The Cheltenham Festival 2023 Predictions and Market Movers
When it comes to the domestic, and indeed international, horse racing calendar, it doesn’t get any bigger than the pomp and ceremony that is The Cheltenham Festival. The excitement and interest generated by the event are well known, and in 2023 this is going to be further aided by the return of spectators.
2021’s Cheltenham Festival was something of a damp squib with no spectators allowed at the racecourse, and as a result, the spa town was hit hard. The entire surrounding area counts on the revenue generated by the tens of thousands who come to visit the festival, and of course, the additional revenue that came from the betting at the venue was also a bitter pill for the bookies to swallow.
2023 finds spirits in an altogether brighter mood, and it promises to be as raucous an occasion as ever. It is expected that upwards of 60,000 visitors will come on each race day between Tuesday the 15th and Friday 18th March, and there’s a great deal of great racing that takes place, and we’ll take a closer look at who to back in the key races.
Predicting the Cheltenham festival market movers is always something of a delicate proposition as punters veer between sticking with proven favourites or looking instead to bigger gambles that may or may not pay off. Remember, of course, that in 2023 the Gold Cup was won by a 9/1 shot, Minella Indo, proving that on occasion, it’s worth investing in those horses that sit someway between the dead-certs and the true longshots. Click here to find more useful information.
Cheltenham Day One Tips
The opening day of the festival has a shot of great races to focus your betting action on, whether that’s the Champion Hurdle, the Arkle Novice’s Chase, or the Supreme Novices Hurdle.
A lot of betting action is being placed on Honeysuckle, who was the big favourite in the Champions Hurdle in 2023 and romped home to win. She is once again the favourite in the field, way clear of the likes of Appreciate IT and Sharjah, and if there was anything like a ‘sure thing,’ then this may be it in terms of winners at this year’s festival.
In the Arkle Chase, Blue Lord leads the way, but Third Time Lucki, from trainer Dan Skelton, might be worth a flutter.
Cheltenham Day Two Tips
Also known as Ladies Day, day two of the festival plays host to a number of top races, with the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Coral Cup being particularly popular.
As a spectacle, Ladies Day is akin to Royal Ascot in the sense that there is more going on than simply horse racing. It’s renowned for its fashion, and having been an event without spectators last year; we can expect 2023 to be a sparkling occasion, to say the least.
When it comes to the Champion Chase, Shishkin is the big favourite with the bookies, but there is also a growing interest in Chacun Pour Soi, trained by Willie Mullins, who is available with most bookmakers at around 12/1 and therefore could net you a tidy profit.
Cheltenham Day Three Tips
St Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham Festival is always a hugely popular day, and the key races to keep your eye on for Thursday will be the Ryanair Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle.
In terms of the Stayers,’ there’s growing confidence in Flooring Porter completing back to back wins in this race, and he can be backed at around 7/2 though there is also smart money on Thyme Hill at 5/1 and some interest in Sire Du Berlais as a real out and out longshot at 28/1.
Similarly, in the Ryanair Chase, last year’s winner, Allaho, is again the favourite, and with A Plus Tard likely not taking part, it might be smart to stick with Willie Mullins horse being a very good shot at securing consecutive wins in this race.
Cheltenham Day Four Tips
The engrossing finale of the festival comes on the Friday of the event and, in particular, the Gold Cup, which goes off at 15.30 pm. There’s a great deal of action on Al Boum Photo, who won the race in 2019 and 2020, and last year’s winner Minella Indo is another that is well backed.
However, looking beyond these, we’d suggest considering a wager on A Plus Tard, who is seen by many as the favourite. Ridden by Racheal Blackmore last year, he lost to stablemate Minella Indo last year but is now coming into his own and, as an eight-year-old, is arguably at the peak of his powers.
Galvin is another horse that’s seeing a lot of betting action and can be backed at around 9/2 and, therefore, might win you a little more than a bet on the other horses we’ve mentioned.
Top Jockeys and Trainers
Cheltenham Festival pits the wits and horses of the best trainers and jockeys in their respective fields, and there are some real legends in the field. Here’s a snapshot of the leading jockeys and trainers in recent years.
Top Jockeys (number of wins in the festival)
- 2023 Rachael Blackmore (6)
- 2020 Paul Townend (5)
- 2019 Nico de Boinville (3)
- 2018 Davy Russell (4)
- 2017 Ruby Walsh (4)
Top Trainers (number of wins in the festival)
- 2023 Willie Mullins (6)
- 2020 Willie Mullins (7)
- 2019 Willie Mullins (4)
- 2018 Gordon Elliott (8)
- 2017 Gordon Elliott (6)
This year will likely see Mullins and Blackmore as the leading players, with the rider of the pair becoming something of a growing celebrity in the sport and having become the first female jockey to win the Grand National, is now seeking to do so in the Gold Cup, having narrowly lost last time around to Minella Indo.
Currently, it looks as if she’ll be riding A Plus Tard in the big race, and when it comes to the current betting on the outright top jockey, Blackmore is currently the second favourite to Paul Townend at 3/1 with most bookies.
Townend has plenty of form when it comes to big successes at Cheltenham, winning the Gold Cup in 2019 and 2020 (on Al Boum Photo), and has a total of 15 festival winners; Blackmore has nine.
Regardless of who your money is on, the Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the racing calendar and is so well-loved that even those who don’t usually bet on horse racing opt to do so, and that adds to the flavour and wonder that the event brings to millions.
The absence of spectators in 2023 will be sure to add even more splendour, spectacle, and scale to this year’s event, so be sure to make the most of your runners and riders.