There's plenty of talk about this year's Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup.
From the 13th - 16th March, Cheltenham, Prestbury Park, Gloucestershire, come alive with National Hunt racing of the highest order.
According to William Hill, Might Bite is favourite to win at the Cheltenham Gold Cup. With a host of Grade 1 races, punters have plenty of choice. In truth, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is the pinnacle of National Hunt racing. Few races capture the attention more than this historic steeplechase. A grueling 3 miles 2 1/2f. Twenty-two fences. A helter skelter of sharp left turns. This Grade 1 race is open to horses aged five years and older.
Where is your money going?
Inaugurated in 1924, Red Splash took the spoils for trainer Fred Withington, ridden by jockey Dick Rees.
Golden Miller won this race five consecutive years (1932 - 1936). He also won the Grand National 1934.
Other exceptional talents include Best Mate who won three times (2002, 2003 & 2004) for trainer Henrietta Knight, ridden Jim Culloty in the ownership of Jim Lewis.
Kauto Star is still held in esteem by many modern punters for Paul Nicholls, ridden by Ruby Walsh. The only horse to regain his title.
Sizing John who won last year for trainer Jessica Harrington, ridden by Robbie Power. Minella Rocco and Native River finishing second and third, respectively. Sizing John is one of few horses hoping to make this consecutive wins.
This year's Gold Cup takes place on 16th March - 3:30 Cheltenham.
Might Bite could well start favourite for this year's race. Nicky Henderson has fighting chance of following in the hoof prints of Bob's Worth who won for the stable back in 2013. His leading challenger Might Bite is a nine-year-old bay gelding owned by The Knot Again Partnership. This son of Scorpion has a great profile. Five wins on the bounce, favourite on each of these contests, when backed to odds as short as 1/7f. An official rating of 169 brings added credentials. William Hill have Might Bite priced 3/1. In 2013 Bob's Worth won by seven lengths when starting 11/4f.
Sizing John, last year's winner, is likely to put down a stiff challenge.
How many favourites win?
In the last 15 years 8 favourites have won featuring a strike rate of 53%. Impressive, hey? When you consider 6 other winners have been priced less than 10/1 it proves the point that favourites hold a big advantage. The only big priced winner in the last 20 years being Lord Windermere (2014) who scramble home by a short head at odds of 20/1. In 1990, Norton's Coin made history as the biggest priced winner at 100/1, when foiling Desert Orchid from making it consecutive wins after beating Yahoo in the mud in 1989.
Conclusion: In the last 17 years a solitary horse has won at odds bigger than 8/1. If that characteristic follows suit, it could well pay to stick with the favourites. With favourites achieving a 40% strike rate in the last decade Might Bite could be a jolly punters take out their wallet to bet big.
A race to savour.