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Cheltenhamfestival.net is your complete guide to the Cheltenham Festival and an indispensable aid to finding the winners of some of the most prestigious and competitive horse races run anywhere in the world.

The 28 races that make up the Cheltenham Festival are the most hotly contested of the entire racing calendar, with around 500 horses competing for over £3.4 million of win and place prize money which compete only with the Grand National in terms of prestige in the jump racing calendar. The feature race of the entire festival is the Gold Cup, which will be run at 15:30 on Friday 16th March 2018.

2018 Cheltenham Festival tips

Date - TimeEvent Name Location
13 Mar 2018 13:30Supreme Novices’ HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
13 Mar 2018 14:10Arkle Challenge TrophyCheltenham Racecourse
13 Mar 2018 14:50The Festival Handicap ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
13 Mar 2018 15:30Champion HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
13 Mar 2018 16:10Mares HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
13 Mar 2018 16:50National Hunt ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
13 Mar 2018 17:30Novices Handicap ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
14 Mar 2018 13:30Neptune Novices HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
14 Mar 2018 14:10RSA ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
14 Mar 2018 14:50Coral CupCheltenham Racecourse
14 Mar 2018 15:30Queen Mother Champion ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
14 Mar 2018 16:10Cross Country ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
14 Mar 2018 16:50Fred Winter HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
14 Mar 2018 17:30Champion BumperCheltenham Racecourse
15 Mar 2018 13:30JLT Novices ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
15 Mar 2018 14:10Pertemps Handicap HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
15 Mar 2018 14:50Ryanair ChaseCheltenham Racecourse
15 Mar 2018 15:30Stayers HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
15 Mar 2018 16:10The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Handicap Chase Cheltenham Racecourse
15 Mar 2018 16:50Mares Novices HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
15 Mar 2018 17:30Kim Muir Challenge CupCheltenham Racecourse
16 Mar 2018 13:30Triumph HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
16 Mar 2018 14:10County HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
16 Mar 2018 14:50Albert Bartlett Novices HurdleCheltenham Racecourse
16 Mar 2018 15:30Cheltenham Gold Cup Cheltenham Racecourse
16 Mar 2018 16:10Foxhunter Challenge CupCheltenham Racecourse
16 Mar 2018 16:50Conditional JockeyCheltenham Racecourse
16 Mar 2018 17:30Grand Annual Chase Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Day 4 Tips & Results (Friday)

DATE & TIMERACEFAVOURITEODDS
17 Mar 13:30Triumph HurdleWinner: Defi du Seuil 5/2 Fall odds >
17 Mar 14:10County HurdleWinner: Arctic Fire 20/1all odds >
17 Mar 14:50AB Novices HurdleWinner: Penhill 16/1all odds >
17 Mar 15:30Gold CupWinner: Sizing John 7/1all odds >
17 Mar 16:10Foxhunter ChaseWinner: Pacha Du Polder 16/1all odds >
17 Mar 16:50Conditionals HurdleWinner: Champagne Classic 12/1all odds >
17 Mar 17:30Grand Annual ChaseWinner: Rock The World 10/1all odds >
Our site contains everything you need to know about these four magical days in March, when the whole racing community converges on Prestbury Park for the Olympics of National Hunt racing.
Cheltenham Festival tips: Our dedicated tipping team are working around the clock to make sure that you receive the essential advice for all the key races at the Festival.  Our team have been working their way through the Cheltenham form ever since the season began and we're confident that we have a number of winners lined up ahead of this year's fixture.

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Expert Cheltenham Tips - Walsh, Geraghty, Carberry

TipsterSelectionDay / RaceTip
Barry GeraghtyDefi Du Seuil 9/4 (won)Triumph Hurdle 13:30Read
Brian HealyIvanovic Gorbatov 9/1County Hurdle 14:10Read
Ruby WalshAugusta Kate 7/1 EWAB Novices Hurdle 14:50Read
Nick WilbySizing John 7/1 (won)Gold Cup 15:30Read
Nina CarberryOn the Fringe 6/4Foxhunter Chase 16:10Read
Jonathan VineRather Be 14/1Conditionals Hurdle 16:50Read
Barry GeraghtyPairofbrowneyesGrand Annual Chase 17:30Read
Ruby WalshRace-by-race guideAll Festival racesRead
Ruby WalshHorse-by-horse verdict onall Willie Mullins horsesRead

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Gold Cup Runner-by-Runner Guide

The biggest race of the Cheltenham Festival, the Gold Cup spearheads the fourth and final day of top-class horse racing action at the ‘greatest show on turf’.

The gruelling 3m 2f contest presents a real challenge for horse and jockey alike, and is always a hugely competitive and entertaining spectacle between the best staying chasers around. It is little wonder then that recent renewals have been won by the likes of Don Cossack, Kauto Star, Denman, Kicking King and triple-winner Best Mate since the turn of the century.

The 3.30pm Festival highlight carries a first prize in excess of £300,000, and with 14 declared runners for the top-class contest punters are sure to be in for another adrenaline-fuelled renewal.

Colin Tizzard has dominated the build up to this race in recent months, with the Dorset trainer having the impressive Thistlecrack in the cross-hairs of the Gold Cup for some time; however, the 2016 World Hurdle winner suffered a minor setback and now misses out.

But Tizzard still has an enviable hand to go to war with in the contest, headed by his top-class veteran Cue Card (4/1, Bet365) who might well have won this twelve months ago had he not fallen three out when still swinging off the bridle.

The King’s Theatre gelding had been rejuvenated last term by a breathing operation which seems to have sorted out his oft-suspect stamina, and he won four of his six starts which included the Betfred Bowl at Aintree, and the King George VI Chase at Kempton where he beat Vautour.

Not at his best on his return to action this term in the Charlie Hall, he posted an impressive win in the Betfair Chase prior to relinquishing his King George VI Chase crown to stablemate Thistlecrack; but he comes into this race on the back of a bloodless success in the Ascot Chase, and with an excellent Festival record to call upon he can’t be discounted if at his best with ground no problem.

However, at eleven-years old now, there may be something with more scope in the field that can beat him.

Tizzard also saddles Native River (4/1, Bet365) who has progressed hand-over-fist this term since being beaten in the National Hunt Chase twelve months ago.

The Indian River gelding won a Grade One contest at Aintree on the back of that run, and following a pleasing seasonal debut over timber at Warwick he has gone on to win all three subsequent starts, which includes a cracking weight-bearing performance in the Welsh National.

Also the Hennessy winner, he won a three-runner race at Newbury on his last outing where he had the reopposing Bristol De Mai behind; on his bare form he needs more to land this, but his impressive progress this term could well continue and he is feared.

Bristol De Mai (25/1, William Hill) was an impressive winner of the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock, and that form has been franked since; however, he didn’t appear to appreciate the change in tactics last time behind Native River where he was held up and he turned in a below-par effort.

Not always the most straightforward last term, he has often flattered to deceive with his finishing efforts; while his best winning form has come with plenty of mud around, so the drying conditions are against his chances.

Djakadam (4/1, Paddy Power) has twice finished runner-up in each of the last two seasons; finding Coneygree too strong in the 2015 renewal, and then bagging the silver medal behind Don Cossack twelve months ago.

Willie Mullins’ charge was booked for third at best last year though, benefitting from the fall of Cue Card to claim the runner-up spot; however he had had a troubled preparation prior to his run here last year, falling and cutting himself in the Betbright Trial in the January.

However, he was beaten on both subsequent starts at Aintree and Punchestown behind Cue Card and Carlingford Lough respectively. Having returned from his summer break to beat Outlander at Punchestown in December, he may have found the race coming too soon when third in the Lexus Chase; but given plenty of time to get over that run, and with drying ground here in his favour the Saint Des Saints gelding looks primed for another big run.

The form of the Mullins yard over the preceding days of the Festival though give some cause to worry; the Closutton trainer didn’t have a winner in either of the first two days, which included a shock reversal for Douvan, who failed to fire in the Champion Chase.

Empire Of Dirt (16/1, Bet365) is entered to run, but he will only turn out here if he is an early casualty in Thursday’s Ryanair Chase.

The Troytown winner landed the Festival Plate on this card twelve months ago, and he subsequently backed up his Navan win with a near-miss in the Irish Gold Cup. His place in the field is far from guaranteed however given his prior engagement.

Irish  Cavalier (66/1, Paddy Power) relishes good ground, and he ran out a good winner of the Charlie Hall Chase back in October, beating a below-par Cue Card; however, he has been well-beaten on all starts since, albeit he hasn’t had his ground.

Fifth in this race twelve months ago, Rebecca Curtis’ charge has plenty on his plate again here and he’s never been fully convincing that he is a genuine Grade One performer.

Sizing John (9/1, William Hill) belied stamina doubts for three miles when winning the Irish Gold Cup last time out, adding to his earlier success at Thurles when beating Sub Lieutenant in the Kinloch Brae Chase.

Jessica Harrington’s charge had largely been campaigned over two miles previously, finishing runner-up to Douvan in the 2016 Arkle; but he has improved for the step up in trip, and he has an extra quarter-mile to go this time.

He shaped at Leopardstown though that this trip would be within his range, and while arguably needing to improve, he is proven on this ground and he can go well.

However, it could be another Irish raider that springs a big-race surprise, and CHAMPAGNE WEST (16/1, Paddy Power) is chanced that his jumping will hold up back at this venue.

The Westerner gelding was a useful sort for Philip Hobbs, finishing fourth to Very Wood in the 2014 Albert Bartlett prior to scoring a pair of novice chase successes here the following season.

His jumping rather fell apart afterwards though when thrust into better company, although he did post a rare completion when finishing second to Village Vic in the 2015 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.

Following a pulled-up effort behind Vautour in last season’s Ryanair, he moved to Henry de Bromhead who has worked miracles with the Westerner gelding’s jumping; and he has thrived for the longer trip with a Listed win at Tramore prior to producing a top-class performance under a big weight to land the Theystes Chase at Gowran Park last time out.

That race has been a route taken by the likes of On His Own and Djakadam enroute to this race, and one poor early jump aside in that contest he was assured in his fencing to deliver a seven-length beating of Ucello Conti and Bonny Kate, both useful sorts.

While he would ideally prefer softer ground, he is effective under these conditions; and he showed in that Theystes win that this trip should pose no issue. There is always a chance that old jumping flaws could creep in back in stronger company; but having seemingly improved in that department under the tutelage of Henry de Bromhead, he rates a live outsider who may well have more to offer in this sphere.



Minella Rocco (20/1, William Hill) had Native River behind when scoring in the National Hunt Chase twelve months ago, and Jonjo O’Neill’s charge is another for whom a case could be made if his jumping holds up.

The shirocco gelding has run three times this term, finishing third to Viconte Du Noyer here in November prior to unseating at Aintree where he would have given the ill-fated Many Clouds something to worry about when the pair clashed in a Listed contest at the Liverpool track.

It was too early in the race to tell whether he would have been involved in the Irish Gold Cup finish, where he blundered Aidan Coleman out of the saddle; but if his jumping holds up, he can post a big run.

O’Neill also saddles More Of That (14/1, BetVictor) in this contest, and the 2014 World Hurdle winner has had his share of setbacks since.

Third to Blaklion in last season’s RSA Chase, where he reportedly bled; he wasn’t seen out again until running poorly behind Taquin Du Seuil in the BetVictor Gold Cup, pulling up.

He has shown more of his old ability since though, finishing third to Josses Hill in the Peterborough Chase prior to a solid sixth behind Outlander in the Lexus Chase; and he was far from done with when unseating at the last in the Irish Gold Cup where he held every chance.

Good ground suits, and although he’s a fragile sort, he has the talent to get involved and could well surprise at a big price if he can build on that latest run.

Outlander (11/1, BetVictor) was fancied for last season’s JLT Novices’ Chase where he was a faller; but he had won a Grde One previously, and he bounced back from his fall here to post back-to-back silver medal finishes at Fairyhouse and Punchestown respectively.

Formerly with Willie Mullins, the Stowaway gelding is now with Gordon Elliott; and he has run four times for his new handler which has seen him twice finish runner-up at Down Royal and Punchestown – behind Djakadam on the latter occasion – prior to winning the Lexus Chase.

Effective on better ground, he has shown all his winning form on softer ground however; and while he is entitled to run well on the pick of his form, there is a feeling he’ll need to improve again.

This is a more searching test than the Kelso race Saphir Du Rheu (66/1, Bet365) won last time, and Paul Nicholls’ charge hasn’t really hit the heights expected of him over fences.

A high-class hurdler, the Al Namix gelding was a Hennessy faller behind Native River earlier in the seson prior to finding Foxtail Hill a hard nut to crack here in January. While he impressed in despatching Firth Of The Clyde to win the Ivan Straker Memorial at Kelso, that form is someway below the requirements to win a Gold Cup, and he’s hard to fancy taking on this company in a race so demanding of jumping excellence.

The bold-jumping Smad Place (50/1, BetVictor) was found out in this race twelve months ago, finishing sixth having earlier won the Cotswold Chase and the Hennessy earlier in the season.

The Smadoun gelding hasn’t looked anywhere near his best in a trio of starts this term, most recently turning in a laboured performance in defence of his Cotswold Chase title; and it is hard to see him being good enough now to beat this field given he’ll likely be taken on for the lead which may not play to his strengths.

Tea For Two (66/1, William Hill) is a good sort, but his top-level limitations have been exposed this term. Runner-up to Josses Hill in the Peterborough Chsae, the Kayf Tara gelding produced a career-best effort to finish a close fourth in the King George VI Chase, beaten just over three lengths by Thistlecrack and he was less than one length off Cue Card.

Nick Williams’ charge ran out an easy winner at Exeter next time, although he was largely gifted the race by the last-fence fall of Alary who looked beaten at the time, and he was left clear of the only other finisher in Henri Parry Morgan.

A Grade One winner as a novice, he gives Lizzie Kelly a first ride in the race; and while he is expected to hold his own, it is unlikely he’ll prove good enough to mount a serious challenge.

VERDICT


No Coneygree, Don Cossack or Thistlecrack in the latest renewal, leaving arguably the most open Gold Cup in years.

The Colin Tizzard pair of Native River and Cue Card are respected; as is Willie Mullins’ dual runner-up Djakadam; however, in a Festival of shock results, CHAMPAGNE WEST (16/1, Paddy Power) is chanced to put past jumping issues behind him and win this big price on the back of his impressive Theystes Chase perfomance earlier where he carried a huge weight around in soft ground to score by seven lengths.

The Theystes route has been used in the past by On His Own and Djakadam; while Arkle and Flyingbolt also feature on the roll-of-honour for that contest; Henry de Bromhead’s charge might not match up to those legends, but he was a classy novice chaser for Philip Hobbs before his jumping collapsed.

A dual-winner over the course, his new handler seems to have sharpened up his jumping which has also seen the Westerner gelding score a Listed success at Tramore. While it has to be taken on trust that his fencing problems have been ironed out, that most recent performance over Ucello Conti and Bonny Kate showed his mettle; and potentially still open to improvement over this longer trip, he can go well if his jumping holds up in this better company.

2017 CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP SELECTION – CHAMPAGNE WEST (16/1, Paddy Power)

More bookie-bashing expert tips


Reviews: We review every race at the Cheltenham Festival for the last few years. Each race page on the site records how the races unfolded and our take on the performances of note.

Previews: Read our Cheltenham Festival betting previews, with an in-depth analysis of each contest - providing invaluable guidance on finding the Cheltenham Festival winners. Best of all, our Cheltenham Festival tips are completely free.

Of course, you can then decide whether to follow our advice or use your own intuition to make your final selections. However, we have enjoyed some remarkable success in recent years and here are just a few of the pointers you could have found:

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Cheltenham Festival winners

2015 Supreme Novices' Hurdle - "It has been impossible to ignore the confidence behind Douvan in recent weeks and he looks set to hammer the bookies in the opener" (Douvan won by over four lengths at 2/1)

2015 Champion Hurdle - "If you have one bet all week then it has to be Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle. He looks a cut above the opposition and he can't be opposed" (Faugheen powers to victory at 4/5)

2015 Neptune Investment Hurdle - "Windsor Park is threatening to deliver a huge performance and Dermot Weld's charge is certainly good enough to win this" (Windsor Park wins at 9/2)

2015 Coral Cup - "Paul Nicholls has been keen to play down the chances of French recruit Aux Ptits Soins but ignore his comments.  He looks to have a superb chance in the most competitive race of the entire week" (Aux Ptits Soins wins the Coral Cup at 9/1)

2015 Pertemps Final - "Nicky Henderson's Call The Cops still looks to be well in and there will be no horse cruising through the race as well as him. He is a fantastic each-way bet" (The selection wins at 9/1)

2015 Ryanair Chase - "Uxizandre looks a big price for a horse that was in superb form earlier in the year and he has an each-way squeak" (AP McCoy and Uxizandre win at 16/1)

2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup - "Connections of Coneygree can prove that they were right to pitch their horse into Gold Cup company and he can make all for a famous victory" - (Wins the feature at 7/1)

2015 Martin Pipe Handicap - "Killultagh Vic isn't as well fancied as Mullins' Roi Des Francs but he has every chance and he is sure to be in the mix" (He wins at a tasty 7/1)

Famous Cheltenham Festival winners

We've been firing in winners for years, take a look at some of our older Cheltenham Festival winning tips:

Champion Hurdle – "Sublimity has a good combination of speed and stamina and will be suited by the way the race is run…Afsoun could prove best of the outsiders" (Sublimity won comfortably at 16-1 and Afsoun was third at 28-1).

Brit Insurance Hurdle – "Wichita Lineman looks like being many people’s banker of the Festival and he is hard to oppose. He seems to have all the attributes necessary to land this event...it is not hard to see an outsider making the frame and the one to follow could be Air Force One" (Wichita Lineman won by 12 lengths at 11-8 and Air Force One was second at 25-1).

Jewson Handicap – "L’Antartique’s trainer Ferdy Murphy had an excellent Festival last season...this looks like his trip and if the stable’s horses are again showing signs of form at the Festival he could be worth an interest at a big price" (L’Antartique won at 20-1).

Arkle – "Noland definitely looks the one to beat. Tidal Bay would be the biggest danger to the selection if running here in preference to the Sun Alliance, whilst the front running Kruguyrova won’t be easy to peg back and could hold on for a place" (The result? 1st Tidal Bay 6-1, 2nd Kruguyrova 9-1, 3rd Noland 7-4!)

Coral Cup – "Ferdy Murphy is better known for the exploits of his chasers at recent Festivals, but Naiad Du Misselot has a big chance here...He is only lightly raced, and should have plenty of improvement in him" (Naiad Du Misselot won at 7-1).

Champion Hurdle - "Whilst Binocular is worthy favourite, Punjabi seems to save his best for the spring and will be hard to keep out of the frame" (Punjabi won at 22-1).

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle - "Pride Of Dulcote looks the pick of the fancied runners, but Weapon's Amnesty is our choice" (Weapon's Amnesty won at 8-1, Pride of Dulcote finished second at 3-1).

Arkle Chase - "Sizing Europe's break from the track will serve him well and his ability to quicken and relentless engine were on show in an impressive racecourse gallop last week.  It is easy to see why his trainer is extremely bullish and he too believes that Cheltenham will suit Sizing Europe much better than Leopardstown. He is an extremely classy horse and his price already makes him a very attractive each-way betting proposition." (Sizing Europe was advised and won at 5/1)

Coral Cup - "Spirit River was unlucky at Newbury last time out, but he hacked up here in December and must have a huge chance if he lasts out the trip. His form in France suggests he has every chance of doing so" (Spirit River won at 14-1).

Imperial Commander wins the Gold Cup.

Gold Cup - "Billed as a two horse race, but that leaves Cheltenham specialist Imperial Commander outstanding value. Kauto Star and Denman have obvious chances but, with his untapped potential at the trip, Imperial looks the better bet" (Imperial Commander won at 7-1).

Supreme Novices Hurdle - "Cue Card is a worthy favourite, but Al Ferof looks a solid each-way alternative. Sprinter Sacre could be anything and may give the selection most to do" (Al Ferof won at 10-1, Sprinter Sacre was third at 11-1).

Champion Hurdle - "The faster pace and better ground at Cheltenham are certain to suit Hurricane Fly's breathtaking acceleration and with his slick jumping, ability to stay and his desire to get his head in front, the French import has all the necessary ingredients to finally prove he is the best hurdler on both sides of the Irish Sea." (Hurricane Fly won after being advised at 11/2)

David Nicholson Mares Hurdle - "It is impossible to look beyond Quevega who looks a class above her rivals here" (Quevega won at 5-6).

Neptune Novices Hurdle - "In a race that looks unlikely to produce a shock, preference is for First Lieutenant whose win at Leopardstown in December is working out really well" (First Lieutenant won at 7-1).

Fred Winter Novices Hurdle - "What A Charm is very well handicapped on her flat form and fillies have a decent record in this race, she is taken to run a big race" (What A Charm won at 9-1).

Jewson Novices Chase - "Preference is for Noble Prince, who was just about the best of these over hurdles, and a step up in trip and better ground should see him improve the already decent form he has shown over fences to date" (Noble Prince won at 4-1).

Don’t forget, the prices above are the SPs, but our ante-post Festival tips are posted on the site in advance of the relevant contests at a time when even more rewarding odds are available. For example, Sublimity was generally available at 50-1 when we highlighted his chances in February 2007.

Trends: In making our selections, we pay special attention to the patterns that have developed over the years, as Cheltenham is such a unique course and the races at the Festival have their own special characteristics. Certainly, history repeats itself here more than at any other meeting and our careful analysis of these trends enables us to whittle down large fields to a few prime contenders.

Cheltenham Festival 2018 Tips

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