Horse Racing

Cheltenham: How To Spot the Best Outsiders


With the likes of Shishkin, Epatante, Monkfish, Envoi Allen and Chacun Pour Soi all expected to go off at very short odds at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival there looks sure to be plenty of short-priced winners at the four-day extravaganza. But also virtually guaranteed, is the prospect of several big priced victories.

Nothing is more satisfying at the home of national hunt racing than shouting home an unconsidered outsider that most people have overlooked. So where do we start in an effort to find that elusive Norton’s Coin or Beech Road?

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Willie Mullins & Gordon Elliott’s Overlooked Contenders

Horses trained by either Willie Mullins or Gordon Elliott currently head the ante-post betting for half of the 28 races at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival. It is impossible to imagine that the two most successful handlers in Ireland will go home empty-handed. But it is unlikely their expected haul of winners will not include a number of unconsidered outsiders.

Mullins and Elliott have a monopoly on most of the best horses in their country, many of which will have been racing in very testing conditions during the winter. While some have the ability to handle heavy going, others will not produce their best form until racing on a better surface.

Hopefully, by Tuesday 16th March the ground at Prestbury Park will have the word good in it, something which could favour several runners from both stables who have so far underperformed on unsuitable ground.

Between both trainers in 2018, their highest priced winners were returned at odds of 11/1, 12/1, 20/1, 25/1 and 33/1. In 2019, Mullins’ Eglantine Du Seuil, with the ground officially good to soft on the third day, won the mares’ novices hurdle at 50/1 after finishing third of five on soft ground at Listowel on her previous start.

The last time the festival was run on good ground was in 2017. Over the four days Willie Mullins had winners at 10/1, 16/1 and 20/1, while Elliott also bagged a treble of victories at double-figure prices, returning at 12/1, 16/1 and 25/1. Providing conditions ride good or good to soft in 2021, expect more of the same from the two trainers who will probably dominate the meeting once again.

Other Trainers to Watch Out For

While responsible for many short priced winners at previous festivals, those horses starting at bigger odds for the Seven Barrows stable of NICKY HENDERSON are always worth a look. Three of Henderson’s winners in 2019 were returned at 10/1, 20/1 and 28/1.

Other leading handlers who have a good recent record with decent priced winners include JESSICA HARRINGTON, HENRY DE BROMHEAD, DAN SKELTON, VENETIA WILLIAMS & PAUL NICHOLLS.

Cheltenham Betting Tips

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest week of national hunt racing in the UK, and of course, our tipsters are on hand to guide you through the action. Check out our daily horse racing tips throughout Cheltenham week, taking you to the heart of the action at Prestbury Park, and pin pointing where the value lies.