Cue Card tipped to round-up our ultimate Cheltenham Festival Lucky 15

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It’s now less than a week before that famous Cheltenham roar welcomes in the Festival with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, and here at Ladbrokes News we can’t wait.

Finding a winner or three will be the ultimate aim of punters up and down the land, but with next week set to see the crème de la crème go head to head that could prove tricky.

Nevertheless we are channeling the spirit of The Believer to aim big ahead of the four days of excitement at Prestbury Park.

With that in mind we’ve put together our ultimate Cheltenham Festival Lucky 15 with a runner each day to bring the house down.

Returning a cool £9407 from a total £15 stake there’s nothing not to like about our big one, and even if one let’s you down you’ll still be counting out at least £587!

Here are the money makers…

Carole’s Destrier – Ultima Handicap Chase – 14/1

We’re starting out with a bigger priced one to kick off proceedings. Neil Mulholland told Ladbrokes News that his gelding underwent a breathing operation after his win in the London National last December.

You’d have been forgiven for being shocked that he needed one after seeing his performance at Sandown that day, fighting off all comers admirably.

The staying trips look to be the eight-year-old’s game with form figures at three miles or further reading 211151 and a decent showing at Cheltenham last January proving the course should hold no problems.

He’s set to run off a mark higher than he has faced in a handicap to date, but with a breathing operation hopefully eking out more he can quite possibly defy a mark of 151.

Blaklion – RSA Chase – 10/1

On a literal line through Definitely Red there is no way Nigel Twiston Davies’ charge should be a bigger price that Blaklion (8/1).

However there is more to his claims than that. Cheltenham seems to play to the seven-year-old’s strength with two wins and two second-place finishes from his six visits to Prestbury Park.

You will need to forgive his performance in the Albert Bartlett last year, but with that race an attritional one, there is no shame in not fighting out the finish.

Since switching to fences the Kayf Tara gelding has looked a dour stayer plugging on up the hill in December before going on to find the trip too short behind Seeyouatmidnight in the Dipper Novices’ Chase.

The stamina-test that the RSA Chase looks tailor made for this horse.

Outlander – JLT Novices’ Chase – 5/1

Willie Mullin’s charge has looked a better chaser than he was hurdler and that can only mean he has very strong claims here.

At the top of the hill last year he blundered a hurdle when beginning to make his move in the Neptune, and was then trapped four-wide turning for home, but still managed to finish within a length of both Nichols Canyon and Vyta Du Roc in sixth.

There’s a possibility that he tired close home, so the furlong shorter trip that makes up the JLT could see him go even closer.

And with three wins from three outings over fences, most recently claiming the scalps of both Monksland and Pont Alexandre, he has done little to suggest he can’t go on to claim a Festival prize.

Cue Card – Cheltenham Gold Cup – 5/1

The fact that the Betfair Chase and King George winner has two horses shorter than him in the betting and another at the same odds screams value.

Many assume that with better ground at Cheltenham Vautour will reverse the Kempton form, but we’re not so sure.

Cue Card needed every yard of the three miles to get up that day and looked to simply outstay Willie Mullins’ charge on the run-in, so why assume that over two furlongs further the placings will be reversed?

The form that he has shown this term gives us plenty of reasons to sweep the last season-or-two under the carpet with underlying problems seemingly treated.

He’s won both the Champion Bumper and the Ryanair Chase at the Festival as well as finishing second in the Arkle and fourth in the Supreme so clearly loves Cheltenham and can deliver a massive finish for the home team as well as our Lucky 15.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.