WILL it be an easy win for Annie Power? Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) and The Voice Of Value gives us their verdict.
Cheltenham 16:00 | Mares Hurdle | Channel 4
Studying the history of this race you are probably best to look for a horse trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh! Quevega, as if you need reminding, was never beaten in this race and had little trouble rattling off a Cheltenham Festival record breaking six timer in the process.
While its highly likely she will go down in history as the only horse to win the race six times, it is possible that the horse that will inherit her crown will take her form to a new level.
Annie Power is without doubt the best National Hunt mare in training. Her only defeat came at Cheltenham last season when she came second in the World Hurdle to More of That, where after racing fairly keenly she was outstayed close home.
Available to back at 4/6 she is not going to make you rich, but barring an major error she will make you richer! Having her first start for ten months I expect a typical confident, stalking ride from Ruby Walsh where she will lead at the last and be allowed to cruise home.
So what comes second? Glens Melody is the obvious starting point after coming closer than any other mare has managed to beating Quevega last season. In a race lacking in any real strength and depth, its difficult to see anything troubling the Mullins pair, so from a punting point of view I would advise the forecast on this 1-2, and I also like the look of Annie Power to win by under six lengths.
Best Bet – Graham Johnston
Cheltenham 16:00 – Annie Power/Glens Melody Straight Forecast (4/1 BetBright)
This one is simple. Annie Power wins. Go and collect your winnings.
A top class mare who is streets ahead of the rest of these and despite having had injury problems this year she should still be able to win this without having to come off the bridal.
Although the price is pretty short at 4/6 I would still have a bet. Maybe put her in a double or treble with other strong fancies. Glens Melody should probably follow her home but Bitofapuzzle is a potential improver at fancy odds of 18/1 so that would be my each way shout.