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Cheltenham Festival Tips for 2011 can be found in the odds


The value in backing favourites has always divided the betting public, never more so than at the Cheltenham Festival.

As always at the Cheltenham Festival 2011, there will be a mixture of quality form and hype that determines each runner’s odds but is there really any money to be made in backing favourites at the Cheltenham Festival? The Cheltenham Betting site has the answers.

Recent Cheltenham Festival History has suggested that favourite backers in general have been losing their hard earned money. Anyone who has backed every favourite at the Festival will have lost money four years on the trot and made a loss in seven of the past ten Cheltenham Festivals.

The numbers tell the story in a bit more detail. Since 2002 out of 3970 runners, 226 of them have started the race as either the outright favourite, the joint favourite or the co favourite. Those 226 runners have provided just 50 victories (a 22% strike rate). Anyone who backed all of those 226 favourites with a £1 stake will have got back just £193.60. Last year there were only 4 winning favourites from 27 races, clearly backing every favourite is not a clever way to bet, but there are certain favourites to look out for.

It seems that the better favourites are actually the ones with the shorter odds. Each year there are usually two or three so called ‘bankers’ and these horses have a good record. Since 2001 there have been 32 horses that have started the race between evens and 15/8, 50% of those have been successful rewarding those who back the bankers with a profit of £7.67 if backing each with £1, that equates to 23% profit. The horse that stands out as fitting this bill this year is Big Bucks, who goes for his third World Hurdle win on Thursday. The favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (first race on Tuesday), Cue Card, will also fall into this category if he is supported further.

The favourite backers’ favourite jockey appears to be Ruby Walsh if his recent record is anything to go by. He has ridden forty favourites in the last ten years, fifteen of which have passed the post first to reward backers of all 40 runners with a level stakes profit of £12.38. Ruby Walsh has a good book of rides this year, the stand out Ruby Walsh ridden favourites include Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle on Tuesday and Big Bucks in the World Hurdle on Thursday. For tips on each of the races check out Cheltenham Betting's tips page.

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