How Cheltenham Festival 2019 Unfolded
How Cheltenham Festival 2019 Unfolded On The Spreads
Feats of valour, brilliance and gallantry abounded at the Cheltenham Festival as horseracing fans were treated to four days of gripping action. Bryony Frost seized the headlines by becoming the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 jumps race when she landed the Ryanair Chase aboard Frodon. Hearts were warmed across the nation when Paisley Park romped to victory in the Stayers’ Hurdle for blind owner Andrew Gemmell. There were nail-biting finishes, heart-breaking falls, underwhelming performances from highly-rated stars and dazzling displays from new heroes, making for a dramatic meeting. It also proved to be an exciting festival for anyone betting on the spreads.
Mullins Back on Top
Gordon Elliott saddled a record-equalling eight winners last year to seize the leading trainer award, with Willie Mullins picking up seven wins. They were expected to dominate once again in 2019, along with Nicky Henderson, but it proved to be a much more open meeting. Elliott could not recapture the magic of 2018 and only managed three winners over the course of the festival. Mullins and Henderson finished top of the pile with four apiece, but Mullins had more places and he was crowned the leading trainer for the first time since 2016.
Mullins was the second favourite in this market ahead of the Festival, with a spread of 26-29. We awarded 50 points to the winner, 25 to the runner-up and 10 points to third. The Irish trainer’s win meant the market settled at 50 points so punters who had bought at 29 on Mullins for £5 would have made a £105 profit (50 – 29 = 21 and 21 x £5 = £105). However, sellers on Mullins would have seen a loss of 24 times their initial stake.
It meant that Mullins remains the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history, with 65 wins, while Henderson now has 64 to his name.
Who Was Crowned Top Jockey at Cheltenham?
The Cheltenham Festival is the most prestigious meeting in the entire National Hunt calendar and it attracts all the leading jockeys in the business. It is where reputations are made and broken and these star riders are all desperate for winners, so emerging as top jockey is a fantastic accolade.
Davy Russell went into the festival as defending champion, but Ruby Walsh had finished top of the pile in nine of the previous 10 years and many expected him to return to the summit. The jockey deemed most likely to stop him was Barry Geraghty, the favourite in the Top Jockey Index.
Nico De Boinville flew under the radar somewhat in the build-up to the meeting and he was considered a real outsider to be named top jockey, as reflected in his pre festival spread of 7-9. However, Nicky Henderson’s number one rider secured a fantastic double on Wednesday by piloting Altior to victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and then steering the successful William Henry in the Coral Cup. He finished second in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase on Santini and then capped a great week as Pentland Hills seized the Triumph Hurdle on the final day.
His three wins were enough to give him the top jockey title, and anyone that bought at 9 on him doing so would have been quids in. Again 50 points were awarded to the winner, so a £10 bet on De Boinville would have netted a profit of £410. However, those who thought Nicky Henderson’s top jockey would struggle at Cheltenham and opted to sell at 7 would have lost 43 times their initial stake.
Cheltenham Festival 2019 Prestbury Cup Result
The battle to win the Prestbury Cup finished in a thrilling 14-14 draw between Great Britain and Ireland. This trophy is given to the country whose trainers secure the most winners at the festival, and the Irish had dominated in recent years. Elliott and Mullins had 15 winners between them last year, giving Ireland a thumping victory, and they were favourites to triumph once more in 2019.
However, the festival was a lot more open this year as several smaller stables had a taste of success, and it ended up 13-13 going into the final two races. Croco Bay won the penultimate race for Ben Case to give Britain a slender lead, but then Joseph O’Brien’s Early Doors beat Dallas Des Pictons to wrap up the meeting with victory in the Martin Pipe, levelling things at 14 apiece.
Cheltenham Festival Favourites Spread
This is an extremely popular horse racing spread betting option as it allows you to speculate on how well all the favourites will do across the course of the entire meeting. It gives you an interest in every single race, making the final Listed race of the day just as thrilling as the Gold Cup or the Champion Hurdle. We assign 25 points to a favourite that wins, 10 points if they finished second and 5 points for a third placed finish. This year ahead of the Festival we priced the spread at 238-250.
Anyone that bought at the higher price might have been cursing their luck after six of seven favourites flopped on the opening day. However, four out of seven favourites landed on Wednesday, while three came in on St Patrick’s Thursday, with a few places dotted around too. That teed punters up for a thrilling final day of action. The first two races saw the favourites finish nowhere, before Commander Of Fleet claimed second place in the Albert Bartlett.
Presenting Percy was underwhelming in the Gold Cup as Al Boum Photo won it for Mullins, but then Hazel Hill won the Foxhunter to leave it delicately poised at 250 points. Magic Saint could only finish 10th in the penultimate race of the meeting, but then Dallas Des Pictons was second in the final race to take the total to 260. That gave anyone that bought on the spread a 10-unit victory and highlighted just why this market is so exciting, as it keeps you entertained until the very last race.
Class of 2018 Index
This market allowed you to predict how well the winners from last year’s Cheltenham Festival would fare. Buveur D’Air, Altior, Tiger Roll, Presenting Percy and Benie Des Dieux were among the big favourites to win again in 2019. Any of the 28 winners from 2018 that won again this year were given 25 points, while anyone securing a runner-up finish took 10 points and any horse that finished third was given 5 points. Altior cemented his superstar status by winning the Champion Chase once again, while Tiger Roll will go down as a legend among punters after winning the Cross Country Chase once more. However, Buveur D’Air and Benie Des Dieux both suffered falls, while the likes of Presenting Percy, Samcro, Native River, Footpad and Laurina could not double up and anyone that sold on the spread of 127-137 made a healthy profit.
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