Cheltenham Festival: Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle best backed duo in 2022

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

*Some odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

Despite being the odds-on favourite to win the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday, the Henry De Bromhead trained mare Honeysuckle, ridden by Rachel Blackmore, is currently the best backed horse for Cheltenham 2022.

And it’s not only the Irish backing the ladies. The majority (65%) of bets placed with Paddy Power are on the all-female tag team have come from UK customers.

We’ve always said that Rachael Blackmore stood head and shoulders above the rest, that’s why we erected a 25-foot-tall ‘Fearless Jockey’ statue back in 2019 at Cheltenham. Obviously we grossly underestimated how much damage she would do to us bookies on behalf of punters in the meantime.

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According to the betting trends we’ve unearthed for 2022, if she repeats anything close to her success last year, we’ll be in big trouble!

Constitution Hill and Jonbon are also drawing the attention of punters ahead of the Supreme Novices Hurdle on Tuesday, while people are heading in their droves to back Vauban in Triumph Hurdle on Friday.

The Gold Cup on Friday sees favourites Galvin and A Plus Tard, with Al Boum Photo just back, all keeping the bookies up at night. All are heavily backed by punters and could all give bookies a bloody nose if first over the line in Gold Cup at the end of the week.

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In the battle for champion trainer at the festival, Irish trainers take up the top three spots in the betting, with Willie Mullins leading the charge by a long way as current favourite to be named the top trainer, following by Gordon Elliot and Henry de Bromhead a far way out behind.

Willie Mullins 2020

In fact, Mullins priced at 11/10 to have more winners over the next four days than all of the English trainers combined at the Cheltenham Festival – making it hardly surprising that Ireland is 1/20 (which reflects a probability of 95.2%) to take home the Prestbury Cup – the trophy given to the winning most country – with the hosts miles out in the betting.

Paddy’s number crunchers estimate that across the betting industry, somewhere in the region of up to €1billion will be wagered by punters in the UK and Ireland on the mega four day event.

They estimate that up to €450 million could be paid out by bookies if all the current favourites in the markets win all 28 races over the four-day festival.

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On average, 35% of all races are won by the shortest priced horses in the market. However, the percentages are even less favourable when it comes to sniffing out a winner in the Cotswolds.

Looking back over the last ten years of the festival, out of the 273 horses that won races, only 79 of them were favourites. That means the likelihood of favourites winning is actually lower at the Cheltenham Festival, so we expect punters to double down on their efforts when it comes to outwitting us.

At its peak, Paddy expects to see 25,000 bets per minute during Cheltenham, with more than one in five punters backing Tipperary jockey Blackmore to repeat her fairytale week in 2021 (she won a six of the 28 races across the four days) and be crowned Queen of the Cotswolds at the Cheltenham Festival. Paul Townend is the current favourite to be this year’s top jockey.

There’s still time to book a spot at Paddy’s Cheltenham Fanzone at The Camden, Dublin, taking place on Thursday March 17 & Friday March 18. Tickets can be purchased at €20 per day via Ticketmaster and Universe.

CHELTENHAM IN NUMBERS

€1bn Across UK and Ireland during Cheltenham
25,000 Expected number of peak bets per hour during Cheltenham
€11.63 Average bet during Cheltenham
25/1 Rachael Blackmore to ride 6 winners again
9/2 Willie Mullins to train 10 or more winners
4/6 Paul Townend to be the top jockey
14/1 Ireland to have 24 or more winners
11/1 UK to win the Prestbury Cup
25/1 14 or more favourites win across the four days
13/2 Ireland to train horses that finish in 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Supreme Novices Hurdle

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

*Some odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

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