In 2021 we all watched the Cheltenham Festival from our sofas and there were plenty of big named winners who, this year, you’ll be seeing again.
As the current ante-post favourite, last year’s Ryanair winner Allaho looks to be heading back to defend his crown. The Willie Mullins trained horse has won both of his starts this season and looks set to gain Willie’ fourth Ryanair victory at the Festival.
Bob Olinger was victorious in the Ballymore Novice’ Hurdle last year for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore, before starting his first Chase campaign in November. Winning both starts over the bigger obstacles, he looks to take on either the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase or the Turners Novices’ Chase.
The 2021 Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter looks to retain his title this year after winning impressively by 3 and ¼ lengths for our Ambassador Danny Mullins riding for Gavin Cromwell. He was second last time out so he’s looking to go one better at the Festival.
Galopin Des Champs
Galopin Des Champs has been very impressive winning in all three of his starts since winning last year’s Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle - His last two being in chases. He currently holds entries in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase as well as the Turners Novices’ Chase. Potentially going head to head with Bob Olinger.
Fifth on our list is the superstar that is Honeysuckle. She’s currently won all 15 of her starts, one being a point to point and 14 being under rules, so the question is can she be beaten? She lines up to take on the Champion Hurdle for a second time, unsurprisingly she’s the current favourite like the vast majority of her starts.
Last year’s Gold Cup winner Minella Indo is looking for his first victory since the 2021 Festival. He heads back to the Gold Cup this year, hoping to retain his title. With Henry De Bromhead having a 1-2 in this race last year, we can’t rule out a repeat again this year.
Put The Kettle On
Aidan Coleman brought home Put The Kettle On in front last year in the Queen Mother Champion Chase by just ½ length, which was her last victory to date. She holds entries in the Queen Mother Champion Chase again this year as well as the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase. After winning at a decent price last year, she could go close again this year.
Shishkin won the Arkle Novices’ Chase in 2021 very impressively, by 12 lengths under Nico de Boinville for Nicky Henderson. This year he heads to the Queen Mother Champion Chase where we will see the rematch between him and Energumene. After winning in their last match up, he goes into this one as the favourite.
At the 2021 Festival, Rachael Blackmore made headlines as the top jockey, including victory on Telmesomethinggirl who was well backed during the first two days and won pretty comfortably in the end. This year she heads to the Mares’ Hurdle on the first day of the Festival and she looks to be heading there as the favourite.
A huge 18 lengths was between dual Grand National winning horse Tiger Roll and the second placed horse in the Cross Country Chase in 2021. This year at 12 years old, he heads back to the same race, where it could be his final race before his retirement. He’s a fan favourite and you can never underestimate him.