Hunters Chase Odds 2024
The Cheltenham Hunters Chase, run as the St James’s Place Festival Hunters’ Chase this year, is a race over the Gold Cup course for amateur riders. It was first run in 1904 and soon became established as the Amateur’s Gold Cup. To qualify for the race a horse must finish first or second in two hunter chases, win two point-to-point races or win a point-to-point and finish first or second in a hunter chase. Nine horses have won the race twice with the most recent being Salsify (2012, 2013), On The Fringe (2015, 2016) and Pacha Du Polder (2017. 2018).
The most famous winner of the Hunters Chase was Grittar in 1981 who won the Aintree Grand National the following season. Spartan Missile (1979) famously finished second to Aldaniti at Aintree while other notable winners include Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Rushing Wild (1982) and Earthmover (1998, 2004), successful for a second time at the age of 13. Favourite in the Hunters Chase Odds 2024 is Billaway who has finished runner-up for the past two seasons.
Hunters Chase Odds and Entries 2024
Just as he has been for the past two renewals, the Willie Mullins-trained Billaway is at the head of the Hunters Chase betting odds. In 2020, his 10 lengths defeat by 66-1 outsider It Came To Pass rescued the bookmakers after Mullins had won the first four races on the card with Burning Victory, Saint Roi, Monkfish and Al Boum Photo.
Last year professional jockeys stood in for the amateurs due to the covid pandemic and Paul Townend hit the front on Billaway on the home turn. He was tackled by Lorcan Williams on 16-1 chance Porlock Bay and, despite battling back, failed by a short-head. Beaten by Winged Leader at Thurles in January, the ten-year-old won easily at Naas to set up a third run in this event.
Winged Leader is clear second favourite in the Hunters Chase odds and is unbeaten in his last five races. He had twice finished a long way behind Billaway in 2020-2021 but seems to have improved dramatically this season.
Paul Nicholls has three entries here in Bob And Co, Cat Tiger and Shantou Flyer. Bob And Co beat Billaway by a nose at Punchestown in April and should be sharper for his recent run at Haydock. He was fancied for this race last year but unseated his rider at the third last. Cat Tiger was third in the Aintree Foxhunters and won last time out at Ascot. Shantou Flyer finished third here in 2020 and filled the same spot in last season’s Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
Latest Hunters Chase odds *
*Best prices at the time of publishing
Winged Leader 5-1
Bob And Co 8-1
Pont Aven 11-1
Dubai Quest 14-1
Shantou Flyer 14-1
Cat Tiger 16-1
Cousin Pascal 16-1
Fumet D’Oudairies 16-1
Highway Jewel 16-1
Premier Magic 16-1
Lord Schnitzel 25-1
Monbeg Chit Chat 25-1
Tango De Juilley 25-1
Mighty Stowaway 28-1
Desire De Joie 33-1
It Came To Pass 33-1
Betting on the Festival Hunters Chase
The St James’s Place Festival Hunters Chase is restricted to amateur riders and takes place immediately after the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Billaway finally gained a victory in this race last year after finishing runner-up for the previous two seasons. He was the fourth winning favourite in the last twelve years in a race which has produced its fair share of surprises.
The biggest shock of all was provided by It Came To Pass who started at 66-1 in the Festival Hunters Chase betting in 2020. Zemsky won at 33-1 in 2011 and Pacha Du Polder was a 25-1 chance when gaining his second victory in 2018. He was ridden by Bryony Frost in 2017 and Harriet Tucker in 2018 after a fast-finishing fifth in 2016 when ridden by Olympic Gold winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton.
If you are having a bet on the Festival Hunters Chase you should look for an experienced jumper with winning form in the current season. All but one of the last twelve winners had at least six previous outings over fences and nine of them had won during the current campaign. Trainer Paul Nicholls has won this race four times with Earthmover (2004), Sleeping Night (2005) and Pacha Du Polder (2017, 2018).
Hunters Chase News
Paul Nicholls, the trainer of 46 Cheltenham Festival winners, recently nominated Bob And Co as one of his best chances of the week. He is hoping that the ground dries out as the horse is better on a faster surface. He is owned by Amateur David Maxwell, as are Cat Tiger and Shantou Flyer. Nicholls was delighted with Bob And Co’s recent run at Haydock on unsuitably soft ground and his targets are the Hunters Chase and then on to the Punchestown Festival where he won last season.
Willie Mullins wanted to get runs into ante-post favourite Billaway this year before the festival. Judged by the way he strolled clear of Good Bye Sam at Naas in February he goes to Cheltenham as fit as he can be. Mullins looks to have assembled one of his strongest-ever teams for the meeting this year so there could be some accumulators rolling on to Billaway by Friday afternoon.
Of the longer priced runners in the Hunters Chase Odds, Pont Aven runs in the Gredley colours forever associated with User Friendly. The nine-year-old gelding was a 16 lengths winner at Ludlow last month while the mare Highway Jewel is another lively outsider. She is trained by Bradley Gibbs and won at Cheltenham’s April meeting. A recent win in a point-to-point should have her spot on for this.
Latenightpass would probably be shorter in the Hunters Chase betting odds but for falling at the last at Aintree at the end of January. The gelding was fourth in this race last year under Bridget Andrews and then finished runner-up in the Aintree Foxhunters.