Cheltenham Festival: Top Jockey Betting
Courtesy of a battalion of top quality horses from the Willie Mullins’ yard, Ruby Walsh will be hoping that he can claim the honour of leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival for the ninth time in 12 years.
Understandably, considering his links with Willie Mullins, arguably the best National Hunt trainer, Ruby Walsh (2/5) is a strong odds-on favourite who dominates a market many punters will avoid getting involved with.
He will be well and truly spoilt for choice when his barrage of top quality rides arrive at Prestbury Park and the Festival gets underway. On Day 1 alone, Walsh will be responsible for taking the mount on four well-backed ante-post favourites, all of which could quite feasibly dominate their respective races.
Beyond his opening day of riches, Walsh also has strong chances in the remaining Graded events; getting the leg up on the ante-post favourites for the Neptune and Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdles as well the likes of Champagne Fever and Djakadam who are leading fancies in the Champion Chase and Gold Cup respectively.
However, the Cheltenham Festival represents the most through test of both horse and rider and multiple successes are a rarity. Despite, winning the contest for the last two years in succession, Walsh only just did so narrowly last season on count back despite riding a raft of short-priced runners and could be worth taking on.
This season, his rivals look to be well armed and represent a serious threat. Leading the charge is Bryan Cooper (8/1) who will have the pick of the Gigginstown House Stud army, a group of high quality horses who have solid chances in all of the races they contest.
With the likes of Don Cossack, Valseur Lido, Lieutenant Colonel, Doni Poli, and Road To Riches, Cooper has serious claims of mounting a substantial challenge against Walsh and looks to offer plenty of value at the prices.
Although Walsh could have this title sewn up after the first day, his prohibitive odds shouldn’t detract punters and at 8/1 Bryan Cooper offers a promising alternative. He has a host of top quality Festival rides and will be keen to make amends for last season, where an injury forced him to miss the final day of the Festival and the opportunity to ride three runners who all went on to win.