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Cheltenham Festival ante-post tips: Three horses that might be worth backing at big prices now

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 26/10/2020 Robert Hynes
a group of people riding on the back of a horse: A general view of runners at the Cheltenham Festival © Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images A general view of runners at the Cheltenham Festival

Horse racing returned to Cheltenham last Friday and Saturday with two cracking days of action.

Rogue Vif came into the Champion Chase picture after blowing his rivals away in the Bentley Flying Spur Handicap on Friday before the fantastic Frodon landed the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase on Saturday.

There might be more than four months to go until March's Festival at Prestbury Park, but ante-post punters could get some real value on horses now that they fancy.

Here's three we can see running big races next year that are currently available at double-figure odds:

Buveur D'Air (Champion Hurdle) 25/1

a man riding a horse: Buveur D'air © Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images Buveur D'air

The two-time Champion Hurdle winner will be aiming to win the race once again next year and his trainer Nicky Henderson reports that he is "going well".

Buveur D'Air fell at the third flight in the 2019 Champion Hurdle and he suffered an injury during the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle last year when he finished second to Cornerstone Lad.

But if he is back at his come March, this nine-year-old could take some beating in the day one feature.

Speaking during a recent stable tour, Henderson said: "He is going well, we are very pleased. They did a lot of work with him at Martinstown Stud and got him going.

"It was it was a bizarre, but horrible, injury. He is cantering away quite nicely, Hannah Ryan, who has ridden him every day, is very happy with him at the moment and long may it last. We have got a long way to go. He won't be ready for the Fighting Fifth. We will have to see what happens come Christmas.

"I would be perfectly happy if we only managed to get the one run into him before the Unibet Champion Hurdle. We have always used the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown. The timing is very good and soft ground at Sandown does not worry Buveur D’Air. If that were the only race he had, that wouldn't worry me."

Min (Ryanair Chase) 10/1

a crowd of people standing next to a horse: Min © Getty Min

Min landed this year's Ryanair Chase by beating Saint Calvados by a neck and Willie Mullins has said that all roads lead back to the race next year.

His form around Prestbury Park is top class and if it wasn't for Altior, he would have also won a Supreme Novices Hurdle and a Champion Chase.

Speaking about him recently, Mullins said: "He wasn’t stopping in the Ryanair. It hasn’t really been discussed as of yet [running in the King George on St Stephen's Day], but I know Rich (Ricci) is always keen to go over to Kempton.

“I imagine it will be all roads back to the Ryanair. The John Durkan at Punchestown (which he has won twice) is there and you’ve got the good races in Leopardstown at Christmas and at the Dublin Racing Festival.”

Min will not be the colour of 10/1 if he shows up in the Ryanair on the Thursday of next year's Festival.

Presenting Percy (Gold Cup) 25/1

a person riding a horse in a field © PA

An emphatic winner of the RSA in 2018, Presenting Percy was far from beaten when falling in this year's Gold Cup and has since moved from Pat Kelly's yard to Gordon Elliott.

Not only was he not beaten, but Davy Russell reported afterwards that it felt like he was riding "a completely different horse" to the one that finished eighth in the same race 12 months previously.

The jockey said: “I was about to pull the trigger on him – whether he would have won is in the lap of the gods, but I felt like I was going to finish in front of Monalee and I just felt at the time, turning off the bend, I had him covered and he finished a close fourth.

“I was ready to pull the trigger on my lad to let him have one cut at him up the hill and unfortunately we didn’t get that opportunity."

Elliott has confirmed that the Gold Cup is Presenting Percy's main target this year, but said he could also run in the Grand National at Aintree.

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