Horseracing is immensely popular across the world, but there is especially focus on historic and prestigious events like the Cheltenham Festival. The dates for the Cheltenham Festival 2018, one of the greatest horse racing events in the world, has just been announced.
As a National Hunt race in the horse racing calendar in the UK, it's an event where many of the best Irish- and British-trained horses races to such a big extent that is unseen during the rest of the season.
There will be a huge amount of excitement and betting action ahead of the races from March 13 to 16. Over the four days, it is expected that over 200,000 spectators will be witnessing the event live. There is expected to be a huge amount of betting interest – with almost £500 million likely to be gambled – on the 28 Cheltenham races.
The Cheltenham Festival has its roots in 1860 when the National Hunt Chase was first held at the location known as Market Harborough. It was originally named the Grand National Hunt Meeting, and at the turn of the twentieth century, it moved to Warwick. Only after that, in 1904, was it staged at Cheltenham. Afterwards, it saw its ups and downs during the next century, becoming one of the most iconic competitions in the world.
There were plenty of glorious moments in the 2017 Cheltenham results. Buveur D'Air managed to succeed at the Stan James Champion Hurdle with an impressive display. There was a shock at the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, as Labaik managed to claim an unlikely victory. It is one of the few surprises in the Cheltenham tips for the 2017 event. The best conclusion for the event came through Sizing John, who managed to win the ultimate prize of them all – Cheltenham Gold Cup. Ahead of the event, there were plenty of doubts about his stamina, but he came through all those questions in stunning fashion.
The speculation for the 2018 Festival has already begun. Two of the most popular runners at this event are likely to be Sizing John and Buveur D'Air. As both are young and had impressive results at the 2017 Cheltenham racecourse, they would be considered as key favourites in the betting tips. Buveur D'Air has been part of the last two festivals, while Sizing John has appeared in the last three. Therefore, they would have grasped a good idea of the tournament by now.
Annie Power and Faugheen form the old guard who may find it difficult to dominate the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds like before. Even though they are a force to reckon with even now, the competition appears to have moved ahead and age could be catching up with them. The novice races clearly did not shout anything like these runners becoming the Cheltenham Gold Cup winners.
The biggest competition for Sizing John may come from Thistlecrack. The likes of Might Bite and Yorkhill may have the stamina and the engine, but this 2018 Festival may just be beyond them, according to Cheltenham ante-post odds. Overall, we can get ready for a brilliant festival with top runners lined up for action.
2018 Stayers' Hurdle Situation
Nichols Canyon was the 3rd leg in Willie Mullins' 4-timer on the third day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. He surprised favourite Unowhatimeanharry to get his first Grade 1 over a 3m distance. He was originally meant to do the Champion Hurdle, but the poor form over 2m forced Willie's hand so he switched early that week. That decision paid huge dividends, as he cruised through the first 80% of the race, overtaking the favourite and landing a massive title.
Following such a victory, Nichols Canyon is at the head of the betting odds to retain his title in 2018.
On the same note, JLT champion, Willoughby Court is a staggering 20/1 to win the three-mile race at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival and Willoughby Court is currently listed at 16/1 to win the 20-18 Stayers' Hurdle.
It's hard to predict who will win different races at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival at this point, but stay close and we will assess each favourite in detail to come up with Cheltenham tips. One of the most important National Hunt events in 2018 is already selling packages, so we must be prepared to see which horses possess the best potential.
As soon as bookmakers start offering odds and the possibility to bet on Cheltenham Festival 2018, remember that we offer a free state-of-the-art aggregate that shows you odds from all major betting companies.