Our 12/1 ‘Banker’ + 1,500/1 MEGA Acca’s For The 2023 Cheltenham Festival
Cheltenham Festival is now less than two weeks away, and we’re starting to have a better understanding of who will go off as favourite in the big races.
Racing editor Jake Russell (@JakeRuss1000 on Twitter) gives us his ‘banker’ selections for the Festival, which we’ve used to make up a:
- 12/1 safer ‘banker’ 4-fold accumulator
- 1500/1 MEGA 9-fold accumulator
Both acca’s have been picked on SkyBet, who are non-runner no bet on all Cheltenham Festival races. Better yet, they have a fantastic new customer offer to take advantage of – Get £40 in FREE BETS for Horse Racing when you place a £10 bet!
12/1 SAFER ‘BANKER’ ACCA
For many, the absolute banker of the Cheltenham Festival 2023.
He is heading into festival week with an absolutely flawless record, five runs over Hurdles, with five victories to his name, four of those being at Grade 1 level. He has looked even more impressive this season, and is currently the leading 2-mile Hurdler from across the UK and Ireland.
He was an excellent winner of the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last November, beating Epatante by 12 lengths, before going on to beat Epatante again by just under 20 lengths at Kempton in the Christmas Hurdle, hardly even breaking a sweat in both contests.
He will have a 3 month break to overcome, but he has no flaws to his game and had a racecourse gallop recently so that will set him up nicely for the fascinating clash with State Man.
(Cross Country Chase)
Another short priced horse who has a leading chance at this years festival, last year’s Cross Country heroine lines up again to try and land the prize.
Last year’s performance was excellent, he looked second best behind Tiger Roll, but stayed on superbly up the Cheltenham Hill to win going away by just under a length, stamping his authority in the marathon trip division.
He heads into the Festival off the back of two runs this year, a decent 3rd place finish in the X Country at Cheltenham in January, before going on to having a prep run over an inadequate trip and over Hurdles, most likely to get him right for the feature race come festival week, the same tactics they employed with Tiger Roll for years.
He still looks the one to beat, at a track that always brings the absolute best out of him.
A horse that certainly bounced right back to form at Ascot in the Ascot Chase last time out over 2m4f, the two-time Cheltenham Festival winner couldn’t have been any more impressive, jumping beautifully to smash his rivals by 16 lengths going away, with last year’s winner even further behind by 23 lengths.
That performance was decent on the clocks, and his jumping really looked like his best, Nice De Boinville said after just a few fences he could tell this was his day again, and he obliged by winning the race nicely.
It now looks as if he will stay at this sort of trip, and with Allaho out of the Ryanair, it looks the perfect opportunity to make it three wins at the Festival, he is most certainly the one to beat now with his chase record currently reading 8 wins in just 10 career starts over the bigger obstacles.
GALOPIN DES CHAMPS
1500/1 MEGA ‘BANKER’ ACCA
*Includes all the selections in the 12/1 safer acca, plus the following horses*
GAILLARD DU MESNIL
(National Hunt Chase)
A horse that looks set to contest in one of the longest races in the festival, who has looked a real stayer in the making, he looks tailor made for the National Hunt Chase.
With a record of just one win in eight career starts over the larger obstacles, that one win was arguably a career best when winning the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novices Chase at Leopardstown in December. He kept on very strongly that day when heading to the line in front, and it was a slight surprise to see him line up against Mighty Potter over 2m5f last time out, where he just lacked the pace of the other runners.
That race would put him right for the National Hunt Chase, as the stiff track and 3m6f of Cheltenham will really play to his strengths.
(Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle)
Arguably one of the most impressive Novice Hurdlers we have seen this season so far, and probably Paul Nicholls’s best chance of a winner for the Festival.
He is currently unbeaten over hurdles, with 3 wins in 3 starts over the obstacles. Winning form at Cheltenham over the trip is worth its weight in gold for Novices, and he has that firmly in his locker, especially heading towards the festival period. But more importantly, his performance next time out in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury was a career best, beating a subsequent Grade 2 winner by an easy 5 lengths, jumping well to win eased down at a canter.
That was an excellent performance, really showing he is quite versatile ground wise, with various horses in behind him that day not running well in that race (Due to the ground) but coming out to win since.
He is one of Paul Nicholls’s leading chances heading into the festival, and he is the one to beat.
(Turners Novices’ Chase)
Another nice type for the yard heading into this year’s festival who has a leading chance in the Turners Novices Chase, with the current record of seven wins in just nine career starts, including three wins in three starts over fences.
He has looked a decent prospect over the larger obstacles this year, winning on his chase debut at Down Royal, before going on to jump up in class to Grade 1 level, where he put in an excellent jumping display to beat Gaillard Du Mesnil by just over 4 lengths. There were slight question marks on the form of the race given the horse in second is built more of a stayer, he definitely then confirmed the promise next time out at the Dublin Racing Festival, where again he jumped very nicely, travelled strongly, and kept on very well heading up the home straight towards the line, to win going away by just under 9 lengths.
He looks a very promising prospect over fences, making him the one to beat in this contest.
(Mares Novices’ Hurdle)
One of the yards more exciting horses going into the festival, the unbeaten Chesnut has impressed with every start in her short career. Landing both of her bumper starts in style, she has arguably looked even better since going over obstacles this season.
She won on debut at Newbury, contesting in a Listed Mares Hurdle, with some experienced rivals in behind, she jumped nicely and when shaken up down the straight, went on to win by just under 6 lengths, with She’s A Saint in behind, who has since placed at Grade 2 level. She again contested in a Listed Hurdle race next time out at Exeter, absolutely smashing her rivals by an easy 11 lengths. She hardly broke a sweat that day, and is clearly versatile in regards to ground conditions, making her a formidable runner heading into the Festival.
No matter the outcome of her race at this year’s festival, she is a lovely prospect going forward for the team.
A horse going into this Cheltenham Festival with a pretty big reputation, which was ever so slightly dented in her last run at the Dublin Racing Festival.
She was pitched straight into Grade 3 company on Hurdle debut, jumping nicely all the way around before going on to win by 4 lengths. That form has been franked nicely since with Comfort Zone coming out to win two Grade 2 contests, who finished 3rd behind Lossiemouth on her debut. She then followed that up with a nice performance in a Grade 2 contest at Leopardstown, winning by 7 and a half lengths.
She was well fancied heading into the Dublin Racing Festival, but was beaten into second by Gala Marceau by just over 2 lengths, after some hard luck stories on the way around, with horses getting in her way and having to go wide at crucial stages of the race.
She is clearly the one to beat still, even after her defeat last time out.