely appealing.

1. Envoi Allen



At this moment in time, Envoi Allen is the only horse I have backed to win at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Gordon Elliott’s Champion Bumper winner looked a natural on his hurdling debut, winning comfortably without ever coming off the bridle. I would be surprised if Envoi Allen didn’t win a Grade One over hurdles before Christmas and he could even enter Cheltenham as the best-backed horse of the entire meeting.

Gordon Elliott has chosen to target the Ballymore with his top novice hurdler in recent seasons and that race would suit Envoi Allen perfectly. That being said, Elliott’s charge didn’t look short of speed when winning over two-miles on his reappearance and, with the fitness of stablemate Malone Road still up in the air, there is a chance Envoi Allen could end up in the Supreme. Whichever race he enters at the Festival, I won’t be keen to side against Envoi Allen and he’s certainly the best horse to back in this special market.

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2020 Cheltenham Festival tips - Top five bets in the “win any race” special market

We take a look through the “win any race at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival” special markets and highlight our top five ante-post punts for the Cheltenham Festival which starts on Tuesday 10th March.

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