Cheltenham Festival Betting 2017 is underway

The Cheltenham Festival is the focal point of the National Hunt racing season and come the Christmas period and early New Year, action begins for Cheltenham Festival betting 2017 as punters go in search of the early value. 

The 2017 Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday 14th of March and the first day - Champion Hurdle day - is one of the most eagerly anticipated days of racing on the calendar. The day begins with the famous roar for the opening Supreme Novices Hurdle, and progresses to the showpiece Champion Hurdle itself, which will see 2016 champion Annie Power defend her crown in the two mile contest.

Day 2 sees the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase take centre stage, where the Willie Mullins trained Douvan is sure to be a hot favourite to fulfill his destiny and become the two mile steeplechase King. The seven-year-old has been near-flawless through his novice hurdle and chase campaigns to date and is just a very special talent who we should enjoy every time he performs on the track. 

The Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle could also see a Willie Mullins horse dominate, with both Vroum Vroum Mag and former Champion Hurdler Faugheen in the picture for top honours in this division, which following the departure of King George and 2016 winner Thistlecrack is now open for a new star to fill his shoes. 

The Ryanair Chase is always a highly competitive Grade 1 chase on St Patrick’s Day Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival, but attentions then turn to the fourth and final day, where the Cheltenham Gold Cup provides the highlight race of the week for fans of National Hunt racing. 

The blue riband steeplechase is a highly charged betting heat and Colin Tizzard has a strong hand with Thistlecrack the favourite backed up by Cue Card and the hugely progressive stayer Native River. 

Willie Mullins will be represented by Valseur Lido and/or Djakadam and you can be sure plenty of dark horses will emerge on the day. Cheltenham Festival betting 2017 is underway, so make sure you keep an eye on the markets for some stand out prices as we build toward March. Bookmakers are always offering enhanced odds prices on the big name horses too, so look out for those and ‘non-runner no bet’ concessions as well. Good luck!

2:00 Wolverhampton Racing Tips (22nd Dec) 32RED CASINO MEDIAN AUCTION MAIDEN STAKES (CLASS 5) (2yo)

horse trainer directory, Ed McMahon, Horse racing, A Median Auction Maiden Stakes over 5f 20y on standard going. A restricted race type which, in theory, shouldn't take too much winning. 

Seven two-year-olds take part: all raced bar one debutante for Mark Brisbourne which is priced a 50/1 outsider. 

Most of these two-year-olds have been given plenty of chances to win and a number have been placed if not runner-up. Connections will be hopeful. We can guarantee someone will be leaving a wintry racecourse with a seasonal Christmas glow. 

The main focus of attention will be afforded to The Daley Express, trained by Ed McMahon and ridden by Dale Swift. This bay son of Elzaam is well bred out of a durable mare, Seraphina, who went close to winning a number of top-class races. It's interesting to note that McMahon recently purchased this colt for just £1,500. Considering this was a £30,000 yearling purchase it is slightly strange.

However, the price tag wasn't an issue on his first or second start which showed promise. The Daley Express has run over the minimum trip on each of his three starts to date. An outsider on debut at Leicester. He hinted ability. 

To be fair, he was a very unlikely loser next start when backed at this course. Touching 1.01 on the exchanges in-running it took a flying finish from Rozy Boys, who was trailing at the back of the field until Pegasus came into view. 

Racing over course and distance last time out, he was made 11/8f. In many ways, that looked a disappointing effort but time may tell he was beaten by two better horses. The winner, Cajmare, was very well backed for Tom Dascombe's stable, while the second, Her Terms, was an expensive yearling purchase [330,000G] who hasn't achieved what the price tag presumed. 

However, that was a maiden race which varies considerably to these lesser race types which often get branded as maidens but in actual fact are often similar to plating class. This race isn't a seller in disguise although a number of horses here have official ratings less than 70 which suggests they are pretty moderate. 

The Daley Express didn't have much luck last time out being hampered and then found trouble in running. 

This race is a drop in class. From a low draw, I expect Swift [jockey] to take the race by the scruff of the neck and try to lead all the way. 

If you are lucky, you may get even money. It isn't beyond the realms he will drift in the betting but, conversely, it wouldn't be a surprise to see an odds-on shot. 

Definity the horse to beat. Whether you want to take a short price is a matter for debate.  

Betting Tips from Professional Gamblers like Dave Nevison

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Professional gambling. Plenty of everyday punters would love to give it a go. In fact, it's a subject matter which captures the imagination of many gamblers who fancy they can beat their bookie. 

High-Class Equine has many a varied professional gambler stories. You can read highlights here with this article: Top 10 Professional Gamblers in the UK

But what are we to make of these pro gamblers? I read an article mentioning Harry Findlay who was very much in the limelight not so many years ago. He was a larger than life character and big gambler. Was he an investor? Well, he was declared bankrupt in 2013. So, perhaps, that answered its own question. 

We have seen gamblers who clearly made a lot of money within their expertise. I'm sure readers will remember Terry Ramsden. A man from very humble beginnings who became a multi-millionaire with his company Glen International. When his Japanese stocks crashed and his betting losses were totaled there were few winners. He was made bankrupt in 1992 with debts of £100m. Terry was quoted as saying that betting was his hobby. It was an expensive past time when you consider he made colossal bets up to £1m. 

Quote: A spokesman for Ramsden said that his client was confident of settling with both J Investments and Hoodless Brennan. "Both cases are in the hands of his solicitors," he said. Ramsden made his fortune transforming investment firm Glen International. At his peak the bond trader, who left school at 16, reportedly owned two helicopters, a Gulfstream jet, 27 cars, a dozen houses, 120 racehorses, a 30 per cent share of Chelsea Football Club and the whole of Walsall FC. But when the Japanese market collapsed in 1987, so did Glen International and Ramsden's fortune. Ladbrokes alone was owed £58m.

Dave Nevison is another professional gambler who I suspect was much better at media than actual winning bets. He had years of winning but his biggest success was reminiscing his gambling stories which saw two publications including A Bloody Good Winner No Easy Money written by Nevison and the excellent wordsmith David Ashforth. 

Nevison's interest in gambling has turned into a role of a pundit these days. No doubt it offers a guaranteed return rather than betting. 

It is interesting to note that reading many professional gambler stories they have very contrasting approaches. You can find opposing views from Phil Bull to modern successes such as Patrick Veitch. 

What does this tell us? 

There is no right or wrong approach. What most of the very successful gamblers detailed is a niche. For Phil Bull it was something as simple as a stopwatch and recording of times. Clearly, these gamblers worked tirelessly to learn their craft. The discipline of betting in its practice is as important as the knowledge and insight of the selection itself. In that I mean it is important to reinforce a positive approach without bad habits. I would go so far to say that some of the best gamblers and biggest winners didn't enjoy the thrill of the betting at all. It was a means to an end. It was work. It wasn't about fun. Betting as a professional is a business that winners take seriously. It isn't about being the best. It is about being that little better than most and for some that led to incredible riches. 

5:10 Kempton Racing Tips (14th Dec) 32RED/BRITISH STALLION STUDS EBF MAIDEN STAKES (Div II) (CLASS 5) (2yo)

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An EBF Maiden Stakes over  7f on Standard to Slow going.

Twelve runners. Ten colts and two fillies. Eight lightly raced two-year-olds with four debutantes. 

Daschas made his debut at Kempton, trained by Amanda Perrett for K Abdullah. This homebred son of Oasis Dream wasn't best fancied on debut over course and distance. He was priced 16-1 when finishing third behind easy victor Leshlaa. In many respects, that wasn't the strongest of maidens behind the winner. Although the second and fourth have either won or placed since. This stable's juveniles often improve for the run and he holds each-way claims if prices allow.  

The Horse Racing Tips at Tipster Review highlight that he is certainly one to watch. 

Screaming Gemini has run two times priced 14-1 on both starts. This son of Shamardal cost 95,000G at the yearling sales. This bay colt stepped up in distance second start but couldn't reach the leaders giving the impression this drop in trip may test his mettle. However, this juvenile is fancied in the betting which suggests the opposition is nothing out of the ordinary.

Ed Walker is a class trainer and Know Your Limit was backed on his second start but given a stiff challenge when held up in the rear. This chestnut son of Tamayuz was similarly slow on debut. A wide draw isn't ideal.    

I've been disappointed by the performance of many Richard Hughes juveniles this season. Footman is a son of Cacique and owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing. This March foal was relatively fancied on debut at Kempton over one mile but never involved probably not helped by an awkward start and then not much room when on heels entering the straight. If backed may be of interest.   

Caracas has a wide draw. This son of Cacique is trained by Roger Charlton. He was withdrawn from the sales as a yearling but comes from a decent family. Charlton can win with his debutantes, often at bigger prices than most would expect. If priced 13/2 & less SP it would add to the confidence. 

Jamie Osborne had a lovely two-year-old winner in Royal Opera House and Brother In Arms is well owned by Michael Buckley. This son of Kodiac was a breeze-up purchase for £80,000. I often find Osborne's debutantes are better for the run and I would take a watching brief.   

Raspberry Princess, Millie May, GreyjoySunovarebel, Mr Mac & Mister Freeze are best watched.  

Conclusion: A tricky race to assess. Daschas should progress with racing and if priced 13/2 & less SP has sound each-way claims. Caracas is interesting. If backed it would bring greater confidence.