Wednesday, January 31

Guest Article: These horses could make a big splash in 2018


When the Cheltenham Festival arrives in March, it will signify to gamblers and race lovers that 2018 is truly underway. This year, there will be more at stake than ever before, with Cheltenham and Ascot both putting up record-breaking prize pots. It is an environment in which legends can be created. Could 2018 bring the next Desert Orchid, Best Mate, even Arkle?

The inside track

This is the information age, and with more data to go on than ever before, the top tipsters have come up with some names that are sure to hit the headlines. These are the horses consistently favoured by tipsters at Racing Tips in some of the most important races for 2018. Keep the names in mind when you visit the bookmaker over the coming months!

Brain Power

All the talk is of Nicky Henderson’s Might Bite and Beauver D’Air for the showcase races at Cheltenham, but those in the know think that Brain Power might be the next horse that really hits the headlines for the champion trainer. A disappointing run in last year’s Champions Hurdle did nothing to dampen Henderson’s spirit, and he said with a smile:” Don’t give up on him.” Sure enough, he showed greater promise at Punchestown, and the Arkle Chase on the opening day at Cheltenham might just be his break through race. Odds have already shrunk from 16/1 to 11/1.

Willoughby Court

This six year old gelding exceeded all expectations in 2017, with wins at Warwick followed up by an epic battle with Neon Court in the Neptune at Cheltenham, shocking the racing world to win by a head at 14/1. Bookies have him as 4/1 favourite to win the JLT St Patrick’s Day Novices Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but that could just be the beginning. Ben Pauling is promising great things from this future star.

Balko Des Flos

Since taking over his father’s yard in 1999, Henry de Bromhead has gained a reputation as one of the shrewdest trainers of the new millennium. Balko Des Flos could be the horse that cements his place in history. This year will be the gelding’s third visit to Cheltenham – no mean feat for a six year old. Victory in the €250,000 Galway Plate at the end of last season provided further evidence that the sky is the limit. Watch out for him in the Irish Gold Cup on 04 Feb and the Ryanair Chase on 15 March.

Constantine Bay

Another horse from the Henderson stable, Constantine Bay won on debut at Haydock, then pulled off a comfortable victory over the much fancied Prime Venture at Chepstow. Henderson was quick to throw him in at the deep end, and he impressed with a fourth place at the Cheltenham Albert Bartlett, competing well against the likes of Augusta Kate and Death Duty. Despite looking out of sorts at Aintree, he still finished just a length and a half behind the winner. Last week’s win at Doncaster suggests 2018 could be the year he becomes another household name for Henderson.

 
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