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2021 Cheltenham Festival Odds and Tips – Ante-post tips in the four Championship races

  • We take a look through the betting for the four Championship races at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival
  • Epatante is the favourite to retain her Champion Hurdle crown
  • Chacun Pour Soi and Paisley Park head the markets for the Champion Chase and Stayers' Hurdle
  • Al Boum Photo is the ante-post favourite as he goes for three Gold Cups in a row
  • We've picked out our top ante-post bets in all four major races
Cheltenham Gold Cup
A view of the finish to the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup. (Getty)

We take a look through the ante-post betting for the four Championship races at next year's meeting and provide readers with our best 2021 Cheltenham Festival ante-post tips.

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival may feel like a lifetime away, but it's never too early to look through the betting markets and find a bit of value. I've taken a closer look at the four big Championship races at the 2021 meeting and picked four horses who look worthy of an ante-post punt!

2021 Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Tips

2021 Champion Hurdle Odds

Best Odds
Top Bookie
Epatante4/1William Hill
Envoi Allen10/1William Hill
Honeysuckle16/1William Hill
Shishkin16/1Paddy Power

2021 Champion Hurdle Tips

Abacadabras2021 Champion Hurdle Ante-Post TipsGET 7/1 HERE
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Epatante ran out a comprehensive winner of the Champion Hurdle in 2020, and she’s the current favourite to retain her crown at next year’s meeting. Although she was very good value for her victory, I’m not convinced this was a particularly strong Champion Hurdle. 

Sharjah, who isn’t one of the more fearsome hurdlers around, managed to finish a reasonably close second on soft ground he’s not supposed to like. Darver Star finished third, despite having started the season rated just 119.

Goshen would have sealed a superb victory in the Triumph Hurdle, had it not been for that infamous error at the last. Gary Moore’s gelding is a beast of a horse and could take the division by storm in 2020/21. I, however, am always a little weary backing talented juveniles as they step into open company, and I don’t fancy a punt on Goshen at this current time.

To me, the best option is ABACADABRAS, who lost just twice during a Group One-winning novice campaign. His first defeat came out the hands of the ultra-talented Envoi Allen in the Royal Bond. Then, despite drifting markedly on the day of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Abacadabras came to the last cantering, only to get edged out of it on the strides before the line by the valiant Shishkin. 

Unlike the two rivals who beat him last term, who both look strong chasing prospects in the making, Abacadabras is a little smaller in stature and much slicker over his hurdles. Gordon Elliott’s charge will have strengthened up further with another summer on his back and Gigginstown Stud would love nothing more than a Champion Hurdle winner, before they exit the sport of horse racing.

Abacadabras (left) jumped the last ahead of Shishkin before being run down in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. (Getty)

2021 Champion Chase Tips

Best Odds
Top Bookie
Chacun Pour Soi5/1Unibet
Defi Du Seuil14/1Ladbrokes
A Plus Tard16/1bet365
Put The Kettle On20/1William Hill

2021 Champion Chase Tips

A Plus Tard2021 Champion Chase Ante-Post TipsGET 16/1 HERE
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Having been billed as the race of the week in the build-up to the Cheltenham Festival, the 2020 Champion Chase turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. 

Both Chacun Pour Soi and Altior withdrew from the race after suffering setbacks. This left Defi Du Seuil as the short-priced favourite, but it was apparent after just a few furlongs that Philip Hobbs’ charge was not on a going day, and Politologue made all to seal a shock win.

Given that the top two in the market had come out of the race, I’m shocked that Henry De Bromhead didn’t switch A PLUS TARD to the Champion Chase. As it was, De Bromhead and Cheveley Park stuck to their guns, throwing A Plus Tard into the Ryanair, where he ran well, but finished a little one-paced back in third.

When Rachael Blackmore’s mount beat Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown over Christmas, he didn’t outstay his rival. A Plus Tard showed a lovely turn of foot down the home straight and had more than enough two-mile pace to leave his rival for dead.

I would be amazed if A Plus Tard wasn’t kept over two miles next term, and the former Festival winner has proven how well he handles the track at Cheltenham. At 16/1, he looks a fantastic each-way punt in next year’s Champion Chase.

2021 Stayers’ Hurdle Odds

Best Odds
Top Bookie
Paisley Park7/1bet365
Benie Des Dieux8/1Ladbrokes
Honeysuckle10/1Paddy Power
Thyme Hill12/1William Hill
Sire Du Berlais16/1William Hill
Lisnagar Oscar16/1Betfred

2021 Stayers’ Hurdle Tips

Emitom2021 Stayers' Hurdle TipsGET 25/1 HERE
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Paisley Park’s unbeatable aura came crashing down around him at Cheltenham. Emma Lavelle’s stayer carried a very short price into the defence of his Stayers’ Hurdle crown, but didn’t jump or travel with any of his usual zest and was beaten as the field turned for home.

Lisnagar Oscar ran out a shock winner that day, staying on gamely after the last to carry a price of 66/1 into the winners’ enclosure. While few would fancy the winner to repeat that feat in 2021, Paisley Park is far from a spent force and he still offer plenty of value at his current price.

From an ante-post stand-point, however, I would rather take a punt on EMITOM. At the end of his novice campaign, I fancied Emitom would be the one to progress and really serve up a still challenge to Paisley Park. Sadly, Greatrex’s talented stayer suffered a set-back in the summer, and produced a woeful round of jumping on his return to action in the Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day.

Emitom bounced back from that display with a comfortable victory in the Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock. Gavin Sheehan’s mount then ran his best ever race around Cheltenham in the Stayers’ Hurdle, where he was squeezed for room on the inside on a number of occasions, but still stayed on to finish an eye-catching fourth.

Greatrex will have the option of going over fences with Emitom next season, but I think there’s a big chance this six-year-old will remain over the smaller obstacles and target a return to the Stayers. Emitom still has the profile of a big improver and could take his game to a new level in 2020/21.

stayers' hurdle
Emitom (second right) finishing fourth behind surprise Stayers' Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar. (Getty)

2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

Best Odds
Top Bookie
Al Boum Photo6/1Ladbrokes
Santini7/1William Hill
Minella Indo14/1Betfred
Lostintranslation14/1William Hill

2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips

Delta Work2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup TipsGET 25/1 HERE
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Al Boum Photo achieved something modern greats likes of Kauto Star, Denman and Long Run failed to do in 2020, and that’s win back-to-back Cheltenham Gold Cups. Willie Mullins’ charge is the bookie’s ante-post favourite as he bids to match Best Mate and land a hat-trick of Gold Cup wins. Despite his recent dominance, history is against Mullins’ star I have no problem taking on Al Boum Photo with an ante-post bet.

Lostintranslation was my selection in the Gold Cup this year, and ran a cracker to finish third, considering he’d drifted from 7s out to 10/1 before the off. Santini, who also endured an interrupted prep for the race, ran brilliantly to place second and could be even more of a force in 2020/21.

Champ flew home to beat Minella Indo to the RSA Novices’ Chase in 2020, and both have been tipped up as possible Gold Cup winners. However, after looking through the current odds, I think DELTA WORK has been massively overlooked and he’s certainly the best value bet for the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Gordon Elliott’s former Pertemps Final winner won three Grade Ones as a novice chaser, going down narrowly to Topofthegame and Santini in the 2019 RSA. Delta Work then won the Savills Chase and the Irish Gold Cup last season, arriving at Cheltenham as a 5/1 shot for the Gold Cup.

Mark Walsh’s mount made three significant errors. Two fairly early on, and another when the runners ahead of him started to make their move. Despite being on the back-foot for the majority of the race, Delta Work still caught the eye as he plugged on down the home straight, crossing the line a not-so-distant fifth.

Given a clean round of jumping, who’s to say how close to Al Boum Photo Gordon Elliott’s star could have finished. Delta Work is a year younger than Al Boum Photo, Lostintranslation and Santini. He’s even a year younger than Champ. There could be even more progression to come from this classy stayer and he could be a big player at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

2021 Cheltenham Festival FAQs

Where is the Cheltenham Festival held?

The Cheltenham Festival is held at Cheltenham racecourse, known as Prestbury Park, in Gloucestershire.

When is the Cheltenham Festival?

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival starts on Tuesday 16th March, and runs until Friday 19th March.

Who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Al Boum Photo became the first horse since Best Mate to defend the Gold Cup, holding off Santini and Lostintranslation to win the race for the second year in a row.

Who’s the best trainer at the Cheltenham Festival?

Willie Mullins has trained the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival, with his tally of seven winners in 2020 taking his overall tally up to 72.

When can I bet on the Cheltenham Festival?

Right now. Betting markets for all the major races at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival are already open. Visit our website for latest odds and tips.


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