With only two weeks remaining until the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, punters are already scouring through the markets in hope of finding some value across the four-day meeting.
With 28 races scheduled across four days, there is plenty going on for racing fans to look forward to.
To mark the two-week countdown, the Cheltenham.co.uk team has picked out two runners from each day of the four-day meeting that holds an eye-catching price tag.
INDEFATIGABLE – Mares’ Hurdle (33/1 – bet365)
A former Cheltenham Festival winner, Indefatigable could well be overpriced for the Mares’ Hurdle on the opening day for Paul Webber.
The nine-year-old claimed her first Graded success at Wetherby back in October and she does carry some handy Cheltenham form, never finishing outside the top five in her five starts at Prestbury Park.
Two of those five starts resulted in wins, with the mare claiming success in the Listed Glide Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle back in April 2019 before delivering on the biggest stage eleven months later.
Indefatigable produced a near-miraculous comeback in the Martin Pipe at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, as she found herself in last after jumping the first three obstacles.
She made progress throughout the field and found herself needing to find more as she was fifth clearing the last hurdle.
Jockey Rex Dingle kicked her on to reel in the leading Pileon in the home straight, which is exactly what she did as the then seven-year-old snatched victory on the line by a short head.
Paul Webber’s recruit clearly has a love for the Cheltenham course and she seems to perform at her best when running here. She does hold an entry in the Stayers’ Hurdle, but this looks the more likely target if she is to run at the Festival.
Indefatigable will have to prove herself in Grade 1 company, but she could well hint at each-way value at 33/1 in the Mares’ Hurdle.
ASTERION FORLONGE – Cheltenham Gold Cup (28/1 – bet365)
While punters usually want to back a runner that doesn’t make you nervous at every fence they take, we’re willing to take a risk with Asterion Forlonge here.
His taking to fences has been questionable at best, with the eight-year-old falling in three of his 10 chase starts.
But we all know how much of a genius Willie Mullins is and if he can see promise in Asterion Forlonge over fences, then you have to take his word on it.
The gelding has been uninspiring at best this season, as he unseated his rider in the John Durkan before falling in the King George three weeks later.
The son of Coastal Path wasn’t able to justify favouritism in the Irish Gold Cup, but there were signs of progress in his run at Leopardstown.
He did finish fourth on the day and despite not really being in contention, he did stay on a bit in the latter stages to move up from seventh to fourth.
It will require a significant level of improvement to claim success in the Gold Cup, but he clearly has trust from his trainer and some ability so it might well be worth taking a chance on his 28/1 price tag here.