Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Three Underdogs with a Bit of Bite


Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Three Underdogs with a Bit of Bite


With 2018 form taking shape, dedicated punters are now deep into their preparations for this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Taking place at Prestbury Park between Tuesday 13 and Friday 16 March, it’s a real treat for followers of the sport, with a number of grade one races taking place on each of the four days.

You don’t have to be a horse racing anorak to turn a profit either – that’s the magic of it all. The festival has something for everyone, from short-priced favourites expected to win at a canter, to big-odds outsiders who have more than enough on their CV to merit an interest.

Backing a winner in the big races is always great but there’s nothing quite like cheering home a champion at double-figure odds. Below you’ll find three underdogs with plenty of bite.


Source: Racing Post via Twitter

Yorkhill @ 16/1 – Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is one of the real highlights of the schedule on day one. A two-mile grade one contest with a bumper prize, Noel Fehily rode Buveur D’Air to success last year and he’s odds-on favourite in the Cheltenham betting odds to go and do the same again this time, no better than Paddy Power’s 4/7 available at present. There’s no doubt the seven-year-old was impressive in victory but there’s nothing to love about a short price in such a gruelling contest.

It’s a surprise to see the much-loved Yorkhill trading at 16/1 and that’s too big to ignore. It’s yet to be seen if he’ll run in the race but he’s won twice before at the festival, claiming the Novices Hurdle in 2016 and Novices Chase last year. Simply loves it around here and connections will fancy the hat-trick.


Source: Racing Post via Twitter

Yanworth @ 10/1 – RSA Chase

If Yanworth’s team pick the RSA over the Stayers Hurdle, backers will be sitting on a delightful 10/1. The eight-year-old gelding finished runner-up in a Novices’ Chase at Newbury to bring 2017 to a close, but went one better earlier this year, booking a spot in the winner’s enclosure when leading a talented field home in the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. Going off a strong favourite, he lived up to expectations when edging Sizing Tennessee in a thrilling finish over 2m 4f.

That was Yanworth’s fifth outing at the course and the result stretched his stats to two golds and a silver. The Alan King-trained hopeful was an eye-catching second in the Neptune a couple of years ago, beaten less than two lengths by Yorkhill when starting as the shortest price runner. Has some making up to do to fans but that has been factored into this year’s price and he’s sure to be popular with value hunters. Boasts the experience needed to get down to business.

Source: Racing Post via Twitter

Definitly Red @ 16/1 – Gold Cup

The biggest race on one of the biggest racing weeks on the calendar. Brian Ellison’s talented Definitly Red scored a seven-length victory over Cloudy Dream at Aintree in the three-mile Many Clouds Chase at the tail-end of last year. Certainly no fluke, the team doubled up when winning the Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham over 3m 1f on January 27, again flexing his muscles to leave the chasing pack trailing. Runner-up American stumbled home eight lengths behind.

Casual punters will remember Definitly Red pulled up in the 2017 Grand National when going to post a respected 10/1 poke. He cost backers that day, but his price will ensure he’s given a second chance by many in March. That win at Cheltenham was Definitly Red’s fifth outing at the Gloucestershire venue, resulting in two wins, the other coming in a NH flat race over two miles.



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