How do the Bankers work out at Cheltenham?

There are five odds-on favourites – known as Bankers – heading into the Cheltenham Festival, the most we have seen in five-years. OddsMonkey has looked back on just how they fared and what they tell us for 2018...

Heading to Prestbury Park, five big fancies and five who the Bookmakers are fearing hugely. The current odds-on horses are Buveur Dair (8/15) in the Champion Hurdle, Apples Jade (8/13) in the Mares Hurdle, Samcro (8/11) in Novices Hurdle, Altior (8/11) in the Champion Chase and Laurina (8/11) in the Mares Novices Hurdle – we have not seen that many odds-on favourites since 2012 when the hugely popular Hurricane Fly and Sizing Europe were defeated. So if we look back over the last ten years, back 2008 there was only one odds-on favourite in the shape of Gold Cup star Kauto Star, but his bid was taken down by stablemate Denman.

Into 2009 and of the three odds-on chances, only the legendary Master Minded won. 2010 and the results were not much no better for the fancied runners, with again just one winner in the shape of Cheltenham veteran Big Bucks. Big Bucks repeated that success 12-months later in 2011 as he along with the brilliant Quevega again tasted glory.

As we have already said 2012 saw three winners from five, and we also saw three winners again in 2013 with Simonsig, Sprinter Sacre and Quevega again on target. 2014, and French-born beauty Quevega was the only odds-on horse and she delivered her sixth crown. In 2015 we had two odds-on winners cheered home in the shape of Un De Sceaux and Faugheen – both steered home by Ruby Walsh. Onto 2016 and that was a good year for the Punters as three odds-on horses came home with Douvan, Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini.

And last year, it was something of a graveyard for the big names with only Altior delivering – so now to this year, what do we think?

“As it stands we have five very good horses going to the line as favourites, we have not had so many since 2012 when there were some huge names taken down, but the majority still won,” explained OddsMonkey spokesman Peter Watton.

“Yes it is clear that it is highly unlikely that all five are going to come in – in the last decade we have never seen more than three, but the chances are is that the majority might, so it is picking out those Bankers who won’t disappoint.”