Each year some horses look simply unbeatable heading into the Cheltenham Festival and punters will add a host of doubles, trebles and wider-selection accumulators to their betting portfolios in the hope of enhancing profits.
The popular winning treble at the last Festival would have featured Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle, Big Buck’s in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle, each of which were sent off odds-on on their respective race days.
However, other multiples would have been let down by the likes of Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle, Long Run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grands Crus in the RSA Chase.
This year there are three horses that stand out ante-post as the most likely Cheltenham bankers and 10/1 is the price quoted for the treble of Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig and Dynaste all being Festival winners.
Sprinter Sacre is 1/2 to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase and this is hardly a surprise given that he has never been beaten in all six career chase starts and no rival has ever got closer than six lengths to him.
Six-time Grade One winner Sizing Europe, who also currently has a higher official rating, looks the main challenger, alongside last year’s winner and fellow Nicky Henderson runner Finian’s Rainbow.
Although both are not guaranteed to line up for the Champion Chase and may take up other Festival engagements.
Simonsig looks the next Sprinter Sacre given the way he threatens to mop up the 2m novice chase division this season.
He hardly broke sweat in winning a Grade Two at Kempton last time, in which he was conceding 11lb to the talented Hinterland.
Simonsig is now 1/1 for the Arkle.
It is another novice who is the third selection, with Dynaste 5/2 to land the RSA Chase.
Dynaste won the Feltham Chase on Boxing Day in a faster time than Long Run in the King George over the same distance and is certainly the one to beat in the RSA.
His chances are further boosted by leading rival Boston Bob not living up to expectations this season and another Irish raider Arvika Ligeonniere seemingly better suited to the Arkle.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.