Cheltenham Betting Preview: Can Ireland Retain The Prestbury Cup?

Martin Green

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 9:58 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019 9:58 PM UTC

Ireland are the favourites to beat Great Britain to the Prestbury Cup for a fourth year running.

<p>Ireland are the favourites to seize a fourth straight Prestbury Cup triumph at the Cheltenham Festival this month. The cup was introduced in 2014 and it is handed to either Ireland or Great Britain, depending on whose trainers secure the most wins at the prestigious meeting. The British won the first two instalments, but since then the Irish have emerged as the dominant force. An English handler has not ended up as top trainer at Cheltenham since Nicky Henderson back in 2012, and Irish duo <a href="" target="_blank" title="Willie Mullins">Willie Mullins</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Gordon Elliott">Gordon Elliott</a> typically vie for supremacy nowadays.</p><p>Most bookmakers have odds of 8/11 (1.73) on Ireland winning the cup once more, but <a href=";a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6" target="_blank" title="Betfair">Betfair</a> is offering a market leading 4/5 (1.80). <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a> and <a href=";a=8e57de00-8c0e-4848-b6da-ea2a0f565fb1" target="_blank" title="888 Sport">888 Sport</a> have a best priced of 13/8 (2.63) on Great Britain securing a first victory since 2015, while the tie is 7/1 (8.0) with Bet365, <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" target="_blank" title="William Hill">William Hill</a> and various others. More than half of all bets have been placed on Ireland in the build up to the festival.</p><p>Along with Elliott and Mullins, you also get the likes of Joseph O’Brien, Henry De Bromhead and Pat Kelly thrown into the mix. Last year, Elliott and Mullins secured 15 winners between them and the Irish won 17-11. However, Great Britain will put up a spirited challenge this time around, with <a href="" target="_blank" title="Nicky Henderson">Nicky Henderson</a> leading the charge. Paul Nicholls will try to recapture some of the old magic, while Colin Tizzard, Dan Skelton, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Tom George, Mick Channon and a few others are also battling for victories.</p><p>It looks like it should be an interesting contest, but the English trainers saw their festival preparations hurt by the equine flu outbreak. It is hard to see anyone stopping the formidable Elliott-Mullins axis from leading Ireland to yet another vicrory, so that 4/5 looks like an attractive bet right now.</p>
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