Cheltenham tips: A 10/1 each-way punt for the Champion Hurdle

There is value to be found beyond the top two Champion Hurdle contenders

Aspire Tower horse

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

 

Frank Hickey has revealed there is only one horse he would consider backing outside of Honeysuckle and Epatante in this year’s Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The two mares are leading the market with Honeysuckle unbeaten throughout her career while Epatante won the Grade 1 contest at Prestbury Park last season.

There has been plenty of support for the pair already – partly thanks to Paddy Power’s non-runner money back offer on every single race at Cheltenham 2021 – but Frank feels another contender is worth a look.

Speaking on the latest episode of the ‘Countdown to Cheltenham’ podcast, our expert trader made the case for Aspire Tower’s each-way claims in the Champion Hurdle.

You can listen to the full show BELOW.

I think there is only one bet outside of HONEYSUCKLE and EPATANTE. When we talk about pace in the Champion Hurdle, there is one horse that is absolutely guaranteed to kick on and that is ASPIRE TOWER.

He was miles below his best in the Triumph Hurdle last year – maybe it was a result of the fall he had at Leopardstown prior to that – but he pulled and jumped very sloppily. Up until he fell at Leopardstown, he had been a really slick jumper. It was a really poor performance but he showed a lot of guts to finish second.

They went too hard that day – his finishing speed was about 93 per cent – but he was staying on and I think he is more of a staying two-miler. He absolutely trounced Sea Ducor and Wolf Prince on his hurdles debut last year, and they’re two horses now rated around 135. He beat them by 13 lengths, while he won the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle by a wider margin.

Triumph Hurdle Cheltenham Festival March 13, 2020

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The fall knocked the edge off his Cheltenham last year but I like the fact they haven’t had a run since Christmas so they are going to the festival fresh. His form this year has been very good, winning impressively up at Down Royal in the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle – beating Abacadabras and Jason The Militant when getting weight – and he was second to Sharjah at Leopardstown. I loved the way he stayed on after the last hurdle, and while Sharjah did him for pace he still put distance between him and the rest off the back of the last. And we know that when Sharjah is on a going day at Leopardstown, he is nearly unbeatable.

Aspire Tower is a five-year-old and he is improving. For me, he is the only option as an each-way bet. He’ll be up there and prominent. His jumping was much better at Leopardstown at Christmas, although he still made a mistake, and he is one with the potential to improve. He has a difficult task to beat the two mares but he is the only one I would even consider backing.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL‘S BIG RACES

March 16 – 13.20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 16 – 15.05 – Champion Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 17 – 13.20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 17 – 15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase latest odds and tips

March 18 – 14.30 – Ryanair Chase latest odds and tips

March 18 – 15.05 – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 13.20 – Triumph Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 15.05 – Gold Cup latest odds and tips

Cheltenham Festival Day One schedule

13:20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y

13.55 – Arkle Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y

14.30 – Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f

15.05 – Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y

15.40 – Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y

16.15 – Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y

16.50 – National Hunt Chase (Grade 2) 3m 5f 201y

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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