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2019 Cheltenham Festival tips - 444/1 ante-post Championship race accumulator

Nico De Boinville (left) salutes the crowd after winning the Champion Chase with Altior.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Championship races at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival and combines his tips to make up this massive four-fold accumulator.

The flat racing season is still yet to reach its conclusion, but that doesn’t stop National Hunt fans looking forward to the new jumps campaign. The jewel in the crown of National Hunt racing is, and will always be the Cheltenham Festival and ante-post markets have already opened for many of the major races in 2019.

Our expert has taken a look at the betting for the four Championship races during the 2019 Cheltenham Festival and rolled his tips into this massive ante-post accumulator with William Hill.

2019 Cheltenham Festival Accumulator

12/3/19 Champion Hurdle (Grade One) 2m

endured an interrupted campaign last season, despite winning on all four of his starts. Nicky Henderson’s gelding comfortably won the Fighting Fifth, the Christmas Hurdle and the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown, before returning to Cheltenham to defend his Champion Hurdle title.

Despite the ground coming up unfavourably heavy, Buveur D'Air was still expected to claim his second win at Cheltenham and he managed to do that by the skin of his teeth, as Melon served up a surprise challenge. Injury then forced Buveur D’Air to miss both the Aintree and Punchestown spring festivals, with L’Ami Serge and Supasundae – two horses proven over longer distances – winning Group Ones in his absence.

Samcro, Buveur D’Air’s principal rival in the 2019 Champion Hurdle betting, should really go chasing this year and doesn't look to have the speed for two mile hurdling. 2018 runner-up, Melon is too unpredictable to trust and Supreme winner, Summerville Boy is yet to prove himself outside novice company.

Laurina could be the main competition to the two-time champ, after Willie Mullins declared his Champion Hurdle intentions with his promising mare. However, if those injury problems are behind him and we get some half-decent weather this season, it’s hard to see any of the current crop of hurdlers defeating Buveur D’Air.

Buveur D'Air (left) has to work hard to defeat Melon (right) in the Champion Hurdle.

13/3/19 Champion Chase (Grade One) 2m

Like his stablemate, ALTIOR’S season was interrupted by injury in 2017/18 and fans had to wait until February to see Nicky Henderson’s star make his first outing in the Game Spirit Chase. Workmanlike best described Altior’s performance at Newbury and latterly in the Champion Chase. Yet, the two-time Cheltenham winner proved his class in the closing stages of both races to secure a couple of impressive victories.

Altior then extended his unbeaten record over jumps in the Celebration Chase at Sandown. Nico De Boinville had to shake his mount up a couple of times to see off the attentions of San Benedeto, ending the season with a sixth Grade One triumph.

Footpad is the looming threat in the ante-post betting, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Willie Mullins targeted the Ryanair with his impressive chaser. Douvan, Min and Great Field could serve it up to Altior, should they make it to Cheltenham. Yet, you get the feeling that last season could have been the best opportunity for someone to get the better of Nicky Henderson’s chaser. 

A busier schedule has been pencilled in for the upcoming season, meaning Altior should be fully match-fit when he returns to defend his crown. They couldn’t dethrone Altior after just one appearance in an injury-hit campaign, what chance would they have against an Altior at the peak of his form and fitness?

"The machine" Faugheen winning at Punchestown.

14/3/19 Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade One) 3m

Fresh off the back of his triumph in the Stayers' Hurdle, Penhill lined up at Punchestown as the 2/1 favourite for the Champion Stayers'. Yet, on his first start over three miles since 2013, FAUGHEEN rolled back the years and put the field to the sword, scorching clear of the dual-Festival winner to record an emphatic 13-length victory.

The racing world rejoiced when Faugheen made his long-awaited return at the start of last season and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat when securing an impressive win in the Morgiana. Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci then looked on as their stable star was pulled up at Leopardstown, beaten in the Irish Champion Hurdle by Supasundae and dropped out the back of the pack in the Champion Hurdle. Despite those failings, the team kept faith with their former world-beater and were rewarded handsomely at the end of the season, as the Faugheen we all know and love bounced back with a vengeance. 

There have been rumours during the summer that Faugheen will be given a look at fences this term, but I would be amazed if Mullins even entertained thoughts of novice chasing. Three mile hurdling will surely be the team’s direction and it wouldn't surprise anyone if “the machine” claimed his third Cheltenham Festival title in the Stayers' Hurdle.

Might Bite (left) tried valiantly to stay with Native River (right) in the closing stages of the Gold Cup.

15/3/19 Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade One) 3m2f

The history of the Gold Cup tells us that second-season chasers are usually the ones to back, so it’s no surprise to see imperious RSA winner, Presenting Percy heading the betting. However, Native River bucked that trend when hacking up to win back in March and, given a decent amount of sunshine in the weeks preceding this year’s Festival, MIGHT BITE can claim the crown on his second attempt at Gold Cup glory.

Poor weather dampened Might Bite’s talents last season, with Henderson very vocal about his chaser’s love of genuinely good ground. Yet, Might Bite was still able to win the King George at Kempton and stay with Native River for three miles at Cheltenham, before being bogged down on the run to the line.

The only time the word “good” featured in the going description was at Aintree and it was then when Might Bite showed what he was truly capable of. Nico De Boinville’s mount jumped his way to the front rounding the turn for home and a spring-heeled leap at the last saw Might Bite open up a commanding lead over Bristol De Mai as he passed the post, securing a seven length triumph in the Aintree Bowl.

Henderson’s quest to claim the Betfair Million Pound bonus could see Might Bite head to Haydock for the Betfair Chase on his reappearance. The synonymously heavy ground at Haydock won’t be to Might Bite’s liking and I hope a run there won’t take too much out of him, as - if the weather gods smile on us in the build up to the Cheltenham Festival - Might Bite could take some stopping in next year's Gold Cup.

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2019 Cheltenham Festival tips - 444/1 ante-post Championship race accumulator

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Championship races at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival which starts on Tuesday 12th March 2019 and combines his tips to make up this massive four-fold accumulator.

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