Bagging a Big One: 3 Early Bets for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Get ready for the 2024 Cheltenham races and place your bets today.

horse race

The Cheltenham Festival, a revered event in jump racing, is the ultimate prize that every competitor yearns to conquer. Spanning four exhilarating days and showcasing a staggering 28 races, this festival is synonymous with unparalleled prestige, fierce competition, and unbridled excitement.

A true legend was born as Galopin Des Champs and Paul Townend etched their names into the annals of racing history. The Cheltenham Festival in 2023 promised and delivered as an unmissable spectacle, consistently delivering extraordinary moments. With 14 Grade One races spread across four action-packed days, spectators witness the finest horses, trainers, and jockeys battling it out on the hallowed turf.

Each race at the Cheltenham Festival carries the weight of creating everlasting memories and leaving an indelible mark on the sport's legacy.

As we prepare ourselves for the thunderous Cheltenham roar, the electrifying racing, and those priceless moments that will be relived for years to come, join the countdown to Cheltenham 2024 as we analyse the ante-post wagers.

Gold Cup

Our pick: L’Homme Presse @ 20/1

The 2023 Gold Cup was triumphed by Galopin Des Champs, the leading horse in the market. We encourage bettors to consider placing their bets on this horse in order to retain his title. In the previous tournament held in March, Galopin Des Champs, trained by Willie Mullins, delivered an impressive performance, winning by a margin of seven lengths. Only Bravemansgame came close to challenging him.

While Galopin Des Champs is already listed at a relatively low price (2/1) to secure a Gold Cup double, his odds may become even shorter if the seven-year-old remains in good form.

An intriguing contender at this stage is L'Homme Presse, who impressively won the Brown Advisory race in 2022. Venetia Williams' standout performer was absent during the second half of the previous season due to a fall in the King George, where he seemed destined for at least a second-place finish. Suppose L'Homme Presse returns to his previous form before that unfortunate incident. In that case, he has the potential to be a strong contender in what appears to be a relatively weak Gold Cup field. Galopin Des Champs is currently the dominant force in the longer distance races. However, if L'Homme Presse has fully recovered from the injury sustained in the King George, he could resume his ascent to the top of the staying division. At odds of 20/1, he presents an appealing option in the ante-post market for the best Cheltenham betting offers.

Odds-on Favorites to win the Gold Cup:
  • Galopin Des Champs – 2/1
  • Gerri Colombe – 7/1
  • Bravemansgame – 12/1

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Our pick: El Fabiolo @ 2/1

El Fabiolo delivered an exceptional performance, rivalling the likes of Douvan and Shishkin, to secure victory in this year's Sporting Life Arkle. His ability to handle a challenging race with demanding fences made it even more impressive despite only being on his third chase start.

With his immense potential, El Fabiolo can dominate the two-mile division for years to come. Considering that his stablemate, Energumene, who has won the past two Champion Chase editions, will turn ten next year, I would prefer to back the younger and more promising option.

Likely, El Fabiolo’s odds will significantly decrease by the time the next Cheltenham Festival comes around, so the 2/1 price we’re currently looking at feels like a steal.

Odds-on Favourites to win the Champion Chase:
  • El Fabiolo – 2/1
  • Energumene – 3/1
  • Jonbon – 7/1

Stayers Hurdle

Our pick: Gaelic Warrior @ 4/1

Mullins and Rich Ricci have an additional promising candidate to anticipate in this French import. The horse had a successful season in hurdles last year and is expected not to be switched to fences just yet. He triumphed in a Leopardstown handicap, winning €80,000 while carrying a weight of 11st 12lb. He then finished second to his stablemate, Impaire Et Passe, in the Ballymore race at Cheltenham. Following that, he won impressively by a margin of 10 lengths in the three-mile Grade One novice race at Punchestown.

The Stayers' Hurdle is a highly competitive race, but it is rare for six-year-olds to win it. If Gaelic Warrior starts chasing at a young age, we will clearly understand his abilities. This also allows for the option of returning to hurdles if necessary, although I don't believe it will be necessary.

Considering this, the odds of 4/1 for Gaelic Warrior are quite favourable. Willie Mullins already has talented horses like Facile Vega and Impaire Et Passe ready to compete in the 2m and 2m 4f Hurdle divisions. I am confident that Gaelic Warrior will be directed towards chasing.

Odds-on Favourites to win the Stayers Hurdle:
  • Gaelic Warrior – 4/1
  • Vauban – SP
  • Impaire Et Passe – 8/1

Final Thoughts

The Cheltenham Festival stands as a premier global horse racing event renowned not only for its exceptional races but also for its vibrant ambience. The attendees at Cheltenham are among the most vibrant in the world, generating a dynamic atmosphere that elevates the Festival to a pinnacle of exhilarating sporting spectacles each year.

With the 2024 Cheltenham Festival on the horizon, anticipation builds for the thrilling contests ahead and the emergence of victors in the marquee races.

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