It's getting to that time of year when the Flat turf racing transcends to the National Hunt. Both codes detail a different type of gambler. Myself, I'm a Flat racing man, but even I take a glancing look at the Cheltenham Festival when it appears on the horizon.
Ante-post bettors of the Magners' Cheltenham Gold Cup 2021 are taking note and listening to the news from stables large and small. If you put your ear to the ground, you can feel the vibrations of galloping horses, distant shouts, cheers and jubilation. I'm sure Del Boy would say to Rodney: ''This time next year we will be millionaires''
In fact, those who have an eye for ante-post betting may well have a few points on their side and hoping horses earmarked for Prestbury Park continue to shine until the big day comes around and your betting slip says: ''20/1''.
Time will tell.
Taking a look at the Cheltenham Gold Cup ante-post betting there has been some money flying about.
At the top of the betting sits Al Boum Photo who won the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup and steady at 5/1.
Santini has been well backed from 12/1 – 7/1. Considering Nicky Henderson's gelding was beaten just half a length when a running-on second to Willie Mullins' charge it did look a big price.
Another horse that has caught the imagination of late is Henry De Bromhead's Minella Indo who pulverised his opposition at Wexford when winning by 25-lengths, eased the last 100 yards, comfortably. It proved this son of Beat Hollow is thriving and although a 8/13f there was much to like about that performance. Clearly someone thought the same and backed from 14/1 – 8/1. Considering his trainer said the gelding had been a difficult to get fit in the past this must be a very good sign. Bromhead has detailed Minella Indo will most likely go to Navan next time out to contest the Grade 2 Bet Victor Make Your Best Bet Chase. There's a lot to be encouraged by what we are hearing from Knockeen, County Waterford.
Topofthegame hasn't been seen for a very long times but there is a good word for Paul Nicholls' RSA Chase victor. It could well be the case he is better than before after his minor tendon injury and it says a lot about connections for waiting it out. Well backed from 20/1 – 12/1 we should get a chance to see how this gelding is progressing with his impending return to racing.
Lostintranslation, trained by Colin Tizzard, is another horse that's done little wrong in his career and a noble third place in last year's Gold Cup when travelling well and leading for most only to be collared in the closing stages. He has a couple of entries including the Betfair Chase (21st November) and the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton (26th December). Backed from 25/1 – 14/1 suggests this eight-year-old gelding will be making a bold attempt to lead all the way if getting to the Gold Cup fit and well.
A couple of outsider that have been nibbled in the market include Presenting Percy (50/1 – 33/1) and Champagne Classic (100/1 – 50/1).
Clearly, the Betfair Chase will be a good indicator and a test for a number of these leading hopes.
By the time the King George VI has been concluded on Boxing Day we should have a real indicator.
Jason Coote is the founder of many websites and known gambler in Great Britain.