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Cheltenham Festival - The Nicky Henderson Challenge

The race for the top trainer prize at the Cheltenham festival looks to concern the Irish duo of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott with the home defence headed by Nicky Henderson.

Ladbrokes Top Festival Trainer Odds

Gordon Elliott 6-4
Nicky Henderson 15-8
Willie Mullins 9-4
Joseph O’brien 20-1
Paul Nicholls 25-1
Colin Tizzard 25-1

Mite Bite 16/1 @ Paddy Power 16/1 Paddy Power

The Nicky Henderson Challenge Is Likely To Be Headed By The Following Horses:

BUVEUR D’AIR – 2-1 with William Hill in the latest Cheltenham betting odds for the Champion Hurdle. Winner of the last two Champion Hurdles the son of Crillon will attempt to join a list of hurdling royalty as only the sixth horse to claim the championship contest on three occasions. Easily the one they all have to beat with the main challenge coming from across the Irish sea.

ANGELS BREATH – 11-2 with Paddy Power for Supreme Novices Hurdle. Impressive winner on his first start for Nicky Henderson at Ascot in December. Has huge potential and this son of Shantou could prove very smart.

OK CORRAL – 3-1 with bet365 and Betvictor for National Hunt Chase. Second in last year’s Albert Bartlett at the festival this JP McManus-owned nine-year-old looks set to take high rank as a staying chaser following two impressive victories over the bigger obstacles.

CHAMP – 4-1 with bet365 for Ballymore Properties Novice Hurdle in ante-post Cheltenham betting odds. Just touched off on his hurdling debut at Ascot 12 months ago by the talented Vinndication the seven-year-old has carries all before him since winning all four starts, the latest being a smooth victory in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury. Should prove very hard to beat.

SANTINI – 3-1 with Paddy Power and bet365 for RSA Chase. A top class staying novice hurdler but chasing was always going to be the name of the game for this Milan gelding. Made a winning start over the bigger obstacles at Newbury in December. Probably found the track too sharp when just third in Kempton’s Kauto Star Novices Chase on Boxing Day. Will be more at home at Prestbury Park and a leading candidate for this novices’ ‘ Gold Cup.’

ALTIOR – 4-9 with Betvictor and Paddy Power for Champion Chase. Henderson’s ‘banker’ of the meeting, as only bad luck can prevent the highest rated chaser in training from taking the two mile championship crown for the second year running. Unbeaten now in 12 starts over fences and win number 13 looks a formality providing the nine-year-old gets to Prestbury Park fit and well on Wednesday 13th March.

Best Of The Rest

TOP NOTCH – 10-1 with William Hill for Ryanair Chase.
BIRCHDALE – 12-1 with Ladbrokes for Albert Bartlett.
MIGHT BITE – 16-1 with Paddy Power for Gold Cup.