There is always value to be found in Cheltenham Festival ante-post markets at this time of year and the Racing Post's Robbie Wilders highlights three long-term wagers to consider at the jump season's flagship meeting.
14th March - Mares' Hurdle
Brandy Love @ 7/1
16th March - Ryanair Chase
Hitman @ 33/1
16th March - Stayers' Hurdle
Bob Olinger @ 16/1
The novice races at the Cheltenham Festival usually provide the best long-term ante-post value, but my personal preference would be to wait until we have seen at least some of the likely protagonists jump a hurdle or fence.
Therefore, I would rather target the Grade 1 contests in which we know plenty about the horses priced up and I fancy Brandy Love to take the mares' hurdle division by storm this season.
I backed her to win last season's Mares' Novices' Hurdle a couple of months before the race and was rueing my luck as she was made a late non-runner, but she proved her worth with a sensational effort in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse next time.
She slammed Mares' Novices' winner Love Envoi by eight lengths there and the first-time hood worked the trick, while her profile strongly suggests she will be much better going left-handed.
This division lacks a standout and Brandy Love could be the star mare we are yearning for. 7/1 is a decent price.
It feels slightly crazy that a horse can be a 7/4 favourite for a Cheltenham Festival Grade 1 this far in advance but Allaho is a freak and is well worth that price in the Ryanair Chase.
However, his likely participation will mean plenty will run scared and the Ryanair field could cut up.
Thankfully Paul Nicholls has never been one to shirk a fight and in Hitman he trains a highly talented six-year-old who could be in for a big year. He looks a decent each-way wager at 33/1.
Hitman has already achieved plenty for an inexperienced chaser and he improved for a first try at 2m4f when a fine second to Fakir D'Oudairies in the Marsh Chase at Aintree.
His connections were itching to step him up in trip and he really seemed to enjoy himself that day. Open to plenty of improvement, Hitman can make his mark at the highest level this term.
Chasing simply didn't go to plan for Bob Olinger last season but it is too soon to give up on Henry de Bromhead's dual festival winner.
Admittedly he would only have one Cheltenham success to his name had Galopin Des Champs not fallen at the last in the 2022 Turners, and Bob Olinger never looked like a natural jumper of a fence.
Bob Olinger was being spoken about as one of the best novices we've seen in years as a hurdler and I fancy connections to shelve chasing for the time being and revert to hurdling.
That could be the perfect way to re-establish the confidence of this talented seven-year-old, who has only raced four times over hurdles and is unexposed as a three-miler.
Draw a line through his pulled-up effort at the Punchestown festival in April as De Bromhead was annoyed at himself for running the horse. The Cheltenham effort on soft ground clearly took plenty out of Bob.
At 16/1, he looks worth a bet to bounce back in a staying hurdle division that is usually quite weak.