Paddy Power and Betway out to get Min on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival.
The first day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival threatened to be carnage for the bookmakers and it looks like a case of history repeating this time around.Once again, Willie Mullins appears to hold all the aces, especially on Day 1 of the meeting where he has Min, Faugheen, Douvan and Annie Power as favourites to win their respective races.
Min is first up in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Paddy Power are clearly out to get him in their book, hoping that at least one other horse proves too good on the day and thus wiping out stacks of accumulators in the process.
Paddy go 7/4 about Min winning the race and we might even see the horse touch 2/1, with plenty of doubts over how good the horse actually is. Even so, Ladbrokes have decided to be less aggressive with their 5/4 quote and perhaps the Magic Sign know something we don’t.
If Min does win the Supreme, then you can expect Douvan to shorten up further for the Arkle Chase, with the Mullins horse already a best price 2/5 (William Hill) weeks before the Festival kicks off.
The money hasn’t stopped coming for a horse considered to be banker material by several experts and the same term has been used for Faugheen who is now 1/3 with Paddy Power to win the Champion Hurdle.
Paddy are among those bookies offering 9/10 about the above pair winning their races, with Annie Power a more backable 10/11 with the Irish firm and it’s possible that Mullins might switch her to the World Hurdle.
Naturally, any decision to do that would mean Vroum Vroum Mag is the favourite to win the Mares Hurdle instead, with Betvictor offering 3/1 about this horse claiming this Grade 1 race instead.
The punters are sniffing blood as the Festival approaches and the bookies are battening down the hatches and making sure that any damages are modest ones.