Cheltenham Festival line-up, with some pointers

Cheltenham will be oacked once again for four days of fantastic racing at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival

Will Reilly runs through this week’s Cheltenham line-up, adding in a pointer or two for each race

The Cheltenham line-up:

Check out our Cheltenham Festival markets 

Tuesday March 12th:

1:30pm, Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle of £125,000 2m87yds

The last British favourite to win was Forest Sun in 1990. Can Al Dancer defy history?

2:10pm, Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade 1) of £175,000 1m7f199yds

Willie Mullins has won the Arkle three times in the last four years and runs Duc des Genievres this year. A win for Lalor and Kayley Woollacott would provide the most-emotional story of the week

2:50pm, Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase (Grade 3) of £110,000 3m1f

Just two winning favourites in last ten and five eight year-olds have won in the last ten years

3:30pm, Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) of £450,000 2m87y

Buveur d’Air is bidding to record a third-successive win in the race; the mares Apple’s Jade and Laurina are out to spoil the party

3-time Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle winner Apple’s Jade is all set for the Champion Hurdle

4:10pm, OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) of £120,000 2m3f200y

Benie des Dieux is strongly fancied to win for the second year in a row and give trainer Willie Mullins a tenth win in the race in the last 11 years

4:50pm, Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase of £70,000 2m4f44yds.

Nine of the last ten winners have been priced at betweem 13/2 and 12/1

5:30pm, National Hunt Chase (Amateur) of £125,000 3m7f147yds

Ireland has won the last four and five of the last six; only one winner in the last 8 years was returned at bigger than 8/1; Derek O’Connor has won 2 of the last eight, Patrick Mullins, 2 of last 6; OK Corral and Ballyward represent last year’s Albert Bartlett form, which looks pretty classy

Wednesday, March 13th:

1:30pm, Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle of £125,000 2m5f

Only one winner in the last ten has been returned at bigger than 7/1 (Willoughby Court, 2017); no seven year-old has won the race. Champ needs to defy the stats

2:10pm, RSA Novices Chase (Grade 1) of £175,000 3m80yds

The last five winners had all run at Cheltenham prior to their wins and four of them had won at Cheltenham. The race favourite Delta Work won at last year’s Festival

Delta Work, right, winning the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse

2:50pm, Coral Cup (Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle) of £100,000 2m5f

Gordon Elliott has won two of last eight and Ireland has won five of the last ten, including the last three; 8 of the last 10 winners have been priced at 16/1 or bigger

3:30pm, Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) of £400,000 1m7f99yds

Altior will be bidding for an 18th win in a row and a fourth Festival win on the bounce, including this race last year; he’s a legend

4:10pm, Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase of £65,000 3m6f37yds

Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll showed his wellbeing with a graded win over hurdles on his seasonal return; he will be looking for a fourth Cheltenham Festival win; it will take a good one to beat him

4:50pm, Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3), the ‘Fred Winter’, £80,000 2m87yds

Paul Nicholls has a great record in the race: he’s won 2 of the last 4, had the first two home in 2015 and 2016 and has had four seconds in total in the race in the last eight years

5:30pm, Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) of £75,000 2m110yds

Ireland has won 19 of the 26 runnings of this race; Blue Sari is favourite but only three 4yos have ever won the race

Thursday, March 14th:

1:30pm, JLT Novices’ Handicap Chase of £150,000.00 2m3f166yds

It looks open, although Lostintranslation was a strong favourite until Defi du Seuil decided to join the party

2:10pm, Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed) of £100,000.00 2m7f 213yds

Ireland has won the last three; the last two winners have been Delta Work and Presenting Percy; Sure du Berlais has been well-backed ante-post following an eye-catching Leopardstown run

2:50pm, Ryanair Chase, Festival Trophy Chase (Grade 1) of £350,000 2m4f127yds

The possibility of Footpad turning up minus hind shoes has altered the ante-post market; Ireland has the first four in the betting

3:30pm, Sun Racing Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1) of £325,000 2m7f213yds

The stats count against Faugheen as just one 11yo (Crimson Embers, 1986) has won the race since the late-1920s; a win for the popular Andrew Gemmell, who has been blind since birth, would be hugely popular; he owns the favourite Paisley Park

Paisley Park would be a popular winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham

4:10pm, Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Grade 3 Handicap Chase) of £110,000 2m4f166yds

Ireland has won this for the last three years although 7 of the last 10 winners have been priced at 16/1 or bigger

4:50pm, Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) of £90,000 2m179yds

Ireland’s Honeysuckle and Britain’s Epatante dominate the betting in what could produce a fascinating tussle

5:30pm, Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateurs) of £70,000 3m2f

Jamie Codd has won this twice in the last four years and he looks set to ride the ante-post gamble, Measureofmydreams

Friday, March 15th:

1:30pm, JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) of £125,000 2m179yds

Sir Erec, a Listed winner on the flat and third in a Group 3 behind champion stayer, Stradivarius, is a red-hot favourite

2:10pm, Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) of £100,000 2m 179yds

Ireland has won six of the last ten; Willie Mullins has won four of the last nine; six of the last ten winners have been 20/1 or bigger

2:50pm, Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) of £125,000 2m7f213yds

The last five winners have been priced at 33/1, 16/1, 11/1, 14/1 and 33/1. Ireland has won five of last ten

3:30pm, Bulmers/Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) of £625,000 3m2f70yds

With last year’s first three, Native River, Might Bite and Anibale Fly, plus the King George VI Chase winner, Clan des Obeaux, the big Irish hope Presenting Percy and Willie Mullins fielding four as he bids to win the blue riband event of chasing for the first time following six seconds, we have all the ingredients for a superb race

Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy winning the Bar One Racing Porterstown Chase at Fairyhouse in 2017

4:10pm, St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup of £45,000 3m2f110yds

Enda Bolger has won two of the last four and he runs the unexposed seven-year-old Stand Up And Fight; Pacha du Polder will be bidding to win it for the third-successive year

4:50pm, Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup (Grade 3 Handicap) of £110,000 2m62yds

Nicky Henderson loves to win this race which is named in honour of his father; his main hope seems to lie with Whatswrongwithyou

5:30pm, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hcap Hurdle of £70,000 2m4f56yds

The Festival finale, named after one the sport’s great trainers; no winning favourite since Sir des Champs in 2011; Gordon Elliott has won the last two and gave a huge thumbs-up for Dallas des Pictons at Cheltenham Preview nights; Willie Mullins has won two of last five and three of last eight; Paul Nicholls has won two of last six; conditional jockeys based in Ireland have won the last four

Good luck! Enjoy the Festival


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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article