Join Steve Mullington for his Cheltenham Festival ante-post tips in the build up to the 2024 meeting...

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 1

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 2

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 3

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 4

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 5

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 8

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 9

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 11

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 13

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 14

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 15

Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tip 16

Full List Antepost Cheltenham Festival Tips:

  • Tip 1: Galopin Des Champs to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup (06/11)

  • Tip 2: Jonbon to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase (13/11)

  • Tip 3: Brighterdaysahead to win the Mares Novice Hurdle (20/11)

  • Tip 4: Burdett Road to win the Triumph Hurdle (27/11)

  • Tip 5: Appreciate it to win the Ryanair Chase (05/12)

  • Tip 6: Gesskille to win the Cross Country Chase (11/12)

  • Tip 7: Hermes Allen to win the Turners Novices Chase (18/12)

  • Tip 8: Jeriko Du Reponet to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle (08/01)

  • Tip 9: Winged Leader to win the Hunters Chase (15/01)

  • Tip 10: Harvard Guy to win the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (22/01)

  • Tip 11: Dinoblue to win the Mares Chase (29/01)

  • Tip 12: Anzadam to win the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (06/02)

  • Tip 13: Starzov each way in the Pertemps Final (13/02)

  • Tip 14: Anna Bunina each way in the Pertemps Final (13/02)

  • Tip 15: You Oughta Know each way in the Champion Bumper (19/02)

  • Tip 16: Galvin each way in the Cross Country Chase (26/02)

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 16

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, run over 3m6f on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, is a one of the Festival highlights for many, simply because of the quirkiness of the contest.

The competitors face a series of unique fences and obstacles over a specially designed cross-country course before rejoining the main track for the battle to the top of the Cheltenham hill.

After the sad demise of Gesskille earlier this season I am revisiting this Cross Country race for ante-post betting purposes.

Looking through the form lines there is very little that separates Galvin, Delta Work and Minella Indo, but I am confident Galvin will get his day in the sun on this occasion.

Galvin, a winner at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival in the National Hunt Chase, was not disgraced twelve months later when he finished fourth to A Plus Tard in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

His switch to the Cross Country discipline last March saw him run a stormer in the Glenfarclas, running Elliott’s other runner Delta Work to 2½ lengths.

Then it was on to the Grand National where he was sent off a 22/1 shot in the horse racing betting but unseated at the very first fence. Two Cross Country runs at Cheltenham in November and December followed but he never really figured in either which came as a surprise to many.

His latest run came in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan where he ran with credit to finish five lengths behind Hiddenvalley Lake.

I suspect the Boyne run was simply a prep for the bigger task at hand at Cheltenham and I can see him being A1 for a crack at the big prize. Then it will be on to Aintree for the ten-year-old with Elliott really fancying his chances this time around.

A Grade One winner in a race of this nature always has to be taken seriously and his odds of 5/1 in our Cheltenham betting look pretty fair to me.

Who are the dangers to Galvin?

Last year’s victor Delta Work still has that experience that makes him tough to leave out of the reckoning.

He came into the 2023 renewal off the back of two losses and is still in great nick for an eleven-year-old, finishing ahead of Galvin in the Cross Country in November.

After two lacklustre performances this term, he's dropped down in the weights to a mark he hasn't been on since 2018. All these reasons mean he is dangerous to dismiss and he has to be in your forecast perms at the very least.

Also hailing from the Gordon Elliott camp is Conflated. He’s also an interesting runner having run in the Champion Chase last November, beaten narrowly by Gerri Colombe and now looks to take on a different task altogether. He should find this much easier that a Grade One for sure.

Suggested bet: Galvin @ 5/1 E/W Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 15

A National Hunt race that requires no fences to be jumped should be an easy task to find the winner right? Well if only it was that simple! 

The maestro of this Champion Bumper has been Willie Mullins. He has sent out the winner no less than 12 times since 1996: Wither or Which (1996), Florida Pearl (1997), Alexander Banquet (1998), Joe Cullen (2000), Missed That (2005), Cousin Vinny (2008), Champagne Fever (2012), Briar Hill (2013), Relegate (2018), Ferny Hollow (2020), Sir Gerhard (2021) & Facile Vega (2022).

Fellow Irish trainer John Kiely put an end to the recent Mullins domination of the race last year when his A Dream To Share scored under John Gleeson

At this juncture in time, I am pretty keen on the chances of one of Willie Mullins’ horses and that is You Oughta Know.

Named after the jilted angst song by Alanis Morissette, the Beat Hollow-gelding isn’t currently the number one hit on the Mullins betting radar, but the stable quietly fancy him. Speaking at his recent Cheltenham Festival open day, Willie Mullins told the assembled press:

"I thought that was a hell of a run at Leopardstown," Mullins said of his effort at the Dublin Racing Festival, before adding: "He's going to run some race at Cheltenham."

He may not be capturing the public’s imagination like Jasmin De Vaux but there is plenty of meat to his form. He beat Croke Park by 11 lengths when making a successful debut which was no mean feat.

Owner Luke McMahon has been a long-established client of the yard and he looks to have a nice horse here. With Cheltenham odds of 10/1 he’s well worth an each-way interest at the very least.

Who are the dangers to You Oughta Know?

After an impressive victory at Exeter recently, The Paul Nicholls-trained Teeshan was all the rage in the Champion Bumper betting straight after the race.

Nicholls quietly introduced the three-mile point-to-point winner into an Open Maiden National Hunt Flat Race for which he was sent off the 10/11 favourite in the horse racing betting under Harry Cobden.

Cobden was always sitting pretty on the five-year-old, who is owned by Johnny de la Hey, and he only had to rustle him up to score by seven lengths from Peavenik.

Teeshan was immediately cut to 6/1 from 14/1 for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

Another horse from the Mullins Bumper armoury with a lively chance is Maughreen.

The daughter of Walk In The Park out of a half-sister to Faugheen, enhanced her reputation after an impressive debut in a Mares' bumper at Punchestown.

Her 11-length margin of victory over previous bumper runner-up Harry’s Annie could easily have been double that amount and she holds plenty of scope in Cheltenham’s ultimate championship race.

Suggested bet: You Oughta Know @ 10/1 each-way Champion Bumper.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 13 & 14

I thought it was about time I tried to identify a longshot or two in my Cheltenham Antepost series, and the Pertemps Final on Thursday 14th March looks like the perfect race for an outsider to upset the odds.

In the last 20 years this race has heralded twelve winners at starting prices of more than 14/1, five of those winners have been 20/1 or bigger with two horses obliging at 50/1. Favourites rarely ever figure in this large field handicap.

Here are a few useful Pertemps trends and statistics:

  • Age: 9 of the last 10 winners were aged between 6 and 8.

  • Weights: 8/10 winners carried 11st 4lbs or less.

  • Rating: 9/10 winners were rated 138 or higher.

  • Price: 7/10 winners were priced 10/1 or bigger in the Cheltenham odds.

Looking through the list of qualifiers, I noticed that on November 11th at Aintree, the Philip Rothwell-trained Starzov scraped into the race courtesy of finishing 15 lengths fourth to Gentleman At Arms.

In front of him that day, by just 6½ lengths, was Icare Allen who is now the 8/1 favourite for this year’s Pertemps renewal.

On February 3rd Starzov ran in the Listed Leopardstown Handicap Hurdle for which he was sent off a 33/1 shot in the horse racing odds.

The seven-year-old hunted around towards the rear of the pack for most of the race and when he was hampered two from home - that was the end of his day out.

Alarm bells immediately triggered in my head to back this horse next time out and that outing should now be in the Pertemps. At odds of 50/1 he’s well worth a small each-way interest for a race he’s possibly been plotted for.

Not content with backing one outsider in this race, I shall also be having some win and place money on John McConnell’s Anna Bunina, who ran her best race in some time to finish fourth in Musselburgh’s Pertemps Qualifier on February 4th.

Formerly trained on the Flat by Jedd O’Keeffe, Anna Bunina is no back number. She has won 10 of her 48 starts including the Scottish Champion Hurdle in 2022, and last year at the Cheltenham Festival she wasn’t a million miles behind the winner in the County Hurdle.

Currently entered for the early closing David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle at the Festival for which she is a 66/1 chance, she’s highly unlikely to be turning up for that and it is my hunch that she will contest the Pertemps. At the time of writing she is a 33/1 poke for the Pertemps Final.

Suggested bets: Starzov E/W @ (50/1) & Anna Bunina @ (33/1) in the Pertemps.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 12

Also known as the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle, the Fred Winter has a very wide open feel about it this season and there are lots of horses in with a chance of landing the spoils. One candidate on my radar however is the Willie Mullins-trained Anzadam.

Formerly trained by Arnaud Chaille-Chaille in France, the Authorized gelding is unbeaten in his two runs over hurdles thus far and has even been supported for the Triumph Hurdle. I don’t believe Mullins will go for that race for him, but will enter him up for the Fred Winter.

Anzadam got up to lead close home on his debut at Bordeaux in soft conditions in September. It was a decent win given the amount of distance he had to make up to catch the now Dan Skelton-trained Le Fauve.

Calculator for bets

A month later at Compiegne (Heavy), he cruised to a seven length victory having jumped to the front and was still hard held on the run to the line. He scored that day from the previously unbeaten Le Blavet, with the fourth horse subsequently scoring over fences.

Owned by Joe and Marie Donnelly, Anzadam could make his debut for Willie Mullins in the Spring Juvenile before heading to the Cheltenham Festival.

With the Donnelly's likely to be represented by Sir Gino and Salvador Mundi in the Triumph, Anzadam should be their Boodles entry if you read between the lines.

Who are the dangers to Anzadam? 

Gordon Elliott’s Wodhooh stretched her unbeaten record over to five recently with a decisive victory in a Listed Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster.

The four-year-old was a 50,000 guineas purchase last summer from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard by former jockey Ted Durcan. The youngster was sent to Elliott on behalf of the Sundowners Partnership.

The first of Wodhooh’s hurdles wins was at Listowel in September after which she has not looked back, adding further victories at Punchestown, Down Royal, Newbury all prior to this second Listed affair on Town Moor.

Part-owner Ian Murphy said after her Doncaster romp: “Fair play to Ted Durcan, who helped us to purchase her, and to Gordon and all his staff who have done a wonderful job training her.

“She’s done nothing wrong so far, she’s five for five and who knows where she’ll bring us, but we’re very happy with her so far.”

After the race we cut the price of Wodhooh to 14-1 from 25-1 for the Triumph Hurdle and offered punters 7-1 from 10-1 in our Cheltenham odds for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival.

Suggested bet: Anzadam @ 10/1 E/W in our horse racing odds for the Fred Winter Hurdle.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 11

Dinoblue catapulted herself to the head of the betting for the Cheltenham Festival's Mares' Chase with an emphatic triumph in the Grade 1 Paddy's Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown over the Christmas period.

Given the rate at which she is improving, Dinoblue might even develop into a Queen Mother Champion Chase type but I’m reasonably confident she’ll turn up for the Mares’ Chase on this occasion. Her task undoubtedly was made easier at Leopardstown when Captain Guinness failed to step up to the plate.

Last season, Dinoblue threw away her chance in the Grand Annual with mistakes at the last two fences. She is unbeaten in four since that contest and her jumping is now a joy behold. 

"She looks a real decent mare and I'm very happy with that," Willie Mullins said of his mare who kicked off this season with a slightly fortuitous triumph in a Naas Grade 3 when Sir Gerhard fell two from home.

"Gentleman De Mee set a great pace and jumped fantastic. I wondered at one stage would she be able to stay jumping with him but she held her jumping together and, when he took a blow, she just stayed galloping. She is improving all the time."

"She is brilliant," her jockey Mark Walsh said afterwards. "Jumping is her biggest asset. She jumped brilliant today. She got on her knees at the last but she just makes lengths at her fences. Jumping doesn't knock a bit out of her. She sees a fence and she attacks it. She is just a joy to ride."

A very smart mare over hurdles she bolted up on debut at Clonmel before going off favourite for the Mares Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but spoilt her chances on the day when pulling too hard.

After that she went to Fairyhouse and finished a good fourth behind Brandy Love and Love Envoi in the Grade One Mares Novice Hurdle and then rounded off her first season with another fair fourth behind Party Central at the Punchestown Festival in the Listed Mares Hurdle.

Sent chasing last year she made a stellar start when winning a Mares Beginners Chase at Cork on soft ground.

She was also seen finishing second to Impervious in a Grade Two Mares Novice Chase at Cork and then was second again at Naas behind the smart Magic Daze in the Listed Mares Opera Hat Chase.

Racing off a mark of 140 for the Grand Annual she was well punted on in the horse racing betting for the contest and coming up to two fences from home she looked all over the winner.

This season she hasn’t looked back and it is going to take a good one to stop her in the Liberthine Mares' Chase on the 15th March 2024.

Suggested bet: Dinoblue – Mares’ Chase @ 5/4.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 10

Some call it the “Getting Out Stakes”, but the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle is always a fiercely contested race making it quite a puzzle to solve in terms of the winner.

It’s an early call but I am going to rely upon the JP McManus-owned Harvard Guy landing us that all important last race winner of the Cheltenham Festival of 2024.

Harvard Guy made it a hat-trick of course wins when taking the Listed Navan Handicap Hurdle on Jan 20th.

Up 22lbs since his success in November, the Eddie and Patrick Harty-trained gelding was ridden patiently by Mark Walsh, as Kilbree Warrior slipped the chasing pack by some distance under Darragh O'Keeffe.

Sent off the 7-4 favourite, Harvard Guy still had plenty to do coming to the last, but in the end reeled in the gallant Kilbree Warrior to score by three-quarters of a length.

"It was hard fought. In fairness to the second horse I thought he had gone mad on the ground, but he nearly got there," said Eddie Harty.

"We couldn’t have ridden him any differently with the weights, but he did get there and it was a good performance.

"I’d say myself that would rule him out of Leopardstown (Dublin Racing Festival), I don’t think you could turn out after that run on that ground.

He added: "He’s a lovely horse and he has a future over fences, he jumps very well. He’s improved physically and has improved mentally from race to race. He’s becoming a racehorse now.

"You could make a case for going for a graded novice hurdle somewhere. He likes it here."

With any luck connections will tempted to have an away day at Cheltenham in March with owner JP McManus always having plenty of live chances throughout the four days.

Hopefully Harvard Guy can bring down the final curtain with a victory.

Who is a danger to Harvard Guy?

Predators Gold is a Willie Mullins novice with a bright future, holding entries in the DRF for two contests - the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle and the Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle.

Here at 888sport we have the five-year-old quoted for the Supreme Novices’, the Baring Bingham Novices’ and the Albert Bartlett at prices ranging from 12/1 to 16/1, but it is our hunch that he will run in the Martin Pipe for which we make him a 10/1 shot in our horse racing odds.

Suggested bet: Harvard Guy @ 10/1 E/W in our Cheltenham odds.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 9

For the amateur ranks, the annual Foxhunters Challenge Cup is pretty much their Gold Cup and it is always a fiercely contested affair. It is also a great antepost betting opportunity as the market is often very wide open.

The David Christie-trained Winged Leader looked the certain winner virtually throughout this race in 2022, holding a six-length lead at the final fence only to come under pressure in the last half-furlong and narrowly got caught by Billaway in the final strides.

The ten-year-old is a straightforward, bold jumper, who tends to go forward, all attributes that lend themselves to serial successes on the Hunter Chase scene, and he looked as good as ever in points last season but was pretty disappointing at Aintree when sent off the 100/30 favourite for their Foxhunters race.

Winged Leader Cheltenham Tips

Back in open point-to-points, Winged Leader immediately scored a victory after Aintree at Necarne, and this season has started nicely with a couple of placed of efforts.

Christie is sure to have the gelding spot on for another Foxhunters attempt at The Festival and his current Cheltenham odds of 10/1 look pretty appealing. I cannot see him being a double figure price on the actual day of the race.

Who are the dangers to Winged Leader?

The Gordon Elliott-trained Samcro looked unbeatable in his first seven career starts, including the 2018 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The winner of the Marsh Novices' Chase two years later, he never really hit the very top of tree.

However, he has easily won his last four starts since moving into the point-to-point sphere and his spring target is definitely going to be Cheltenham bound.

It’s On The Line winner of the Champion Hunter Chase at the Punchestown festival last April, made a successful return to the new season when pouncing late to land the Metcollect Oil Recycling Hunters Chase in Down Royal on Boxing Day.

Ridden for Emmet Mullins by his nephew Charlie, the Presenting gelding, sent off at 11/2, battled it out on the long run down to the finish.

It’s On The Line will now follow a similar path as last season, targeting ‘hunters’ events at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown, with Prestbury Park being the ultimate goal.

Racegoers at Dromahane in November were given a glimpse into what could lie ahead in the hunter chase division when Ferns Lock made a winning return to action in a 13-runner event, scoring by an impressive nine lengths.

Trainer David Christie took the wraps off one of his star hunter chasers for the first time this season, and the son of Telescope did not disappoint, putting a decent field of horses to bed with consummate ease. 

It’s On The Line may have just touched him off in a ding-donger finish over Christmas but Ferns Lock will be back contesting the top races soon enough and Cheltenham looks well within the seven-year-old’s scope.

Suggested antepost bet: Winged Leader (Foxhunters) @ 10/1 each-way in our horse racing odds.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 8

Jeriko Du Reponet showed us that he was indeed special when he waltzed home at Newbury’s Winter Carnival.

Trained by Nicky Henderson and carrying the famous green and gold colours of JP McManus, the 4/11 favourite obliged in the race Henderson has won six times in the last 10 years, with two other McManus-owned horses in dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D'Air and Jonbon among those on the roll of honour.

Nico De Boinville's mount completed the assignment with minimal fuss and it is now all systems go for the Festival opener in March.

Tony McCoy, who is involved in the McManus stable said after the Newbury race:

"He looked good. I'm glad he did it like that and you'd be glad you had him. I don't know what the plan is and I'm not sure where some of those Supreme quotes come from, but he's a nice horse to have. He did it really nicely and I thought James Bowen gave him a really good, confident ride; he rode him like a good horse.

"He jumps and seemed to travel and do everything right. He's a good mind and you'd enjoy watching him doing that. James was confident on him, so he must have been giving him a nice feel."

Will there be another run for Jeriko Du Reponet before the Festival?

McCoy added: "I'd say so because the experience probably wouldn't do him any harm and he had as easy a race as he could have had on that ground today.

He has a good way about him and Nicky has always liked him, so hopefully that 7-2 in the Cheltenham betting for the Supreme is right!"

Supreme Novices Chase tips

One possible option available to Henderson next is Haydock's Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle, which Henderson won with Jonbon two seasons ago, while Kempton's Dovecote Novices' Hurdle could be another route open to Cheltenham for the five-year-old.

Henderson has won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle five times, most notably with Constitution Hill in 2022.

Who are the dangers to Jeriko Du Reponet?

A Dream To Share, winner of all five of his bumpers last year including at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals must come into the equation.

He was declared to make an early appearance this season at Punchestown in October. However a stone bruise curtailed that outing and we won’t see him again until the New Year.

Bought by JP McManus just before last year’s Cheltenham Festival, his racing manager Frank Berry confirmed that the problem was a little more serious than they first thought but he is on target to race in the early part of 2024.

Of the others, Gordon Elliott's Firefox got the better of the Willie Mullins-trained Ballyburn in a cracking early season encounter and both of them have got the potential to land a big prize like the Supreme.

Suggested bet: Jeriko Du Reponet @ 7/2 in our horse racing betting.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 7

The Turners Novices’ Chase will take place at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday 14th March and should produce a good renewal on day three of the meeting.

Contested by the best middle distance novice chasers in the UK & Ireland, the Turners is always an exciting betting race and one to get stuck into from an early betting odds angle.

My fancy for the Turners at this stage is the Paul Nicholls-trained Hermes Allen (NAP).

A top novice hurdler, Hermes Allen made his eagerly anticipated chasing debut in the Grade 2 John Francome Novices' Chase at Newbury at the start of December where he stormed home to a six-and-a-half length victory.

Having undergone wind surgery during the closed season, the gelding was sent off the 13-8 market leader for his reappearance and chasing bow and he could not have done it in a more convincing fashion.

Turners Hermes Allen tip

Speaking after the race, Nicholls said: “It was a proper race today, which you’d expect, and I’m thrilled with that. He jumped well, travelled well, learnt a lot and galloped on well,” he told Racing TV.

“Harry (Cobden) was thrilled with him, he said he was very clever jumping, especially late on, and that’s just what you want from a novice chaser first time.

“I’ve said quite openly, we missed a month’s work with him and I’ve been chasing my tail to get him ready, to be honest. It’s only a fortnight ago that I thought we’d get here, luckily we were able to gallop him here on the gallops morning, he’s schooled well and we’ve just about got away with it.

“He will improve fitness-wise, but he’s just got natural ability. His form in the first half of last season was very good, then he lost his way a bit, but he was struggling with his breathing all season and I think that caught up with him in the spring. He’s the finished article now.”

Currently a 12/1 shot in our Cheltenham odds for the Turners Novices’ Chase, it would be a major surprise if that race wasn’t his ultimate target this season.

Who is the main danger in the Turners Novices’ Chase?

Without a doubt, Willie Mullins’ Gaelic Warrior is going to me a massive contender should he run in the Turners. Mullins hailed his chase debut at Punchestown as "extraordinary".

Gaelic Warrior has been runner-up at the last two Cheltenham Festivals. He was second to Impaire Et Passe in last season's Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and filled the same position on his first start for Mullins in the 2022 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle when sent off the 13-8 favourite.

Inthepocket, who finished second to Facile Vega at Navan, is another to throw into the melting pot too.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 6

The Cross Country Race at the Festival is quite a unique betting heat as it isn’t run over Cheltenham’s usual fences and is mainly contested by specialists in this particular field.

Grand Sefton winner Gesskille is heading down the Cross Country route this season for his trainers Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero, and the first time we will see of him over the banks and hedges etc, will be on Friday 15th December at Cheltenham in their Glenfarclas Crystal Cup.

He could well bump into the Gordon Elliott pair Conflated and Galvin, as well as former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo, but if he was able to put it up to horses of that calibre then his 16/1 quote in our Cheltenham odds would disappear in an instant.

Greenall is hopeful his charge will relish the Crystal Cup which could help determine whether a return to Aintree for the Grand National is on the cards for 2024, as well as a Cross Country Chase entry in March.

Speaking at a recent yard open day, Greenall said: “It’s obviously a unique track and it’s hard to know what type of horse likes it. He’s run in France, not in a cross-country, but in a normal chase which is a bit similar to a cross-country race, but not really the same.

“He’s going to go for a school (at Cheltenham) and I’m sure he will enjoy the jumping, it’s just the twisting and turning to work out. We just felt it might be a good option for him.

“He’s been in good form (since Aintree) and he will probably have a break after this and we will aim him at either the National or Auteuil in the spring.”

Formerly trained by Francois Nicolle, Gesskille returned to Auteuil this September and landed the 2m6f Prix Richard et Robert Hennessy Chase, leading the entirety of the race, eventually prevailing by the shortest of short heads in a thrilling finish.

Ridden by James Reveley, Gesskille took home almost £50,000 in prize money that day.

“It was Josh who found the race. We know he loves it over there and there wasn’t really a lot for him over here until Aintree in November or the Cross Country in Cheltenham, so it worked out well,” said Greenall after their French raid.

As you can see, the Cross Country plans have always been there this season for Gesskille so he is worth a cautionary each-way antepost punt in the big one I would say.

Who are the dangers to Gesskille in the Cross Country?

Delta Work repeated his success of 2022 in this year’s renewal of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase and he'll be prominent in horse racing odds for the race.

The victory was a record-equalling fifth victory in the contest for trainer Gordon Elliott. Should he line up again he’s going to be a tough nut to crack in his attempt at landing the hat-trick.

Wherever you see Delta Work, you also find his arch rival Galvin somewhere in the vicinity. A top class horse himself, Galvin is another regular on the Cross Country winner’s podiums.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 5

Won in the past by the likes of Alberta’s Run, Un De Sceaux and Allaho, the Ryanair Chase is looking like being another wide open affair this season and the Willie Mullins-trained Appreciate It is shaping up to be the perfect candidate to take the spoils.

Appreciate It has already scored at the Cheltenham Festival, putting in an impressive display to win the Supreme by a mere 24 lengths in 2021. He may not have beat much that day but you certainly can’t take it away from him.

Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old made a decent start to his chasing career last season with back-to-back wins over two miles. He then found El Fabiolo too hot to handle at Leopardstown in February and it was then that he was stepped up in distance.

He finished fourth in the Turners at the Festival but could well have finished closer that day if it wasn’t for him hanging at his fences.

Appreciate It wins Cheltenham 2024

A career-best effort on his seasonal reappearance at Punchestown in November sowed a few antepost seeds for the Ryanair next March with many Cheltenham odds punters.

His narrow defeat in the John Durkan and that fact that he finished in front of the Galopin Des Champs has given his supporters plenty of optimism for a successful Festival raid.

2m4f races will be Appreciate It’s forte this season and he has to be worth an each-way flutter at 40/1 in the current antepost horse racing odds.

Last year Patrick Mullins reckoned Appreciate It, trained by his father Willie, would turn over hot favourite Mighty Potter in the opener on day three at the Cheltenham Festival.

He was wrong but it just goes to show what high regard they hold this Miss Masterston-owned horse in.

Who Are The Dangers To Appreciate It In The Ryanair Chase?

According to Willie Mullins, Allaho (6/1) in 'great shape' for a third Ryanair tilt. The dual Ryanair winner missed last season due to injury but is apparently in fine fettle once more. 

Allaho has not been seen since claiming Punchestown Gold Cup glory in 2022 with a rare spleen injury keeping him sidelined for the whole 2022-23 campaign.

Speaking at his yard open day a few weeks ago, Mullins said of Allaho: "He's in great shape this year and I'm very happy with him and he'll probably start off in the Clonmel Oil (which he won with ease), I think he's ready for that and hopefully he'll be back for the Ryanair again if we can.

"People will maybe say the Gold Cup but I think the trip is too long for him. He's good around Cheltenham over that Ryanair trip."

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 4

All roads now lead to the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March for Burdett Road, who was snipped from 20/1 to a general 6/1 in our horse racing odds, after landing the Triumph Hurdle Trial Juvenile Hurdle on Saturday 18th November at Cheltenham’s November Meeting.

There hasn’t been a British-trained winner of the Triumph Hurdle since 2019 but there is now great optimism around Burdett Road breaking that Irish stranglehold in 2024.

After making a winning debut over hurdles at Huntingdon, the James Owen-trained gelding, who was victorious in the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot when trained by Michael Bell, looked real classy individual when comprehensively slamming his rivals in the Grade Two warm-up.

The Gredley Family-owned three-year-old is certainly an exciting prospect and very much reminds me of Tritonic a few season ago. A Royal Ascot winner from the Flat with the cruising speed to handle a strongly-run race is always going to have a fantastic chance in the Triumph Hurdle.

Speak after the Trial, James Owen said: “A lot of the hurdles he hasn’t seen, but he has learnt a lot. On good ground he is going to be exciting come March. 

“I’m in a privileged position to have these horses, but I’m delighted it is going well. We had to do one of two things, either make it or drop him in, and we have done the right thing. 

Burdett Road can win the Triumph Hurdle at 2024 Cheltenham Festival

“He was a bit more amenable today as he settled and jumped better. He has got some engine. He is tough. For a Flat horse he has got plenty of guts about him. I knew he would keep coming. Harry (Cobden) is a lot cooler than me as I’ve been so nervous, but I love it. 

“This is massive. We have brought a few hunter chasers here in the past and you always go home thinking it is so hard to win here, but to get the job done is brilliant. This is a Triumph Hurdle trial and that is now the aim. On good ground he will be exciting.”

Who can challenge Burdett Road in the Triumph Hurdle?

Gordon Elliott’s Kala Conti was an effortless winner at Navan on her Irish debut and could prove to be a formidable opponent at Cheltenham should she line up in the Triumph.

The French-bred filly won her sole start at home (Compiegne) by 10 lengths in May before changing hands and coming to Elliott’s yard.

Owned by Robcour, Kala Conti can exude in the juvenile division this term and she is not the daftest 25/1 shot in the Cheltenham betting odds, that you could back on in the antepost market for the Triumph hurdle.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 3

Also featuring in my Jumps Horses To Follow 2023/24 article and also my Gordon Elliott Stable tour, Brighterdaysahead has now become the 4/1 favourite for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle in our Cheltenham races betting odds and I believe she will land it next March.

Brighterdaysahead confirmed her lofty reputation and remained unbeaten after winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Feathard Lady Mares Novice Hurdle at Down Royal on November 10th.

Jack Kennedy gave her plenty of room at her hurdles and bar a couple of minor mistakes, she jumped much more fluently than she did at Thurles.

Drawing up alongside Banntown Girl at the second last, she was driven out to win by four and three-quarter lengths and will have come on plenty for the outing.

Speaking after the race, Gordon Elliott said: "No (need to go beyond two miles), but I’d say she will be better when she goes (further). I’d say she is a mare that could definitely step up in trip. She hasn’t put a foot wrong so far, so she is exciting.

"She is in the Royal Bond and obviously I will talk to Michael and Eddie (O’Leary of Gigginstown House Stud) and see. She has got the pace for two miles. I think we will keep her in her own category (mares) at the moment."

Early entries show Brighterdaysahead entered up for the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 2nd, so you may want to have your antepost interest on her before that race takes place.

Who can beat Brighterdaysahead at the Cheltenham Festival?

Trainer Fergal O'Brien has never quite managed to train a Cheltenham Festival winner but really believes this season he has a live chance with his mare Dysart Enos.

Unbeaten in three bumpers including one at Grade 2 level at Aintree, the five-year-old did everything right on her hurdles debut at Huntingdon, rocking up by an impressive 7½ lengths.

Justifying her 1-7 odds, O’Brien said after the race: "It's obviously relief more than anything when they go off at that price but she'd been flying at home and we are thrilled with that.

Unlike last year when she had a clear run, she picked up a few bugs early on but it was always the plan to come here and then go for the Listed race at Newbury on December 2.

"You have to keep a lid on her and it took an age for Paddy Brennan to pull her up, which is a good sign. All being well, I would say one hundred percent that she could be our best chance yet of a festival winner, but that's a long way off."

If you think O’Brien’s Dysart Enos is the mare to side with rather than Elliott’s Brighterdaysahead then her current price is 7/1 in our horse racing odds.

That price may disappear in a flash however after her Dec 2nd race.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 2

Jonbon was the hot favourite to win the Arkle Novices' Chase at last season’s Festival but had to play second fiddle to Willie Mullins’ El Fabiolo. A year later and probably a much stronger horse, I believe he can land this year’s Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Currently trading in our horse racing betting as a 7/1 shot, Jonbon has always held a lofty reputation and he won his point-to-point in November 2020 and was snapped up afterwards by leading owner JP McManus for £570,000.

Furthermore, he is a brother to the legendary Douvan too which gave him some notoriety straight away.

A winner of 10 of his 12 starts to date, Jonbon is without a doubt going to be one of the leading lights of the Nicky Henderson stable this season.

If all the Hendo chit-chat on the social media platforms isn’t primarily focussed around Constitution Hill, then in the second instance it will be all about his top chaser Jonbon.

Cheltenham ante-post Jonbon

The four-time Grade 1 winner is expected to make his seasonal reappearance in the Shloer Chase on the final day of Cheltenham's November meeting.

The Arkle runner-up could take on last year's Arkle winner Edwardstone and Nube Negra, who has won the race for the last two years in what will be a hot renewal of the Grade 2 contest.

If he comes out of the race with a glowing report then it will be all systems go for a Cheltenham tilt of some description next March.

In a recent open day at Henderson’s Seven Barrows, the Ryanair was touted as a possible target, but Henderson wouldn't be sure on his stamina in the short term. 

He told reporters: "I was considering stepping up to two and a half miles, but Sandown probably told us to stay at two miles for now. 

"He has developed both physically and mentally and let’s hope he has a very bright future."

Can anyone stop Jonbon winning the Champion Chase?

With dual Champion Chase winner Energumene currently out of the picture, El Fabiolo could well fill that void for Willie Mullins in the two-mile chase division.

The first port of call for last year's Arkle winner will be the Hilly Way Chase before a course is plotted to the Champion Chase in March. If El Fabiolo fails to win at Cork then I can see Jonbon’s price taking an immediate tumble so place your ante-post bets early.

Those of you looking for a big priced outsider in the Champion Chase may want to give Captain Guinness the once over.

Second in last year’s renewal and the runner-up to Jonbon in the Celebration Chase, Henry de Bromhead’s eight-year-old has to be considered each-way at 25/1 in our Cheltenham betting odds.

Cheltenham 2024 Antepost Tip 1

It may sound highly unoriginal but I cannot see any reason why Galopin Des Champs (NAP) shouldn’t go back-to-back in the Cheltenham Gold Cup of 2024. He is currently priced at 2/1 in our 888sport Cheltenham races betting odds.

Galopin Des Champs' supremacy in the staying chase division last season was there for all to see and providing last year’s Gold Cup hasn’t left its mark on him he’s sure to be a dominant force once again this term.

Former jockey Ruby Walsh is slightly concerned about him repeating the feat, saying in a recent podcast “If I have a doubt or a worry for him, it’s bouncing back to win a Gold Cup.

“When you run in a race like the one he ran in at Cheltenham, to me it was a proper Gold Cup, a proper gallop, end to end, with the lesser horses dropping out as the cream rose to the top and you were left with the right two going to the second last.”

Galopin des Champs Antepost tip Cheltenham Gold Cup

I personally think Walsh has got his wellbeing ideas wrong and that a super fit Galopin Des Champion will return and be far superior to any other horse in the staying division this season.

Galopin Des Champs, trained by Willie Mullins for owner Audrey Turley, won a thrilling edition of the Cheltenham Festival showpiece, which saw him jump the final fence together with Bravemansgame before powering clear up the hill to win by seven lengths.

To be fair to him he did it with consummate ease. Understandably he was crowned the leading Jumps horse of the 2022/23 season in the Anglo-Irish Jumps Classifications with a rating of 179.

That Gold Cup victory followed comfortable wins in the John Durkan at Punchestown and the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown and put the seven-year-old 4lbs clear of his nearest rivals at the top of the standings.

Can any other horse stop Galopin De Champ winning the Gold Cup?

Looking through the early antepost betting for next March’s Cheltenham Gold Cup I am not overly enamoured with many of the other contenders to be honest. The only other horse I am giving some sort of a squeak to is the Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin (14/1 in our horse racing betting).

Henderson believes Shishkin can challenge Galopin De Champ for supremacy in the staying division this season and ultimately to have his measure in the biggest prize of them all – the Gold Cup.

A reinvigorated Shishkin stayed on strongly to capture the Aintree Bowl Chase in April and gave connections plenty of indicators that he could be a force to be reckoned in races over three miles going forward.

A tilt at the King George will be on the Henderson itinerary with the Cheltenham Gold Cup surely a possible target next March.

With Bravemansgame looking like a slow burner, it may simply come down to potential super star Gerri Colombe and class act Shishkin being the only conceivable dangers to Galopin De Champs retaining his crown.

When is the Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival 2024 will take place between Tuesday 12th and Friday 15th March.

This year Cheltenham Racecourse will celebrate 100 years of the Gold Cup, the pinnacle event of the National Hunt calendar.

This is the one race they all long to win and every horse, jockey, trainer, breeder, owner and racing fan will have their sights set on the Cotswolds.

Four breathtaking days of top class action will see a total of 28 races contested and numerous champions crowned.

There will be plenty of interest in the horse racing betting too that week. So, what can we expect each day at the Cheltenham Festival?

DAY 1 – Champion Day (12th March)

The Grade 1 Supreme Hurdle raises the curtain to the Cheltenham Festival with a famous roar. Last year we saw Marine National land the spoils for trainer Irish trainer Barry Connell.

The feature race of the day is the Champion Hurdle and last year Constitution Hill came home in emphatic style under Nico de Boinville for Nicky Henderson and owner Michael Buckley.

Jumping with speed, precision and accuracy, the hurdling superstar landed Nicky Henderson his ninth Champion Hurdle winner spanning the years 1985 to 2023.

DAY 2 – Festival Wednesday (13th March)

Energumene has won the last two renewals of the Queen Mother Champion Chase but he was ruled out of contention for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival after suffering a setback in the autumn.

The Real Whacker took the Grade 1 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase by a short head from Gordon Elliott’s Gerri Colombe.

It was trainer Patrick Neville’s biggest victory to date and they will be targeting the Cheltenham Gold Cup with him. He will prove to be a popular pick in the Cheltenham betting odds.

DAY 3 – St Patrick’s Thursday (14th March)

The Cheltenham Festival is a second home to the Irish and St Patrick’s Thursday reflects this both on and off the track. The day itself features the Ryanair Chase and the Stayers Hurdle.

Envoi Allen gave trainer Henry de Bromhead an emotional victory at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, while the Stayers Hurdle went to the ever tough and consistent Sire Du Berlais for the Cheltenham Festival’s most successful of owner all time - JP McManus.

DAY 4 – Gold Cup Day (15th March)

The day features the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the blue riband race of jumping. The pre-race tension, the exhilaration of the race and the jubilations afterwards make it a truly remarkable day.

The 2023 renewal was won by the Willie Mullins-trained Galopin Des Champs. Mullins has now won three of the last five renewals of the race, with fellow Irish trainer Henry De Bromhead winning the other two.

There is every chance that Galopin Des Champs can repeat the feat of his former stable mate Al Boum Photo and win back-to-back Cheltenham Gold Cups in what is the centenary year. What an achievement that would be.

Cheltenham 2024 Tips

We'll be here with daily tips on the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, with our horse racing expert analysing every race at this year's meeting. You can find Cheltenham tips for each day via the links below:

How do you get to the Cheltenham Festival?

By Road: Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH

By Rail: The nearest train station is Cheltenham Spa. There is a dedicated Races bus service for the Cheltenham Festival from Cheltenham Spa Railway Station.

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to Alamy*

*Prices correct at the time of writing*

Steven is a sports and horse racing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 30 renewals of the Grand National.