The Cheltenham Festival has been Gordon Elliott’s stomping ground for a long time. In fact, the last time Elliot or Willie Mullins did not win the Champion Trainer award was in 2012.
The legendary trainers are known to boss things around at Cheltenham and punters will tell you that knowing a horse trained by either of the two is in a race makes it easy to choose the right bets.
With 2020 up and running, fans and punters are looking forward to March’s Festival with much anticipation. As you would imagine, the bookmakers have lots of odds on offer, despite the event still well over a month away. And you are more than welcome to claim ante-post odds on the runners before things start tightening up towards the beginning of the prestigious racing spectacle. Of course, don't miss these free bet offers for the Cheltenham Festivaleither; the folks at Free Bets have done all of the research necessary to provide you with the best guides, as well as the scoop on the best enhanced offers available.
Where Elliot’s stable is concerned, one horse in particular will have fans pretty pleased. Tiger Roll, on course for an unprecedented Grand National hat-trick as recovery from a surgical procedure in November has gone as well as expected, will be taking to the turf at Cheltenham prior to the April event.
Last week, the trainer revealed that the 10-year-old was back and “cantering away.”
"Tiger Roll is in great nick and he is back cantering away. I've been very happy with him and with the way he has progressed over the last few weeks," he said, per Racing Post.
"It is hard to know whether he will make the Boyne Hurdle at Navan. He could be back in time for it, you never know, but we will see how the next few weeks go. He will definitely make Cheltenham, that's for sure. He's very well at the moment and I couldn't be happier with him.”
The festival will likely be treated as a test run for the Grand National but make no mistake, Tiger Roll won’t be sent out to race bereft of the highest expectations. Odds continue to shorten for the Elliot-trained ace and, as long as he remains healthy and recovery goes according to plan, they probably won’t stop.
Tiger Roll is currently 5/4 to win the Cross Country Chase with Bet365 but Betfair and Betvictor have odds of 6/4 and 7/4, respectively, on the horse who has won the chase on two occasions. Meanwhile, Easysland is in behind at 6/1 with William Hill while Ladbrokes are offering 7/1 on Yanworth.
It is Elliot’s intention to have the Gigginston House-owned star run the Boyne Hurdle next month, before chasing a third win at both the Country Chase and the Grand National, but it was too early to tell whether he would be ready for the February race last week and there’s been no update since.
If you’re going to bet on the Country Chase, you’re probably going to be keen on Tiger now that he’s back. But you could also throw something at Urgent De Gregaine, whose odds are shortening with certain bookies yet could have been caught as high as 12/1 at the time of writing. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a look at what our tipstershave to say