down cross right results icon premium content video audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner
coral logo ladbrokes logo betway logo williamHill logo bet365 logo paddypower logo 888sport logo unibet logo
TODAY'S OFFERS
TODAY'S BOOKMAKER OFFERS
Exclusive to new customers
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code 20FREE and place £5 of bets, you'll get £20 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Up to £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join betway, opt in, deposit £10 or more and you will get a 100% matched amount, up to £30 as free bets to split however you like. T&Cs apply. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock free bet. Deposit by card or paypal only.
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim here
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Money back as bonus up to £40 + £10 Casino bonus
    Claim here
    Money back as a bonus up to £40 if your first racing bet loses + £10 casino bonus. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min odds of 2-5 (1.40), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. T&Cs apply. 18+
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 3 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    £20 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £20. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join 888sport using promo code RACING and when you bet £10, you'll get £30 in free bets PLUS £10 in free bets on any horse racing market. Min deposit £10. First bet minimum odds 1-2. Free bet credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    £50 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £50. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim here
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 4 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code RP40 and place £10 in bets and you'll get £40 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £10 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £10 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.

Supreme favourite Melon can get festival layers off to fruitful start

Melon prepares for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle with a gallop at home
1 of 1

It would be untrue to say that there has been a clamour for my thoughts on the Cheltenham Festival but it’s not my fault if people don’t know what’s good for them. All I can do is offer advice and be prepared for readers to be ungrateful.

At about 1.30pm next Tuesday the starter’s flag will fall, the Cheltenham crowd will roar and the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle will get the whole crazy ball rolling. The opening skirmish is important. It sets the tone for the battles ahead and if you’re already feeling depressed by the time the Arkle Chase arrives it’s going to be a long week and perhaps a short life. Luckily for you, I’ve got some jolly good advice, particularly on the fruit front.

Which two fruits are anagrams of each other? The answer is lemon and melon but as Lemon isn’t running in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle while Melon is, we’ll concentrate on that.

Melon, currently favourite, will carry the hopes of countless punters and the fears of many bookmakers. There are strong positives and strong negatives regarding Melon’s chance and as you are probably too idle to work them out for yourself, I’ll do it for you.

 An attractively bred €100,000 yearling, as a three-year-old Melon ran four times on the Flat in France. On his second outing he finished second to Launched, who later won two listed races, then Melon won a small race at Moulins. His form was encouraging but not, as Lord Peter Wimsey would have said, “Top Hole.”

Melon didn’t race as a four-year-old but when, at the end of January, he finally appeared in a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown he started at 9-4 on and won impressively by 10 lengths.

Whatever the opposite of a mug is, that is what trainer Willie Mullins is. As Mullins clearly thinks highly of Melon it’s safe to assume that Melon deserves to be thought highly of. The manner of his success is another positive. Melon moved nicely and for a debutant his jumping was notably confident and slick. The small mistakes he made at the fourth hurdle and at the last can be forgiven.

Yet there are also negatives. Most of the 13 runners at Leopardstown were also rans before they started. Broken Soul, the runner-up and second favourite, went on to be comfortably beaten when odds-on at Navan. The six-year-old has one bumper win to show from 10 tries.

Then there is the going. Melon moved smoothly on ground that was officially good at Leopardstown and in France didn’t race on going worse than good to soft. Soft ground, which is still a possibility, is unlikely to suit him.

The race will be a more intense, competitive, hectic contest than Melon has experienced before. Lack of experience is another negative. The last eight winners of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle had all run either four or five times over hurdles and in stronger races.

At Melon’s current odds of 4-1, he is a horse to lay.

Soft ground, which is still a possibility, is unlikely to suit him
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Sky bet
Boylesport
RaceBets