Cheltenham 2022 Ante-Post Tips
|Ferny Hollow||Champion Hurdle||12/1||Coral|
|Bravemansgame||Festival Novices Chase||12/1||Betfair|
|Thyme Hill||Stayers Hurdle||5/1||BoyleSports|
|Chantry House||Gold Cup||20/1||Paddy Power|
Tip 1 - Ferny Hollow - Champion Hurdle
The 2020 Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow was very unlucky to miss the majority of last season. Although we now know that the future could be very bright for the Westerner gelding based on some of the horses he has already beaten.
After showing Appreciate It a clean pair of heels to win the Champion Bumper, Ferny Hollow made a successful hurdling debut when beating Bob Olinger a shade cosily at Gowran Park. Both those horses went on to win at the Cheltenham Festival in devasting fashion which left us thinking 'what might have been' with Ferny Hollow who certainly has some unfinshed business to take care of.
Appreciate It won the Supreme by 24 lengths & Bob Olinger won the Ballymore by 7 lengths 😲— Joshua Stacey🏇🏻 (@TheRacingJosh) March 22, 2021
Just how good is Ferny Hollow? Arkle? Champion Hurdle? pic.twitter.com/YiQeZIyouw
Although it's still very early days for Ferny Hollow, it's hard not to get too excited about him based on what he's achieved in the formbook and the potential he has.
No doubt, Honeysuckle will be very hard to beat in the Champion Hurdle if she is in the same form as last season, but we've seen with mares before that they don't always continue that high level of form like geldings can run to. Ferny Hollow was availble at 25/1 when the ante-post prices first came out but now trades at 12/1 with Coral to win the Champion Hurdle, which looks a fair bet based on the above.
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Tip 2 - Bravemansgame - Festival Novices Chase
The racing cliche of 'whatever he does over hurdles is a bonus' very much applies to the exciting Bravemansgame, who was compared to the great Denman by Paul Nicholls after showing plenty of promise over the smaller obstacles.
After winning the Challow Novices Hurdle at Newbury with ease in December, he quickly became one of the market principles for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle and ran with credit in 3rd without threatening runaway winner Bob Olinger.
Paul Nicholls reporting today that Bravemansgame will head straight to Cheltenham...— Grant James Thomas (@Grant_Some92) January 1, 2021
He’s set for an easy period after his win in the Challow Hurdle, his 4th run this season, and will then be tuned up for the Festival, holds every chance in the Ballymorepic.twitter.com/VbumhOVVsG
Expect to see the six year old run at the Newbury Ladbrokes meeting before a possible tilt at the Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton come Christmas time.
It is worth noting that Denman also got beaten in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle before going on to land the Festival Novices Chase and I think Bravemansgame could do the exact same. Odds of 12/1 with Betfair could disappear quite quickly once we start to see this horses potential over fences
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Tip 3 - Thyme Hill - Stayers Hurdle
Another horse who was unfortunate to miss this year's Cheltenham Festival was Thyme Hill.The seven year old was a classy novice hurdler and announced his arrival to the Stayers Hurdle division with a cosy victory over Paisley Park on his seasonal debut at Newbury
The Kayf Tara gelding was subsequently beaten narrowly by Paisley Park in what was arguably one of the races of the season in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot. Thyme Hill was vying for favouritism in the Stayers Hurdle prior to missing the race through injury but made amends at the Aintree Festival with a gutsy win over the classy Roksana.
It has been confirmed that Philip Hobbs' stable star will remain over hurdles and he makes plenty of appeal at 5/1 with BoyleSports to win the Stayers Hurdle. Expect Thyme Hill to follow a similar route this season and if racking up a sequence of wins before the Cheltenham Festival he could quickly develop into a banker of the meeting for many come March.
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Tip 4 - Chantry House - Gold Cup
Chantry House has always been a horse held in the highest regard at seven barrows with plenty expected of him as he embarked on a career over fences. After a successful novice hurdle campaign, chasing was always going to be his game and he most certainly did not dissapoint.
After flopping at Cheltenham in December, the Yeats gelding was given plenty of time to recover and received a confidence boosting win at Wetherby before the Cheltenham Festival. Ultimately it proved the right decision from Nicky Henderson as the seven year old capitalised on a surprise fall from Envoi Allen to claim to Marsh Novices Chase in impressive style.
The JP McManus owned chaser was upped in trip to 3m1f at the Aintree Festival in April where he showed strong staying prowess to route his rivals by 31 lengths. Based on that he looks like a very exciting horse for the future and as we've seen in the past, Nicky Henderson is no stranger to Gold Cup success after he trained Long Run and Bobs Worth to win the blue riband event in recent years.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup ante-post market is unsurprisingly dominated by Irish runners so there is plenty of scope for a UK runner to shorten and the 20/1 with Paddy Power to win the Gold Cup looks like it's worth taking as Nicky Henderson aims to win his third Gold Cup.
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