Horse racing tips: Templegate's latest Cheltenham Festival ante-post picks including one 'ideal' for the Gold Cup | The Sun

TEMPLEGATE has sat down, scratched his head and tried to come up with some answers after the Dublin Racing Festival.

After much soul-searching, our top tipster reckons he's unearthed some fancies for Cheltenham in just five weeks' time.

Templegate says…

The Dublin Racing Festival posed more questions than answers in many ways when it comes to clues about Cheltenham.

High-profile defeats for Lossiemouth, Blue Lord and Facile Vega have upset some Festival plans, while we at least now know where Honeysuckle will be heading in the middle of March.

I have some sympathy with the view that connections should pitch her into the Champion Hurdle again where she appears to be third or fourth best.

As the old saying goes, anything can happen in a jumps race and her form definitely warrants a crack at the big one.

But it’s the Mares’ Hurdle for which the bookies make her 9-4 favourite.

I am now obliged to say something about Epatante, who I think is a better option for the Mares’ at 4-1 if you can still get some.

Most read in Horse Racing

FIVER FLUTTER

This 71-1 double can bring the house down at Kempton

TEMPLEGATE'S TIPS

My NAP has loads more to come for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville

GRAND NATIONAL

CONFIRMED entries for world's most famous race worth £1million at Aintree

BANNED SUBSTANCE

Gordon Elliott in BHA probe after Cheltenham horse fails drugs test

OFFERS OF THE DAY

William Hill: Bet £10 Get £40 in free bets CLAIM HERE

Betfair: Bet £10 Get £30CLAIM HERE

Paddy Power: Bet £20 and get it back as Cash if it LosesCLAIM HERE

Sky Bet: Bet £10 on Racing and get £30 in free betsCLAIM HERE

Coral: Bet £5 Get £20CLAIM HERE

William Hill: 18+. Play Safe. When you sign-up via Mobile using promo code P40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Virtual markets excluded. #ad begambleaware.org

Betfair – Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly 18+ begambleaware.org

Paddy Power: New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any market at odds of min 2.0 (EVS) and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org

Sky Bet: New customers only. First single & e/w bet only odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets only redeemable on horse racing. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply.

Coral: Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply. 18+ T&Cs Apply. Begambleaware.org

I think Nicky Henderson’s former champ is running close to her best this season and will take plenty of beating if she takes on her own sex.

The fact that Honeysuckle is ducking the Champion certainly increases Epatante’s chances of making the frame in that race should she try – but it’s looking like a cracking showdown in the Mares’ with Marie’s Rock also right in the mix.

Many weren’t impressed with Galopin Des Champs as he won the Irish Gold Cup by eight lengths.

I thought it was a good effort and the way he improved as the race went on was an excellent sign for him getting up the hill at Cheltenham.

He still hasn’t matched the best of A Plus Tard but the defending champion can’t be guaranteed to run anything like he did 12 months ago so he’s obviously the right favourite.

Stattler was put in his place but was coming back into it inside the final quarter-mile and the Gold Cup trip will be ideal for him.

It’s asking a bit to turn around this form but the best price of 8-1 is fair for each-way purposes.

I’ve already flagged up Banbridge for the Turners at 12-1 and he’s as low as 4s now after an excellent effort behind El Fabiolo in the Irish Arkle.

The latter now heads to the Arkle where he looks the only real threat to Jonbon and this performance was close to – if not better – than what we’ve seen from Nicky Henderson’s star.

As for Banbridge, he will have to take on Mighty Potter in the Turners after he enhanced his chances with a smooth success to justify offers of just 6-4 for Cheltenham.

Read More on The Sun

I flew to Magaluf for the day and it cost me less than a Full English breakfast

Free cash worth up to £7,000 for new parents – can you claim?

I’ll stick with my early fancy with connections hinting that they may go down the handicap route should they think the Turners is too hot.

I think Banbridge is better than that and can win a Grade 1.

FREE BETS GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE

Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org

Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

Source: Read Full Article