With the 2023 Cheltenham Festival getting ever closer, there are plenty of markets for punters to take into consideration ahead of another four days of high-class jumps racing.
There will be 28 races at the Festival with no fewer than 14 Grade 1 contests, as the crowds pack into Prestbury Park once again.
|What||Cheltenham Festival 2023|
|Where||Prestbury Park, Cheltenham|
|When||Tuesday 14th March to Friday 17th March|
|How to watch||bet365 Live Streaming & ITV 1|
|Odds||Race won by widest margin – Cross Country Chase 7/2, Champion Hurdle 5/1, National Hunt Chase 7/1|
The opening race of the Cheltenham Festival is due off at 1.30 on Tuesday with the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, run over 2 miles and ½ furlong.
Willie Mullins has trained the winner in two of the last four years and could be celebrating again this year, with Facile Vega expected to run a big race and is currently available to back at 2/1.
The feature race of the opening day takes place at 3.30, with £253,000 up for grabs for the winner of the Champion Hurdle.
Constitution Hill, who won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last year, is the strong favourite to land the Grade 1 contest.
Nicky Henderson’s charge has won his last five races and beat Epatante by 17 lengths at Kempton on Boxing Day – the Champion Hurdle is 5/1 to be the race with the widest margin of victory at this year’s Festival.
There are another seven races to look forward to on the second day of the Festival, with the standout contest due off at 3.30 – the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Willie Mullins’ Energumene won this race 12 months ago and will look to follow in the footsteps of Altior, who took top spot in both 2018 and 2019.
Edwardstone – currently on offer at 13/8 - could thwart that bid though, with the Alan King runner also a winner at Prestbury Park last year, after being victorious in the Arkle Challenge.
The Glenfarclas Chase (4.10) is the first Cross Country race of the meeting and is a race that has been dominated by Gordon Elliott in recent times, with four wins in the last six years.
Delta Work won this race in 2022 and comes into this year’s contest off the back of a 13 ½ length win at Navan in February – this race is 7/2 to have the biggest winning margin.
WATCH: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday preview show
WATCH: Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday preview show
WATCH: Cheltenham Festival - Thursday preview show
WATCH: Cheltenham Festival - Friday preview show
Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin will go in search of a third Cheltenham Festival victory when he takes his place in the field for the Ryanair Chase.
The nine-year-old has previously won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2020 and followed that up with success in the Arkle Challenge Trophy in 2021.
Shishkin won his only race this year - the Ascot Chase in February - by 16 lengths and is 4/5 to win the Ryanair Chase on day three of this year’s Festival.
The joint-biggest Cheltenham winning margin came in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase, when Junior won the 2011 race by 24 lengths.
Venetia Williams’ Chambard was a 40/1 winner of this race last year and the 11-year-old is set to run again in 2023, while stablemate Fontaine Collonges is also expected to run.
Fontaine Collonges has won three of her seven chase starts, including a three-mile Handicap Chase at Haydock back in November, and is 33/1 to win Thursday’s lucky last (5.30).
There are three Grade 1 contests on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, starting with the opener (1.30) – the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
Willie Mullins could have three contenders for the 2m 1f race with one of that trio, Blood Destiny, tipped by many to go off favourite and is currently available to back at 7/4.
Mullins could also clinch a third Cheltenham Gold Cup win at 3.30, with Galopin Des Champs looking for a third consecutive victory in this jumps season.
The Irish trainer and jockey Paul Townend enjoyed back-to-back success in this race with Al Boum Photo and the pair will team up again in an attempt to take the £350,000 prize with Galopin Des Champs – who is currently 6/4.
Last year’s winner A Plus Tard, who won by 15 lengths in 2022, will be back again while Paul Nicholls goes in search of a first Gold Cup victory since 2009, with Bravemansgame fancied to run a big race.