THE Greatest Show, the Cheltenham Festival, is upon us once more. The horse racing will be ultra competitive, but it is still possible to pick winners and make a profit. Here is one very simple rule to help you find a few winners at decent odds.

The Northern Echo: Tiger Roll looks at the first obstacle before competing in the cross-country chase at last year's Cheltenham festival

Finding Winners

CONCENTRATE on horses which either won or finished second at last year's festival. That simple rule highlighted six winners last year – Sire Du Berlais 10/1, Politologue 6/1, Concertista 9/2, Champ 4/1, Al Boum Photo 100/30 and Envoi Allen 4/7 – which made a level stake profit of just over four points.

Of the 24 beaten horses, nine finished in a place, three at double figure odds, which means that 15 out of 30, or 50 per cent of the horses which finished first or second at the 2019 festival finished in a place last year. That is not a bad base to work from.

Horses which finished first or second at last year's festival and which could run at this year's festival are, in alphabetical order: Al Boum Photo, Appreciate It, Aramay, Aramon, Aspire Tower, Benie Des Obeaux, Billaway, Black Tears, Burnina Victory, Champ, Chosen Mate, Concertista, Dame de Compagne, Dulcito, Dynamite Dollars, Easysland, Easywork, Eclair De Beaufou, Envoi Allen, Epatante, Fakir D'oudairies, Galvin, Happy Diva, Honeysuckle, Imperial Aura, Indefatigable, It Came To Pass, Kildisart, Kilfilum Cross, Latest Exhibition, Lisnager Oscar, Lord Du Mesnil, Melon, Milan Native, Minella Indo, Monkfish, Night Edition, Pileon, Politologue, Put The Kettle On, Ravenhill, Ronald Pump, Saint Roi, Samcro, Santini, Sharjah, Shishkin, Simply The Betts, Sire Du Berlais, The Storyteller, Tiger Roll.

The Northern Echo: Our pundit Alan Adamthwaite (left), signing a copy of his book on Bishop Auckland FC, Glory Days, for former Bishops legend Mike Greenwood who played for the club between 1958 and 1964.


HERE are the trends for some of the top races at the Cheltenham Festival.

Tuesday: Supreme Novices' Hurdle – Look for horses rated higher than 142; five and six year olds do best; four or more runs over hurdles; two or more wins this season.

Wednesday: Champion Chase – Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have a strong record; a run within 60 days is important; the front three in the betting are hard to beat; a previous Cheltenham win is a big plus; a previous Grade 1 win essential.

Thursday: Stayers' Hurdle – Look for horses which were first or second last time out; a previous win or place at the festival is a plus; win or placed form in a Grade 1 hurdle over three miles helps; concentrate on horses aged six to eight years.

Friday: Cheltenham Gold Cup – No more than three Chase runs this season; nine of the last 10 winners won last time out; look for horses rated higher than 166 in official ratings; no more than three runs this season.

The Northern Echo:

Alan Adamthwaite

AT this exciting time of the year we always enjoy the thoughts and selections of professional horse racing pundit and successful gambler, Alan Adamthwaite.

Day One: In the Supreme Novices' Hurdle Alan tips Metier at around 7/1 as a good alternative to the favourite Appreciate It. In the Champion Hurdle, he thinks that the seven pounds mares allowance will swing the race in Honeysuckle's favour, with Epatante the next best. Mares' Hurdle: Concertista with Roksana next best. Boodles Handicap Hurdle: Houx Gris. National Hunt Chase: Royal Pagaille with Galvin next best. The Arkle might be a race best watched, but it should be between Shishkin and Energumene.

Day Two: In the Champion Chase, should Chacon Pour Soi not take to the undulating Cheltenham course then Altior, Politologue and Cilaos Emery are worthy alternatives. Ballymore Hurdle: Bravemansgame. Brown Advisory Novice Chase: Monkfish is the likely winner but Next Destination and Eklat De Rire are better priced alternatives. Champion Bumper: Kilcruit with any other Willie Mullins horse as the next best.

Day Three: Envoi Allen is the selection for the Marsh Chase. Pertemps Handicap Hurdle: Lynwood Glory each way at 25/1 could be a good bet. The Ryanair: Min is Alan's best bet of the meeting. Stayers' Hurdle: Paisley Park. Mares' Hurdle: Any Willie Mullins runner with Gauloise mentioned plus Royal Kahala. Grand Annual: Ibleo and Sky Pirate.

Day Four: Triumph Hurdle: Tritonic with Quilixios a danger. County Hurdle: You Raised Me Up with Soaring Glory, Proschema, Brinkley ands Imperial Alcazar fighting out the places. Gold Cup: Al Boum Photo with Kemboy, A Plus Tard and Native River for the places. Mares' Chase: Elimay with Colreevy, Annie MC, and Put The Kettle On as dangers. Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle: The Shunter with Grand Paradis as an alternative.

Thanks to Alan Adamthwaite and Michael Burke for their help this week.