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Ante-Post Horse Racing Betting Tips

Tony McCormick for Bookies.com

Tony McCormick  | 9 mins

Ante-Post Horse Racing Betting Tips

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bet365 Gold Cup Ante-Post Tips

bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (Class 1) (5yo+) - 2.15 Saturday - Sandown

Selection Recommended Stake OddsBet With
Annual Invictus 1/2pt each way
20/1
William Hill
Undersupervision 1/2pt each way
Bet UK
Bet UK

Each week, the team of horse racing experts at Bookies.com will be providing expert analysis and tips for the big betting race of the week. With such variance in prices and each way terms at horse racing betting sites, we’ll be pointing out where to bet as well as what to bet. 

First run in 1957, the Gold Cup at Sandown takes place on Saturday April 29th. Older readers will still affectionately refer to the race as the Whitbread Gold Cup, which sponsored the contest from its inception until 2001. Since then, At The Races and Betfred sponsored the race until current supporters bet365 took over the reins in 2008.

The race usually attracts a big field with between 15 and 20 runners taking part in 18 of the last 20 renewals of the contest. The last eight winners were aged between seven and nine with 26 of the last 29 win and place positions filled by that age group, which is something to think about when taking a look at the prices on your betting apps.

Digging a little deeper, seven of the last eight winners were aged seven or eight. The Peter Bowen-trained Henllan Harri won the race as a nine-year-old in 2017, winning by a head from Vyta Du Roc for the trainer and jockey combination of Nicky Henderson and Daryl Jacob. Theatre Guide and Benbens were close behind in a four-horse head-bobbing finish. 

Seven of the last eight winners were having their first run in the race, with just Hadrians’ Approach for Henderson landing the spoils in 2014 after finishing fifth of 19 runners in the 2013 encounter. 

The race is not a good one for followers of top-weights in the race, with the last eight being beaten. Since 2014, the winners of the race were at least 3lb lighter than the top weight with six of the last eight winners carrying at least 12lb less.

Dismiss top weights at your peril, though, with Theatre Guide and Sausalito Sunrise still able to hit the frame even if five of the last eight top weights have failed to complete the contest. 

Seven of the last eight winners were rated between 135 and 149, six rated between 140 and 149 and five of the last eight winners rated between 145 and 149 with a further nine runners hitting the frame, so keep that in mind when punting on your horse racing betting sites. 

Looking at the successful trainers in the last eight renewals, Alan King has two winners to his name and another one claiming prize money. Talkischeap won for the trainer in 2019, while Potterman landed the big prize in 2021 at odds of 12/1.

Trainer Paul Nicholls readied Just A Par to win the race in 2015, returning at an SP of 14/1. Since then, the handler has seen Southfield Theatre, Present Man and in 2021 Erilo all finish in the prize-money positions. 

The last eight winners had won a handicap chase between one and four occasions. 

With all of these recent trends, there are a number of horses that hold appeal heading into the big race:

Ansam

This 130-rated handicap hurdler has taken to the larger obstacles fairly well, winning at Kempton and Ludlow since the turn of the year - both over three miles. The win at Ludlow earlier this month came on good to soft ground off a 7lb lower mark. Needs others to falter, but the Black Sam Bellamy gelding can grab a place and is closely related to Captain Cattistock, Jimmy The Digger and Big Nasty, who perform well over a similar trip. 

Kitty’s Light

The step up to a marathon trip has worked wonders for the Nathaniel gelding, who has landed the spoils in the 42k Eider Chase at Newcastle in February and the Grade 3 113k Scottish Grand National seven days ago. At this trip, it depends on whether anything gets first run on the seven-year-old as he makes his usual late dash for the line. 

Annual Invictus 

Won his first couple of starts in handicap company over the larger obstacles a couple of years ago at Cheltenham and Plumpton, both victories over two miles and four furlongs. Since December 2021 has only appeared in four more starts over fences, including finishing eighth of 23 runners in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Following a year over hurdles. Places claim if in good form and one to keep an eye out for on betting sites. 

Revels Hill

Solid and consistent in a number of starts over fences this term without getting his head in front. Two handicap chase victories came a little over 12 months ago at Taunton in February and March. Not disgraced since in Grade 3 company at Ascot, finishing third of 14 runners over three miles and when second of eight runners at Exeter last month, one length adrift of Coolvalla off a 3lb lower mark.

Broken Halo

The eight-year-old by Kayf Tara has won his last couple of chase starts in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup in February and in the Grand Military Gold Cup last month at this venue, with both ridden by amateur rider Jody Sole. The latest win came off a 5lb lower mark, and claimer Tom Buckley takes the ride here. Could be a clever bit of placing from the champion trainer. 

Cheltenham Ante-Post Tips

Race Selection Odds (Date Advised)
2024 Champion Hurdle Impaire Et Passe 6/1 (17/03/23)
2024 Mares' Novices' Hurdle Fun Fun Fun 12/1 (17/03/23)
2024 Ryanair Chase Sir Gerhard 40/1 (17/03/23)
2024 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase Iroko 20/1 (26/03/23)
2024 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Ballyburn 16/1 (26/03/23)

The 2023 Cheltenham Festival is in the books and thoughts immediately turn elsewhere. We're looking ahead to the 2024 Cheltenham Festival. We saw the next crop of novices that look ready to take control of their respective divisions, as well as more familiar horses who might fare better aimed at a different target next year. 

This page will be updated throughout the season, with new ante-post tips added by our team of horse racing experts.

Impaire Et Passe – 2024 Champion Hurdle

Anyone who saw this year’s Champion Hurdle would rightly assume that Constitution Hill will dominate the two mile hurdling division for as long as connections want him to. With a bit of luck, we see the 2023 Champion Hurdler switch to fences next season, leaving the division ready for a new leading light. Step up Impaire Et Passe. 

He looked electric in the Ballymore, really living up to the pre-festival hype that surrounded him. Early quotes of 6/1 for the 2024 Champion Hurdle look very tempting, especially since he’d likely be the short-priced favourite in the betting should Constitution Hill make that switch to the larger obstacles. 

If he’s 6/1 on the day against Constitution Hill, he’ll have a fair chance. If the reigning champion switches codes, 6/1 could look huge next March. 

Fun Fun Fun - 2024 Mares' Novices’ Hurdle

This mare might have disappointed in the 2023 Champion Bumper, but she is definitely much better than that and can be a leading light in the Mares' Novices’ division in 2024.

She started off her career beating a decent field at Sligo in a canter and she then went on and obliterated the mares bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival. That bumper at the DRF was full of very talented mares, including the 2022 winner Lily Du Berlais, so to win in such a canter has to earmark her as something special.

12/1 for Mares' Novices' glory in 2024 looks a decent price.

Sir Gerhard - 2024 Ryanair Chase

While he didn’t win the 2023 Brown Advisory Chase, Sir Gerhard was extremely eye-catching in how well he travelled throughout the contest. He probably just didn’t stay, but he has a plethora of excuses for not winning.

This season just hasn’t worked out for him, with him missing the majority of it through injury and then having a rushed campaign to get the festival where he only enjoyed one warm up effort. This is far from ideal, but despite all this he still travelled with aplomb through the gruelling three-mile chase eventually won by The Real Whacker. 

The intermediate trip in the Ryanair Chase is definitely more to his liking and 40/1 looks a big price for one so talented.

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Iroko - 2024 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase

The Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle has been won by some classy horses in recent years, including Banbridge and none other than Galopin Des Champs. This year's winner, Iroko, mightn't reach the dizzying heights of Galopin Des Champs, but there is reason to believe he could have a bright future over staying trips. He won at this year's festival despite the 2m4f trip appearing on the short side for him. You can also mark up the performance as he appeared to be shuffled back on the rail during a crucial stage of the race approaching two out. 

Judging by how strongly he hit the line, the logical step will be stepping him up to three miles next season. Connections have already revealed that novice chasing is the plan with this horse, and if he takes well to fences, he could be a force to be reckoned with in next year's Brown Advisory Novices' Chase. Odds of 20/1 with some horse racing betting sites look well worth taking. 

Ballyburn - 2024 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 

Connections of Ballyburn opted not to partake in the Champion Bumper at this year's Cheltenham Festival, and there is reason to believe that he would have been Willie Mullins' best chance in the race had he made the trip to Prestbury Park. Ballyburn put in a seriously eye-catching display on his only visit to the track at Punchestown in February. Running extremely keen throughout, he still managed to find plenty in the straight to pull clear of his 12 rivals. 

In his post-race interview, Patrick Mullins seemed shocked that the horse had the engine to finish the race out so strongly, despite racing so freely. This performance marked Ballyburn down as a horse of huge potential, and he could take high rank among next year's batch of novice hurdlers. The fact that his owners sponsor the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle may tempt them to try and win their own race. However, Willie Mullins has won the last two renewals of the Ballymore, and he might feel that Ballyburn is classy enough to try and make it three. The next port of call for the horse will be a winners' bumper towards the end of the season, and an impressive win there is likely to see bookmakers slash his odds for next year's targets.

About the Author

Tony McCormick for Bookies.com
Tony McCormick
Racing journalist Tony McCormick is a regular contributor to Talk Sport on all things betting. Tony hosts his own show on Epic Radio, one half of the Racing Podblast team and appears on Top Of The Nags with Mike Read. A stats man for horse racing trends and a brilliant eye for value in the betting markets, he's also a winning horse owner with Miss Whiz.