You have got your outfit sorted, your travel arrangements and maybe a hotel booked for the Cheltenham Festival — kicking off tomorrow (12 March) — but there is just one dilemma left... which horses should you be putting your hard-earned cash on?
Well, don’t panic because help is at hand courtesy of H&H’s racing correspondents, Marcus Armytage and Tom Peacock, who have done their homework for you...
Marcus Armytage’s Festival picks:
Glen Forsa (Arkle Chase)
Best Mate was favourite for this race when the meeting fell to foot and mouth, and Gold Cup winner Sizing John was second in it.
Glen Forsa looks a Gold Cup horse in the making and, though he has won over three, two-and-a-half and two miles this season, he could certainly win a below-average Arkle.
Tiger Roll (Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase)
I’m not sure many people have twigged that Tiger Roll could yet be one of the greatest chasers of all time.
He has won three different Festival races already, he may win a second Grand National in April and should win a second Cross-Country Chase.
Sir Erec (JCB Triumph Hurdle)
Interesting that he is a full (entire) horse, because his connections thought there wasn’t enough time to geld him between his last run on the Flat (just behind Stradivarius at Ascot) and his first run over jumps at Leopardstown in December.
You will not see many better looking horses at this year’s Festival.
Elixir De Nutz (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle)
Unbeaten in three starts, his form now looks outstanding but does not seem to have the fan-base of Al Dancer or Angel’s Breath so good value at 8/1.
Tom Peacock’s Festival picks:
Coeur Sublime (Fred Winter Hurdle)
Progressive earlier in the season and was right in the thick of it before falling at the last in a Grade Two over Christmas. Trainer Gordon Elliott is a master in this sort of race.
Whatswrongwithyou (Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup)
A lightly-raced hurdler, who is really starting to get his act together over fences in recent weeks. He fits the bill in a race dear to trainer Nicky Henderson’s heart.