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MATCH OF THE DAY

Cheltenham&rsquo;s Open meeting, which gets under way tomorrow, is appropriately named as virtually all of the 18 races run over the next three days have a distinctly wide open looking feel. It&rsquo;s for that very reason that a spread betting match bet comes into its own, as your selection only needs to beat one other named runner, rather than the entire field.<br /><br />So, take tomorrow&rsquo;s Paddy Power Gold Cup where Sporting Index are offering a match bet between the Paul Nicholls trained Tatenen and my big race selection Ballyfitz. They are forecasting that Ballyfitz will finish around three-quarters of a length in front of Tatenen, wherever they finish.<br /><br />The maximum make-up is 15 lengths so if one finished three fences in front of the other, you are not going to win or lose a small fortune. In fact, if one fails to complete, the 15 lengths automatically kicks in and if both horse fail to finish the bet is void.<br /><br />Therefore, I&rsquo;ll be looking to buy Ballyfitz against Tatenen at 0.75 lengths and will be hoping to secure a maximum 14.25 times my stake. I am hopeful that my selection&rsquo;s jumping is more likely to hold out in the testing conditions.<br /><br />Other matches of interest include Tranquil Sea against Chapoturgeon (Tranquil Sea favourite by 0.5-2 lengths) and Bible Lord against According To Pete (Bible Lord favourite by 1.0-2.5 lengths). However, even though I am a Tranquil Sea fan, I do worry about his ability to stay upright when he gets tired. For that reason, I&rsquo;ll be sticking with Ballyfitz.<br /><br />Take a look at www.sportingindex.com for all today&rsquo;s match-bets.