Cheltenham Runners – Who To Bet On?
The Cheltenham Festival dominates National Hunt racing like no other single event in any sport. Football has the World Cup and domestic leagues, there are four major championships in golf and four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis. However, all roads lead to Cheltenham for jumps horses trained in the UK and Ireland and the dates in 2022 are Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th of March.
This article provides the perfect guide to betting on Cheltenham races in particular and horse racing in general. However, the main focus looks at who to bet on at Cheltenham 2022. Before placing a bet, have a look at our Cheltenham betting tips.
There is an overview of all four days including the best ante post bets for the major championship races. We’ll take a look at popular bets but it’s mainly about your Cheltenham favourites.
Cheltenham Favourites 2022
The four days of the jumps meeting that matter most throw up banker short-priced favourites and outsiders who could cause upsets. Our objective is to pinpoint the Cheltenham runners to back each day by examining the trends and identifying the horses with the best form and attributes.
Here are the Cheltenham bookmakers’ favourites for the major races on Day 1 to day 4. You can consider these runners but also take into account the trainers and jockeys. Some of these individuals know how to deliver Cheltenham winners when they are involved with the favourites.
Cheltenham Favourites Tuesday: Day 1
- Champion Hurdle – Honeysuckle
- Arkle Chase – Appreciate It
- Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Sir Gerhard
The Champion Hurdle is the most prestigious hurdle race in the sport. It is the highlight of Day 1 and has a history of producing multiple winners. That’s good news for followers of Honeysuckle who turned the 2021 race into a procession with an easy victory. There’s no reason why the Irish-trained horse cannot defend the Champion Hurdle crown in the spring.
There are arguments for making Grade 1 championship races level-weights contests. However, mares receive a seven pounds allowance from geldings. Epatante (2000) and Honeysuckle (2021) took advantage.
It’s debatable whether they were the best horses but there is no doubt they were worthy winners under the race conditions.
The winners of the novice events at Cheltenham often come into the reckoning for the Champion Hurdle the following season. Appreciate It was the most impressive but he could bypass hurdling at the highest level and be sent novice chasing.
The jury is still out on Goshen because the horse still has the potential to be seven pounds better than Honeysuckle.
The start of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the first race of the meeting, is accompanied by the Cheltenham Roar from the crowd. Fancied runners have a good record and anything trained by Willie Mullins should have your attention. Sir Gerhard ticks those boxes and the champion bumper winner could successfully move into the novice hurdling division.
Arkle Chase Prediction
The Arkle Chase can be a puzzle sometime before the race at Cheltenham. Trainers sometimes send their best hurdlers over fences while others stay in the hurdling division. There are numerous novice chases during the season and potential Arkle Chase winners can emerge in these races. Appreciate It has the form over hurdles to make the transition and is the Arkle Chase prediction.
Cheltenham Favourites Wednesday: Day 2
- Champion Chase – Shiskin
- Cross Country – Tiger Roll
There is only one race to start with and one horse in particular on Day 2 of Cheltenham 2022. Tiger Roll has won three festival cross country races in four years and looked as good as ever in 2021. The owners must be regretting withdrawing their horse from the Grand National. On Cheltenham form, Tiger Roll could easily have become the first horse to win three successive Nationals.
Tiger Roll beat Easysland by 18 lengths carrying the same weight in the Cheltenham 2021 cross country race. That was an improvement in form from previous races earlier in the season. However, Tiger Roll relishes Cheltenham in March so another procession in the 2022 cross country contest would not be the biggest shock of the century.
We look at the Champion Chase in more detail in the next section so the other highlight to assess is the staying novices’ chase. It brings together inexperienced chasers and horses who may have moved from the hurdling division.
The shape of the race is not clear at this stage but Thyme Hill would be interesting after reaching almost the top level in long-distance hurdle races.
Champion Chase Prediction
This race is all about Shiskin. The Nicky Henderson horse has followed the same route as Altior to being the favourite for the Champion Chase. Both horses won a novices’ hurdle and novices’ chase at Cheltenham. Altior then won two Champion Chases and Shiskin can emulate his stablemate. That process can begin by winning the 2022 Champion Chase and that is our strongest prediction.
Cheltenham Favourites Thursday: Day 3
- Stayers’ Hurdle – Flooring Porter
- Ryanair Chase – Allaho
Paisley Park has now run in the Stayers’ Hurdle three times and always been in contention at the business end of the race. The horse won the race in 2019, made a spirited defence a year later despite losing a shoe and finished third in 2021. Flooring Porter was too good on the day but Paisley Park kept on inside the final furlong. The race has a history of producing multiple winners and it’s Paisley Park rather than Flooring Porter who can enhance that trend in 2022.
The Ryanair Chase is sponsored by the budget airline that transports thousands of racegoers from Ireland to Cheltenham. Michael O’Leary is the CEO and prominent owner of jumps horses under the banner of the Gigginstown syndicate. He has won his own race just once but Samcro is unlikely to double his tally. Allaho ticks the boxes and is the prediction if not running in the Gold Cup.
Cheltenham Favourites Gold Cup Day:
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the pinnacle of chasing and the Blue Riband event of the sport. It’s the best jumps race of the season because the best horse usually wins the race. The Grand National is a handicap and weight is a major factor. Infrequent bettors like to have a wager on the Gold Cup so as a guide here are the Cheltenham favourites:
|Gold Cup Favourites||Odds*|
|A Plus Tard||9/1|
|Al Boum Photo||20/1|
PLEASE NOTE * All Odds are correct as of 26/7/21 and are subject to change. You should have in mind that the odds can change before the event. Make sure to check them regularly in order to make an informed decision when you place your bet.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the highlight of the festival and the biggest betting race of the year after the Grand National. There is a healthy ante post market which is boosted by bookmakers introducing the non-runner/no bet concession. This means if you back a horse and it is withdrawn it counts as a non-runner so you get the stake back.
Here is our guide to the Cheltenham favourites and predictions for the Gold Cup.
Monkfish produced one of the standout wins of the festival. The horse is good enough to graduate from novice company and be a leading contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2022.
Envoi Allen has a similar profile but fell at Cheltenham. That was the only significant blemish in an impressive career which means Envoi Allen can compete with Monkfish.
Minella Indo won the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup and a horse can do what is required. However, the race cut up and the winner is below average Gold Cup standard.
A Plus Tard
A Plus Tard ran a solid race in 2021 but was outstayed by Minella Indo on the run-in. The horse is progressive and looks like a better option in the 2022 Gold Cup.
Al Boum Photo
Al Boum Photo was not quite good enough to win three Gold Cups in three years. However, he stayed on well and did not lose ground behind the first two in the 2021 Gold Cup.
Allaho has the Ryanair Chase option but if connections are brave the target should be the Gold Cup and the horse has the stamina and jumping ability to be a major player. Monkfish ticks all the boxes but we prefer Allaho as the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2022 prediction.
If you want to watch the race, you can check all the streaming information to watch Cheltenham Live.
Potential Winners at Cheltenham: Four Horses to Follow
Among Cheltenham runners, which are those to follow? This has always been the question asked by anyone who’s thinking about winners at Cheltenham. Here’s a list of four Cheltenham horses to pay attention to when thinking about who to bet on Cheltenham.
|Champion Hurdle||Honeysuckle (Winner)||11/10F|
|Champion Chase||Put the Kettle On (Winner)||17/2|
|Stayers’ Hurdle||Flooring Porter (Winner)||12/1|
|Gold Cup||Minella Indo (Winner)||9/1|
*You should have in mind that the odds can change before the event. Make sure to check them regularly in order to make an informed decision when you want to place your bet.
What to Look for In a Cheltenham Runner
There are many factors to pay attention to when deciding who to bet on Cheltenham. One of the most important things is the previous form at the track. However, it’s not just the horse that matters. Besides Cheltenham runners, don’t forget to take a look at trainers, jockeys, and their career paths.
See if they win regularly or not that much, how many years of experience they have, etc. Every statistic data could be pretty helpful in predicting future outcomes. Make sure not to neglect it!
Here are some of the key information to keep in mind when thinking of how to bet on horse racing:
If you are a fan of horse racing, then you should know why a horse’s age is very important and how it affects racing ability. For instance, it’s logical to think that when younger horses compete against older ones, they hold an advantage because of their age. However, this isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to thoroughbred racehorses. A lot of horses improve as they age. It can pay to look back at past age trends too – some races favour horses at a certain age – for example, since 1986 we’ve only seen two Champion Hurdle winners aged 5 years-old.
Weight of horses
It’s also highly important to take into account the impact of the assigned weight a horse must carry during a race. Each horse has its limits of ability, just like humans do. The weight factor is significant for handicap races.
A horse that is well-weighted is a favourably handicapped horse compared with the weights that his rivals have to carry. However, this is not that simple. There are also some other factors. In fact, according to statistics, horses carrying more weight than during their last race won 10.22%. On the other hand, horses carrying less weight than their last race won 8.63%.
Again, it’s worth looking back at past races to find some key weight trends and statistics that have built up – certain races will favour the classier horses that are carrying more weight, while some of the handicaps those with less weight have done better.
There’s no need to even talk about this. If according to betting tips and odds one horse is considered as promising that he/she certainly is. Past performances of Cheltenham runners reveal a lot about the horse’s shape.
Some punters prefer considering racing trainers rather than evaluating Cheltenham horses. Each trainer has its own strengths and weaknesses, but they also have specific situations where they excel. Make sure to spot those situations!
Learning to recognise which jockeys are more likely to win is a great advantage. When choosing who to bet on Cheltenham, don’t forget to take a look at jockey stats. Anyway, these statistics shouldn’t go separately. It’s not just the jockey that matters. Don’t forget about the horse he rides and how it performs. When it comes to the horse, it’s important who is his/her trainer, etc.
In 2021 top jockeys Barry Geraghty and Paul Townend won 5 races each, with Davy Russell riding three Cheltenham Festival winners. However, it was Paul Townend, who also rode the 2020 Gold Cup winner – Al Boum Photo – that won the 2020 Cheltenham top jockey title with more seconds and thirds than Barry Geraghty. Nico De Boinville and leading female jockey Rachael Blackmore are other leading Cheltenham jockeys to note.
As you can see, all these statistics can’t be isolated. Choosing the right horse to bet on is a gradual and analytical process. We’ve compiled some bookmakers where you can place a bet on your favourite runner while watching the race live here.
Cheltenham Bet Types
There are plenty of different Cheltenham bet types. These are some of the most frequent ones: starting price, Cheltenham races favourites, best odds, ante-post, non-runner no bet.
You are probably familiar with the concept of these types of bets, so we won’t go into detail.