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Cheltenham Festival 2024: Top Jockey Betting at The Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is now just around the corner and the countdown to the Cotswolds showpiece is well and truly intensifying. 

We are taking a look at some of the contenders to be crowned Top Jockey at the Cheltenham Festival.

Every race at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival can be watched live via the bet365 live Sports Streaming Service and we will have Cheltenham Festival tips throughout the four days.

Paul Townend

Top Jockey Odds: 2/5

With the current leaning of power towards Ireland over Britain in jumps racing, it is likely that the top rider at The Festival will be based on the Emerald Isle and Paul Townend, stable jockey to Cheltenham's all-time most successful trainer Willie Mullins, is the man with the most ammunition.

Townend has been top rider in three of the previous four years and was only denied in 2021 by the brilliance of Rachael Blackmore.

The six-time Irish champion has returned five winners across the four-day event on each of those occasions and his tally of festival winners at the meeting now stands at 28. The Champion Hurdle is the only feature race to elude him but he rides State Man (8/11) in the day one contest on 12th March.

Mullins' string at Cheltenham is a thing to behold, and Townend will also pick up top rides aboard Ballyburn (1/1) who could be Supreme Novices' Hurdle bound, Lossiemouth (4/7) in the Mares' Hurdle, El Fabiolo (4/9) in the Champion Chase, Galopin Des Champs (4/5) in the Gold Cup, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  

Jack Kennedy

Top Jockey Odds: 4/1

Arguably the most gifted jockey in Britain and Ireland, Jack Kennedy will be bidding to make up for lost time at this year's Cheltenham Festival, as he missed out on the event last year through injury.

The Dingle native became the youngest jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in modern times when riding Minella Indo to victory at 21 years of age in 2021 for Henry de Bromhead, and he was just 17 when he rode his first Festival winner.

After winning the Supreme Novices' Hurdle aboard Labaik in 2017, Kennedy rode four winners at the festival the following year and only lost out on the leading rider award to Davy Russell, who rode more placed horses on the week.

He has had his share of bad luck, missing the 2020 and 2023 through injury, but he has some good chances this year. 

Whatever he rides in the Cross Country Chase will have a big chance, and he looks set to ride Stayers' Hurdle favourite Teahupoo (9/4) along with the highly regarded Brighterdaysahead (7/4) in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Nico de Boinville 

Top Jockey Odds: 8/1

Stable jockey to Nicky Henderson – second only to Mullins in the all-time list of Cheltenham Festival winners - Nico de Boinville is another rider who is sure to have plenty of good horses to go to war with.

He has, of course, what is likely to be one of the biggest chances of the week in Constitution Hill, providing he turns up on the day after picking up an infection two weeks prior to the big event.

De Boinville's chances of winning the top rider award will surely hinge on the unbeaten superstar's participation, but he will have more decent chances, including Sir Gino (4/6) who looks well fancied for the Triumph Hurdle.

Leading rider here in 2019, and with plenty of talent from Seven Barrows and the assurance of some good spare rides from the British training ranks when he is available, De Boinville has to be taken very seriously.

Mark Walsh

Top Jockey Odds: 10/1

Retained rider in Ireland for JP McManus, Mark Walsh has eight festival winners to his name thus far, but this is going to be by far his biggest year as he has several really good chances across the week.

He will have a big chance in the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle aboard Mystical Power (5/1), a son of Galileo who is a foal of former Champion Hurdle winner Annie Power.

On Wednesday, Walsh will pick up the ride on Fact To File (4/5), who is short-price favourite for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, while he could also pick up the ride on Iroko (9/2) in the Turners Novices' Chase in Thursday's opener.

Dinoblue (10/11) looks set to give Walsh a winner on Friday in the Mares' Chase, and the rider will also pick up some good rides in handicaps. At 10/1, he looks a bit of value to be leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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