RACING fanatics Tommy Buckley (@tbuckleythinks) and Alan Marron (@AlMarron) share their thoughts on ante-post Lucky 15 he'll be placing ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.
Cheltenham Festival | Lucky 15 | 10th-13th March 2020
Over the years, ante-post betting on the Cheltenham Festival has been both my friend and my nemesis. It's had me jumping for joy after landing a Lucky 31 but also had me literally dumbstruck with disappointment.
I used to start having ante-post bets for Cheltenham literally as soon as one Festival had finished but my approach these days is to hold fire with any main bets until the weekend before. It's just too risky given the confusion over multiple entries, injuries etc.
My modern day plan now begins a few weeks before the Festival, a softly softly, basically risk-free approach by using only the free bets I gain via my weekly betting and rewards schemes with leading bookmakers.
This is the first in a little series of ante-post multiples I'll be covering and I'm delighted to say that this year I'm (Tommy Buckley) joining forces with Bar One Racing blogger Alan Marron (@AlMarron).
Here our combined thoughts on an ante-post Lucky 15 that we think will give us a good run for our money.
Israel Champ in the Champion Bumper (Alan Marron)
Easyland in the Cross Country Chase (Alan Marron)
Abacadabras in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Tommy Buckley)
I first became aware of the talent that Abacadabras possessed when watching him run an excellent fourth in the Champion Bumper at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. That excellent run declared that Abacadabras would be a serious horse for this season and so far everything he's done has backed that up.
Very impressive, easy winner on hurdles debut at Gowran Park, then another classy win in a Grade 3 hurdle at Navan eased to beat Latest Exhibition who has subsequently announced himself as a serious horse.
Abacadabras also has proven, solid Grade 1 form from when chasing home his highly regarded stablemate Envoi Allen at Fairyhouse and then when winning a Grade 1 at Leopardstown on his last run over Christmas.
All the major players who have been talked about for the Supreme Novices' are respected of course but for me Abacadabras looks a really solid option given his festival form and Grade 1 efforts – he should have more to give and looks good value to give a big run.
Supasundae in the Champion Hurdle (Tommy Buckley)
I've followed the career of Supasundae since Mr Potts bought him from Andrew Balding after impressively winning a Listed Bumper at Ascot in 2014 – Thistlecrack and Yanworth were in behind that day.
Now Supasundae has never been a horse to gain overly positive coverage and often has been a horse dismissed or forgotten but he's proven his class, he's proven versatility in terms of trip, track and ground, he's got proven Cheltenham Festival form and he's also a proven Grade 1 winner with a win at Leopardstown where he had Faugheen, Defi Du Seuil, Melon, Jezki, Identity Thief all behind him.
This year's Champion Hurdle looks one of the weakest I can remember – it looks wide open and I genuinely believe no horse can be confidently dismissed or ruled out, so for me the proven Grade 1 form and Festival form of Supasundae makes him a fascinating, live contender at real value odds, backed up by the confidence of both Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power.
Cheltenham Festival each-way Lucky 15:
Champion Bumper – Israel Champ
Cross Country Chase – Easyland
Supreme Novices' Hurdle – Abacadabras
Champion Hurdle – Supasundae