Four Big Names Who Could Return to Form at Cheltenham 2018

With the Cheltenham Festival now just a couple of weeks away, a better picture is starting to emerge of what we will see this year. Trainers are whittling down their entries for the races, Ruby Walsh is set to get back in the saddle imminently and punters are busy scanning the news looking for nuggets of information on the runners. The Festival is truly just around the corner.

There are, of course, always some horses out of form in the run-up to the Festival. Four big names, all of whom have been showing bad form of late, will be discussed below. They may have looked out of sorts recently, but there is also some evidence that they could bounce back. For that reason, it is recommended that you treat them as a shot to nothing, perhaps using a betting promotion. You can check out an updated list of Cheltenham free bets from a wide range of bookmakers to get you started:

Faugheen – Champion Hurdle

Faugheen has been possibly the biggest topic of discussion among punters in the lead up to Cheltenham. Nobody really knows if he is injured or simply not the horse he once was. He won his comeback race in November, pulled up (with no apparent injury) in December and finished second in the Irish Champion Hurdle in February. For that reason, Betfair have made him 13/2 for the Champion Hurdle. Stunning when you consider that he never has an SP higher than 6/4 in his career. It’s a given that plenty will continue to back him at those odds and should we really be surprised if he wins?

 This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

The New One – Stayers’ Hurdle

There has been rarely been a doubt that The New One is a very good horse – but is he a great one? The New One has had a thoroughly decent season, winning his last outing at Haydock and only losing the Christmas Hurdle by a shade over 2 lengths to Buveur D’Air. William Hill go 12/1 for The New One in the Stayers’ Hurdle. It is a very, very open field this year, with no standout candidate. The New One could capitalise.

Brain Power – The Arkle Chase

There is likely to be huge money going on Footpad at 11/8 and Saint Calvados 11/2 to win the Arkle. However, Nicky Henderson still seems to have high hopes for Brain Power. He is on the mend after having a wind operation and could challenge anyone in the field if he is at his best. Betfair go 14/1 for Brain Power to win, but the fact that he is as low as 10/1 with several other major bookmakers tells you that he is feared.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

Fox Norton – Ryanair Chase

Fox Norton’s last two races consisted of pulling up in the King George VI Chase and being beaten by half a length to Politologue in the Tingle Creek Chase. However, Colin Tizzard still has a lot of good things to say about the horse. He was very impressive in his first race of the season at Cheltenham – the Shloer Chase – beating Cloudy Dream, Simply Ned and Special Tiara by over eight lengths. The Ryanair Chase looks the most likely destination now, where he could square up against Un De Sceaux. Fox Norton is available at 6/1 with Ladbrokes, with Un De Sceaux favourite at 2/1. It could be one of the most intriguing battles of the Festival.



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