It’s time to get ready for one of the greatest spectacles in horse racing. The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest jump racing meeting in the world, where the best horses, trainers, and jockeys go to battle to capture some of the most coveted prizes in the sport.
Some of the greatest names in the history of the industry have achieved their legendary status by crossing the line in front at the famous festival, and in 2024, a new bunch of racing stars will be queueing up to add their name to the prestigious list.
28 races will be up for decision across the four days of action at the English track, and with a mixture of short-priced betting favorites and complete outsiders vying for victory, it can be hard for bettors to sort out the potential winners from the supposed also-rans.
Below we are going to concentrate on the favorites for some of the biggest races of the week and what we can expect from their performances.
Favorites for Cheltenham 2024
Facile Vega (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle)
Of course, if you are looking to have a bet on this year’s Cheltenham Festival, you will have to decide if you are willing to back a favorite that has a betting price that is not going to give you much return on your investment.
One favorite that may prove to be a good horse racing bet is the talented youngster, Facile Vega, who is currently the 2/1 favorite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Trained by the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history, Willie Mullins, Facile Vega comes from a family steeped in festival glory.
Last year’s Champion Bumper winner is the son of the legendary, Quevega, a mare that won six times at the festival in her storied career. Her son has a long way to go to follow in her footsteps but has been put forward as one of the most exciting horses he has ever trained by Mullins.
Facile Vega had been all the rage with bettors leading up to this year’s festival, but he now has questions to answer after suffering his first defeat last time. That was a bitterly disappointing effort and with plenty of talented youngsters taking him on in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, there is no guarantee that he can get favorite backers off to a flying start in the opening race of the week.
Constitution Hill (Champion Hurdle)
At a price of 1/3, Constitution Hill is thought to be unbeatable in this season’s Champion Hurdle, and it is easy to see why. Trained by the legendary British trainer, Nicky Henderson, Constitution Hill is the new superstar of racing and remains unbeaten in his six career starts to date.
He was simply breathtaking in his annihilation of the field in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and has arguably returned in even better form this season. Barring a mishap it is likely that Constitution Hill will make it two from two at the Cheltenham Festival, and it is hard to see any of his rivals getting close to him on the charge to the finish line.
Galopin Des Champs (Gold Cup)
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the pinnacle of the jump racing world, and in 2024 it is another new star of the sport that is strongly supported to add his name to a long list of horse racing legends that have won the festival showpiece.
Another trained by Willie Mullins, Galopin Des Champs is a joy to behold as he jumps his fences at full speed, and has so far been untroubled in his five chasing wins to date. His only defeat came when falling at the final fence when having the Brown Advisory Novice Chase at his mercy 12 months ago, and although that might put some supporters off, his jumping has been foot perfect ever since.
The Gold Cup is a notoriously tough race to win, and with plenty of top-class rivals taking him on this year, Galopin Des Champs looks like having all the weapons in his arsenal to win the blue ribband of jump racing.
Edwardstone (Champion Chase)
Edwardstone has been battling to become the favorite for this season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase, but the British trained has now made his way to the top of the betting markets for the Grade 1 highlight.
With last year’s winner, Energumene, again lining up to attempt to defend his crown, Edwardstone is going to have plenty to do to win the fourth top-level race of his chasing career. Energumene is not the only big danger to this year’s favorite, however, as the front running, Editeur Du Git, also has the credentials to run a big race.
Edwardstone, Energumene, and Editeur Du Gite, actually took each other on last time out and it was the latter that caused a surprise by downing his two more fancied rivals. It is surprising that Editeur Du Gite is currently the outsider of the three to win the Champion Chase.
This year’s renewal of the 2-mile contest promises to be one of the most competitive races of the week, and picking the winner is not going to be an easy task.
These are just four favorites that will be attempting to provide their supporters with success in their Cheltenham Festival predictions. As we have seen, there are cases to be made for and against each of them.