Cheltenham favourites

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The Cheltenham Festival is a huge betting event, attracting millions of pounds in bets over the week. The Cheltenham Festival favourites will carry most of that money, so it’s worth getting familiar with the likely contenders in the build-up.

Cheltenham Gold Cup favourites

Cheltenham favourites are often based on the good form they bring, the best jockeys and trainers, recent trial races and having good winning past form at the Cheltenham Festival.

2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup odds and runners

Let’s take a look at how the odds have fluctuated on the top five in the betting in the build-up to the Cheltenham Festival’s biggest race.

HorseOdds on 27 Apr’22Odds on 5 Jan’23Odds on 1 Feb’23Odds on 9 Mar’23
Galopin Des Champs7/27/413/815/8
A Plus Tard4/18/18/115/2
Noble Yeatsno odds10/17/19/1

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Notable moves include Galopin Des Champs shortening following his win in the John Durkan Memorial at Punchestown, while 2022 Grand National winner Noble Yeats is also a prominent name in the betting after victories at Wexford in October and Aintree in December.

Cheltenham Festival favourites

Find the Cheltenham favourites for the biggest races of Cheltenham Festival 2023.

Cheltenham favourites 2023

1Supreme NovicesFacile Vega2/1
1Champion HurdleConstitution Hill1/3
2Champion ChaseEdwardstone7/4
2Cross CountryDelta Work11/10
3Ryanair ChaseShishkin8/11
3Stayers’ HurdleBlazing Khal3/1
4Gold CupGalopin Des Champs15/8

*Odds subject to change and correct on 9th March 2023.

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Cheltenham Festival betting guide 2023

Many horses are returning for another crack at the Cheltenham Festival in 2023, and we often see previous winners heading up the ante post market. One of the Gold Cup favourites, A Plus Tard, was last year’s winner. Meanwhile Minella Indo and Protektorat, who completed the top three in year’s race, both feature in the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup betting.

2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup results

2022 Gold Cup ResultsGold Cup WinnerSP
1stA Plus Tard3/1 fav
2ndMinella Indo7/1
5thRoyale Pagaille20/1

Top Cheltenham Races

There are several feature races held over the four day Cheltenham Festival.

Day 1 – Champion Hurdle

The championship race on day one of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival is the two-mile Champion Hurdle. Won last time by leading mare Honeysuckle and ridden by star jockey Rachael Blackmore, she’s being redirected to Mares’ Hurdle for 2023 after disappointing in the build-up to this year’s Festival. In her absence, it’s Supreme Novices winner Constitution Hill that finds himself as the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle ante-post favourite.

Based on the average ante post odds, our table below gives you an idea of the perceived percentage chance the current top four have of winning the 2023 Champion Hurdle.

Champion Hurdle RunnersWinning Chance
Constitution Hill74%
State Man24%
I Like To Move It5%

Implied probability based on best odds on 13th March 2023. Percentages may add up to more than 100% due to bookmakers’ margin.

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Day 2 – Champion Chase

The Champion Chase, a top Grade 1 contest, features the best two-mile chasers in the business. Staged on Cheltenham’s Old Course, this race really is a speed test and was won in 2022 by Energumene, after pre-race favourite Shishkin failed to finish.

Shishkin is expected to target the Ryanair Chase this time round, leaving last year’s Arkle winner Edwardstone as Energumene’s chief rival for the 2023 Champion Chase.

Champion Chase RunnersWinning Chance
Editeur Du Gite17%
Nube Negra5%

Implied probability based on best odds on 13th March 2023. Percentages may add up to more than 100% due to bookmakers’ margin.

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Day 2 – Cross Country Chase

A unique race, the Cross Country takes place over numerous very disparate fences. The 2022 Cross Country Chase was meant to be all about Tiger Roll retiring from racing in a blaze of glory, but it was stablemate Delta Work who came out on top. According to the ante post Cross Country Chase odds for 2023, he’s expected to battle it out with Galvin.

Cross Country Chase RunnersWinning Chance
Delta Work45%
Franco de Port10%
Back on the Lash6%

Implied probability based on best odds on 13th March 2023. Percentages may add up to more than 100% due to bookmakers’ margin.

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Day 3 – Ryanair Chase

Day three’s most valuable race, if not the feature event, is the 2½-mile Grade 1 Ryanair Chase. Also known as the Festival Trophy, this event has raised its profile gradually over the years to become one of the most important races on the National Hunt calendar.

Having won the race in spectacular style for Willie Mullins in both 2021 and 2022, Allaho had been favourite to make it three in a row. Sadly, an abdominal bleed put paid to that bid, opening the door to Shishkin and Blue Lord – third in last year’s Arkle – as the most likely winners in 2023.

Ryanair Chase RunnersWinning Chance
Blue Lord17%
Fury Road10%

Implied probability based on best odds on 13th March 2023. Percentages may add up to more than 100% due to bookmakers’ margin.

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Day 3 – Stayers’ Hurdle

Thursday’s championship event is the Stayers’ Hurdle, a three-mile slog around the New Course. Klassical Dream was favoured last time around but was beaten in the end by Gavin Cromwell’s Flooring Porter. The 2021 and 2022 winner is among the 2023 Cheltenham Stayers’ Hurdle favourites in what bookmakers have priced up as an open contest. Blazing Khal is seen as the one to beat though, after winning the Boyne Hurdle in dominant fashion in February.

Stayers’ Hurdle RunnersWinning Chance
Blazing Khal25%
Flooring Porter15%
Home By The Lee15%
Klassical Dream9%

Implied probability based on best odds on 13th March 2023. Percentages may add up to more than 100% due to bookmakers’ margin.

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Day 4 – Gold Cup

This is the big one. The Cheltenham Gold Cup staged on the final day of the meeting, is the sport’s ‘Blue Riband’ event. Run over 3¼ miles of the New Course, the Gold Cup really takes some getting with only the very best able to conquer it down the years.

Capping the week for trainer Henry De Bromhead, his A Plus Tard won the 2022 race and he is once again high on the list of suspects for 2023, although 2021 Martin Pipe Conditional winner Galopin Des Champs heads the Cheltenham Gold Cup ante post market.

Gold Cup RunnersWinning Chance
Galopin Des Champs37%
A Plus Tard12%
Noble Yeats10%

Implied probability based on best odds on 13th March 2023. Percentages may add up to more than 100% due to bookmakers’ margin.

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Cheltenham Favourites – Ante-Post betting guide

One of the Cheltenham’s perks is ante-post betting on the major championship races – this is when you can bet on the Cheltenham Festival races way in advance of the meeting.

As soon as the Festival is over there is betting on the races for the next Cheltenham Festival. Bookmakers such as Paddy Power and Betfair issue ante-post betting for races like the Festival’s Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase.

Nearer the time, most of the races will have betting available and these markets change all the time based on how horses are performing in the build-up to the Cheltenham Festival.

Non-Runner, No Bet

In the weeks before the Cheltenham Festival most of the main bookmakers like Paddy Power, William Hill, Coral and Bet365 will make their ante-post Cheltenham markets ‘Non-Runner, No Bet’ – this means that if your Cheltenham bet (horse) doesn’t run you will get your money back – it will be classed as a non-runner.

Ante-post betting can be fraught with danger because if the backed horse is withdrawn before the day of the race all stakes are lost. In the weeks leading up to the Festival, some bookmakers offer the concession of non-runner/no bet.

This means if a horse is taken out of the race before race day it counts as a non-runner. Bookmakers refund all the placed stakes on the horse. In placing ante-post bets on Cheltenham favourites you should identify which bookmaker offers non-runner/no bet for all 28 races at the festival.

Initially, the offer might only apply to the feature race on each of the four days of the festival but nearer the time will be extended to cover all the races. Operators like Paddy Power and Betfair will offer extra places and odds boosts on winners at Cheltenham.

Beware the Bear Cheltenham Win

Cheltenham Festival: Horse Racing – Cheltenham Festival – Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain – March 12, 2019 Jeremiah McGrath on Beware The Bear celebrates winning the 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/Ritzau Scanpix

Live Cheltenham betting

Paddy Power and bet365 are two of the biggest UK bookmakers and each operator offers live betting on Cheltenham favourites. Customers can bet on the winner of a race at the festival once the race has begun. Prices are updated as the race develops and betting is available until the outcome is obvious.

Some operators offer place only betting and others will accept each-way betting for live races which are often Cheltenham favourites.

Live streaming is available with several UK online bookmakers, but customers must place a bet to gain access to this service. There is also a cash-out option with Cheltenham favourites which means customers cash close bets before expiry to guarantee a profit or limit a loss.

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Cheltenham betting offers

Most bookmakers will have extra Cheltenham Festival offers in the weeks leading up to the event – these can include faller insurance and extra place offers so it’s always best to shop around and find the best Cheltenham offers.

The welcome offers are generally matched deposit and bet bonuses. Any bonus funds can be used for betting on winners at Cheltenham. Each welcome offer is available when the Terms & Conditions are followed completely.

Check out the Cheltenham Betting Offers here.

Cheltenham favourites summary

The festival is huge for betting and all the major bookmakers offer ante-post betting for the winners at Cheltenham. Customers can place win and each-way bets on races at the Festival and some bookmakers offer enhanced odds.

Non-runner/no bet is a popular concession during the few weeks before Cheltenham. It is easily the biggest betting meeting of the year with opportunities to enjoy welcome offers and place bets on Cheltenham favourites.

*All odds subject to change.

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