Josh Powell has snuck into Paddy Power’s top-secret database to reveal the five Cheltenham Festival favourites which have attracted the most ante-post money so far.
1. Sprinter Sacre, 1/4, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Wednesday
It doesn’t take a genius to see why punters are ploughing into Sprinter Sacre. He is an unbeaten chaser and many believe he only has to turn up on the day and he wins. An accomplished jumper and a speed merchant across the turf. Punters think this is the closest thing to a banker they’ll get at Cheltenham and Paddy is praying for a miracle.
2. Hurricane Fly, 2/1, Champion Hurdle, Tuesday
There are plenty of punters who fancy Hurricane Fly to retain his crown but Paddy Power certainly won’t be cheering him on. He’s giving Money-Back All Losers if Hurricane Fly wins the race he won in 2011. Ruby Walsh says this horse is back to his best, he’s a 14-time Group One winner and his preparation has been flawless. Paddy still has sleepless nights after Sprinter Sacre took him for millions last year and this could end up very much the same.
3. My Tent Or Yours, 7/4, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Tuesday
It could be the worst possible start for Paddy Power if the favourite My Tent Or Yours gets his nose in front in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The holy trinity of JP McManus, Nicky Henderson and AP McCoy combine and punters haven’t been slow to react after he destroyed the field in the Betfair Hurdle. Paddy will be sleeping rough on the opening night if My Tent Or Yours comes in.
4. Long Run 6/1, Gold Cup, Friday
The 2011 Gold Cup winner. Two-time King George winner. A horse that has never been out of the frame. When it is down in writing it is plain to see why punters are keen to back Long Run at a price of 6/1. Bobs Worth and Sir Des Champs have stolen the limelight in the Gold Cup but Long Run hasn’t slipped under the radar of punters.
5. Dynaste, 5/2, RSA Chase, Wednesday
Paddy is feeling pretty smug about this one but he might end up with egg on his face and an empty wallet. 18 horses have won the Kauto Star Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton and then failed to win the RSA Chase at the Festival. Paddy doesn’t see that trend ending this year but Dynaste is a different kind of animal. He is an unbeaten chaser who has drawn comparisons to the great Denman so punters aren’t holding back.