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Home » Blog » cheltenham festival 2024 preview best bets race cards and where to watch

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Preview: Best Bets, Race Cards and Where To Watch

Joe Lyons
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The Cheltenham Festival is finally here and the 2024 renewal is set to be one of the best yet. SafeBettingSites have put together a full preview of the upcoming action at jump racing’s HQ, including our best bets for the week.

See below all the best bookmakers to sign up with ahead of the first race on Tuesday, with plenty of juicy welcome offers and free bets on the table for the Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham Preview: What’s In Store For 2024?

British and Irish National Hunt racing meets its climax at the Cheltenham Festival every year and 2024 is set to be one of the best renewals yet.

Tuesday kicks off with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at 1:30pm, where one of the 12 runners will become a Grade 1 winner for the first time. Willie Mullins has a number of strong contenders in the form of Tullyhill and Mystical Power, but Slade Steel, Firefox and Jeriko Du Reponet are also very capable winners.

Gaelic Warrior has surprisingly ended up in a poor renewal of the Arkle Novices’ Chase and Closutton will be hoping that the drop back to two miles will counteract his tendency to jump out to the right and allow his engine to get him home, aiming for maiden Festival glory after two runner-up finishes in the Boodles and Baring Bingham.

The Champion Hurdle is headlined by 1/3 favourite State Man, who should be a very easy winner of this race considering his biggest rivals are: Irish Point, who was a leading candidate for the Stayers’ Hurdle and almost certainly wants further – and Iberico Lord, who steps out of handicap company and into graded waters for the first time.

Lossiemouth has been a strong favourite for the Mares’ Hurdle from the get go and whilst Ashroe Diamond is no pushover, the Rich Ricci-owned five-year-old should prove far too good for this field and set up a shot at the Champion Hurdle in 2025.

Ballyburn kicks things off on Wednesday in the Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle and he carries the reputation of another festival banker, but he’ll have to get past two formidable stablemates in Ile Atlantique and Predators Gold to capture the Grade 1 prize on his Festival debut.

Fact To File heads the market for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase and the vibes coming from the Mullins stable suggest this is their next Gold Cup winner. Odds-on looks a bit short for the JP McManus-owned seven-year-old, but it’s hard to ignore the right signals coming from the right people.

El Fabiolo will aim to preserve his unbeaten record over fences in the Champion Chase, taking on two familiar rivals – Jonbon and Edwardstone. He has the form over both but Champion Chases aren’t easily won. However, this is a race he should be winning if he’s as good as we think he is.

Grey Dawning is now the outright favourite to win the Turners Novices’ Chase but this looks a really close match-up with Ginny’s Destiny who is aiming to complete a four-timer at the course and Facile Vega who is now tried further. Iroko is also in contention but his preparation has been less than ideal.

Banbridge will need good ground to make a stab at winning the Ryanair Chase, but if the rain does come it’s hard to look past last year’s Envoi Allen who looks to have had the ideal preparation for this race. Stage Star is a Festival winner and can’t be dismissed also.

Teahupoo is a strong favourite in the Stayers’ Hurdle on Thursday and after disappointment in this race last year, many will feel that his time in the sun is coming. It’s a weaker renewal and at 2/1 he looks one of the better bets of the week at the current prices.

Gordon Elliott’s stable have been nothing but ecstatic regarding the chances of Brighterdaysahead in the Mares Novices’ Hurdle, but she comes up against two strong opponents in Jade De Grugy and Dysart Enos – which looks to be one of the hottest races of the week.

Friday begins with the Triumph Hurdle and Sir Gino is the overwhelming pick for many in this. Nicky Henderson was quick to dismiss any suggestion that the horse wasn’t fit to run after rumours began to circulate on social media last week, but with his stable in concerning form this is a factor worth considering.

The highlight of the final day of action is the Gold Cup, where Galopin Des Champs will aim to become a back-to-back winner of the race following triumph in 2023. He’ll face a stiffer task this time around against the likes of Shishkin, Fastorslow and Gerri Colombe, but if he runs anything like he did at Christmas he should win like a good thing.

Cheltenham Festival Bankers For 2024

  • Tuesday 3:30pm – STATE MAN 1/3 (Champion Hurdle)

Before the news broke that Constitution Hill was a doubt to run in the Champion Hurdle, many considered State Man a much bigger threat this time around. He’s had a perfect season with three wins from three and he’s in very calm waters here.

1/3 is reflective of his chances in this race but considering the lack of credible opposition, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see 1/5.

  • Tuesday 4:10pm – LOSSIEMOUTH 8/13 (Mares’ Hurdle)

Lossiemouth is a class above this field and connections don’t appear to have any concern over the longer trip to 2m4f. She’s been touted as a contender for the Champion Hurdle next year and it’s not hard to see why.

This has been the target for some time and it’d be a surprise to see her beaten. Lossiemouth boasts six wins from seven runs under rules, with her only defeat coming at the Dublin Racing Festival last year against Gala Marceau – who is in this field but isn’t fancied at all following a string of poor showings this season.

  • Wednesday 1:30pm – BALLYBURN 8/13 (Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle)

The consensus among horse racing fans was that Ballyburn wins whichever race he runs in at the Festival. After much deliberation, connections opted for the further trip and this is a race he should win.

He doesn’t have many strong opponents either. Ile Atlantique has lost three of his last four races – a few in very disappointing fashion and he’s been unable to get up for the win when wrestling with another horse towards the finish.

Cheltenham Festival Race Cards: Who Are The Favourites?

 

Tuesday, 12th March 2024

  • 1:30pm – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Favourite: Tullyhill
  • 2:10pm – Arkle Novices’ Chase – Favourite: Gaelic Warrior
  • 2:50pm – Ultima Handicap Chase – Favourite: Meetingofthewaters
  • 3:30pm – Champion Hurdle – Favourite: State Man
  • 4:10pm – Mares’ Hurdle – Favourite: Lossiemouth
  • 4:50pm – Boodles Handicap Hurdle – Favourite: Milan Tino
  • 5:30pm – National Hunt Chase – Favourite: Embassy Gardens

 

Wednesday, 13th March 2024

  • 1:30pm – Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle – Favourite: Ballyburn
  • 2:10pm – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase – Favourite: Fact To File
  • 2:50pm – Coral Cup – Favourite: Sa Majeste
  • 3:30pm – Champion Chase – Favourite: El Fabiolo
  • 4:10pm – Cross Country Chase – Favourite: Minella Indo
  • 4:50pm – Grand Annual – Favourite: Saint Roi
  • 5:30pm – Champion Bumper – Jalon D’oudairies

 

Thursday, 14th March 2024

  • 1:30pm – Turners’ Novices Chase – Favourite: Grey Dawning
  • 2:10pm – Pertemps Handicap Hurdle – Favourite: Chantry House
  • 2:50pm – Ryanair Chase – Favourite: Banbridge
  • 3:30pm – Stayers’ Hurdle – Favourite: Teahupoo
  • 4:10pm – TrustATrader Plate – Favourite: Crebilly
  • 4:50pm – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle – Favourite: Brighterdaysahead
  • 5:30pm – Kim Muir Challenge Cup – Favourite: Inothewayurthinkin

 

Friday, 15th March 2024

  • 1:30pm – Triumph Hurdle – Favourite: Sir Gino
  • 2:10pm – County Hurdle – Favourite: King Of Kingsfield
  • 2:50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – Favourite: Readin Tommy Wrong
  • 3:30pm – Gold Cup – Favourite: Galopin Des Champs
  • 4:10pm – Hunters’ Chase – Favourite: Its On The Line
  • 4:50pm – Mares’ Chase – Favourite: Dinoblue
  • 5:30pm – Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle – Favourite: Quai De Bourbon

Note: Favourites are current at the time of publishing, but subject to change.

What Date Is The 2024 Cheltenham Festival?

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday, 12th March and finishes on Friday, 15th March.

Cheltenham Festival Live Stream: Where To Watch The Action

All the action is free to watch with all of the bookmakers listed at the top of this article. All you need to do is sign up, create an account, make a deposit and you’re good to go.

If you prefer to watch on TV, the first five races will be broadcast live on ITV every day of the Festival. Or ALL 28 races will be broadcast on RacingTV.

Joe Lyons
Joe Lyons

Joe Lyons is a sports betting writer with years of experience on reputable sports and gambling websites. Joe has also been published by Nottingham Forest, working with the academy and senior teams to produce content on matchdays. He formerly covered the Premier League and EFL as an on-site reporter during the 2020/21 season for Prost International. He is an expert in a range of sports including soccer, basketball, darts and American football. Joe specialises in long form SEO content alongside news, tips and betting. Joe has a keen eye for the sports betting industry in the USA which covers the NBA and NFL, tracking and analysing the market as it changes throughout the season.

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