Three horses at 10/1+ who can win at the Cheltenham Festival
Coral takes you through three horses, with odds of 10/1 or more, who could win at the Cheltenham Festival in March 2024.
It’s been four years since Minella Indo was cruelly mowed down late on by Champ in what was then the RSA, but connections will be hoping for retribution in this year’s race with their exciting staying novice Monty’s Star.
Although he disappointed when pulled-up in last year’s Albert Bartlett, he got the better of Absolute Notions in a Grade 3 contest at Clonmel earlier in the year, and while Henry De Bromhead would have liked to have achieved more with him over hurdles, chasing was always going to be the game for this ex-pointer.
Monty’s Star made a lovely start over the larger obstacles when just behind Corbetts Cross and Three Card Brag at Fairyhouse in December over 2m 5f, but it was the step up to three miles at Punchestown later that month that saw him get off the mark over fences at the second time of asking.
Despite looking like it could be a proper battle between the pair from two out, Monty’s Star pulled away from the re-opposing Three Card Brag in taking fashion heading to the last, and the manner of that victory suggested he’s a staying chaser that Henry De Bromhead can get very excited about.
Monty’s Star is a big raw horse who by De Bromhead’s own admission has taken time to grow into himself, but the way he travelled and jumped at Punchestown suggests he can more than hold his own in a race like the Brown Advisory, and in a contest that very much has an open look to it, the 12-1 currently available looks far too big.
Fun Fun Fun
Fun Fun Fun was one of the outstanding mares to come out of bumpers last season, and although she was well-beaten in the big one at the Cheltenham Festival, she can put that experience to good use in this year’s Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
She won win the minimum of fuss on her first start over hurdles at Thurles back in November, and although the form is nothing to write home about, the runner-up Sansrisk ran well enough next time behind No Flies On Him and DB Cooper to give the form some sort of substance.
Fun Fun Fun was then in the process of making it 2-2 in a Listed event back at Thurles in December, but a juddering mistake at the last brought her to a standstill and all but ended her chance. There’s no doubt she was on course to record another comfortable success that day, and had she not made that error at the last, she’d surely be a fraction of the 14-1 currently available.
She’s unlikely to be Willie Mullins’ first-string with Jade De Grugy also set to run, but it’s hard to forget the stylish manner in which she won that bumper at last year’s Dublin Racing Festival, and if she can return to that sort of form, she could be a big player in Thursday’s penultimate contest.
It’s scarcely believable that we have a festival Grade 1 that’s 8-1 the field only five weeks before, but that’s the current situation in this year’s Albert Bartlett, and it certainly makes it one of the more fascinating betting opportunities of the week.
For months we’ve been waiting for a stand-out contender to emerge from across the Irish Sea, and although plenty have impressed visually, have any of them really achieved more than Captain Teague?
It seems rather unfashionable to talk up a British-trained horse for a novice hurdle at the festival these days, but this is a horse who wasn’t far behind A Dream To Share and Fact To File in third in last year’s Champion Bumper, and I think if he was mine, I’d probably be a bit insulted by his current price of 16-1.
Captain Teague was game as a pebble when winning the Challow Hurdle in stamina-sapping conditions at Newbury over Christmas, and although his trainer has indicated the Baring Bingham is also an option, the way he shaped at Newbury suggests the longer race will surely be the target.
He’s a point-to-point winner, a bumper winner, and now a Grade 1 winner over hurdles, and in a race where experience counts for so much, he could easily emulate Stay Away Fay’s success last year and give Ditcheat another victory in the Albert Bartlett.
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication.