The Horses To Take A Look At For Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Betting

The Cheltenham Festival is less than five weeks away
08:00, 09 Feb 2023

We are less than five weeks away from the Cheltenham Festival and you might already be scouring the ante-post markets to suss out the best bets ahead of the four-day meeting in March.

There are a number of superstars set to descend on the famous Gloucestershire racecourse and some of the biggest hitters in jumps racing will feature in the four Championship races across the week. These are the names we feel are worth taking a close look at in the run-up to the festival.

Champion Hurdle - Tuesday 14th March 3:30pm

Constitution Hill - 2/7 (FAV)

Constitution Hill is expected to completely blow away the field in Tuesday’s spectacle. The six-year-old has won all five of his rules races and is one of the most frightening horses on the circuit right now. He is really strong with his jumping and he has no problem with turning up the gears on the flat. The Nicky Henderson-trained sensation is going to be really difficult to beat as he chases a second festival victory after winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2022.

State Man - 11/4 

The horse that looks to pose the biggest threat to Constitution Hill’s quest for the Champion Chase crown is trained by the legendary Willie Mullins. State Man boosted his credentials for the festival with an impressive run in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday, beating Honeysuckle to hand the two-time Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner a second career defeat. State Man is also on the hunt for a second festival victory after triumphing in the Handicap Hurdle in 2022.

Vauban - 9/1

The other Mullins-trained horse that will be looking to beat Constitution Hill is last year’s Triumph Hurdle champion Vauban. The five-year-old gave a good showing in his most recent battle in the Irish Champion Hurdle to place third behind stablemate State Man and Honeysuckle. Vauban has a good engine and has shown that he can stay well but, like State Man, it is going to be really difficult to beat Constitution Hill right now.


Queen Mother Champion Chase - Wednesday 15th March 3:30pm

Energumene - 11/8 (FAV)

Trained by Mullins, Energumene has won 10 out of his 13 races under rules. In his latest outing he finished third in the Clarence House Chase at the Festival Trials Day behind Editeur Du Gite and Edwardstone. The nine-year-old looked strong for much of the race but then faltered at the last fence. Energumene stays well, usually has no issues with his jumping and is likely going to improve for his festival appearance.

Edwardstone - 6/4 

Nine-year-old gelding Edwardstone is heading to Cheltenham looking to build on his victory in the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase last year. His season has been impressive so far despite just the one victory which came at Sandown. Racing fans were surprised to see Edwardstone lose out to Editeur Du Gite in the Clarence House Chase at Festival Trials Day in January, but he had a strong run. He is expected to be even sharper for the Champion Chase.

Editeur Du Gite - 5/1

The Clarence House Chase winner did well to stun both Energumene and Edwardstone and that followed another impressive victory in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton in December. As far as form goes, Editeur Du Gite will be heading to the festival with the most confidence but the nine-year-old will need to deliver another amazing performance to hold off the two favourites for the Champion Chase.

Stayers’ Hurdle - Thursday 16th March 3:30pm

Teahupoo - 5/2 (FAV)

Teahupoo is a major hope for Gordon Elliott’s team in the Stayers’ Hurdle after inflicting a first career defeat on Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse before successfully stepping up to three miles in the Galmoy at Gowran. The six-year-old was bitterly disappointing when quietly fancied for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last season but he has vastly improved since. 

Home By The Lee - 7/2

Trainer Joseph O’Brien is hoping to come away from the Cheltenham Festival with at least one winner and Home By The Lee will be one of his best chances. He is a horse with great stamina and that is crucial if you are hoping to win a Championship race at the festival. The eight-year-old has won on his last two appearances at Leopardstown and Navan respectively, so he is heading to Cheltenham in great form.

Blazing Khal - 9/2

Charles Byrne’s seven-year-old gelding has won all three of his races over hurdles with two of them coming in Novices’ Hurdles at Cheltenham in November and December last year. He looks in great shape for the festival as he not only stays well and impresses with his jumping, but can finish strongly as his victory in December showed.

Gold Cup - Friday 17th March 3:30pm

Galopin Des Champs - 13/8 (FAV)

This Willie Mullins star is the current favourite for the Cheltenham Festival’s biggest prize and rightly so. After taking part in his first three-mile race over fences in the Irish Gold Cup last weekend, he took control after the last hurdle to finish eight lengths clear of stablemate Stattler to deliver the perfect warm-up for the festival. He is going to be very difficult to beat based on his current form.

Stattler - 13/2

Another star of Mullins’ stable is the horse that finished second behind Galopin Des Champs in the Irish Gold Cup. He gave a strong performance that involved a powering finish to place ahead of Fury Road. The eight-year-old may not boast the most appealing record but his recent outings have shown a lot of promise.

A Plus Tard - 7/1

The reigning champion has only made one appearance since winning the Gold Cup last year and that was at Haydock where he was pulled up. He might be a little rough around the edges as he returns to Gloucestershire, but we have seen two strong runs from him in the Gold Cup in the last two years and we know just how much of a devastating combination Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore can be. 

Protektorat - 14/1

Viewed as the English’s best chance for Gold Cup glory, many were stunned to see Protektorat place fourth in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January. The surprising thing was that he actually had a commendable run as he travelled well and jumped without any issue. Trainer Dan Skelton is going to work even harder with Protektorat in the next few weeks to get him in the best shape possible for the festival. Let’s not forget he finished third in the Gold Cup in 2022 so we know what he is capable of.

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change | Non Runner No Bet

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