The curtain may have just come down on the jumps season in the United Kingdom, as the attention turns to the flat for the next couple of months. However, gamblers will already be counting down the days for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival in March next year.
Ante-post markets will already be open for all the huge races that will be taking place next year, but which horses should punters move fast on to get the best possible odds before the huge event in 2022?
Honeysuckle was one of the stars of the Cheltenham Festival, as the Henry De Bromhead-horse maintained his perfect record with an eleventh straight victory in the Champion Hurdle. Many are already looking to get the best price on history repeating itself, and it would be incredibly difficult to bet against.
The seven-year-old is one of the best horses in training, and it looks unlikely that any horse will be able to get close to stopping her from winning a second straight renewal.
History could well be within the realms of possibility when it comes to Honeysuckle, as no horse since Istabraq has won three straight Champion Hurdles.
She looks excellent value for a second straight victory, and a third would look destined, such is her dominance in 2023.
British success at Cheltenham in 2020 was a rarity, but one of the big wins for the hosts did come with Shishkin in the Arkle. The Nicky Henderson-trained horse was once again in excellent form, and it looks unlikely that he will be fazed when returning to Cheltenham next year.
Shishkin is one of the most exciting horses in training, not just on British soil, but in the whole world. He is still just seven, and could be anything that he wants to be. There will still be some that will be hoping that he will be stepped up in trip, and that could be a potential route in 2021.
The Champion Chase looks the most likely destination for the seven-year-old in 12 months’ time, and he could come up against some talented Irish contenders in the form of Ryanair winner Allaho and Chacun Pour Soi.
However, it doesn’t seem to matter who is put in front of Shishkin, because he always rises to the occasion. We expect him to do that once again next year, and there could be a potential date with destiny on the agenda in 2023, as the Gold Cup could become the aim.
Shishkin may be one of the most exciting horses in training, but one horse that is very much also part of that discussion is Monkfish.
The Irish-trained horse has been called a ‘monster’ on numerous occasions over the past 12 months, and the whole racing world saw just how supremely talented he is at the Festival.
The seven-year-old trained by Willie Mullins has won his last seven, and the winning margins are only getting bigger. He won the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase in March by just over six lengths, and has also recorded victories over talented rivals such as Latest Exhibition and The Big Breakaway.
No horse has been able to get close to Monkfish over the past two years, and it would come as little surprise that the Gold Cup looks to be the aim next year.
The distance will not be an issue, and he is capable on any kind of ground. Victory in the Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown to close her season will only further his claims for the featured race at Cheltenham next year.
The price will only get shorter, so gamblers will be in a rush to get the ante-post odds before they are gone.
There you have it, the first picks for the Cheltenham Festival. And if you like horse racing bet online with Twinspires.com.