With the new year fast approaching, horse racing enthusiasts, racing media outlets and bookmakers alike will likely be eagerly anticipating 2022’s Cheltenham Festival.

In a recent series, the Racing Post’s Upping the Ante team have been previewing a different race from the four day festival, in the latest edition examining the runners in the National Hunt Chase. 

“The one that I’d be most afraid of if I backed him is Vanillier,” Gavin Lynch, Upping the Ante Co-Host, commented to his colleague David Jennings.

“He was very impressive in the Bar last year and won by eleven lengths, and hammered Stattler. Stattler turned the tables and punched him to finish ahead of him behind Galopin Des Champs.

“Vanillier didn’t get a good ride that day and didn’t get out in front – I think that race didn’t suit it and so I think Vanillier’s got a great chance.”

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival was an outstanding success for both a multitude of people including the race day organisers, bookmakers and individual jockeys.

Notable success stories saw bet365 lead the bet slip leaderboard, whilst Scientific Games processed a ‘record volume of bets’ with a reported 53% uplift on its OpenSports platform.

Meanwhile, the festival drew in a huge audience share with an average of 1.1 million views, whilst a total of 1.5 million watched Rachael Blackmore win the Champions Hurdle riding Honeysuckle.

Blackmore was perhaps the biggest success story of the entire festival, however, winning a total of five races just a few months before entering the history books as the first woman to win the coveted Grand National.

Upping the Ante: Vanillier has a ‘great chance’ in Cheltenham National Hunt Chase