Follow The Sportsman on Facebook
Horse Racing  /

Cheltenham Festival 2018: Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Tip

Mick Channon trains Mr Whitaker in the Close Brothers
Mick Channon trains Mr Whitaker in the Close Brothers

It's finally here, the Cheltenham Festival and punters will be looking to get off to a barnstormer this afternoon with there being four relatively short price favourites that will no doubt be in thousands of accumulators across the land. However, I've decided to avoid the championship races for my headline pick of day 1 and decided to try snaffle out some of the value in the handicaps.

The Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase will bring the curtain down on day one and I'm fancying Mick Channon's MR WHITAKER to land the £39,865 to first prize. This son of Court Cave ran well on Boxing Day when competing in the 32.Red.com Chase at Kempton. He was held up and gave a valiant effort in the finish when trying to run down Hell's Kitchen only to be beaten by just over a length. The next time we saw this six-year-old was on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham at the end of January.

Sent off at 6/1 for the Timeform Novice' Handicap Chase, he produced a fantastic performance leading from pretty much start to finish to come storming up the Cheltenham hill to Theatre Territory by 2 lengths. I was there that day and the ground read as being soft but according to most of the jockeys, it was more soft-to-heavy, boosting Mr Whitaker's form for this afternoon's contest.

He clearly showed plenty of stamina that day and showed many of the traits required to be a winner at the Festival. He has been a popular selection with punters over the last 24 hours having been backed from as big as around 8/1 into a price as short as now 7/1. He faces some stiff competition in the form of Any Second Now and De Plotting Shed but with 6 places on offer from some bookmakers I really do think this is some each way filth that punters should be snaffling up. I'd also advise that Betway are offering a money back offer on this race up to the value of £10.

Register with The Sportsman to personalise your news feed with your favourite sports and team.
Latest Horse Racing Articles
Bet Slip
Log In
Quick Deposit
Deposit Funds
Change Payment Method
Bet Placed
Retain Selections
Clear Slip
Bet Slip 0
| Join Now
Balance: £0.00
Log Out
The line, odds or availability of your selections has changed.
Remove All
Click a price to add a selection
To view multiples
Multiple options are restricted for the highlighted selections
The line, odds or availability of your selections has changed.
Accept Changes
Total Stake:
£ 0.00

Estimated Returns:
£ 0.00
£ Place Bet
Bet on Bet365 website
New To Bet365?
Bets are accepted in accordance with the operator's rules
and terms and conditions. Hillside (UK Sports) LP is licensed
and regulated by the British Gambling Commissioner
(Licence number 39563). Registered Office Hillside (UK Sports) LP
(registration number 117), Unit 1.1, First Floor, Waterport Place,
2 Europort Avenue, Gibraltar.
BET365 ACCOUNT? New Customer Offer
The Sportsman is an officially endorsed bet365 betting partner. All bets are placed securely via our API link-up with bet365 and no data or transactional information is sahred with or accessible by the sportsman.com. Bets are accepted in accordance with the operator's Rules and Terms and Conditions.