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The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost betting Tips

The moment horse racing fans have all been waiting for has finally arrived with the Cheltenham Festival. Thousands make their way to the venue for an action-packed week of entertainment, as some of the best horses, jockeys, and trainers compete to be the best in the business.

As always, the form guide is essentially tossed out of the window as far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned. Regardless of how good performances might have been in previous races, the thrill of the winner’s enclosure and that victory lap for all to see can always inspire an outsider to do business in any of the Festival’s four days, and this year should be no exception.

The anomaly of this year’s event is the lack of fitness updates we’ve received on a number of horses. Last year’s Champion Hurdle winner Constitution Hill was only ruled out of his race a week before it was due to start, with the dominant Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old still suffering an injury sustained at Kempton Park.

Looking ahead to the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, let’s assess what we do know about some of the biggest races, and who we think could capitalise on some other big absences as the action unfolds. Read on to find out more.

Stayers’ Hurdle – Teahupoo

Teahupoo is the 11/4 favourite for this year’s Stayers’ Hurdle, day three of the Festival in a race that is packed to the rafters with the Grade 1 contenders. While Gordon Elliot’s horse won his last outing at Fairyhouse in the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, there are a plethora of close contenders which makes the race an interesting watch. Indeed, the likes of Irish Point and 2022 Randox Grand National winner Noble Yeats are all in the running, with Emmet Mullins looking to build on the momentum his nine-year-old gathered at Prestbury Park earlier in the year.

Of all this year’s races this one looks to be the most open, but Teahupoo boats a tremendous record and the three-mile track is ideal for his powerful style. However, Fergal O’Brien’s Crambo is 4/1 and could serve as a good outsider.

Champion Hurdle – State Man

Constitution Hill had clearly gone into the Champion Hurdle as the clear favourite, and the absence of the unbeaten frontrunner, last year’s winner by some margin, will blow the odds on the best betting sites Ireland has to offer up in the air, but State Man looks most likely to take advantage of the situation.

The Willie Mullins-trailed gelding currently has odds of 1/3 to pick up the victory in one of the jumps racing’s most prestigious fixtures. State Man is enjoying a purple patch that has gone on over the last two years, winning 10 of his last 11 including a Leopardstown double with the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle.

The 3/1 comes into the Grade 1 with his trainer full of confidence, as Mullins showcased his ambitions for another Champion Trainer award, adding to his extensive list of Cheltenham winners, with this one even making it his century.

“State Man certainly isn’t in the league of the pizazz of Faugheen or the speed of Hurricane Fly, but he has other things, like he jumps well and he’s so consistent at home,” says the trainer. “I don’t know if he’s better, but he’s stronger. State Man hasn’t won a Champion Hurdle yet, but he’ll have a crack this year and maybe next year.”

Alongside State Man is stablemate Lossiemouth, and 4/1 Irish Point, with Pied Piper next at 16/1.

Cheltenham Gold Cup – Galopin Des Champs 

Many believe lightning will strike twice in the Gold Cup and see Galopin Des Champs pick up consecutive Gold Cups in the Festival’s feature race. This is the race’s 100th year and as mentioned early could poignantly be Mullins’s chance to pick up his 100th Cheltenham winner. Ireland does look set to dominate for a fifth successive year, with Paul Townend saddling a victory in the Irish Gold Cup Chase that should be enough to give Galopin the edge as the jockey recorded his 11th career victory and his second consecutive win in the Grade 1 event.

The closest competition lies in Henderson’s Shishkin, an ever-present at Prestbury Park after narrowly missing out on the Ryanair Chase to Envoi Allen last year, the trainer has this year decided to go all in on the Gold Cup, with the 10-year-old’s win at Newbury enough for Henderson to pick Cheltenham over Aintree.

“As we’ve given up on the Grand National we may as well concentrate on the Gold Cup,” said Henderson. “The Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup are the most important races as far as I’m concerned because it means you have the best horse and that’s what a race is about.”

As well as the two favourites the race showcases its unpredictability with other capable Group 1 winners thrown into the mix. The likes of L’Homme Presse and Bravemansgame could indeed come to spoil the party in pursuit of the biggest prize the sport has to offer.

The Cheltenham Festival gets underway the week of St Patrick’s Day and is always a festivity regardless of the results. This year will feel all the more special down to the 100th anniversary of the Gold Cup and the emergence of new exciting horses and jockeys. One of the biggest weeks in the sporting calendar, race fans and punters alike will travel from far and wide to get a taste of the action.