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Cheltenham Festival

2019 Cheltenham Festival Prestbury Cup Preview: British Underdogs To Shock Ireland And Claim Trophy

Wednesday 27th February 2019
Willie Mullins (Ireland) & Paul Nicholls (Britain) will have huge say on Prestbury Cup destination
Willie Mullins (Ireland) & Paul Nicholls (Britain) will have huge say on Prestbury Cup destination

With the weights for the Cheltenham Festival handicaps being released this lunchtime then punters can start trying to decipher some of the festival's tougher betting heats.  But, while we need to spend a significant amount of time assessing each of the handicaps over the four days, it's time to look elsewhere as well and here we chat all things Prestbury Cup.

With the Irish dominating last year's festival they will head into the event as red-hot favourites to retain the coveted trophy for a third time in a row, but at 7/4 the British could well provide a value play, and here's why.

Britain Can Dominate Championship Races

While the Irish-trained Sir Erec is on its way to becoming an odds-on favourite for the Triumph Hurdle, it's only the Nicky Henderson-trained Altior that will head to the Cheltenham Festival as the only odds-on jolly in the Champion Chase.  Dominant in the two-mile division, the Seven Barrows raider will be Britain's trump card at this year's meeting and he will be every punter's banker, but he could be one of four Championship races for Team GB.

Buveur D'Air can outclass Apple's Jade and Laurina in the Champion Hurdle on March 12, while Paisley Park can prove to be a cut above his rivals in a wide open Stayers' Hurdle.  If Presenting Percy was given a run over fences before the Cheltenham Gold Cup then he was the one to beat, but the British charge behind him possesses significant strength in depth with Clan Des Obeaux, Native River and Might Bite a premier trio from home shores.

Novice Division To Prove A Close Affair

Two red-hot novice events kick off the Cheltenham Festival and there will be some epic Britain v Ireland clashes. Al Dancer will take on Fakir D'Oudairies in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the former can prevail against an inexperienced Joseph O'Brien-trained youngster, while Le Richebourg's absence from the Arkle Challenge Trophy has dented the Irish challenge and Lalor, Glen Forsa and potentially Defi Du Seuil provide a strong home team.

While the National Hunt Chase should head back to Ireland, the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and RSA Chase will serve up major intrigue. Champ v Battleoverdoyen in the Ballymore and Santini v Delta Work in the RSA are two of the more fascinating duels and those races could be shared one apiece in the battle of the two heavyweight charges.

The JLT Novices' Chase, Mares' Novice Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle are another trio of races in which both teams have strong contenders, while Sir Erec can bag a certain win for the Irish in the Triumph.  But, on the face of it this could be a close-run affair, but with the British claiming the Championship races then they will have the advantage going into the handicap contests.

Handicaps A Blur

It's hard enough trying to unearth one winner of a handicap race at Cheltenham, so trying to go through the card is virtually impossible.  So, at this early stage it's hard to assess the form, but Gordon Elliott was a star in the handicaps last season - winning four of them - so the legendary Irish handler will have a strong battalion at this year's festival and has to be respected.

However, the British will have some strong contenders from some of the big trainers with Nigel Twiston-Davies, Dan Skelton, Nick Williams and Warren Greatrex all likely to field some attractively handicapped horses, so with Britain in front of the boards from the Graded races then they can just bag enough winners to lift the Prestbury Cup.

Cheltenham Odds
Poll: 2019 Prestbury Cup Winner - Vote Now!
Britain
33%
Ireland
33%
Vote
43 votes
Poll Ended

Novice Division To Prove A Close Affair

Two red-hot novice events kick off the Cheltenham Festival and there will be some epic Britain v Ireland clashes. Al Dancer will take on Fakir D'Oudairies in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the former can prevail an inexperienced Joseph O'Brien-trained youngster, while Le Richebourg's absence from the Arkle Challenge Trophy has dented the Irish chance and Lalor, Glen Forsa and potentially Defi Du Seuil provide a strong home team.

While National Hunt Chase should head back to Ireland, the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and RSA Chase will serve up major intrigue. Champ v Battleoverdoyen in the Ballymore and Santini v Delta Work in the RSA are two of the more fascinating duels and those races could be shared one apiece in the battle of the two heavyweight charges.

The JLT Novices' Chase, Mares' Novice Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle are another trio of races in which both teams have strong contenders, while Sir Erec can bag a certain win for the Irish in the Triumph.  But, on the face of it this could be a close-run affair, but with the British claiming the Championship races then they will have the advantage going into the handicap contests.

Handicaps A Blur

It's hard enough trying to unearth one winner of a handicap race at Cheltenham, so trying to go through the card is virtually impossible.  So, at this early stage it's hard to assess the form, but Gordon Elliott was a star in the handicaps last season - winning four of them - so the legendary Irish handler will have a strong battalion at this year's festival and has to be respected.

However, the British will have some strong contenders from some of the big trainers with Nigel Twiston-Davies, Dan Skelton, Nick Williams and Warren Greatrex all likely to field some attractively handicapped horses, but with Britain in front of the boards then they can just bag enough winners to lift the Prestbury Cup.

2019 Prestbury Cup Winner Tip

Britain to win @ 7/4 with William Hill

2019 Prestbury Cup Odds

Odds will appear once available.

2019 Prestbury Cup Odds

BEST ODDS
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 11:57 . Odds are subject to change.
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