Cheltenham Festival 2022: Three Horses who can also win at the Dublin Racing Festival

Honeysuckle won at both Festivals last year.
Honeysuckle won at both Festivals last year.

The National Hunt sphere is starting to heat up, with the Dublin Racing Festival in the coming weeks and the Cheltenham Festival on the horizon. We take a look at both Fetsivals and highlight three that could succeed at both...

1. Honeysuckle - Irish Champion Hurdle/Champion Hurdle.

This could be more a case of this will happen, than it can happen. Honeysuckle is the current star of National Hunt racing, she’s unbeaten in all 13 of her career runs with a whopping nine of them being at Grade 1 level. In that eyebrow raising CV are two Irish Champion Hurdles and one Champion Hurdle, along with some Hatton’s Grace wins, Mares’ Hurdle and a Punchestown Champion Hurdle for good measure. A colossus of a hurdler who is very quickly writing her name into racing history, Honeysuckle has very much been there and done that on both these stages, and there is absolutely nothing to suggest she’ll be relinquishing these titles any time soon. Her odds are certainly reflective of that however as she’s odds-on for both.

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Cheltenham Festival 2022

2. Galopin des Champs - Labrokes Novice Chase/Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

Willie Mullins’ six-year-old very quickly became the talk of the town after one of the most impressive chase debuts for quite some time at Leopardstown. Last year’s Martin Pipe and eventual Grade 1 winning hurdler was seen over a fence for the first time on the 28th of December and was hoof-perfect with every leap over the 2m5f trip, beating some fairly solid yardsticks like Blue Sari and Ain’t That A Shame by 22-easy-as-you-like-lengths. A potential mouthwatering clash between himself and Bob Olinger at the Dublin Racing Festival looked like it could happen in the Ladbrokes Novice Chase, but the former looks like he’ll be going straight to Cheltenham, providing Galopin des Champs with a proverbial penalty kick at Leopardstown. Should he win again over course and distance in February, where he’s currently 4/7, then he’ll almost certainly go odds-on for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase - a race he’s currently 7/4 for. He’s very unexposed as a chaser but he looked like he’d been doing it for years on debut and there’s a feeling that this could be another Willie Mullins superstar in the making, and it’ll be no surprise to see him win at both of National Hunts main Festival’s.

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3. Ferny Hollow - Irish Arkle/Arkle 

Just how good is Ferny Hollow? Injury has kept the covers on this Cheveley Park star, with the now seven-year-old only raced five times since 2020. There was always the expectation that he was a ‘good thing’ but, having swatted aside Appreciate It in the 2020 Champion Bumper we all knew he was destined to be great. Raced only once over hurdles, he became the only horse so far to beat Bob Olinger before being ruled out for 380 days. Chasing awaited after more than a year off the track and he’s taken to these like a duck to water, winning on both of his starts including the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase over the Festive period. Now the one they all have to beat in the novice two-mile division, Ferny Hollow is a shade under odds-on for the Irish Arkle and 6/4 for the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival and looks every bit the winner of both. The Willie Mullins trained Blue Lord also holds entries in both and is stalking Ferny Hollow in the market, but I expect Ferny Hollow to beat Blue Lord at Leopardstown and see this Cheltenham Festival winner can score again in March to record a huge double and become one of the top chasers in the division. 

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