The Cheltenham Open may not have anything like the prestige of its big, glorious sibling, the Cheltenham Festival, but it still offers three fine days of National Hunt racing action over the 14th, 15th and 16 November, and plenty of opportunities to make some money!
The first day of the meeting – the Countryside Day – has a number of intriguing-looking races, not least the Class 2 Paddy Power Handicap Chase, which is great option for those looking for each way value, and the Grade 2 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.
Day two features the most prestigious race of the meeting, the Paddy Power Gold Cup, a Grade 3 handicap chase that tests some of the top jumpers in the business. With another six races on the final day of the meeting – dubbed the Open Sunday – there is plenty to get your teeth into here, and it could give some early indications of horses to watch out for when the Festival itself rolls around in March 2015.
It’s always nice when bookies help you out with racing betting offers and Sky Bet have done just that here as the bookie will refund losing bets on the first race of each day of this meeting if the favourite wins the race. The refund would be equal to you stake (of at least £5) and will be issued in the form of a free bet of up to £25. The refund applies to win singles or the win part of each way bets only, and they will be credited to your account within 24 hours of the race ending.
For the first race of the opening day, the Opus Energy Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase, favouritism is being contested between Broadway Buffalo and Handy Andy, and both have a real chance in this one. But our tip would be to go a little further down the betting and opt for veteran 13-year-old Oscar Time, who has placed twice at the Grand National and won his last three races. He’s getting on a bit, but at odds of 12/1 he looks the value pick here.
For the first race on the second day we like the look of Philip Hobbs’ Sausalito Sunrise, another who’s won his last three, while in Sunday’s opener – a Class 3 handicap hurdle – it will be a matter of seeing how the market develops on the morning of the race, but Alla Svelta and Brand Ambassador both look like contenders. Whichever horses you opt for in the opening races on each day of the meeting, remember that Sky Bet will refund your stake if your runner loses but the favourite wins.