Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cheltenham ‘Top Trainer’ title looks a three-way contest

If you have been thinking about which trainer to support to come out top at the end of the four-day Cheltenham Festival fixture (March 13-16), then the latest news is that you can bet 2/1 each of three, with last season’s winner Willie Mullins, champion British trainer Paul Nicholls, and festival specialist Nicky Henderson all available at the same odds if you shop around, writes Elliot Slater.

Mullins left the bookies licking their wounds last term having been originally priced up a 13/2 chance to take the title, horse racing betting odds that were soon taking by the hordes of Irish race fans who soon realised they were on to something good as the champion Irish trainer sent out Hurricane Fly, Quevega, Final Approach and Sir Des Champs to win at jumps racing’s premier fixture, seeing off the challenge from both Henderson and Nicholls.

Mullins again looks to have a very strong hand with Hurricane Fly and Quevega bankers for many punters and horse racing betting tips , but Nicholls and Henderson are also set to arrive at Prestbury Park with plenty of guns to fire, Henderson having three live candidates for the Champion Hurdle as well as leading contenders for the novice chase events such as Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle Chase, Bobs Worth in the RSA Chase, and then there is the little matter of Long Run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself.

Long Run will have to overcome Nicholls’ superstar Kauto Star if he is to retain the title, while Nicholls will also be very hopeful that the likes of Al Ferof (Arkle Chase), Zarkandar (Champion Hurdle), Silviniaco Conti (Jewson Novices Chase), and a certain Big Buck’s (Ladbrokes World Hurdle) will give him plenty of chances of success.

The 25/1 about Philip Hobbs pipping the aforementioned trio looks generous with the Minehead handler having genuine prospects with Sadlers Risk (Triumph Hurdle), Menorah (Arkle Chase), Fingal Bay (Neptune Hurdle), and Colour Squadron (Supreme Novices Hurdle).

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