Sizing John beat off all comers to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for Jessica Harrington under Robbie Power. Sent off at 15/2, the Irish Gold Cup winner added the Cheltenham version having been as big as 66/1 in the ante-post betting markets earlier this year.
Bookmakers will be happy that only 10.7% of bets today at Cheltenham were on Sizing John, but they will be counting the cost of shrewd ante-post bets. The winner was a massive price earlier in the year, and punters lapped it up. Even with the likes of Djakadam, Thistlecrack, Native River and Cue Card in the ante-post market, Sizing John still held 10.3% of ante-post bets. He was the third most popular choice with punters.
The Harrington horse was very popular with punters from his homeland, the residents of Dublin accounted for 9% of bets placed on the horse. It was bad news for users from Birmingham however, with 15% of bets for the beaten third favourite Cue Card from the midlands. He fell at the third last just as he did at Cheltenham Festival 2016.
A quick look at Oddschecker users results shows one bettor winning big after wagering £250 on Sizing John near the end of January at 33/1. A handful of punters got 33/1 again in February with bets of three figures. As for today, the biggest bet was £1500, placed in the early hours at 8/1.
It’s Cheltenham Gold Cup day at Festival 2017 and it seems Oddschecker punters are divided as to who will win the prestigious race. Willie Mullins’ Djakadam is the current market leader and has been the most popular selection on site with 27% of users in the last 48 hours putting their money on the 8yo to give his illustrious trainer a first win in the race. Runner-up in both the last two runnings of the race, he also accounts for 16% of all ante-post bets through Oddschecker, the most of any of the runners taking their place in today’s field.
Standing in the way of both Mullins and Djakadam will be the two Colin Tizzard contenders Cue Card and Native River. The former is one of the most popular horses in training and has amassed over £1million in his career to date including two Festival wins. 14.4% of ante-post stakes have been for the evergreen 11yo but he’s only the third most popular horse with users in the last 48 hours. At the other end of the career spectrum is his stablemate Native River. The 7yo hasn’t put a foot wrong all season in landing both the Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh Grand National, improving with every run. He had the ideal prep when winning Newbury in February and 26% pf all stakes through the site have been on the proven stayer.
On “Cheltenham Festival 2017 Eve” we’ll be just hours away from the Supreme Novices Hurdle which marks the start of the greatest show on turf and you can view full info on Cheltenham Festival 2017 races here. At 7pm we will be broadcasting our third show which will include:
- Intros and Welcome
- Arkle Chase Preview and Tips
- Champion Hurdle Preview and Tips
- Queen Mother Preview and Tips
- RSA Chase Preview and Tips
- JLT Novices Chase Preview and Tips
- Ryanair Chase Preview and Tips
- Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview and Tips
- JPFestival.com best ante-post tips at Festival
Our panel include Oliver Wagner and Will Kedjanyi from JPFestival.com plus Will Hoffmann from Racing Stopwatch (aka Mr Stopwatch) with JP (Jonathan Pollinger) chairing.
Ruby Walsh has dominated Cheltenham since winning top jockey for the first time way back in 2004. The Irishman has now won the honour a record ten times in the last thirteen years and at odds of 8/13 to be crowned top jockey again you’d think bettors would see this as a banker.
However, Oddschecker users have been backing Gigginstown’s top jockey Bryan Cooper to ruin the party for Ruby Walsh. Just over 60% of all bets placed placed in the last 24 hours on the Top Jockey market at Cheltenham have been on Bryan Cooper, compared to just 5% on Ruby Walsh.
Walsh still remains as short as 1/2 with some bookmakers, but that is comparatively long when you realise he was 1/3 back in January. Ruby is without Cheltenham bankers Vautour, Min, Annie Power this festival, but thanks to the strength of Willie Mullins stable he’ll still mount plenty of horses with a great chance of winning.
Bryan Cooper’s potential rides include Petit Mouchoir, A Toi Phil, Apple’s Jade, All Hell Let Loose, Shattered Love, Alpha Des Obeaux, Tombstone, Dinaria Des Obeaux, Disko, Sutton Manor, Empire Of Dirt, Lord Scoundrel, Barra, Death Duty, Outlanderc and Tell Us More to name a few.
Below we’ve taken Cooper’s and Walsh’s top five chances and looked at the odds, plus their support in the market:
|Ruby Walsh Rides||Odds||Percentage of bets (in 2017)||Bryan Cooper Rides||Odds||Percentage of bets (in 2017)|
|Vroum Vroum Mag||6/4||24%||Apple’s Jade||11/4||14%|
|Djakadam||9/2||9%||Empire Of Dirt||6/1||16%|
Despite the support coming for the Gigginstown jockey, Ruby Walsh is still a worthy favourite when you examine his rides. That said, it can be argued bookmakers have got too tied up with the connection between Ruby Walsh and Cheltenham. Walsh was 1/3 favourite for the same award last year with a much greater selection of horses. Cooper offers value at 10/1; these odds are expected to keep shortening as we get closer to the festival. The twitter account @oddsracing asked followers if Ruby Walsh was a back or a lay at 8/13 to be Top Jockey. Early indications showed 60% of people think he’s a lay at that price.
Another Walsh has also been backed in to pick up the award. Mark Walsh today announced he will ride Yanworth for the Champion Hurdle, causing his odds to shortened from 16/1 to as short as 6/1 with Boylesports and Paddy Power.
On Monday we have our 3rd live online preview and you can register here: Cheltenham 2017 Preview Show Join in the banter and obtain insights next Monday!