Cheltenham Zone is your essential guide for the best four days of racing in the calendar. Every March the cream of the crop come together for a pulsating week of action, with a total of 28 races spanning the four days of action at Prestbury Park. Our exclusive range of Cheltenham tips will help you find winners and increase your excitement levels even further.
Below you can keep track of all the Cheltenham ante post tips throughout the season, before we publish our tips for all of the races on each of the four days.
Ante Post Tips
Throughout the season there will be a number of ante post tips, whenever we think there is value to be taken. All tips will be posted here, so keep an eye out to make sure you don’t miss out.
Day One Tips
The feature race on day one is the Champion Hurdle. The previous two runnings have gone the way of the dominant Willie Mullins — the brilliant mare Annie Power winning in style last season with 2015 winner and stablemate Faugheen ruled out because of injury. With both set to return this season, much will depend on how Mullins and owner Rich Ricci decide to campaign them, with the likelihood of them being kept apart. Either way, it’s difficult to look beyond one of those two winning, should their seasons go uninterrupted.
Before the Champion Hurdle the festival kicks off with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, where the famous Cheltenham roar signals the beginning of the racing. Many of last year’s leading bumper horses will be locking horns over hurdles, with plenty of clues throughout the season on the road to Cheltenham.
The Arkle provides the first opportunity to see top class horses over fences. With last year’s sensational Supreme winner Altior confirmed to be going novice chasing, we’re already debating whether anything can stop him over the larger obstacles.Rounding off the Grade 1 action on the first day is the Mares Hurdle, where Willie Mullins also has a very strong hand.
Day Two Tips
Day two’s feature race is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, where we see the best chasers in the business flying round Cheltenham’s track. Last year saw the return of the majestic Sprinter Sacre, who reclaimed his crown in style, returning to something near his unbeatable best of previous years. Last year’s Arkle winner Douvan, who has looked like a superstar in his unbeaten career so far, will face his biggest test so far in what will be a fascinating battle.
Kicking off the day is the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle. Like the Supreme this race will feature a host of last season’s promising bumper horses, however it will be run over an extra four furlongs. Despite the extra distance, this race is often a great pointer for Champion Hurdle prospects, with Faugheen landing this race in 2014 ahead of winning the Champion Hurdle the following season.
The RSA Chase highlights the top class staying chasers and potential Gold Cup horses for the following season. Both Bobs Worth and Lord Windermere have done the RSA/Gold Cup double in recent years. This year’s renewal of the RSA Chase has the potential to be one of the best we’ve seen in awhile, with a number of high class staying hurdlers making the switch to fences. The concluding race of the day is the Champion Bumper, which will throw up potential stars of the future.
Day Three Tips
The World Hurdle is the big race of day three, which was so memorably won last year by Thistlecrack, showing a level of dominance in the stayer’s division not seen since the legendary Big Buck’s. With several at the head of the market having alternative options, this certainly looks like the most open race of the big four marquee contests.
Kicking off day three is the JLT Novice Chase, which offers an intermediate distance for chasers who possess both stamina and speed. Vatour demonstrated that blend perfectly in 2015 with a mesmeric performance, before doing exactly the same in 2016 when demolishing his rivals over the same distance in the Ryanair Chase. This season’s renewal could throw up another top class chaser.
The Ryanair Chase also features on day three, with the aforementioned Vatour dazzling in the contest last season. With connections likely to pursue the Gold Cup this season, and many contenders often having other targets, there’s potential for one of the outsiders to claim the prize.
Day Four Tips
The big race of day four, and of course the biggest race of the whole festival, is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This is the blue ribband event of National Hunt racing; the prize all jockeys, trainers and owners want to win. Don Cossack took the prize last season, finally delivering on the promise he had shown from day one. With Thistlecrack going over fences and 2015 Coneygree returning from injury, this year’s renewal could be one of the most exciting we’ve seen.
Before the Gold Cup the final day’s racing kicks off with the Triumph Hurdle, where top class juveniles have the chance to land Grade 1 glory. This race been won lots of high class horses, however they often struggle to go on and make the grade in the Champion Hurdle.
The other Grade 1 contest of the final day is the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, where they stayers come to the fore. Like the Triumph Hurdle, this race doesn’t have a great track record for winners going to become future stars, however Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth won this race in 2011.
Last Season’s Cheltenham Tips
Below you can see the winning Cheltenham tips that were provided by Cheltenham Zone last season.
2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle — “The more I think about it, the more I think Altior has an excellent chance”. (Altior advised at 4/1 for the Supreme, winning by 7 lengths).
2016 Champion Hurdle — “It’s a boring selection but for me she’s the best horse in the race and comes here fresh following an easy win on her seasonal return. I’m hoping keeping it simple will pay off”. (Annie Power advised at 9/4 for the Champion Hurdle, winning by 4 lengths).
2016 Champion Chase — “The track suits his long stride and I’m hopeful a confident ride from Nico de Boinville, who should be on a high from his win in the Supreme, will give him an excellent chance”. (Sprinter Sacre advised at 11/2 for the Champion Chase, winning by 3 lengths).
2016 World Hurdle — “He’s been immensely impressive this season in winning all three starts, with the last of those runs dispelling any doubts about his ability to handle the Cheltenham track”. (Thistlecrack advised as a 3pt bet at 5/4 for the World Hurdle, winning by 7 lengths).
2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup — “I’ve never been shy with admitting how highly I rate Don Cossack and I think this will be his time”. (Don Cossack advised at 3/1 for the Gold Cup, winning by 4 lengths).