Cheltenham Festival 2022: Will Britain win a Grade 1?

Willie Mullins looks like he has another fruitful week ahead.
Willie Mullins looks like he has another fruitful week ahead.

The Cheltenham Festival is nearly upon us, and with a lot of interesting bets coming to the fore, we take a look at one that could spell humiliation for the home side…

Last year, and I’m sure most won’t need reminding, was a bit embarrassing for British horses. They succumbed to the heaviest ever defeat in the Prestbury Cup, winning only five races at Cheltenham as the Irish went back home with the remaining 23 trophies. It could be argued that the writing is already on the wall again this year with Ireland as short as 1/10 to reclaim the Prestbury Cup, but how bad could it really get for British horses? Is there a chance they might not even win a Grade 1? The folks over at Betfair have priced up that exact scenario at 33/1, and we’ve looked through every Grade 1 race to see what chances the home side holds.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

One of the more open Grade 1 races at the Festival, there is potential for this bet to fall flat on its face at the proverbial first hurdle. At the time of writing, exactly a week out from the event, the market has it as a four runner race between Willie Mullins’ Sir Gerhard and Dysart Dynamo, and Nicky Henderson’s Constitution Hill and Jonbon. It’s very unlikely that both Irish raiders will turn up here, as one will go and win the Ballymore, but even with a single pronged attack I’d fancy the Irish to claim this one. Jonbon was mildly shaky last time out and Constitution Hill hasn’t yet showed me enough to be fully convinced of his talents (For all he was very impressive in the Tolworth), so it could well be a winning start for Ireland. Add to that, that the next eight in the market, starting with Kilcruit at 7/1 all the way down to Bring On The Night at 25/1 are ALL Irish trained, then even an upset in the opener will likely come from the Emerald Isle.

Verdict: Ireland win

Designs 90366bauglobalvi992x110uk_1

The Arkle

British favourite for this one in Edwardstone. He’s looked brilliant and hasn’t put a foot wrong really, but the measure of his brilliance is hard to gauge, given he’s been beating small runner fields. Third Time Lucki is a good yardstick, but all of Blue Lord, Riviere D’etel and Haut En Couleurs look very very strong, the prior two especially when clashing in the Irish Arkle, and given that they have strength in numbers over the British favourite, then you'll probably want to yet again be in the Irish camp.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Champion Hurdle

Britain has no chance. It really is that simple.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Mares’ Hurdle

Again, no chance. The first ten in the market are all Irish trained, with De Bromhead, Mullins and Elliott all with strong representatives. The best British challenger looks to be Marie’s Rock, who couldn’t even gain market domination over one time Martin Pipe winner Indefatigable last time out in Listed company. Big step up needed, easy Ireland win.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

As mentioned earlier, whoever out of Sir Gerhard and Dysart Dynamo doesn’t go to the Supreme, will instead win this. They both look like rockets capable of getting the job done over two-mile and two-and-a-half-miles. Stage Star looks to be the best British challenger in a sea of Irish challengers which also includes Ginto, Journey With Me and Minella Cocooner. Not a terrible British representation, but a winning start to day 2 for Ireland.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Designs 90366bauglobalvi992x110uk_1
Cheltenham Festival Tips

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

No one quite knows for sure where either Bob Olinger or Galopin Des Champs are going to go. If they both go here, Ireland win. If one goes here (Likely the latter), then Ireland win. Bravemansgame is a brilliant horse but the above two are really looking like they could be special. Much like the Albert Bartlett last year, I expect plenty of support for Bavemansgame but another dominant Irish display will put him firmly in his place. Ahoy Senor is another contender for Britain, but he has to think about beating Bravemansgame first before he sets the bar higher at the Irish pair.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Champion Chase

Get the bunting out! This one could well be the thorn in the 33/1 bet’s side. Shishkin looks every bit a superstar and is yet to lose a race in his career when standing. He met Energumene in a thrilling Clarence House in January and, although tight, swatted him to one side. He’s done it before at Cheltenham and just has to do what he has always done to win the Champion Chase here. Energumene is good, very good, but has a point to prove, and Chacun Pour Soi seems to leave most of his ability on the plane whenever he travels. Even Nube Negra offers Britain a great chance at an interesting price.

Verdict: Britain win.

Champion Bumper

Never mind Britain, it may be a pretty grim picture right now and It may look like the Irish have us on strings, but at least we’ve got a plethora of young exciting talent in the Champi…

Ireland dominates it. The favourite Facile Vega looks like a rocket ship, the second-favourite American Mike likewise resembles a piece of NASA technology, and the best British challenger is 14/1 Mullenbeg. I’ll be staggered if Britain wins this.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Turners Novices’ Chase

IF, and it’s a gigantic if, Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs decide to go head-to-head in the Brown Advisory, then this could well be a British win with Venetia Williams’ exciting L’Homme Presse, though the exact same applies if both come here and L'Homme Presse goes to the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase. They probably won’t though, one, again if not both, will come here and win it for Ireland. It’s probably more likely they both come here meaning the Brown Advisory is Britain’s for the taking, but going off current entries and with both of their targets uncertain for now, they both have to go down as Ireland wins.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Ryanair Chase

Allaho is seen by many as the banker of the Festival at 4/7, and he’s trained by Willie Mullins, so yeah…

Verdict: Ireland win.

Stayers’ Hurdle

This one could really go either way. I’m so undecided on my Stayers’ Hurdle pick currently that I could easily make a case for either of Flooring Porter, Thyme Hill, Champ, Klassical Dream, Paisley Park or Asterion Forlonge, a perfect 50/50 split between British and Irish. I was convinced Champ was the winner before Paisley Park beat him in the Cleeve Hurdle, and then I thought Paisley Park could well regain his title but I stopped believing in fairytales some time ago. Klassical Dream looked rock solid until that recent fourth, Flooring Porter is the defending champion but is hard to get excited about. My heart says Britain but my head says Ireland - I'll trust my brain more so than my heart on this one.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Cheltenham Festival Free Bets

Triumph Hurdle 

Vauban, Pied Piper and Fil Dor dominate the betting for this one and are the only single-figure runners at the time of writing. Porticello has looked excellent for Gary Moore but how excellent we will struggle to gauge, the same can be said for Millton Harris’ Knight Salute. All I know is that Vauban looked cut from a different cloth at the Dublin Racing Festival so I'll go to Ireland for this one.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

A lot of the Ballymore contenders feature again here and a lot of them are of course Irish. Minella Crooner, not to be confused with Minella Cocooner tops the market, but the British trained Hillcrest is not far behind. I really like Hillcrest, his sheer size means he’ll make a brilliant horse for the future but that's not now. If he had another British horse fighting the fight at the top of the market I’d be inclined to give it to Britain, but you have to go down to Stag Horn for the next British challenger so it looks like Hillcrest has a solo, and very tough, task on his hands.

Verdict: Ireland win.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

The final and biggest Grade 1 of the week and It looks like a case of same old, same old. The best British challenge is Protketorat (9/1) for Dan Skelton and Chantry House (16/1) for Nicky Henderson. But for Ireland… A Plus Tard, Galvin, Minella Indo, Al Boum Photo, Conflated, Tornado Flyer all sit bove Chantry House in the market. It’s a pretty wide open event at this stage but you’d expect the winner will come from one of those first four Irish mentioned. I do actually think Protektorat has a huge chance, but again it’s a case of 1 v 4, so you’d have to give the nod to Ireland.

Verdict: Ireland

It looks like another grim old week ahead for the British. Maybe the measly total of five wins will be surpassed but the Grade 1 picture is not a pretty one. Is there value in the bet at 33/1? Well, there’s a few races that are too close to call with huge confidence, the Supreme, Arkle and Stayers’ all look near to level if not a bit in Ireland’s favour, but the fact that the only one you can say will probably win with just an ounce of confidence is Shishkin makes it a pretty interesting bet. If Shishkin was to fall, just not make it up the hill, have a bad passage in running, then this 33/1 suddenly looks like incredible value, so it certainly looks to be worth a couple of quid.

No British Grade 1 Winner At The 2022 Cheltenham Festival (ODDS BOOST)
33/1
Odds correct as of 2022-03-08 12:45 Odds subject to change.
Designs 90366bauglobalvi992x300uk_1
Cheltenham Festival 2022
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets

#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Money Back As Cash Up To £20
#AD Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Deposit £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Trustly. Free bets expire in 90 days. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Get £36 In Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. A first free £5 fixed odds bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 4 x following £5 free fixed odds bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. BeGambleAware.org. 18+. T&Cs apply
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Latest racing results
Nottingham
14:30
1stDark Shift
2ndDubai Mirage
3rdBaldomero
Fakenham
14:20
1stArbennig
2ndGetaway Jewel
3rdAr Mest
Curragh
14:10
1stPirate Jenny
2ndBeautiful Sunshine
3rdAffable
View All Today's Results