Backing ante-post for any sporting event is simply a matter of risk against reward and with numerous race options open to many horses for Cheltenham, many punters will be reluctant to get involved two months in advance.
But this could be a time for punters to take advantage of generous odds as bookmakers factor in race uncertainty into their prices, meaning some horses may be half their current price when confirmed as a runner.
Therefore, punters may want to risk some small stakes now on the upcoming three runners ahead of Cheltenham in the hope of benefiting from lucrative ante-post prices.
Mono Man @ 33/1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
If not for a bad blunder at the final flight, Mono Man would have probably won what has arguably been the best 2m novice hurdle of the season so far at Newbury when finishing just behind It’s A Gimme and Colour Squadron.
Mono Man would be at his best on softer ground and this is likely in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, as the race is the first of the entire Cheltenham Festival and the course will almost certainly be watered ahead of this race if little rain has fallen.
There is certainly the case that 33/1 is a huge price given that Colour Squadron is available at 16/1.
Kauto Stone @ 10/1 Ryanair Chase
Kauto Stone’s French form before arriving at the yard of Paul Nicholls suggested that he has a future almost as bright as the now legendary Kauto Star and his first big victory may arrive in the Ryanair Chase.
His defeat behind top two-miler Sizing Europe in the Tingle Creek at Sandown screamed out that he would flourished at a longer trip and the 2m5f of the Ryanair Chase looks ideal.
So Young @ 14/1 Ladbrokes World Hurdle
It is nigh on impossible to oppose Big Buck’s in the Cheltenham odds, but some punters are sure to seek some each-way opposition come race day and So Young may prove a popular alternative.
He was sent off favourite for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle last year and finished a respectable third, despite not being suited by the speed fest that materialised in the closing stages.
Willie Mullins has suggested that a step up to 3m is in the pipeline and that the World Hurdle is being seriously considered.
If he runs he will have live each-way prospects.