Cheltenham Festival 2014: Tips from Colin Onens
BBC Gloucestershire's racing guru Colin Onens brings you a host of tips and horses to watch out for during the 2014 National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham.
Below you can find Colin's picks of the day to follow, complete with their own cautionary notes.
Mares' Hurdle: It's not going to knock your socks off, but Quevega is a shoe-in and she's my banker of the day. She's odds-on but if she wins the race, it will be her sixth in a row and Cheltenham will have to honour this horse - she's got wow-factor.
Champion Hurdle: It's The New One for me - a 3-1 decent bet. But it's not going to be easy as there are some fantastic horses in this and it is going to be the best race of the entire meeting; Hurricane Fly, My Tent Or Yours and Our Connor - need I say more?
Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase: Go for Jonjo O'Neill's horse. I'm not sure which one is going to go to post yet, but it's worth an each way bet as O'Neill has won this race five times, so it would be silly not to back him.
Supreme Novices' Hurdle: Back Josses Hill. My wife is becoming a bit of an expert, she tells me to never go with the favourite in this race as it never wins. Instead she says to always go for one about 12-1 and it will come in. She has her own way of picking horses and she does find winners.
Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle: This looks like trainer David Pipe's banker of the meeting, Red Sherlock at 5-1. He was really impressive at the last Cheltenham meeting and I like this horse a lot and I do think he'll win.
Queen Mother Champion Chase: This is a tough one because this is one of most open champion chases I've seen in many years. But I think each way Wishful Thinking at 33-1 is the one to look out for as Philip Hobbs' horses have been in tremendous form, so go for that one.
Champion Bumper: Willie Mullins likes winning this, so with Shaneshill at 8-1, it could be a Mullins steamer. However, the horse does like good-to-soft, so don't back him if the ground is too heavy.
Cross Country Chase: Mrs Tipster has one for you: Big Shu - simply because she likes the name!
World Hurdle: This is going to be some race. Will Big Buck's be back on form? Annie Power - can she jump better this time at Cheltenham? At Fisher Cross is a good horse too, but what will win? It's Big Buck's for me. Come on, Sam Twiston-Davies, get him home.
JLT Novices' Chase: It's Double Ross for me. Nigel Twiston-Davies always has a winner or two at the Festival and at 16-1, this could be his.
Ryanair Chase: Al Ferof at 5-1 - Daryl Jacob will be on board the horse from Paul Nicholls' yard. His horses are always bang-up for this meeting and this horse loves Cheltenham. I think it's a decent bet.
Byrne Group Plate Handicap Chase: Mrs Tipster goes for Champion Court - she told me he's got a lovely face.
Day four (Gold Cup day)
Triumph Hurdle: Look out for Tiger Roll coming over from Ireland at 16-1 each way. You've got to be really tough to win this race, but I do fancy him a lot.
Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup: I've always been a fan of this race, look out for the favourite On The Fringe, trained by Enda Bolger, at 4-1. It's the kind of horse that always wins this type of race. I love watching it - all amateur jockeys and brave as lions, the lot of them.
Cheltenham Gold Cup: If Bobs Worth is back on form, I think he'll win it, but that's an 'if'. Captain Chris at 16-1 could pull off a shock. But do I go with my heart or my head? When I'm putting money down I always go with my head, so I'm going for Bobs Worth. Mrs Tipster suggests me The Giant Bolster is going to win.
We've got tips from four wonderful trainers and, in my opinion, they are the best in the world.
Paul Nicholls told me Big Buck's in World Hurdle. Paul says he's got it back to form and he really fancies it. In the Gold Cup, Silviniaco Conti at 3-1. Paul tells me he will be there or thereabouts and they've never had him fitter.
Philip Hobbs couldn't give me a nap for the meeting, but has given what he hopes will be two good each way bets - Cheltenian in the County Hurdle (16-1) will be there or thereabouts and in the Pertemps Final it's Fingal Bay, now they've got him back on track. At 8-1 he could win.
Willie Mullins from Ireland has text me, I've got two good ones from him. In the very first race, Vautour - Mullins reckons it's going to be his day on the first day and this could get him off to a flier. And in a bit of a shock for you, Mullins has given me Mozoltov in the JLT Novices' Chase at 16-1. Willie likes this one a lot, it's one of his dark horses for the meeting.
Jonjo O'Neill has emailed me. He's gone for Holywell in the Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase and Taquin Du Seuil, who will run in either RSA Chase or the Novices' Chase. O'Neill thinks both of them could win.