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In 2021 the Irish trained horses dominated the Cheltenham Festival with a record breaking 23 winners against Britain’s 5. But can the British horses pull it back this year? Here are 10 British runners, who could win at the Festival.

Constitution Hill

The Nicky Henderson trained Constitution Hill has won on both of his starts, impressively winning by 14 lengths and then 12 lengths both at Sandown. He holds entries for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Edwardstone

Edwardstone has won his last four times out and heads into the Festival as one of Britain’s leading fancies for Alan King. Originally he was only selected by 0.2% of stables and currently sits second in the Ten To Follow horse list with 87.12 points. He is currently the favourite in the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase.

Does He Know

This season Does He Know has won 3 out of his 4 starts, with a 2nd place at Cheltenham in November. Kim Bailey has left his options open as he currently holds two entries for the Festival, the Ultima Handicap Chase and the National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase.

Bravemansgame

After coming 3rd in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and 2nd in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at the Aintree Festival, Bravemansgame took to the bigger obstacles for this season, winning all four chase starts. He holds entries in both the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase and the Turners Novices’ Chase and he shouldn’t be ruled out.

Shishkin

Shishkin enters this Cheltenham Festival as one of Britain’s leading hopes. A huge 73% of people chose him in their initial stables for Ten To Follow this season and they have not been disappointed, winning both of his starts. He heads to the Queen Mother Champion Chase, after beating Energumene last time out, the rematch is set with Shishkin as the favourite.

L’Homme Presse

L’Homme Presse has won all four starts this season including a Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in January by an impressive 10 lengths. He holds entries in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase as well as the Turners Novices’ Chase. He’ll potentially be taking on some big names in either of these races but if this season’s form is anything to go by then he should come close.

Alaphilippe

Alaphilippe ran in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Festival where under Paddy Brennan he finished in 5th place out of 14 finishers. He had a 302 day break before heading to Warwick in January for a Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier. He currently holds two entries at the Festival, the Stayers Hurdle but a more likely target is the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle where he is one of the top fancies. Fergal O’Brien always enjoys a winner at his local course so he shouldn’t be underestimated.

Protektorat

Protektorat is one of Britain’s leading hopes for the big one this year, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He opened up his account this season when finishing second at Cheltenham in November’s Gold Cup Handicap Chase before winning second time out in December at Aintree in the Many Clouds Chase by a massive 25 lengths to fan favourite and Gold Cup hero Native River. If that form is anything to go by he could very much impress at the Festival.

Adagio 

Adagio has finished second in both starts this season so he’ll be hoping to go one better this time around. He’s heading to the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy. David Pipe spoke to us and is very much looking forward to the big race. You can read the full interview here.

Sky Pirate

Sky Pirate won last year’s Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase and is heading back to try and retain his title this year. This season he has performed slightly under par finishing 2nd twice, 3rd once and 4th twice. Jonjo O’Neill will be hoping he can run a big race this year as he did last year. As a previous winner of the race, he’s definitely one to watch.


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