Cheltenham Festival betting: A brace of best bets as handicap weights released

The Cheltenham handicap weights have been released and a brace of hurdlers stand out

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betzone

2 months ago

The release of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival handicap weights is one of the staging posts that ratchets up the anticipation ahead of the March meeting every year. Now that the weights are known we’ve selected a pair of contenders who look treated and worth backing.

Cheltenham Festival handicaps best bets

Kala Conti to win the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle @ 14/1 (each-way)

Quai du Bourbon to win the County Hurdle @ 16/1 (each-way)

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Konti looks a big price in the Boodles if you follow Kargese formlines

The yard of Gordon Elliot has been a good place to start when going in search of the Boodles winner in recent years, with three of the last six winners hailing from the trainer’s County Meath operation.

Elliott has eight runners remaining among the entries, including unexposed Naas winner Ndawi (8/1) and Woodhoh (15/2), who has racked up five wins in as many runs over hurdles. Yet it’s the trainer’s Kala Conti that takes the eye most in terms of the form he already has in the book.

He beat Kargese in a Leopardstown Grade 2 event on Boxing Day two starts back before finishing two-and-three-quarter lengths fifth behind the same rival in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival on his next start.

The winner, second and third in that contest are in the front four in the Triumph Hurdle betting so it’s hard not to rate our pick good enough to contest that graded version of the Boodles on that evidence. His 11st 8lbs burden should be manageable here – three of the last five winners shipped as much or more.

Tip: Kala Conti to win Boodles Juvenile Hurdle @ 14/1 (each-way)

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Worth chancing Mullins knows he has the Quai to the County

Plenty of punters could be loading up the Willie Mullins multiples come Festival Friday with Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Galopin Des Champs potential the classy anchor leg.

Mullins also has the first two in the betting for the meeting’s finale, the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, in the shape of very unexposed pair Sa Majeste (4/1) and Quai Du Bourbon (7/1).

Surely the Closutton handler will see sense in splitting them between the ‘Boy’s race’ and the County Hurdle earlier on the day to give himself the best chance of landing both races?

If he does so, it would make sense to keep the latter named to the 2m County given he’s yet to race over further than 2m3f. Meanwhile Sa Majeste looks the more likely to need the full 2m4f of the Martin Pipe given his defeat of Noble Yeats at Limerick over that trip last time out.

At 16/1 for the shorter race and given Mullins may well consider he has a leading Martin Pipe candidate in Sa Majeste, it looks well worth chancing Quai Du Bourbon in the County Hurdle at 16/1.

If he were to be confirmed for that race he’d likely be a third of the price in a contest that his trainer won with a similarly unexposed group horse in the making, State Man, in 2022.

Tip: Quai du Bourbon to win the County Hurdle @ 16/1 (each-way)