Cheltenham Festival 2024: Everything you need to know in our ultimate guide

Cheltenham Festival 2024
Who will be crossing the finishing line first at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival?

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival is almost upon us, so betting.betfair's Mike Norman has put together his ultimate guide, including a look at each day's schedule, past winners, how to bet, top trainer and jockey previews, and much much more...

  • Day-by-Day schedule to this year's Cheltenham Festival

  • Past winners and prices of the day's feature races

  • A brief history and timeline ahead of the Gold Cup

  • Serial Winner: Rachael Blackmore's Charity Fund

  • Top jockey and trainer markets discussed

  • Check out our 2024 Cheltenham Festival HUB

  • We're now NRMB on all 28 Cheltenham Festival races

  • Free Racing Multiple Every Weekend Until Cheltenham

  • The 2024 Cheltenham Festival

    The Cheltenham Festival is a four-day horse racing meeting regarded as the highlight and most prestigious meeting in the National Hunt calendar for UK and Ireland horse racing.

    It takes place annually in the middle of March at Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury Park in Gloucestershire, with this year's Cheltenham Festival commencing on Tuesday 12 March and lasting for four days up to Friday 15 March.

    There are 28 Cheltenham races in total with each of the four days consisting of seven races, with the first race on each day starting at 13:30 and the final race due to commence at 17:30.

    There are two main types of races in the Cheltenham schedule, known as Hurdles and Chases, and they are categorised as either graded races or handicaps.

    The three exceptions are the Cross Country Chase, the Champion Bumper (a National Hunt Flat race), and an Open Hunters' Chase.

    Racing over the four days is done on two courses, the first two days are on the Old Course, considered more of a speed test which is why the Grade 1 2m races are run on these days, while the final two days are on the New Course, considered a track more suited to stamina, hence the Stayers' Hurdle and Gold Cup being run on these days.

    The 2024 Cheltenham Festival HUB

    If you're looking for tips for a specific day or to back ante-post, visit our Cheltenham HUB where you'll find insight, previews, tipping columns and much more in the lead up to, and during the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

    Cheltenham Festival Day-by-Day Schedule

    Day 1 Races - Champion Day

    After months of hype, weeks of preview nights, and literally hundreds of tipping columns and podcasts, the 2024 Cheltenham Festival commences on Tuesday 12 March with the famous Cheltenham roar being heard around 13:30 as the tapes go up to signal the start of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

    The are four Grade 1 races on the opening day, a Grade 2 contest for amateur riders, and two handicaps, with the feature race of the day being the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle at 15:30.

    Tuesday's race schedule:

    13:30 Supreme Novices' Hurdle - 2m Sportsbook Exchange
    14:10 Arkle Chase - 2m Sportsbook Exchange
    14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase - 3m1f Sportsbook Exchange
    15:30 Champion Hurdle - 2m Sportsbook Exchange
    16:10 Mares' Hurdle - 2m4f Sportsbook Exchange
    16:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle - 2m Sportsbook Exchange
    17:30 National Hunt Chase - 3m6f Sportsbook Exchange

    The unbeaten Constitution Hill had been a strong favourite to defend his Champion Hurdle crown all season until a poor racecourse gallop, and subsequent bad scope, two weeks before the race put his participation in doubt.

    And on Monday 4 March it was announced that he will miss this year's race. He was as low as 1/41.25 on the Betfair Sportsbook before the news of his bad scope was made public.

    Last year's runner-up, State Man, is the new favourite to win the race at 2/51.40, and with the 4/15.00 joint-second favourites in the contest, Irish Point and Lossiemouth, having alternative (and possibly preferred) entries, we could be looking at one of the shortest-price Champion Hurdle favourites ever come race time.

    In the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle, champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins holds the key with the first three listed in the Sportsbook's NRMB ante-post market all being trained at his Closutton yard.

    However, it's extremely unlikely that all three of Ballyburn 10/111.91, Tullyhill 9/25.50 and Mystical Power 5/16.00 will line-up against each other on the day, though it's unlikely that Mullins will finalise his running plans until much nearer the meeting.

    The Betfair Sportsbook are Non Runner Money Back on all 28 races at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival. Full deatils here.

    The Arkle Chase and Mares Hurdle complete the four Grade 1 races on the opening day and will feature last year's Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Marine Nationale in the former and the very exciting mare Lossiemouth in the latter.

    EDIT: Marine Nationale has now been ruled out of this year's Festival.

    Last 10 winners of Tuesday's feature races:



    2023 Marine Nationale - 9/2 El Fabiolo - 11/10 Constitution Hill - 4/11 Honeysuckle - 9/4
    2022 Constitution Hill - 9/4 Edwardstone - 5/2 Honeysuckle - 8/11 Marie's Rock - 18/1
    2021 Appreciate It - 8/11 Shishkin - 4/9 Honeysuckle - 11/10 Black Tears - 11/1
    2020 Shishkin - 6/1 Put The Kettle On - 16/1 Epatante - 2/1 Honeysuckle - 9/4
    2019 Klassical Dream - 6/1 Duc Des Genievres - 5/1 Espoir D'Allen - 16/1 Roksana - 10/1
    2018 Summerville Boy - 9/1 Footpad - 5/6 Buveur D'Air - 4/6 Benie Des Dieux - 9/2
    2017 Labaik - 25/1 Altior - 1/4 Buveur D'Air - 5/1 Apple's Jade - 7/2
    2016 Altior - 4/1 Douvan - 1/4 Annie Power - 5/2 Vroum Vroum Mag - 4/6
    2015 Douvan - 2/1 Un De Sceaux - 4/6 Faugheen - 4/5 Glens Melody - 6/1
    2014 Vautour - 7/2 Western Horse - 33/1 Jezki - 9/1 Quevega - 8/11

    Day 2 Races - Festival Wednesday

    Similar to Tuesday, there are four Grade 1 races to enjoy on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, two handicaps, and the 'love it or hate it' Cross Country Chase which this year will feature a former Gold Cup winner in Minella Indo.

    The Cheltenham roar will once again be heard at around 13:30 as they day's proceedings begin, with the feature race of the day, the Queen Mother Champion Chase being staged at 15:30.

    Wednesday's race schedule:

    13:30 Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle - 2m5f Sportsbook Exchange
    14:10 Brown Advisory Novies' Chase - 3m Sportsbook Exchange
    14:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle - 2m5f Sportsbook Exchange
    15:30 Champion Chase - 2m Sportsbook Exchange
    16:10 Cross Country Chase - 3m6f Sportsbook Exchange
    16:50 Grand Annual Handicap Chase - 2m Sportsbook Exchange
    17:30 Champion Bumper - 2m Sportsbook Exchange

    We have a lot of strong favourites in the feature races this year and the Champion Chase is no different with last year's Arkle winner El Fabiolo set to go off at a very short price (4/91.44 at the time of writing) to beat his main market rival Jonbon.

    Irish-trained horses have dominated recent Cheltenham Festivals, but none more so than in the novice hurdle ranks and they again look set to land the opening race of the day, the Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle with the antepost market full of raiders from across the Irish Sea.

    Ballyburn will be a strong favourite should he get re-routed from Tuesday's Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but if he is a no-show here then the Baring Bingham looks an open contest, but sadly for the Brits, an open contest between many Irish-trained runners.

    Watch our Paul Nicholls Cheltenham Festival preview now, including Paul's thoughts on Bravemansgame, Stay Away Fay, Ginny's Destiny and more...

    The Grade 1 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase - formerly the RSA Chase - has another strong-looking favourite at the head of the market in the shape of Fact To File, but Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has leading claims of landing the prize with second favourite Stay Away Fay.

    Winner of last year's Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival, Stay Away Fay has taken to chasing extremely well and after a couple of early-season victories he wasn't disgraced outside of novice company when third in the Cotswold Chase last time. Back in novice company he could well prove to be the best of the Brits.

    You can read all our Paul Nicholls content here.

    The final Grade 1 contest on Wednesday is the Champion Bumper at 17:30, and it's a race that offers a look into the future with so many previous winners of the race going on to be champions and multiple Cheltenham Festival winners.

    This year's renewal has an open feel to it with the Betfair Sportsbook going 4/15.00 the field at the time of writing, though Paul Nicholls has another big chance of a Festival winner in the shape of 6/17.00 shot Teeshan.

    Last 10 winners of Wednesday's feature races:



    2023 Impaire Et Passe - 5/2 The Real Whacker - 8/1 Energumene - 6/5 A Dream To Share - 5/2
    2022 Sir Gerhard - 8/11 L'Homme Presse - 9/4 Energumene - 5/2 Facile Vega - 15/8
    2021 Bob Olinger - 6/4 Monkfish - 1/4 Put The Kettle On - 17/2 Sir Gerhard - 85/40
    2020 Envoi Allen - 4/7 Champ - 4/1 Politologue - 6/1 Ferny Hollow - 11/1
    2019 City Island - 8/1 Topofthegame - 4/1 Altior - 4/11 Envoi Allen - 2/1
    2018 Samcro - 8/11 Presenting Percy - 5/2 Altior - Evs Relegate - 25/1
    2017 Willoughby Court - 14/1 Might Bite - 7/2 Speical Tiara - 11/1 Fayonagh - 7/1
    2016 Yorkhill - 3/1 Blaklion - 8/1 Sprinter Sacre - 5/1 Ballyandy - 5/1
    2015 Windsor Park - 9/2 Don Poli - 8/1 Dodging Bullets - 9/2 Moon Racer - 9/2
    2014 Faugheen - 6/4 O'Faolains Boy - 12/1 Sire De Grugy - 11/4 Silver Concorde - 16/1

    Day 3 Races - St Patrick's Day

    Three Grade 1s, a Grade 2 contest and three handicaps are the races for the third day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival with the Stayers' Hurdle at 15:30 being the feature race of the day.

    And a reminder that from here on in all 14 remaining races will be contested on the New Course.

    Thursday's race schedule:

    13:30 Turners Novices' Chase - 2m4f Sportsbook Exchange
    14:10 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle - 3m Sportsbook Exchange
    14:50 Ryanair Chase - 2m5f Sportsbook Exchange
    15:30 Stayers' Hurdle - 3m Sportsbook Exchange
    16:10 Plate Handicap Chase - 2m5f Sportsbook Exchange
    16:50 Mares Novices' Hurdle - 2m1f Sportsbook Exchange
    17:30 Kim Muir Handicap Chase - 3m2f Sportsbook Exchange

    Unlike the feature race of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Stayers' Hurdle looks much more of a contest from a betting perspective with the Betfair Sportsbook going 3/14.00 the field at the time of writing.

    It'll be no surprise that Irish-trained horses head the market with last year's third Teahupoo just shading Irish Point for favouritism. Third favourite Crambo is the leading British hope, but we also have a fascinating runner in 2022 Grand National winner Noble Yeats who looks as good as ever when switched back to hurdling.

    It's been a long old slog for Betfair tipster Daryl Carter who has been producing weekly Cheltenham Festival Focus columns since the start of the season. Check out all his superb previews and tips here.

    Thursday commences with the Grade 1 Turners Novices' Chase at 13:30 but the market is littered with contenders who have alternative entries, so it's probably a race to pay more attention to at the 48 hour stage.

    The likes of Fact To File, Gaelic Warrior and Grey Dawning could all run elsewhere which means the Paul Nicholls-trained Ginny's Destiny must have solid claims. Paul won this race last year with Stage Star and recently said that Ginny's Destiny is probably his best chance of a winner at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

    The three handicaps on the card, the Pertemps Final, the Plate and the Kim Muir will all be fiercely competitive contests where you'll likely get much better Win odds on the Betfair Exchange should that be how you prefer to bet.

    Last 10 winners of Thursday's feature races:



    2023 Stage Star - 15/2 Good Time Jonny - 9/1 Envoi Allen - 13/2 Sire Du Berlais - 33/1
    2022 Bob Olinger - 6/5 Third Wind - 25/1 Allaho - 4/7 Flooring Porter - 4/1
    2021 Chantry House - 9/1 Mrs Milner - 12/1 Allaho - 3/1 Flooring Porter - 12/1
    2020 Samcro - 4/1 Sire Du Berlais - 10/1 Min - 2/1 Lisnagar Oscar - 50/1
    2019 Defi De Seuil - 3/1 Sire Du Berlais - 4/1 Frodon - 9/2 Paisley Park - 11/8
    2018 Shattered Love - 4/1 Delta Work - 6/1 Balko Des Flos - 8/1 Penhill - 12/1
    2017 Yorkhill - 6/4 Presenting Percy - 11/1 Un De Sceaux - 7/4 Nochols Canyon - 10/1
    2016 Black Hercules - 4/1 Mall Dini - 4/1 Vautour - Evs Thistlecrack - Evs
    2015 Vautour - 6/4 Call The Cops - 9/1 Uxizandre - 16/1 Cole Harden - 14/1
    2014 Taquin Deu Seuil - 7/1 Fingal Bay - 9/2 Dynate - 3/1 More Of That - 15/2

    Day 4 Races - Gold Cup Day

    The fourth and final day of the Cheltenham Festival has a similar make-up to Thursday with three Grade 1 races, a Grade 2 contest, and a couple of very competitive handicaps.

    Throw in the Festival Hunters' Chase and we have a fascinating day of racing to look forward to which of course features the blue riband event, the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

    Friday's race schedule:

    13:30 Triumph Hurdle - 2m1f Sportsbook Exchange
    14:10 County Handicap Hurdle - 2m1f Sportsbook Exchange
    14:50 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle - 3m Sportsbook Exchange
    15:30 Cheltenham Gold Cup - 3m2f Sportsbook Exchange
    16:10 Festival Hunters' Chase - 3m2f Sportsbook Exchange
    16:50 Mares' Chase - 2m5f Sportsbook Exchange
    17:30 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle - 2m4f Sportsbook Exchange

    Similar to the opening race of the meeting, the start of the Cheltenham Gold Cup will be greeted with an almighty roar as the runners are sent on their way at around 15:30.

    Winner of last year's renewal, Galopin Des Champs will be a warm order at around 1/12.00 to defend his crown after looking back to his best in two recent victories, including one in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival.

    Fastorslow is his main market rival at the time of writing but the Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin, a multiple Grade 1 and Cheltenham Festival winner, will be a fascinating runner stepped up to the Gold Cup trip for the first time.

    Last year's runner-up Bravemansgame, representing Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls, has been freshened up for another crack at the meeting's feature race, while King George winner Hewick and last year's Grand National winner Corach Rambler are also likey to feature in what is building up to being a brilliant renewal.

    Read all of our ambassador columns exclusively on betting.betfair. Click here for Paul Nicholls and click here for Rachael Blackmore. And don't forget our star tipsters, Tony Calvin, Daryl Carter, and Kevin Blake.

    The Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle commences the final day of the Festival at 13:30, and it has a strong favourite in the unbeaten Sir Gino, while the penultimate Grade 1 of the meeting, the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle is a intriguing contest for one particular reason.

    Take a look at the tables in this guide that show the previous 10 winners and starting prices of each day's feature races, but pay attention particularly to the prices of the recent Albert Bartlett winners.

    In 2020 Monkfish at 5/16.00 is the only winner under the odds of 11/112.00 in the last 10 years, and we go into this year's renewal following back-to-back 18/119.00 winners.

    Winners at 50/151.00, 33/134.00 (x2), 18/119.00 (x2), 16/117.00 and 14/115.00 (x2) suggest that if you're ever going to take a punt on a long shot outside of the handicaps, then this is the race to do it in.

    *Last 10 winners of Friday's feature races:



    2023 Lossiemouth - 11/8 Faivoir - 33/1 Stay Away Fay - 18/1 Galopin Des Champs - 7/5
    2022 Vauban - 6/4 State Man - 11/4 The Nice Guy - 18/1 A Plus Tard - 3/1
    2021 Quilixios - 2/1 Belfast Banter - 33/1 Vanillier - 14/1 Minella Indo - 9/1
    2020 Burning Victory - 12/1 Saint Roi - 11/2 Monkfish - 5/1 Al Boum Photo - 10/3
    2019 Pentland Hills - 20/1 Chtibello - 12/1 Minella Indo - 50/1 Al Boum Photo -12/1
    2018 Farclas - 9/1 Mohaayed - 33/1 Kilbricken Storm - 33/1 Native River - 5/1
    2017 Defi Du Seuil - 5/2 Arctic Fire - 20/1 Penhill - 16/1 Sizing John - 7/1
    2016 Ivanovich Gorbatov - 9/2 Superb Story - 8/1 Unowhat Imeanharry - 11/1 Don Cossack - 9/4
    2015 Peace And Co - 2/1 Wicklow Brave - 33/1 Martello Tower - 14/1 Coneygree - 7/1
    2014 Tiger Roll - 10/1 Lac Fontana 11/1 Very Wood - 33/1 Lord Windermere - 20/1

      The Cheltenham Gold Cup - A brief history

      Regarded as the single most prestigious National Hunt race of the season, The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a race that every owner, trainer and jockey wants to win, and this year it celebrates its 100th year.

      It is a race steeped in history that was first contested in the summer of 1819 as a flat race, and it wasn't until over 100 years later - 1924 to be precise - that it was first run as a jumps race.

      Raced initially on what is now the 'Old Course', the Cheltenham Gold Cup was far from the most important race of the season in its early years, and in fact wasn't even the most important race at the Festival, that accolade going to the National Hunt Chase.

      But the five successive victories of Golden Miller from 1932 to 1936 saw the race grow in popularity, and when the Vincent O'Brien-trained Cottage Lake won three successive victories up to the year 1950, popularising the race in Ireland, the Cheltenha Gold Cup was now firmly established as the biggest race in the jumping calendar.

      Kauto Star takes fence 1280.jpg

      The contest was moved to the 'New Course' in 1959, and the subsequent achievements of horses like Arkle, Dawn Run, Desert Orchid, Best Mate, Kauto Star (pictured above) and Denman have helped maintain the race as the blue riband event of both the Cheltenham Festival and the National Hunt season.

      *Timeline of significant events

      1819 - First contested as a flat race
      1924 - First contested as a jumps race on the Old Course
      1932 - First of five successive victories for Golden Miller
      1948 - First of three successive victories for Irish-trained Cottage Rake
      1959 - Race switched to the New Course
      1964 - First of three successive victories for Arkle
      1966 - Shortest priced winner of the race - Arkle at 1/10
      1972 - First commercial sponsorship of the race (Piper Champagne)
      1983 - Michael Dickenson trains first five home
      1986 - Dawn Run becomes first horse to win Champion Hurdle & the Gold Cup
      1990 - Longest priced winner of the race - Norton's Coin at 100/1
      2001 - Race cancelled becaue of foot-and-mouth disease
      2002 - First of three successive victories for Best Mate
      2009 - Kauto Star becomes first horse to regain the Gold Cup
      2020 - One of last major sporting events before Covid-19 lockdown
      2021 - Raced behind closed doors due to Covid-19 pandemic
      2022 - Rachael Blackmore becomes first female jockey to win the race

      Serial Winner: Rachael Blackmore

      With sports documentaries gripping the UK, late in 2023 Betfair launched the fourth edition of our Serial Winners series.

      The star of the film is, of course, Betfair ambassador Rachael Blackmore, as we explore the highs and lows of her incredible journey in the sport.

      From the early days when simply getting rides was a struggle to reaching the very peak of her sport thanks to Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup wins at the Cheltenham Festival and the 2021 Grand National, this very special film gets to the bottom of her Serial Winner mindset and, as Rachael puts it, how getting there means she has to tackle being a serial loser too.

      Rachael was not born into racing royalty but has become one of the most well-known jumps jockeys in the world through a series of astonishing performances at the biggest festivals. It's a far cry from the early days on the pony racing scene in rural Ireland!

      In our film you will hear from leading racing experts in the industry including Betfair's own Kevin Blake and Vanessa Ryle, and ITV Racing's Ed Chamberlin as we tell the story of her rise to the top of the sport.

      Rachael Blackmore's Serial Winner Charity Fund

      Betfair is challenging the brilliant Rachael Blackmore to raise up to £250,000 for two racing charities by doing what she does best - winning horse races.

      On Saturday 25 November (Betfair Chase day) Betfair launched the Serial Winners Fund with an initial £100,000 donation.

      Since then Betfair have been adding £5,000 to the pot for every winner Rachael has had and will do so up until the Grand National on April 13.

      The cause is great and the chances of Rachael reaching her target are good. Over the last five years, Rachael has ridden an average of 30 winners during the same period.

      Proceeds will be shared evenly between the two charities that make a major difference to the lives of jockeys in both the UK and Ireland, the Injured Jockeys Fund and Irish Injured Jockeys.

      The Injured Jockey's Fund has helped more than 1,000 jockeys and their families since 1964, distributing more than £20 million, and Betfair's donation will help fund continue their great work.

      Betfair Ambassador Rachael Blackmore said: "This is a very generous initiative from Betfair and one that I am excited to be a part of over the coming season.

      "The work of IIJ and IJF is vital in providing support services for jockeys past and present. It's great to have Betfair supporting not only me, but two organisations that are so important to us as jockeys."

      Betting on the Cheltenham Festival

      There are many ways you can bet on the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, either on the Betfair Exchange or on the Betfair Sportsbook, with the most popular and traditional way being to back on individual races via either win or each-way bets.

      All 28 of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival races are now priced up for ante-post purposes, both on the Exchange and Sportsbook, with anyone doing so now on the latter platform receiving the Non Runner Money Back concession, meaning if your selection doesn't run then you'll get your money back.

      The 'day of the race' markets typically appear around 48 hours before racing should you want to wait until the final declarations (runners and riders) are known.

      Betfair Safer Gambling: A range of tools to help

      Betfair is committed to safer gambling and here you can find out about the tools that help you set your budget, keep track of your spend, take a break when you need it, and more. Click here for full details.

      And you don't just have to back singles. You can include more than one selection in what is called a multiple.

      A selection in two different races combined in a multiple is called a double, three races it's a treble, and four or more races is often referred to as an acca (accumulator).

      Closer to the races Betfair will be enhancing odds on certain horses, enhancing the place terms for each-way betting on some races (6 places paid instead of 4 for example), and providing plenty of 'specials' which can include a boosted price for a jockey to ride 2+ winners, or a horse to win by over 5 lengths, among many other specials.

      From the Horse Racing section on the Betfair Sportsbook, simply click on the Specials tab to see all the offers for that day, Betfair Exchange specials can be found here.

      Betfair Education - Betting Explained

      We understand and appreciate that not everyone betting on this year's Cheltenham Festival will be familiar with how it all works, and that to some new customers it may appear a bit daunting at first.

      With so much information already given in this guide you might just want to jump straight in and place some bets. If that's the case, then we have you covered.

      Within our excellent Betting Explained section on you will find all the educational pieces that you will need to place a bet.

      You might just want to know what the simplest types of bets are available to you, or how betting odds work, and even how to place a bet on either the Betfair Sportsbook or Betfair Exchange.

      Click the links below for some popular Betting Explained articles for beginners.

      - What are the simplest types of bet? Click here.

      - How do odds work? Click here.

      - How to place a bet on the Betfair Exchange. Click here.

      - How to place a bet on the Betfair Sportsbook. Click here.

      Make use of Betfair Beacons

      Betfair have made it easier for horse racing customers to keep track of price moves on the Betfair Exchange, meaning you'll instantly be able to see which horses are shortening in price, and which are drifting, on all 28 Cheltenham Festival races.

      The Betfair Beacons are here to light up a more efficient era where price movement is visible immediately.

      A flames Beacon will show for horses that are popular in the market and are shortening. Horses that are not popular in the market that are drifting will be marked by a snowflake (see image below).


      Betfair Beacons will not provide any information that isn't already available, but they mean you will no longer need to click into runners and check price graphs to see which horses are being backed and which ones are drifting as that information is shown automatically via the fire and ice.

      They will indicate which horses are attracting money in the market and which ones aren't, allowing you to make quicker and better betting choices during the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

      Cheltenham Top Jockey Betting

      Another popular way to bet on the 2024 Cheltenham Festival is to have a bet in the Cheltenham Top Jockey market on the Betfair Exchange.

      This can be a fun way of having an interest in all 28 races at the Festival, cheering on the jockey you have backed in races that they're riding in, and hoping that a potential danger to your bet - a jockey you haven't backed - doesn't win a race in any contest that your selection isn't riding in.

      Paul Townend is a strong favourite at present but it only takes the Willie Mullins stable to have a below-par week and that will open the door to second favourite Jack Kennedy who will have plenty of big chances for Gordon Elliott.

      Betfair's Rachael Blackmore - winner of this market in 2021 - is currently available to back at around 15.014/1 and she is sure to have a strong book of rides throughout the Festival.

      So if you can't decide on a runner, then how about just picking a rider and keeping an eye on that jockey all week?

      *Cheltenham leading jockey and no. of wins in last six years:

      2023 - Paul Townend (5)
      2022 - Paul Townend (5)
      2021 - Rachael Blackmore (6)
      2020 - Paul Townend (5)
      2019 - Nico de Boinville (3)
      2018 - Davy Russell (4)

      Cheltenham Top Trainer Betting

      Just like the top jockey market, on the Betfair Exchange there is a Cheltenham Top Trainer market available to bet on.

      It works in exactly the same way as the top jockey - whoever trains the most winners at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival wins the award - though sadly, it's not a very competitive market with Willie Mullins a long odds-on shot to take the leading trainer honours.

      Willie Mullins 1280 x 853.png

      Mullins has won the award at nine of the last 11 festivals, and the two that he didn't win went to his Irish counterpart Gordon Elliott!

      But could Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls be a surprise package this year at huge odds?

      He's likely to have more runners at this year's festival than he has had in recent years, and as well as saddling some fancied runners in the handicaps he has a number of contenders currently favourite or towards the head of the market in other races, such as Stay Away Fay (Brown Advisory), Teeshan (Champion Bumper), Ginny's Destiny (Turners Novices' Chase) and Stage Star (Ryanair Chase).

      *Cheltenham leading trainer and no. of wins in last six years:

      2023 - Willie Mullins (6)
      2022 - Willie Mullins (10)
      2021 - Willie Mullins (6)
      2020 - Willie Mullins (7)
      2019 - Willie Mullins (4)
      2018 - Gordon Elliott (8)

      Cheltenham Festival Best Horse

      Depending on the criteria, the debate as to which horse can be regarded as the best Cheltenham Festival horse ever could go on longer than the four days itself.

      On ratings, Arkle and Kauto Star lead the way, but was Golden Miller's five Gold Cup wins better than Best Man's three? And what about Big Buck's four Stayers' Hurdle wins? Was See Pigeon better than See You Then and Istabraq?

      Different eras, different opinions, different types of horses. We all have our favourites and well all have our opinion as to who was the best.

      But for me... my mind will never be changed.

      It's Quevega all the way.

      For starters, her record of six consecutive Cheltenham Festival wins in six different seasons is likely never to be bettered, but also, when you look back at how she demolished her fields in her early victories, there's no doubt in my mind that she could have won far better races.

      She won the Mares' Hurdle for six consecutive seasons between 2009 and 2014, but don't let the fact that the race was then 'only' a Grade 2 contest diminish her achievements.

      It was still the major 'mares-only' race at the Festival, and it attracted deep fields with the best mares from the UK and Ireland.

      But she beat them all, and her stunning victories in her first four wins were literally 'performance of the Festival' contenders each year.

      In her prime she had the cruising speed and change of gear to contend a Champion Hurdle, and she had the stamina to fight out a Stayers' Hurdle, but by all accounts she was a fragile mare, and connections chose to keep her runs to a minimum and target the Mares' Hurdle each season.

      But boy was she good.

      Now read more Cheltenham Festival previews here.


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