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Mullins odds-on to end Festival with seven or more winners
Willie Mullins is 1.42/5 to have seven winners or more at Cheltenham going into the final day of the Festival.
The Irish trainer has five winners so far, the most recent of which was Allaho in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday, and bettors are confident he can add at least two more on Friday.
All eyes will be on Rachael Blackmore in the big race of the day as she bids to win the Gold Cup on favourite A Plus Tard 3.953/1 at 15:30.
The Betfair Barometer shows how bettors rate the Irish jockey's chances:
Blackmore rides A Plus Tard for trainer Henry de Bromhead who is aiming to win the Gold Cup for the second year in a row after his 2021 success with Minella Indo.
As for Ireland's chances of winning all seven races on Friday, bettors are not convinced we will see a green sweep:
Bettors back St Patrick's Day success for Irish
It's St Patrick's Day ("Sláinte" to all our Irish readers) and horses from the Emerald Isle are gunning for more Cheltenham success on day three of the Festival.
The markets indicate that they will get it with Galopin Des Champs, Bob Olinger and Allaho just three that are prominent in the betting today.
But what are the chances of a clean sweep for Ireland, either today or tomorrow?
Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Henry de Bromhead have all fared well so far but, as you can see, bettors think it unlikely that there will be a perfect seven for Irish trainers on Thursday or Friday.
When it comes to the chances of Ireland finishing the Festival with 19 or more winners over all, the odds are more promising and the price is 2.6213/8.
This isn't good news for the British trainers and the Prestbury Cup market makes grim reading for the home team at Cheltenham.
Ireland are an unbackable 1.021/50 on the Exchange with Britain out to 44.043/1 at the start of day three.
Bettors cool on chances of 19 Irish winners
The odds on Ireland having 19 or more winners at Cheltenham 2022 drifted after day one ended with just three victories for Irish horses and four for the British contingent.
Ireland is 2.9215/8 to get 19 or more across the four day Festival at Prestbury Park.
The British trainer Nicky Henderson enjoyed the most winners on day one, with two, as Consitution Hill romped home in the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Marie's Rock took the Mares' Hurdle.
Henderson, however, is 26.025/1 in the top trainer betting on the Exchange with Ireland's Willie Mullins clear favourite to once again claim the crown at 1.374/11.
Mullins didn't have it all his own way on one day by any means. But he finally got off the mark as Stattler rounded off the afternoon with an easy victory in the National Hunt Chase.
As for the Prestbury Cup, it may be 4-3 to Britain at the start of day two but bettors remain convinced that the Emerald Isle will come out on top, making Ireland 1.111/9.
The top three Cheltenham Specials markets
We have a number of Specials markets on the Betfair Exchange, and on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival commencing below are the three most popular (by money traded).
1. Prestbury Cup
Ireland 1.071/14, Great Britain 22.021/1, Tie 32.031/1 (over £84k traded)
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented today: "By some way the most popular specials market and of the £81.5K currently traded a massive £80.6k has been on Ireland at varying odd. A high of 1.182/11 (2/11 ££7.8K matched) to the current price of 1.071/14 (1/14). At time of writing, just £555 has been matched on GB."
2. Ireland to train 19 or more Cheltenham winners
Yes 1.68/13, No 2.568/5 (over £33k traded)
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented today: " 'YES' had traded at odds-against 2.186/5 (nearly 5/4) but as we head towards Tuesday, Ireland are beginning to shorten and are now trading at 1.68/13 (8/13) to get 19 or more winners."
3. Cheltenham Festival Top Trainer
Willie Mullins 1.434/9, Gordon Elliott 3.412/5, BAR 40.039/1 (over £28k traded)
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented today: "It looks a straight shootout between Willie and Gordon, 2/5 and 5/2 respectively."
Ireland set to dominate Prestbury Cup again
Last year's Prestbury Cup - awarded to the country that trains the most winners - was comprehensively won by Ireland, who sent out an incredible 23 winners to Great Britain's 5!
Not surprisingly then, it's Ireland who are the red hot favourites to retain their crown, trading at just 1.091/11 on the Betfair Exchange.
So just how many winners will Ireland have? A lot of the ante-post markets are dominated by Irish-trained favourites and the Exchange has opened a Yes/No market on whether Ireland will have 19 or more winners.
It's a close call with Yes trading at 1.9620/21 and No at 2.021/1. What do you think?
Will Nicholls bag a brace?
Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls will have some very intersting runners at this year's Cheltenham Festival, including solid favourite Bravemansgame in the Brown Advisory Novices Chase.
And along with Paul's very interesting runners in the handicaps, Cheltenham lover Frodon, and a well-fancied contender in the Hunters Chase, we've opened a market asking whether Paul will have two or more winners at this year's festival.
As the graphic below shows, No is a strong favourite here, available to back at around 1.412/5, while Yes, Paul will have two or more winners, can be backed at 3.39/4.
Henderson and Mullins markets latest
Willie Mullins saddled six winners to finish as the top trainer at Cheltenham in 2021 but the early betting on the Irish trainer indicates he can do even better this year.
With just over two weeks to go before Cheltenham begins on Tuesday 15 March, Mullins is odds-on on the Exchange to have seven or more winners at Prestbury Park.
Last year, he got off to a winning start when Appreciate It eased to victory in the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
This time, however, it is Nicky Henderson's Constitution Hill who leads the betting for the Surpreme at 3.39/4.
Henderson would love to get off to a winner and so would those bettors who are backing him to have three or more at the Festival.
Last year, Shishkin won for Henderson in the Arkle and in 2022 he's the favourite in the Champion Chase on day two.
Bettors back Irish to dominate at Cheltenham
Irish trainers painted Prestbury Park green in 2021 like never before with a record 21 Cheltenham Festival winners hailing from the Emerald Isle.
Judging by our new yes/no market on the Exchange, Betfair punters expect it to be another big year for Willie Mullins, Henry de Bromhead et al.
With three weeks to go before the Festival begins on 15 March, Ireland is odds-on to be 'yes' to train 19 or more winners across the four days.
In the Prestbury Cup betting, which pits runners from Great Britain against Ireland, the Irish are overwhelming favourites at 1.091/11.
Ireland dominates the betting on the big races with the De Bromhead-trained A Plus Tard 4.67/2 favourite to win the Gold Cup on 18 March.
His nearest rival, according to the ante-post betting on the Exchange, is Gordon Elliott's Galvin.
The Irish eight-year-old Shishkin is 1.991/1 to win the Champion Chase.
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