It may be clearer if Sam Winner represents good value at 4/1 at the head of the Cheltenham betting for the JCB Triumph Hurdle after he lines up for his third race of a so far successful season this weekend.
After failing to win in seven starts in France, Sam Winner has been mightily impressive since arriving at the yard of Paul Nicholls, with two easy wins at Cheltenham in recent months.
These displays have unsurprisingly led to a lot of support ahead of the Cheltenham Festival in March, with the four-year-old sitting atop the JCB Triumph Hurdle betting ahead of Alan King’s Smad Place and another Nicholls prospect Brampour.
There has been some confusion over where Sam Winner would continue his Cheltenham preparation next, as he has two provisional entries for races on Saturday.
However, Nicholls has indicated that the horse is likely to swerve the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown and instead face Smad Place earlier than expected in the Grade 1 Coral Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.
Nicholls said: “I put Sam Winner in the Tolworth as he would be entitled to a handy weight but the weather doesn’t look too bad and I will probably run him and Dolatulo at Chepstow.”
A victory at Chepstow for Sam Winner is likely to result in his price shortening for the JCB Triumph Hurdle, with Nicholls potentially having the ammunition to take a stranglehold over many of the more prestigious races at the Cheltenham Festival.
Master Minded is widely regarded as a certainty to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase, while Big Buck’s is many people’s banker of the meeting in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
Meanwhile, Kauto Star is a leading contender in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Ghizao is favourite for the Arkle Chase and Silviniaco Conti has the talent to spring a surprise and land the Champion Hurdle.
A £10 bet on Sam Winner winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle could see a return of £40. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.