Picking a winner at the Cheltenham Festival can be tough at the best of the times, so choosing out a winning forecast can seem like a near-impossible task.
As much as it can be difficult, the payout is much more significant than just finding the winner of the race.
As the saying goes, fortune favours the brave.
Here are our reverse forecast selections for each of the four days of the Festival.
TUESDAY – Honeysuckle + Goshen (Champion Hurdle)
Honeysuckle returns to Cheltenham as the biggest threat to reigning victor Epatante in the Champion Hurdle.
Henry De Bromhead’s mare is still yet to taste defeat under rules and has looked unbeatable at times.
The seven-year-old has already taken down a top-class mare at Prestbury Park, seeing off Benie Des Dieux in the Mares’ Hurdle last season.
Epatante was disappointing in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, and even with Nicky Henderson citing a back issue for her performance, she is not considered to be the supermare that she was last season.
Step forward Goshen. He bounced back to form on the weekend with a stunning performance in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton and has firmly put himself back into the picture.
If he can banish away the Triumph Hurdle woes from last season, then Gary Moore’s five-year-old could well be the one to lock heads with Honeysuckle in the closing stages.
WEDNESDAY – Chacun Pour Soi + First Flow (Champion Chase)
The highly-rated Chacun Pour Soi will make his Cheltenham debut after being scratched late on last season due to an abscess on his foot.
Willie Mullins’ chasing talent has looked untouchable at times, winning all three of his starts this season.
The four-time Grade 1 winner is clearly the one to beat here and it will take something special from the field to do so.
With the likes of Altior and Politologue not performing as well as hoped so far this season, it could well be a surprise contender to finish in the top two.
First Flow could be the undetected threat to Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old here.
Kim Bailey’s gelding stunned Politologue in the Clarence House Chase last month, winning by an impressive seven lengths.
The seven-year-old has won on his last six starts and has caught the eye with his progress this season.
Take a chance on First Flow being the one who throws down the challenge to Chacun Pour Soi in this contest.
THURSDAY – Envoi Allen + Chantry House (Marsh Novices’ Chase)
The undefeated Envoi Allen returns to Cheltenham in search of his third successive victory at the Festival.
Gordon Elliott’s superstar has won all 11 starts under rules and has already claimed bumper and hurdle victories at Prestbury Park.
The seven-year-old has been faultless since transitioning to fences and he should extended his unbeaten record in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.
His entry in the contest has made several prospects dodge the race completely, and this has left the battle for the places wide open.
The best of the remaining bunch looks to be in the form of Nicky Henderson’s Chantry House.
The seven-year-old got himself back on track after winning at Wetherby last week, improving drastically from his 14-length defeat back in December.
It is Envoi Allen’s race to lose, and Chantry House could well be chasing the superstar home.
FRIDAY – Champ + Native River (Gold Cup)
The Cheltenham Gold Cup could produce a moment with history this season with Al Boum Photo aiming to land a historic hat-trick in the contest.
However, this could be too tough an assignment for Willie Mullins’ star, with several top-level chasers heading to the Festival to take on the Antepost favourite.
Champ stole the show in the Game Spirit Chase last weekend, producing a gutsy effort to land second behind Sceau Royal.
His flawless jumping and front-running tactics nearly paid off in a race that is normally considered to be a Champion Chase trial.
He will thrive at the further distance next month and he could easily be the one to dethrone Al Boum Photo.
A former winner has also come into the frame in recent weeks, as Colin Tizzard’s Native River returned with a bang earlier this month.
The 11-year-old rolled back the year in the rearranged Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Sandown, seeing off Bristol De Mai and Santini in emphatic fashion.
A winner of the Gold Cup just three years ago, Native River could be a surprise contender alongside Champ.