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Williams 7/2 to win first Cheltenham Festival race this year

| 13.02.2012

A Cheltenham Festival winner remains something that eludes trainer Nick Williams, but 7/2 could prove decent value in the horse racing betting that he breaks his duck this year, especially given he is expected to have over a handful of runners with each-way prospects at worst.

Reve De Sivola has come the closest to ending Williams’ barren spell, finishing in the first three at each of the past two Cheltenham Festivals.

He chased home Peddlers Cross in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle in 2010 and then came third behind Bensalem in the Spinal Research Chase 12 months ago.

Williams will hope that one of his seven Cheltenham contenders can surge to victory this year, although there is no particular horse that stands out as having better prospects than any of the other.

Diamond Harry is arguably the biggest name of his yard and a successful wind operation has substantially enhanced the chances of the horse featuring in the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds.

Partly due to the interrupted preparations, Diamond Harry is 40/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but past form suggests he is not overly fond of the course and that he is actually not good enough to beat Kauto Star and Long Run.

Gauvain is another member of the Williams team with big-race victories under his belt and is 25/1 to triumph in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

However, with all of his best form in small fields, how many runners line up at Cheltenham could be the biggest factor in his chances.

In terms of the Cheltenham odds, Zaynar may represent the best chance of Williams winning a Festival race and he is 16/1 to secure victory in the Jewson Novices’ Chase.

Elsewhere, For Non Stop is not without a chance at 25/1 to win the Arkle and Urbain De Sivola could run a big race in the Triumph Hurdle if repeating a recent performance at Newbury.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.