Cheltenham Tips: The 5 best backed Festival fancies since Paddy went non-runner money back

Punters are piling in for Cheltenham 2023 since Paddy Power went non runner money back.

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Best-Backed Cheltenham Festival Horses

Day 1
16:10 – Mares’ Hurdle – Honeysuckle
16:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Tekao

Day 2
17:30 – Champion Bumper – A Dream To Share

Day 4
13:30 – Triumph Hurdle – Lossiemouth
16:10 – St James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase – Vaucelet

Paddy went Non Runner Money Back on all races at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday, February 3rd, and as usual this concession has proved highly-popular with punters who can back horses safely in the knowledge they’ll get their hard-earned back if their fancy doesn’t run. Here are the 5 runners  that have attracted most support in Paddy’s books since then:

Day 1

16:10 – Mares’ Hurdle – Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle still has an entry in the Champion Hurdle, but after an uncharacteristic two losses, connections have announced that it is this race that they’re targeting.

It must have been a heart-breaking decision for Waterford wizard Henry De Bromhead and owner Kenny Alexander as she’s won the last two Champion Hurdles and no doubt they’d have loved to have seen their charge add her name to the five three-time winners.

The nine-year-old scooped 17 successes (the first in a point-to-point) before tasting defeat in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse and they have concluded this contest is their most realistic chance of a successful swansong.

16:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Tekao

The Willie Mullins-trained Tekao has done little wrong since being beaten in a Navan maiden hurdle by Comfort Zone – who has subsequently won two Grade 2 races.

He subsequently won his maiden at Leopardstown in JP McManus’s famous green and gold hoop colours before finishing third to his stable companions Gala Marceau and Lossiemouth, but not in the order that both their yards and the market expected.

He’s probably not good enough to win a Triumph Hurdle, but without really knowing whether a mark of 128 is generous or not, this would seem like the right race for him.

Day 2

17:30 – Champion Bumper – A Dream To Share

John Kiely is best known for masterminding Carlingford Lough’s career and he looks to have unearthed another diamond in the shape of A Dream to Share who has been all the rage for the bumper.

He was not unfancied when making a winning debut at Tipperary in May and he followed that up with another smooth success at prohibitive odds at Roscommon the following month.

A 235-day absence did not stop him from remaining unbeaten at the Dublin Racing Festival where he was supported at long odds to get the better of Fact To File and it’s fair to say he’s living up to his name and has been snapped up by J P McManus. 

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Day 4

13:30 – Triumph Hurdle – Lossiemouth

The Spring Juvenile Hurdle is not usually one of the most talked about races at the Dublin Racing Festival, but this year’s renewal was a little different with plenty of people, including probably connections, believing Lossiemouth to be unlucky in going down to stable companion Gala Marceau by two and a half lengths.

Interestingly, our very own Ruby Walsh would not be drawn on his selection for this race on this week’s Paddy Power Media’s Cheltenham Countdown and argued that the winner did plenty wrong herself during that contest and still won well.

Whatever the rights and wrongs, the four-year-old still makes this illustrious list and her two previous winning outings at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown had both been easy victories, the second of which was a seven and a half length defeat of Gala Marceau who then turned the tables around earlier this month.

This will now be one of the most eagerly awaited races of this year’s Festival with plenty of chat debating if Lossiemouth will prevail or not in Friday’s opening contest. 

16:10 – St James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase – Vaucelet

Vaucelet has been well supported for the ‘amateurs’ Gold Cup’ and it’s not hard to see why given his prolific winning record over the last couple of seasons.

His ability to act around Prestbury Park has to be taken on trust, but he has scored in 9 of his last 11 outings in the last two campaigns and those victories include a four-length success in this year’s Horse And Hound Cup at Stratford.

Even in defeat he’s performed creditably finishing second to the winner of this race last season Billaway, just a length and a quarter adrift, in the Champion Hunters’ Chase at Punchestown in April. Since then he’s unbeaten in three.

Best-Backed Cheltenham Festival Horses

Day 1
16:10 – Mares’ Hurdle – Honeysuckle
16:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Tekao

Day 2
17:30 – Champion Bumper – A Dream To Share

Day 4
13:30 – Triumph Hurdle – Lossiemouth
16:10 – St James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase – Vaucelet

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