Cheltenham Festival 2024 antepost best bets, tips and free bets

Cheltenham Festival 2024 antepost best bets, tips and free bets

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Cheltenham Festival 2024 is fast approaching as recent races become a crucial guide to some picks for the racing extravaganza in March!

The feature race, the Gold Cup, has already seen a huge change as Galopin Des Champs got back to winning ways and is now one of the biggest bets of the festival and among the shortest price.

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talkSPORT BET have you covered with Tom Lunn’s racing tips on all the day’s action!Credit: talksport

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Cheltenham Festival 2024 best bets

Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill is a guaranteed winner at this stage, winning so comfortably every time and the only way to get better value is by betting on him to win by certain distances.

He beat Rubaud last time out without breaking a sweat really at Kempton in the Christmas Hurdle for his first outing of the season since his Aintree victory and just looks like one of those horses who will be a legend of the sport for trainer Nicky Henderson and always regarded as the best hurdler, and he’s only seven.

Magical Zoe

With antepost betting you’re always betting along with the chance they may not run on the day, whether it be an entry pulled out in the last minute or weeks in advance.

But when you do find a great bet at a big price and they do end up racing at such shorter odds it can pay out a huge dividend for the work put in.

That could be the case with Magical Zoe at around 20/1 each-way.

She finished just behind Irish Point at Down Royal in November and though it was a small distance it was a flattering one on paper as Irish Point was always going better.

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That said, that horse has gone on to win well ahead of Asterion Forlonge over much further, 2m7f at Leopardstown in the Jack de Bromhead Christmas Hurdle and if that form is anything to go by she should be tracked with a potential run over further here at 2m4f at a potentially huge price.

She went well here to place second in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle in the 2023 festival so clearly goes well at Cheltenham and could be another big each-way price to pay on a placed effort or even better.

It does seem the natural progression of many prominent 2m hurdlers will take this route over 2m4f, with Lossiemouth, Luccia, You Wear It Well and Zenta all with potential entries into this race too.

El Fabiolo

Paul Townend celebrates on board El Fabiolo after winning the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase during day one of the Cheltenham Festival 2023

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Paul Townend celebrates on board El Fabiolo after winning the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase during day one of the Cheltenham Festival 2023Credit: GETTY

El Fabiolo will take on some incredibly tough horses in what could be a very strong renewal of the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Recent winners include Energumene, Put The Kettle On, Politologue, Altior and Sprinter Sacre to name a few.

It is shaping up to be another rematch between Jonbon and El Fabiolo though, where the JP McManus colours just finished ahead back in in the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in 2022, before meeting again in the Arkle Novices’ Chase last season, where El Fabiolo went clear in the end despite a few blunders.

Jonbon has since won each of his four subsequent runs including finishing ahead of Captain Guinness in April and Edwardstone twice this season in style.

El Fabiolo has only raced twice since and has won clearly but his jumping is still not as fluent as it could be which could be an issue in a race of this nature, but Jonbon also does the same so it will come out to who does it all on the day which goes in favour of another Willie Mullins-trained horse, though it will be a close one.

Stage Star

There are a total of 32 early entries for the Ryanair Chase, the Grade 1 chase contested over 2m41/2f.

Allaho is the big early favourite even amongst these 32 runners as he placed well in the King George VI Chase, but could be better suited to another race over 3m but only has an entry here.

He should be tough to beat based on his Clonmel run in his seasonal debut but Stage Star’s performance in both the Turners’ Novices’ Chase in last year’s festival and then prominent role leading from the front in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on soft ground despite carrying close to the top-weight.

Many will start to doubt him after his latest run on New Year’s Day as he pulled up but according to Harry Cobden likely tweaked a muscle as he overreached over one fence which then lead to him slowing and not jumping the way he usually does subsequently.

It was almost all against him too with very testing ground while carrying over a stone more than every other runner, including 26lb to the winner Shakem Up’Arry and second placed Frero Banbou.

Stage Star was also underestimated in the Turners as a 15/2 outside fancy but has worked well in the summer and should come back stronger for that run with plenty of time to recover and work more with this race being his next run.

It’s worth noting too that his seasonal debut was ran off a decent mark of 155, whereas an 11lb rise coupled with a Premier Handicap Chase was far too much to ask of him in such conditions and so should be taken accordingly.

Crambo

Jonathan Burke riding Crambo (red) to win The Howden Long Walk Hurdle to narrowly beat Tom Bellamy and Paisley Park (L, blue) at Ascot in December

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Jonathan Burke riding Crambo (red) to win The Howden Long Walk Hurdle to narrowly beat Tom Bellamy and Paisley Park (L, blue) at Ascot in DecemberCredit: GETTY/Alan Crowhurst

More recent races have shaped the betting for Cheltenham Festival and that’s very true for the Stayers’ Hurdle which remains with 51 possible entries for the Thursday.

Irish Point has doubled up this season as has Gaelic Warrior for some strong six-year-old chances and newcomers to the Stayer’s Hurdle scene, for both Gordon Elliot and Willie Mullins respectively.

However, Crambo winning the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December was a testament to his progress and improvement for a yard in exceptional form. Fergal O’Brien’s winners are really looking to increase this season already so it won’t be a surprise to see him bag a couple more Grade 1s.

Especially with this horse who showed grit and determination to see off the Long Walk specialist, Paisley Park by a short head, while also beating the likes of Dashel Drasher, Botox Has and Champ.

With that he should continue to improve and as such makes a very tempting each-way ante-post bet.

Galopin Des Champs

Paul Townend riding Galopin Des Champs clear the last to win The Savills Chase at Leopardstown Racecourse on December 28, 2023 in Dublin

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Paul Townend riding Galopin Des Champs clear the last to win The Savills Chase at Leopardstown Racecourse on December 28, 2023 in DublinCredit: GETTY/Alan Crowhurst

Galopin Des Champs was a big NAP winner on the Friday in last year’s festival, beating Bravemansgame in the 2023 Gold Cup by a comfortable margin.

He dipped in form for two races behind Fastorslow but on his second race and back to a preferred distance he really showed his ability and even potential increase, with a huge win over Gerri Colombe which is no easy feat.

He looked back to his best and as a result was absolutely hammered in in the odds.

You can now be lucky to have anything over evens on the Mullins-trained horse to win the Gold Cup, and the faith kept in him will be a big reward after such a convincing victory at Leopardstown in the Savills Chase.

He likes Cheltenham and can handle soft or yielding ground which at this very early stage is a bonus as the festivals in recent years have all featured a couple of terrible days in terms of rainfall and probably won’t be much dryer this year, aiding Galopin’s chances even more.

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All odds correct at time of writing

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