Prestbury Cup & Official Going Tips – Cheltenham 2016
There have been a number of active markets during the past few weeks in the run-up to Cheltenham 2016, including the one for the Prestbury Cup.
Prestbury Cup III
This market decides which side of the Irish Sea will provide the most winners across the four days – Ireland or Britain? It’s a question that will be on everyone’s lips prior to the tape going up for the first race, and may not still be decided even ahead of the final race!
At this stage, the market speaks in favour of Britain at 4/5, with Ireland at 5/4. The tie is 6/1.
Ireland and Mullins Have Firepower
The 5/4 for Ireland smacks of value, as they have a luxury of leading chances heading to the festival, with Willie Mullins their trump card.
Mullins will be responsible for a host of runners with top prospects, including Min, Douvan, Faugheen, Annie Power, Bellshill, Vautour, Un De Sceaux, Killultagh Vic, Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag.
It isn’t just Mullins who will have the domestic trainers quaking at Cheltenham, though, but also the likes of Gordon Elliott, who has No More Heroes and Don Cossack, while Enda Bolger has Josies Orders lined-up for the Cross Country and On The Fringe for the Foxhunters. Add to that Tony Martin’s recent appearances on the festival scoreboard, and the case for Ireland representing value at odds-against becomes clear.
Since the Prestbury Cup started just two years ago, Britain lifted the trophy on both occasions, courtesy of 15 wins to 13 in 2014, before a nail-biter in 2015 in which Britain just stole it.
Britain To Win Cup Again?
As for the Britain’s chances of retaining the cup, then their hopes will rely on Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson, with the latter hopeful of winners via Sprinter Sacre, Altior, Buveur D’Air, L’Ami Serge and Vaniteux. Let’s not forget Alan King’s Yanworth who is favourite for the Neptune, with Colin Tizzard’s Thistlecrack, favourite for the World Hurdle, while Ben Pauling’s Barters Hill is well fancied for the Albert Bartlett.
“Going” For The Odds?
Another question that will keep punters guessing right up until day one is: what will the official ground be?
A glance back at the last eight festivals shows that the most common ground kicking the festival off was good to soft,
…greeting runners for the first race on five of those occasions, including last year.
Good to soft is chalked up as the 1/3 favourite, though “good” ground started the meeting in two of the last five years, and remains tempting at 5/2, though backers envisaging it coming up soft can get 5/1. Heavy ground is 33/1.
Although Britain won the last two Prestbury Cups, they only just scraped home last year and have on paper at this stage the weakest line-up. Ireland – along with the might of Willie Mullins – on the other hand, look set for a memorable festival, and have to rate the value at 5/4.
*Prices correct at time of publication