Cheltenham Festival 2024 Hot Favourites

Cheltenham Festival 2024: Should You Back or Avoid the Hot Favourites?

Horse racing fans are gearing up for one of the biggest betting weeks of the year, with the 2024 Cheltenham Festival set to get underway on March 12.

There has been plenty of movement in the ante-post markets as the contenders for the main races have been showcasing their credentials in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

As is generally the case with the four-day meeting, several of the top races feature heavily backed horses. The question is, should you back or avoid the hot favourites this year?

Constitution Hill – Champion Hurdle

Constitution Hill romped to a hugely impressive victory in last season’s Champion Hurdle and is long odds-on to defend his title this time around.

However, he has run just once this season and was ruled out of a prep run at Cheltenham Trials Day in January after a poor scope.

Trainer Nicky Henderson will likely have Constitution Hill close to his best on the opening day, but odds of around 2/7 make limited appeal from a betting perspective.

Verdict: Avoid.

Lossiemouth – Mares’ Hurdle

Last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner returned to action with an emphatic victory on Trials Day and looks to be a banker bet to follow up in the Mares’ Hurdle.

Top Irish trainer Willie Mullins is a master at picking the right races for his horses and is expected to resist calls to run Lossiemouth in the Champion Hurdle.

That decision looks set to leave the best Irish betting sites facing a bumper payout, with the mare strongly fancied to dominate proceedings against her own sex.

Verdict: Back.

El Fabiolo – Champion Chase

El Fabiolo recorded a stylish victory in the Arkle Novices’ Chase at the Festival last year and will be tough to stop in his quest to win the 2024 Champion Chase.

He swatted aside main market rival Jonbon on that occasion and should have little difficulty franking the form when they meet again in March.

Jonbon had a pretty hard race when narrowly defeated in the Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham in January and should prove to be no match for El Fabiolo.

Verdict: Back.

Sir Gino – Triumph Hurdle

Sir Gino romped to a bloodless win on his UK debut at Kempton in December, before following up with an eye-catching victory on Trials Day last month.

That second run result in Sir Gino being installed as favourite for the Triumph Hurdle and he looks to be one of the biggest banker bets of the meeting.

Irish-trained runners have won this race in each of the past four seasons, but they will have their work cut out against this talented French import.

Verdict: Back.

Galopin Des Champs – Cheltenham Gold Cup

After he claimed victory in the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup, many people predicted that Galopin Des Champs would dominate the staying chase division for the next few years.

Two subsequent defeats appeared to blow a hole in that notion, but the eight-year-old has subsequently silenced the doubters with two brilliant wins at Leopardstown.

Not many horses have the unique mix of speed and stamina needed to win the Gold Cup, which is why Galopin Des Champs is fancied to emerge victorious again this year.

Verdict: Back.

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