Sky Bet RequestABet for 2019 Cheltenham Festival including Gordon Elliott to be top trainer

Altior is backed to win by a wide margin
Altior is backed to win by a wide margin

Matt Brocklebank has his eye on a 25/1 Cheltenham Festival RequestABet which features Gordon Elliott and the winning distance in the Champion Chase.

#RequestABet (25/1) - Cheltenham Festival 2019

  • Rachael Blackmore to ride 1+ winners
  • Gordon Elliot to win leading trainer award
  • Biggest-priced winning SP to be 33/1+
  • Altior to win Queen Mother Champion Chase by 5+ lengths
  • Sir Erec to win Triumph Hurdle

Click here to back the #RequestABet at 25/1 with Sky Bet


Sporting Life has every angle covered of the Cheltenham Festival
Sporting Life has every angle covered of the Cheltenham Festival


Rachael Blackmore to ride 1+ winners

Rachael Blackmore was obviously making waves on the Irish jumps scenes last season (34 winners) but after Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry retired, she has taken her level of performance to new heights in the current campaign and, at the time of writing, has amassed a staggering 83 winners, 52 seconds and 56 third.

She's fully embroiled in the jockeys' championship, sitting in second place between Paul Townend (90) and Davy Russell in the standings (70), and has enjoyed several high-profile days on the likes of Bedrock, Honeysuckle, Sinoria, Monalee and Chris's Dream.

A couple of those horses head to Cheltenham with leading claims in Graded races and Blackmore will also no doubt be in high demand when it comes to the plethora of Gigginstown horses lined up for the Festival handicaps.

She's still seemingly underappreciated in Britain but all that looks sure to change at Prestbury Park this March and it looks a matter of time before she opens her account at the biggest meeting.

Rachael Blackmore boots Cuneo home in the Pertemps Qualifier at Leopardstown...

Gordon Elliot to win leading trainer award

Gordon Elliott freely admits that matching last year's eight Cheltenham Festival winners will be almost impossible, but that won't be required for him to win the top trainer gong for the second year in succession.

Tiger Roll going for a remarkable fourth Festival success in the Cross Country Chase looks Elliott's banker of the week but he's got Apple's Jade, Delta Work, Champagne Classic, Battleoverdoyen and Commander Of Fleet as likely market leaders in their respective races too.

There's Samcro and Hardline lurking as potential outsiders, too, and all that before the handicaps even get a mention. The quotes of 11/10 could be generous.

The other important factor here is that Paul Nicholls (12/1) and Nicky Henderson (2/1) may end up 'sharing' a few races out rather than one of the British powerhouses dominating with a bunch of winners, plus top trainer regular Willie Mullins (7/2) also facing competition from the likes of Joseph O'Brien (16/1), Henry De Bromhead (50/1) and Jessie Harrington (66/1).

Biggest-priced winner to be 33/1+

We'll obviously be cheering on a few short-priced favourites in a bid to get Gordon Elliott over the line as the leading trainer but a shock winner will be more than welcome too.

It took until the Friday for a 33/1 surprise at last year's Festival as Kilbricken Storm landed the Albert Bartlett but Moyaahed (28/1), Bleu Berry (25/1) and Relegate (25/1) had also prevailed at long odds.

This season has been an odd one in regards to the dry winter and equine influenza, and the impact those two factors have had on various horses' campaigns could result in a few coming to the Festival under the radar and underestimated by the layers.

It's obviously hard to pin down which will win at 33/1 or bigger, but having all the rags on side is never a bad idea coming into a meeting as competitive as this.

Altior to win Champion Chase by 5+ lengths

There was a hint of dissatisfaction in the voice of Toby Laws - Nicky Henderson's assistant trainer and regular work rider of Altior - when asked about Paul Nicholls' Ascot Chase winner Cyrname being recognised as the highest-rated chaser in training.

There's a clear understanding from all involved with Altior that he can only be judged on the horses he's been beating and if Cyrname's wildly impressive performance genuinely earned him a mark of 178, then so be it.

But hearing Laws and Henderson on the subject gives the impression they're quite keen to do something about it before the season is out and one things' for sure: the final words of instruction before the Champion Chase won't be "not too far, Nico".

Altior's winning distance in the big one last year was seven lengths from Min, a horse he beat the same distance in the 2016 Sky Bet Supreme, and the only conceivable form danger to him again this time around.

If Altior is to be remembered as a true great then he's probably going to have to edge into the 180s ratings bracket and Cheltenham seems the perfect stage on which to do just that.

Sir Erec to win Triumph Hurdle

Sir Erec - the banker of the week as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record over timber in the JCB Triumph Hurdle on Friday.

Well-bred, very classy on the Flat for Aidan O'Brien and seemingly extremely well schooled by the Ballydoyle maestro's son, Joseph.

The son of Camelot improved about a stone from his maiden hurdle win to claim the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival at the start of last month and his jump at the last flight was a sight to behold.

No doubt there are several high-class prospects in the shake-up for the Triumph but Sir Erec is already at the required level and he'll be prepared to the minute by the trainer who effectively oversaw Ivanovich Gorbatov's win in the same race in 2016.


GET THE FULL PICTURE: Don't miss out on FREE video replays and our fantastic My Stable tracker. Log in now and become a Sporting Life Insider.

Related horse racing links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Racing

Tiger Roll on his way to National glory1

Grand National: History beckons

Donn McClean highlights the key Irish challengers ahead of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree, headed by the incredible Tiger Roll.

Check out our latest daily racing preview2

Monday's racing preview

Call Me Grumpy can lift the Monday blues in the sunracing.co.uk Handicap at Lingfield, according to David Clough - he has a tip for every race.

The latest Nap runs at Wolverhampton3

Daily Nap: Friendly word

Matt Brocklebank is back in the Nap hot-seat following a winner on Saturday night and he's keen on chancing one after a layoff at Wolverhampton.

Trainer Jessica Harrington4

Still Standing all class at Naas

Still Standing claimed his fifth victory from just eight career starts with a comprehensive success in the Devoy Stakes at Naas.

Al Dancer wins under Sam Twiston-Davies5

Al Dancer set for chasing campaign

Beaten Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle favourite Al Dancer is likely to go novice-chasing next season.

Most Read Racing

Tiger Roll on his way to National glory1

Grand National: History beckons

Donn McClean highlights the key Irish challengers ahead of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree, headed by the incredible Tiger Roll.

Check out our latest daily racing preview2

Monday's racing preview

Call Me Grumpy can lift the Monday blues in the sunracing.co.uk Handicap at Lingfield, according to David Clough - he has a tip for every race.

The latest Nap runs at Wolverhampton3

Daily Nap: Friendly word

Matt Brocklebank is back in the Nap hot-seat following a winner on Saturday night and he's keen on chancing one after a layoff at Wolverhampton.

Trainer Jessica Harrington4

Still Standing all class at Naas

Still Standing claimed his fifth victory from just eight career starts with a comprehensive success in the Devoy Stakes at Naas.

Al Dancer wins under Sam Twiston-Davies5

Al Dancer set for chasing campaign

Beaten Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle favourite Al Dancer is likely to go novice-chasing next season.

Next Race Off

23:52 Golden Gate Fields
3
(3)
Dom The Bomb
J: Frank Alvarado
6
(6)
Street Moxie
J: Abel Cedillo
5
(5)
Hank The Tank
J: Rafael Bejarano
2
(2)
Rough Passage
J: William Iii Antongeorgi
4
(4)
General Mach Four
J: Alejandro Gomez
1
(1)
Luck Lasts
J: Julien Couton
7
(7)
Walk On Water
J: Silvio Amador

Racing Tips

The latest Nap runs at Wolverhampton

Daily Nap: Friendly word

Matt Brocklebank is back in the Nap hot-seat following a winner on Saturday night and he's keen on chancing one after a layoff at Wolverhampton.

Check out our latest daily racing preview

Monday's racing preview

Call Me Grumpy can lift the Monday blues in the sunracing.co.uk Handicap at Lingfield, according to David Clough - he has a tip for every race.

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.