Cheltenham tips: Why Honeysuckle could bash Paddy’s traders

The Paddy Power bean counters will be sweating over this one

Honeysuckle Rachel Blackmore Cheltenham Festival March 10, 2020

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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 says the Paddy Power traders will be praying Honeysuckle fails to win the Champion Hurdle after customers piled in on our non-runner money back offer for Cheltenham 2021.

The Henry de Bromhead-trained seven-year-old is unbeaten throughout her career to date and looks set to go off favourite in the feature race on day one of the festival, despite the presence of last year’s winner Epatante.

honeysuckle mares hurdle

Cheltenham tips: Champion Hurdle antepost best bets from Ruby Walsh

Punters had the opportunity to bet on Honeysuckle to win the Champion Hurdle at odds of around 6/1 before her victory in the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown, and her price has now shortened considerably.

Speaking on the latest episode of our ‘Countdown to Cheltenham’ podcast, our expert trader Frank talked through the largest liabilities for Paddy ahead of the big race.

You can listen to the full show BELOW.

It’s been a bit of a funny year in the Champion Hurdle market but when you look at the antepost book, Goshen is the big loser. Most of that damage would have been done pre-International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The other loser is Epatante, and that is going back to around Christmas time and before. People were looking at this race and thinking Goshen was the new kid on the block that could potentially dethrone Epatante, and then you have a big cohort of customers who thought Epatante would be tough to beat.

Things have obviously changed hugely since Christmas with Epatante getting beaten at Kempton, Honeysuckle almost certainly running in the Champion Hurdle now and Sharjah winning the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown. It’s a very different looking market now.

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In our non-runner money back book, the two big losers are Honeysuckle and Buveur d’Air. The non-runner money back concession really made backing Honeysuckle an inviting prospect before she won at the Dublin Racing Festival because you knew that if she won – she was between 7/1 and 6/1 for the Champion Hurdle leading up to it – you were going to be sitting on a lovely docket and if she got beaten she was almost certainly not going to run in the Champion Hurdle. It was almost a risk-free bet.

9/4
Honeysuckle Champion Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

People were backing Buveur d’Air pre-Haydock but he was disappointing on his return and I wouldn’t be overly fearful about that liability. But the Honeysuckle one will now be a little bit more worrying. She should, and probably will, go off as favourite.

20/1
Buveur Dair Champion Hurdle - Non Runner Money Back

Buveur-D'air-beats-Samcro-at-Newcastle

Champion Hurdle latest odds and tips for Cheltenham Festival 2021

Getting the Gold Cup right

The Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle are high-turnover races, and if you get them right as a trader it gives you a much better chance of having a successful week. If you get them wrong, you’re facing an uphill battle.

Gold Cup Day is the biggest turnover day of the week, and if you nail that you’re going to be happy. It can be tricky though. Last year we did okay keeping Al Boum Photo on-side, but on the flip side I would have been very keen to take on Epatante last year in the Champion Hurdle and she bolted up.

Al Boum Photo jumps a fence in the Gold Cup

Gold Cup latest odds and tips for Cheltenham Festival 2021’s big race

Without a trading room this year, it will be a different feel. You usually have the euphoria when things go your way and that depression when things go against you in a group. It will be a bit different this year.

But nothing will ever match when Tiger Roll won his first Grand National. That was the ultimate in getting a race wrong and getting our pants pulled down! Hopefully we won’t have anything like that at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

*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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