Great Britain v Ireland – Prestbury Cup Preview
There will be a host of thrilling battles to take place at Cheltenham next week – punter versus on-course bookie, Hurricane Fly versus Jezki…
…although the one that will rage hard throughout the entire four days is the battle for the Prestbury Cup, where both the Brits and Irish go head-to-head.
The inaugural event took place in 2014 when the Brits lifted the trophy courtesy of 15 wins to Ireland’s 12, a fact that may explain why money has arrived for a repeat performance via the hosts, who are 2/7, with Ireland 5/2.
Ireland The Value?
Such one-sided odds may come as a surprise to some, especially it was only in 2013 that Ireland came out on top via a narrow winning margin of 14-13. Plus this year Willie Mullins has an excellent chance of bagging a host of winners.
Indeed, the master handler has the likes of Un De Sceaux (4/7, Arkle Chase), Douvan (7/4, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Annie Power (7/2, OLBG Mares’ Hurdle), Don Poli (3/1, NH Chase), Nichols Canyon (4/1, Neptune Novices’ Hurdle) and Vautour (9/2 Arkle Chase).
It’s a selection that suggests Ireland can get the festival off to a good start on day one, and who knows what may happen if the ball starts to roll for the Irish. In fact, punters looking to bet on the number of Mullins’ winners can get 8/11 for 5.5 or less, and evens for 5.5 or more.
Ireland’s case for winning the Prestbury Cup is further strengthened by Gordon Elliott, who sends out Don Cossack (7/2, Ryanair Chase), No More Heroes (7/1, Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle) and Clarcam (8/1, Grand Annual Chase).
Brits To Defend The Cup?
As for the Brits retaining the cup, they will have Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson in their corner, with Nicholls lining-up the likes of Silviniaco Conti (3/1, Gold Cup), Ptit Zig (7/2, JLT Novices’ Chase), Dodging Bullets (4/1, Champion Chase), Zarkandar and Saphir Du Rheu (9/2, World Hurdle) and Vibrato Valtat (5/1, Arkle Chase). Nicholls is also 4/7 to have 2.5 or fewer winners, and 5/4 to have 2.5 or more.
With Henderson ready to fire the likes of Peace And Co (7/4 Triumph Hurdle), Sprinter Sacre (3/1, Champion Chase), L’Ami Serge (4/1, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) and Ma Filleule (5/1, Ryanair Chase), it’s easy to see why the Brits are 2/7. They can also call upon the Jonjo O’Neill, David Pipe and Alan King, while himself is also 5/6 to have 2.5 or fewer winners, and 5/6 to have 2.5 or more.
How Many Irish Winners?
But even if the Brits do get on top – and that’s a big “if”- then there will still be many investors looking to back the number of Irish successes, and can bet 5/6 about either 11.5 or more winners, or 11.5 or less. A glance back at past festivals shows that Ireland had 12 winners in 2014, 14 in 2013, 5 in 2012 and 13 in 2011. On that evidence, they could well have 11.5 or more this year – but, where’s your money going?…