Take Betfair’s 4/1 on Douvan to win the Arkle: Cheltenham Festival TipPublished March 15, 2016
There are lots of ways in which we could tackle the problem of backing Douvan. One of them is to steam in at odds of around 2/5 (1.40) but that is very much the brave man’s route. If you really fancy this monstrous novice chaser to win, then you probably think he is set to win impressively and a 7 to 9 length winning spread makes a lot of sense, particularly when you add in Betfair’s 5/1 price about that outcome reaching fruition.
Douvan has won his last three races by 9.5, 18 and 15 lengths respectively. But those were against horses who are vastly inferior to him and/or horses he has already confirmed superiority over either in Cheltenham or in Ireland. Cheltenham and indeed the big spring festivals are a real leveller and where even the very best horses face the sternest examinations of their abilities. Douvan won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by 4.5 lengths last year and won the Punchestown Festival equivalent by 7.5 lengths, so although he was clearly the best novice hurdler, he was winning by very wide margins at the very top level.
He faces six rivals in the Cheltenham 2016 Racing Post Arkle Trophy Challenge Chase at 2.05pm today and Sizing John and Vaniteux are definitely his biggest threats. He has already proved that on most days he is a better horse than Sizing John, so maybe Vaniteux is the chief danger. He was really impressive at Doncaster last time out and could serve it up to Douvan for much of the race.
But ultimately, Douvan looks a good thing to come clear and win this race well. How well is open to debate, but somewhere between 7 and 9 lengths in a top level Grade 1 is a good innings by anyone’s standards and with Betfair offering pretty good value odds of 5/1 about the 7-9 length spread, this could be the most effective way to back Douvan AND obtain some value at the same time.