Cheltenham Festival 2024: Each Way Lucky 15


Cheltenham Festival 2024: Each Way Lucky 15


As February ticks ever closer to a conclusion, the biggest racing event of the season looms large on the horizon – in three weeks, we will be in the midst of the Cheltenham Festival 2024. 28 races spread over four days is enough to whet the appetite of any punter, with the betting activities of many already well underway.

With the make-up of the biggest events beginning to look a little clearer, now seems a good time to step into the action. Here, using data presented by NewBettingSites.uk, we pick out four solid each way contenders, using race trends from the 23 editions between 2000 and 2023 as the basis for our selections.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 1:30 Tuesday 12 March

Key Trends

  • 5 or 6 years of age - 20 of 23 winners
  • Won last time out - 20 of 23 winners
  • Between 2 and 5 previous runs over hurdles - 21 of 23 winners
  • Previously ran within the last 66 days - 20 of 23 winners

Applying all of the above to the current list of 38 entries whittles the field down to a round dozen. To zero in on our selection, we will look to a weaker but still significant trend – namely, that 13 of the 23 winners hailed from the yards of Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls, or Noel Meade. Focussing on runners from these yards brings us down to nine – eight for Willie Mullins and one for Nicky Henderson.

Having already scored in Grade 1 company, Ballyburn looks the standout from the Mullins contingent, but, at a general price of 7/4, is a little on the short side for each way purposes. Unbeaten in four starts, Henderson’s Jeriko Du Reponet appeals at around the 9/1 mark, but preference is for Mullins' apparent second-string Mystical Power. Going in the colours of JP McManus, this one put a Grade 2 field to the sword last time out at Punchestown and looks ready for this step up in class.

  • Recommended Bet - Mystical Power each way @ 5/1 with BetUK

Arkle Chase – 2:10 Tuesday 12 March

Key Trends

  • 6 or 7 years of age - 18 of 23 winners
  • Won last time out - 19 of 23 winners
  • Previously Won at Grade 2 level or above 20 of 23 winners
  • Ran within the last 100 days - 22 of 23 winners

Applying the above presents a slightly clearer picture, with only four contenders hitting all four trends - Il Etait Temps, JPR One, Quilixios, and Zanahiyr. To zero in on our selection, we will cut the list down to those runners hailing from a yard which has won this race in the current century. Out go JPR One and Zanahihyr, leaving only Il Etait Temps for five-time winner Willie Mullins and Quilixios for two-time champ Henry de Bromhead.

Irish Arkle winner Il Etait Temps looks rock solid at around 11/2 but is yet to finish inside the top four in two outings at the Cheltenham Festival. As such, the vote goes to 9/1 shot Qulixios, who boasts a perfect one-from-one record at this meeting, having landed the 2021 Triumph Hurdle in some style. Two from three over fences, his best effort came last time out when landing a competitive Novice event at Naas. With course form on his side, this dual Grade 1 winner looks well worth including.

  • Recommended Bet - Quilixios each way @ 9/1 with BetUK

Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle– 1:30 Wednesday 13 March

Key Trends

  • 5 or 6 years of age - 22 of 23 winners
  • Won last time out - 18 of 23 winners
  • Five or fewer previous starts over hurdles - 21 of 23 winners
  • Previously won over 2m4f or further - 21 of 23 winners

Sifting the current 51-runner field through the above filters narrows things down considerably but still leaves us with a not-so-short list of 10. Moving down the list of trends, we find that 14 of the past 23 winners had previously scored at Grade 2 level or above. Applying this criterion leaves just the Willie Mullins duo of Ballyburn and Readin Tommy Wrong, Captain Teague from the Paul Nicholls operation and Harry Fry’s Gidleigh Park.

All four have dual entries at the festival, but of the quartet, the one who seems most likely to line up here – if trainer comments are any guide – is the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned six-year-old Readin Tommy Wrong. A perfect four from four this season, he lowered the colours of a few highly touted rivals when landing a Grade 1 at Naas and looks like a horse firmly on the up.

  • Recommended Bet - Readin Tommy Wrong each way @ 13/2 with BetUK

Stayers Hurdle – 3:30 Thursday 14 March

Key Trends

  • Between 6 and 9 years of age - 22 of 23 winners
  • Finished first or second last time out - 19 of 23 winners
  • Previously won in Grade 1 company - 17 of 23 winners
  • Previously ran within the last 90 days - 22 of 23 winners

There are a number of intriguing contenders amongst the older brigade – most notably Monkfish, Paisley Park, and defending champ Sire Du Berlais. However, the overall age trend suggests they may be up against it. Focussing on the younger runners, the only three to hit all other trends are Sir Gerhard, Irish Point, and Crambo. Irish Point is currently vying for favouritism with Teahupoo, who goes for the same trainer and owner combo of Gordon Elliott and Robcour. With that possible clash, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see Irish Point rerouted to the Champion Hurdle.

All of which leaves us with a choice between Sir Gerard and Crambo. Crambo is the up-and-coming star of the two, having landed a thrilling edition of the Long Walk Hurdle last time out. However, it is the Willie Mullins-trained Sir Gerhard who gets the vote. This one's career over fences didn’t go to plan, but he's four from five over the smaller obstacles and, significantly, has a history of hitting his peak at this meeting – having landed the 2021 Champion Bumper and 2022 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Back to form last time out at Punchestown, this classy sort can hit the frame.

  • Recommended Bet - Sir Gerhard each way @ 9/1 with BetUK

A 50p each way Lucky 15 on the above four selections at the odds quoted returns £3655.23 with BetUK if all four win.


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