‘Rachael Blackmore multiples will be a headache’ – bookies share festival fears | Horse Racing News

Edward Whitaker

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Rachael Blackmore: several standout rides at the Cheltenham Festival

Edward Whitaker

By Charlie Huggins

The Cheltenham Festival is just four days away and while the competition between punters and bookmakers will be turned up a notch once the opening day arrives, there has still been months of ante-post opinion influencing markets.

While there is no consensus, here are the leading bookmakers on their major liabilities heading into jump racing’s biggest four days.

2022 Cheltenham Festival: big-race entries and betting for next week

Betfair: ‘Tiger Roll would be a big loser’

When bookmakers think of the worst possible results at the festival they automatically think of running up multiples, so we will be looking to get a few of the early favorites beaten each day.

Every year at the festival there are handicap horses who come alive in the betting so they will go a long way to determining whether the punters or bookmakers win on the day.

In terms of one horse we are expecting to take a lot of stakes on for the week, it has to be Tiger Roll given it could be the last race of his fabulous career. He’s been shortening up the past few weeks and it will be interesting to see what price he goes off, but we would expect him to be a big loser on the day.
Barry Orr

Michael Steele (Getty Images)

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The Cheltenham betting ring is sure to be a hive of activity as crowds return to the festival

The Cheltenham betting ring is sure to be a hive of activity as crowds return to the festival

Michael Steele (Getty Images)

Coral: ‘Who do we fear? The Irish again’

Who do we fear? Put simply, the Irish. A 23-5 scoreline from 12 months ago tells its own story, with the ante-post markets suggesting a similar ‘greenwash’ is on the cards again this year.

However, punters do not mind where the winners are trained, all they want to do is back them, and in Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott, Henry de Bromhead and co they have some very strong allies.

There are a few horses across the week who are likely to feature in plenty of accas – Honeysuckle, Telmesomethinggirl, Tiger Roll, Facile Vega, Allaho, Vauban, and, in Shishkin, a rare home ‘banker’ – but while these short ones will be popular, and costly if they all oblige, a feature of this year’s festival could be the number of exciting match-ups in prospect.

The Supreme, Arkle, Brown Advisory and Turners could all see at least two classy rivals going head-to-head, while the Albert Bartlett, Stayers’ and the biggest betting heat of the week, the Gold Cup, all look wide open at this stage, which is in our favour.

Of course there will also be the plunge horses – as yet unknown unfortunately – which set the handicaps alight over the four days. Some will oblige, hopefully other will not, but whatever happens we have all the ingredients in place for the most important betting week of the year.
Dave Stevens

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Tiger Roll: bookies expecting plenty of support for the five-time Cheltenham Festival hero

Tiger Roll: bookies expecting plenty of support for the five-time Cheltenham Festival hero

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Wednesday is the day we are most nervous about with everyone potentially betting on the same horses. Sir Gerhard, Bravemansgame, Shishkin, Tiger Roll and Facile Vega are the horses in question so we will be praying at least one of them will do us a favor.

On the other hand, Tuesday is likely to attract a much bigger spread of money. Honeysuckle is obviously the banker in the Champion Hurdle, but the Supreme and Arkle look more open and not nearly as daunting as day two of the festival.
Nicola McGeady

As usual it is multiple mayhem that is causing most sleepless nights at Power Tower and while there is not quite the usual opening day acca at the moment, that could change at final declarations when Willie Mullins shuffles his powerful pack.

Sir Gerhard or Dysart Dynamo in the Supreme, Honeysuckle, Telmesomethinggirl, Gaelic Warrior and Stattler will likely be very popular combinations.

With Gold Cup day being such a massive day for turnover, favorites going through the card is also very bad news for the books and just to add to our nightmares. Rachael Blackmore multiples on each day are likely to be a real headache given her immense popularity.
Paul Binfield

We will be hoping that all of the Willie Mullins ‘good things’ do not win as it would prove very costly. Dysart Dynamo, Sir Gerhard, Vauban, Dinoblue and Allaho have proven popular in multiples. The other popular multiple is Shishkin, Bob Olinger and Honeysuckle.

In singles, Gaelic Warrior has proved very popular and despite not being seen in this country so far, his price looks like it could shorten even further.
Michael Shinners

New Sky Bet customers can get £25 in free bets when you bet £5. Free bets awarded each day of the festival and £5 today. New customers only. First single and each-way bet only. Odds of 1/1 or greater. 5 x £5 bet tokens. First £5 free bet credited on bet placement. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets are non-withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions. Further T&Cs apply. 18+. begambleaware.org.

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