This article contains third-party links
Dan Skelton has mapped out a plan for Cheltenham Festival hero Ch’tibello following the eight-year-old’s successful 2019.
The trainer is set to choose between the Fifth Hurdle and the International Hurdle as he looks to get off to a winning start to the season following an impressive win at the difficult County Hurdle at Presbury Park back in March, as well as a third-place finish at the Aintree.
Skelton is well aware of the challenges that lie ahead but he’s keen on yet another successful term with his horses and hopes to start things off at the Fighting Fifth or back at Cheltenham.
“Ch’tibello has got to step up again this season, but he looks the best he has ever looked – and he doesn’t owe us anything,” Skelton said, via Sky Sports.
“He could go to the Fighting Fifth or the International. He is good around Cheltenham – and although the International is only a Grade Two, it is worth a lot of money, so we could go have a look at that. The handicapper allowed him to win a handicap last year – and he will pay for that.”
The trainer has acknowledged that things will be harder for Ch’tibello although he’s older and stronger, adding that the run at Aintree was a great one but claiming that the final 10 strides of the race were affected by the victory at Cheltenham as it left Ch’tibello worse for wear.
“I’ve got it at the back of my mind that during the season before last we knocked heads with a lot of the star two milers and we were second a lot. He is a bit stronger and older, but we know it will be harder this season,” he continued.
“It was a fantastic run at Aintree. I think it showed the Cheltenham run had left a mark on him a little bit in the last 10 strides of the Aintree Hurdle – but you don’t want to take the win at Cheltenham away, because it was very important.”
Skelton has some deciding to do where Cheltenham is concerned but you could pick up numerous bets ahead of next year’s festival, with all of the major bookies already offering odds on the competition ahead of its start in March. You could also increase your chances of placing a successful punt by checking out these horse racing betting tips from freebets.co.uk.
The festival will present multiple events such as the Gold Cup, the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the National Hunt Chase, and the Cross Country Chase. Bet365 has 6/1 odds on Kemboy winning the Gold Cup and 7/1 odds on a win for Al Boum Photo. Santini is 9/1 with Skybet, Lostintranslation is 10/1 with Ladbrokes, and Altior is 12/1 with William Hill.
Tiger Roll is the bookies’ favorite for the Cross Country chase at 4/6 with Bet365, Skybet, and Ladbrokes, while Ballyboker Bridge is 14/1 with Unibet. Betvictor’s offering 14/1 odds on Urgent De Gregaine and you could also snatch a 16/1 bet on Edwulf with Coral.