It may seem quite a way away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the Cheltenham Festival. The festival will take place between 15th to 18th March 2022 – and despite being such a way away, you can still think about the meeting – and where you should be putting your money. The earlier you put your punt in – the better value you will get.
This year, in Cheltenham 2021, it was definitely Ireland’s year – and we reckon that this could well be the case in 2022, with the majority of our top-rated runners hailing from the beautiful Emerald Isle. So, let’s take a look at who we feel will be the horse’s to check out:
Champion Hurdle Favourite
Firstly, we will look at the Champion Hurdle – and our early money is going on Ferny Hollow. Ferny Hollow was the Champion Bumper winner 2020 and is looking like a pretty strong horse. If he stays with the hurdles, then the Champion Hurdle could well be the next target – and he is looking strong for it, with form on the course and some amazing wins over his top rival recently.
To date, Ferny Hollow has been the only horse that has been able to beat his fellow runner ‘Appreciate It’. What’s more, he’s the only one to beat Bob Olinger – so it shows that he’s very capable of beating the best to be the best. This horse is starting to stand out as a pretty special racer and wise money will back him.
Ballymore Novices Hurdle Favourite
For the Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2022, we will be taking a closer look at Kilcruit. In the Champion Bumper, Paul Townend will have been extremely unhappy with the result after having been beaten by Rachael Blackmore on Sir Gerhard. However, this could well have been more down to jockey than horse and maybe things would have turned out differently had he not allowed Blackmore to get first run in Sir Gerhard – and then finding himself five lengths down on those final furlongs – and facing a mountain that he didn’t have the time to climb. Whilst managing to pull back 4.5 lengths, there was just not enough time to get to the front.
However, we cannot ignore the fact that he did pull back 4.5 lengths in those final furlongs, which shows just how fast he is when it comes to finishing the race. His strong finish makes him the perfect fit for the Ballymore Novices Hurdles and we might well see a different story next year.
Arkle Chase Favourite
We turn our attention to a British horse for this one – Dusart. Dusart could well have put Appreciate It to the test in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, but he was held back with a minor injury that he had picked up mid-season. However, Dusart is a strong horse and is coming back strong – and could well come back stronger than ever with the guidance of Nicky Henderson, who is well-known for leading a horse to victory.
Dusart could well be the horse for the Arkle, which is definitely achievable in the next year.
National Hunt Chase Favourite
Another Irish horse again – with Stattler being the runner that we have our eye on. Stattler performed well this year at the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. We can only imagine that in the upcoming year, Stattler will up his game even more and with the adrenaline that the National Hunt Brings, we could well see him stepping up his game even more and definitely giving the rest a good run for their money. With such an excellent profile and pedigree, Stattler could well give Mullins a run for his money next year.
Get The Bets in Early
Although it seems a world away – and even a month is a long time in horse racing, this is definitely the time to see what horses are in contention. Why not opt for a no NRNB wager to take away the risk a little? Early betting means great odds, so it’s always worth a look.