The 2018 Cheltenham festival has finally arrived with connections readying there star horses for the big occasion. Ruby Walsh will be returning from his injury but he is no doubt going to take all the beating when it comes to the leading jockey title. You can bet on Cheltenham 2018 with Betfair as they make Walsh the 8/13 favourite to again land the title. His leading chance on day one looks set to be the sublime Footpad.
Footpad was one of the top hurdlers around last year and even ran to a solid fourth place finish in the 2017 Champion hurdle at the festival. However he looks to be a far better chaser and could just be the next superstar to come out of the Mullins yard. He has been faultless in his three starts over fences with two 11 length victories and most recently a 5 length victory over market rival Petit Mouchoir. He looked to win with a fair bit in hand so his current price of 6/4 seems very fair as rival Petit Mouchoir continues to make vital mistakes over fences and again is likely to do the same going a quicker pace round Cheltenham.
Walsh is also riding the favourite in the supreme on day one aboard Getabird. The current 6/4 market leader is likely to drift on the day as bookmakers look to take each other on in the opening race. Odds of 2/1 are likely to be available which the same price as the mighty Douvan went off when landing the same race for connections. Ruby will certainly be hoping for a stronger start to the meeting in comparison to last year.
His banker ride over the four days looks to be star mare Laurina who is the current 8/11 favourite. She looked a superstar for connections in beating Alletrix who has gone on to land a highly competitive Leopardstown handicap to further enhance the form. Laurina won by an ever growing 11 lengths at odds of 13/8 on her first start for the Mullins team and if she can show that similar level of form it is going to take a good horse to beat her. She was recently described by her trainer as a real star so must be Ruby’s leading chance at the meeting. Check out the infographic below which covers some of the highs and lows over the years of Cheltenham festival betting.