Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Mike Egerton General view of The Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy.
# Predictions
Our writers give their tips ahead of this year's Cheltenham festival
We look forward to a big week of horse racing, which starts on Tuesday.

What is your festival banker?

Alan Waldron: Thistlecrack (World Hurdle)

Steven O’Rourke: Yanworth (5/4) in the Neptune. He was so impressive in winning his trial at Cheltenham in January, how could you back against him?

Fintan O’Toole: Douvan (Arkle)

Niall Kelly: For some reason, I’m convinced that No More Heroes (9/4) beats More of That in the RSA Chase.

Paul Fennessy: Thistlecrack  (World Hurdle)

2. Which of the favourites are you willing to go against?

AW: Don Cossack (Gold Cup)

SOR: I’m not convinced by Annie Power (2/1) in the Champion Hurdle at all to be honest.

FOT: Annie Power (Champion Hurdle)

NK: I don’t think I’ll be backing Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle. I’m not sure that she can beat a field of boys over two miles… that, and all of the bad memories from last year.

PF: Don Cossack (Gold Cup)

3. Give us one good each-way bet for the week

AW: The Game Changer (Arkle)

SOR: I’d love to tell you Peace & Co (20/1) in the Champion Hurdle because I love that horse, but instead I’m going to say Velvet Maker (12/1) in the very last race of the festival on Friday.

FOT: Supasundae (Supreme Novices Hurdle)

NK: Either Supasundae at 16/1 in the Supreme, or Special Tiara at 12/1 in the Queen Mother.

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PF: A Toi Phil (Neptune Investment Novice’s Hurdle)

4. Who will win the four Championship races? 

- Champion Hurdle:  Identity Thief (AW), Top Notch (SOR), Identity Thief (FOT), I still don’t know… The New One (NK), Top Notch (PF).
- Queen Mother: Un De Sceaux (AW), Un De Sceaux (SOR), Un De Sceaux (FOT), Un De Sceaux by about 10 lengths (NK), Un De Sceaux (PF).
- World Hurdle: Thistlecrack (AW), Thistlecrack (SOR), Thistlecrack (FOT), Cole Harden (NK), Thistlecrack (PF).
- Gold Cup: Cue Card (AW), Don Cossack (SOR), Vautour (FOT), Djakadam (NK), Vautour (PF).

5. How many Irish-trained winners will there be (over/under 12.5)?

AW: Over

SOR: Under

FOT: Over

PF: Under

NK: Over… I think.

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