Latest Cheltenham odds with Paddy Power on the Argento Chase and Champion Hurdle trial as the firm announce their Cheltenham live streaming service will be showing all the races online.
There’s a blockbuster card for punters to get their teeth stuck into at Cheltenham on with plenty of clues for the Cheltenham Festival bound to be on show.
The feature race is the Argento Chase, run at 2:25, and among the entries is current Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth, who bids to enhance his reputation ahead of his Festival challenge.
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The 3/1 ante-post favourite for the Cheltenham showpiece, is, unsurprisingly, heading the market for the key Gold Cup trial on Saturday.
Punters have been putting their faith in the Nicky Henderson chaser all week with William Hill currently the only firm offering Evens on Bobs Worth landing the spoils. Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Bet 365 are all swerving the imperious chaser and have priced up the horse as an odds-on shot.
Bobs Worth won a very competitive renewal of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in December – a race which has subsequently had its form franked.
Going into the race Henderson’s chaser was the top British-trained staying novice last season, having taken the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, and rubberstamped the theory that the crop of novices coming through the ranks are out of the very top draw with a hugely impressive performance.
That run puts him right in the picture for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and when you consider his record at Cheltenham, where he is unbeaten, including at the last two festivals, then he’s a major player for the Argento.
His biggest challenge should come from Tidal Bay, who followed him home in the Hennessy before going on to land the Lexus Chase in gutsy and sensational fashion.
On a strict form line, Tidal Bay should be a match for Bobs Worth this weekend as they will be racing off level weights rather than the 6lbs that Tidal Bay was giving Bobs Worth for that three and a quarter length defeat.
He can be backed at 3/1 with Paddy Power to win the Argento and with trainer Paul Nicholls in his corner, the 12-year-old is bound to be popular on the day.
Grands Crus is an interesting runner. He was the all the rage for the Paddy Power Gold Cup on his seasonal return this year but was pulled up and was found to have a breathing problem.
The decision was taken to have the horse operated upon in an attempt to improve his breathing and he returned with an improved performance when third behind Long Run in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.
His form suggests he’s a better horse on better ground, therefore, if the race turned into a slug-fest on bottomless ground, he would be easy to rule out, however the course at Cheltenham seems to dry out very well.
At 7/1 with Paddy Power, David Pipe’s chaser may have a squeak.
Imperial Commander is the only other real challenger in the field of 13 runners, but the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner has been off the track for nearly two years since pulling up in the 2011 Gold Cup and it would be pretty remarkable if he was fit enough to beat the likes of Bobs Worth first time out. It’s 8/1 with Ladbrokes if you think he can.
Along with the Argento Chase, there are eight fantastic races to punt on at Cheltenham on Saturday – if the course passes an inspection due to the wintery conditions of late. Sprinter Sacre, the Champion Chase favourite, runs in the rescheduled Victor Chandler Chase at 1:50, whilst the Cleeve Hurdle at 3:35 will answer plenty of questions regarding this year’s World Hurdle at the Festival. Oscar Whisky, despite carrying a penalty, should be hard to beat there