Henderson 9/1 to win the big three at Cheltenham Festival

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Before the National Hunt season had even started we tipped up Nicky Henderson to be top trainer at 1/3 as one of the bets of the century so far.

And if anything our view has only strengthened given that leading training rival Paul Nicholls has seen two of his favourites for top prize money Big Buck’s and Al Ferof ruled out for the remainder of the season by injury.

A dominance of the Cheltenham Festival would even further strengthen Henderson’s cause and 9/1 seems more than a decent price that he trains the winner of the big three races.

It is definitely hard to see anything other than a Sprinter Sacre success in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and he is the shortest ante-post Festival favourite at present at 4/9.

Henderson also has two of the top three in the betting for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, including 3/1 market leader Bobs Worth.

Bobs Worth loves Cheltenham and has victories on his resume from the last two Festivals.

Alternatively, Henderson trains former Gold Cup winner Long Run, who is 7/1 and won the King George on Boxing Day.

Any rain in the build up to Cheltenham would further enhance already strong claims for this pair.

The final race of the trio is the Champion Hurdle and Henderson has four runners currently prominent in the betting.

Darlan is 3/1 favourite and could not have been any more impressive than when running away with the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on his seasonal reappearance.

Grandouet can be backed at 6/1 and should be there or thereabouts, with former winner Binocular not without a chance at 12/1 if rediscovering his best.

The other contender is potentially Oscar Whisky if the ground is soft, if not he may run in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle instead.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.