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2022 Cheltenham Festival Tips - Four selections rolled into ante-post Lucky 15

By Jon Vine
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  • Four ante-post selections rolled into this Lucky 15 for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival
  • The feature meeting in National Hunt racing starts on Tuesday 15th March
  • A Plus Tard to win the Gold Cup is the anchor leg of this Lucky 15
  • Ferny Hollow, Dysart Dynamo and American Mike have also been included
a plus tard
A Plus Tard is the final leg of this Cheltenham Festival Lucky 15. (Getty)
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We may still be two months away from the biggest event in horse racing, but the betting for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival is already starting to hot up.

Bets can now be placed on runners in all 28 of the Cheltenham Festival races. What's more, Bet365 became the first bookmaker to attach Non-Runner No Bet terms to their betting markets for the big five Grade Ones - news which many ante-post punters have been waiting for. 

Today, I've rolled four of my strongest fancies for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and rolled them into this ante-post Lucky 15.

2022 Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Lucky 15

Leg 1 - Ferny Hollow To Win The Arkle Challenge Trophy

I wasn't that impressed with FERNY HOLLOW'S debut win over fences. So much so, that I tipped up Riviere D'etel against Willie Mullins' star in the Grade One at Leopardstown over Christmas, given Ferny Hollow had to concede 13 pounds to Gordon Elliott's mare at the weights.

Instead of allowing the free-going Riviere D'etel to dictate the tempo, Paul Townend took his rival on as soon as the starter's flag dropped. Ferny Hollow jumped beautifully around that stuff track and comfortably held Riviere D'etel at arm's length to capture his first Grade One.

Mullins' seven-year-old is certainly the best of the Irish novice chasers in the Arkle betting and I doubt Edwardstone will be giving the Ferny Hollow camp any sleepless nights. Every Lucky 15 needs a banker leg. I'm hoping Ferny Hollow will be mine!

Leg 2 - Dysart Dynamo To Win The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

Despite looking green and keen throughout, DYSART DYNAMO romped to two impressive victories in bumpers last season. Willie Mullins' star was backed into 8/13 on his hurdles debut at Cork and won as easy as he liked, pulling 19 lengths clear down the home straight without ever coming out of second gear.

Journey With Me looks every inch a three-miler to me and I'm not convinced that Ginto is the latest superstar to come out of Gordon Elliott's yard. Stage Star is a player. As is Mighty Potter, should he be stepped up in distance. 

Yet, I feel that Dysart Dynamo is just as talented as those sitting ahead of him in the current Ballymore Novices' Hurdle betting - even more talented than some. I want to get him in this Lucky 15 before he wins at the Dublin Racing Festival and 9/1 disappears.

ferny hollow
Ferny Hollow (right) is the only horse to have beaten both Appreciate It and Bob Olinger. (Getty)

Leg 3 - American Mike To Win The Champion Bumper

Last year's Champion Bumper was a showdown between Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit. There's a chance that this year's renewal could turn into another shoot-out and, while Facile Vega was very impressive at Leopardstown, I'm not going to side against AMERICAN MIKE in a hurry.

Gordon Elliott's star has claimed two dominant victories already this season. Jamie Codd's mount travelled imperiously well on both occasions, before showing a nice turn-of-foot to put both races to bed.

The seven-length runner from American Mike's first bumper at Down Royal won on his following start. At Navan, Elliott's five-year-old finished 17-lengths clear of Battling Bessie - a mare who had finished a close third in a Listed bumper for mares on her previous start. The second-placed horse in that mares' race, also trained by Gordon Elliott, has won since. 

Anyone who tells you American Mike has "beaten nothing" is wrong. If he turns up in the Champion Bumper, he wins.

Leg 4 - A Plus Tard To Win The Cheltenham Gold Cup

A narrow defeat to the hardy Galvin in the Savills Chase cannot dissuade me that A PLUS TARD is the best staying chaser in the sport at the moment, and he will take plenty of beating in this year's Gold Cup.

After finishing second to the flawless Minella Indo last year, Rachael Blackmore's mount returned to action with a stunning display in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, beating many of the best chasers Britain has to offer by 22-lengths.

I could come up with a few reasons why Henry De Bromhead's charge lost over Christmas. A Plus Tard drifted in the build-up. Rachael found herself too far back and was forced wide to challenge. A Plus Tard jumped right at a few obstacles and got in a little tight at the last. 

However, this is horse racing. The best horse doesn't always win. Galvin gained the plaudits at Leopardstown, and rightly so. At Cheltenham, I fancy a fresh A Plus Tard will gain revenge on both Galvin and Minella Indo in the 2022 Gold Cup, and I can see him doing it in style!

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