With only two days left in the Countdown to Cheltenham, SBC has been speaking with the betting industry’s major operators on what to expect from the event.
We spoke with Rupert Adams, International PR Manager at William Hill, who explained that the operator believes in ‘traditional ante post betting’ in the run up to the Festival, as it allows for more competitive pricing on all races.
SBC: Three of the shortest-priced favourites of the week have been lined up to race on the Wednesday of Cheltenham Festival – is this a worry for William Hill? and how does William Hill plan to mitigate the risk of a ‘wednesday wipeout’?
Rupert Adams: We never actually looked at it as a potential wipeout day. We would be much more concerned if the favourites got on a roll on day one.
SBC: Data has suggested that this year’s Cheltenham Festival has attracted – on average – 40% more ante post punting in comparison to last year. Why do you think this is?
Rupert Adams: Whilst our T/O is up, it is not as much as 40%. We believe in traditional ante post betting in the lead up to the Festival where we can offer competitive prices on all races, not reduce them in order to compensate for the concessions.
SBC: The Gold Cup hasn’t been defended since 2004, what are the chances of current joint favourite Al Boum Photo doing it for Willie Mullins this year?
Rupert Adams: Obviously we think there’s a big chance of it happening this year as Al Boum Photo is our 7/2 favourite.
What role will request a bets and promotional offers play in engaging punters with this year’s festival?
Rupert Adams: As with previous years there will be plenty of daily concessions across the industry for punters to choose from and again we will be offering our Cheltenham bespoke “Your Odds” facility.
SBC: And finally, are there any runners that SBC readers should be keeping an eye on?
Rupert Adams: The price of the Paul Nicholls-trained Solo in the Triumph Hurdle, can only go one way being officially rated only 2lb lower than the favourite Epatante in the Champion hurdle!! Tiger Roll in the cross country and Clan des Obeaux in the Gold Cup.