Festival Fans
March 7, 2022

The Festival is now just a week away and there are currently four odds-on favourites:

Honeysuckle (4/7 Champion Hurdle), Galopin Des Champs (5/6 Brown Advisory Novicesโ€™ Chase), Shishkin (4/6 Champion Chase) and Allaho (4/6 Ryanair Chase).

Willie Mullins has yet to commit Galopin Des Champs, but indicated his target is likely the shorter Turners Novices' Chase, for which he is currently 5/4 joint-favourite.

Last year eight of the 28 Festival races were won by the favourite, with a further eight favourites finishing second, four in third and two more in fourth.

Of the remaining six favourites, two fell - including Envoi Allen at just 4/9 for the Marsh Novices' Chase.

He was one of four beaten odds-on favourites.

The others were Concertista (second in the Mares' Hurdle), Kilcruit (second in the Bumper), both at 10/11, plus Chacun Pour Soi (third in the Champion Chase) at 8/13.

Three odds-on favourites did win, the shortest of which was Monkfish at 1/4, despite giving backers a scare at last fence in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase:

Both Appreciate It (8/11 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle) and Shishkin (4/9 for the Arkle Chase) also obliged.

That was better than a year earlier when only one of the six odds-on favourites won at the 2020 Festival - Envoi Allen at 4/7 in the Ballymore Novicesโ€™ Hurdle.

Benie Des Dieux (4/6), Defi Du Seuil (2/5), Tiger Roll (8/11), Carefully Selected (10/11) and Paisley Park (4/6) were all beaten.

In spite of that, just like last year, there were a total of eight winning favourites (or joint-favourites) at the Festival in 2020.

Below we detail the current favourites for all 28 Cheltenham races next week, with a flag to indicate where they are trained:


Supreme Novices' Hurdle: CONSTITUTION HILL ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (9/4)
Arkle Novices' Chase: EDWARDSTONE ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (9/4)
Ultima Handicap Chase: DOES HE KNOW ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (7/1) 
Champion Hurdle: HONEYSUCKLE ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (4/7)
Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle: TELMESOMETHINGGIRL ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (3/1) 
 Boodles Juvenile Hurdle: GAELIC WARRIOR ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (5/2)
National Hunt Chase: STATTLER ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช / RUN WILD FRED ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (11/4)


Ballymore Novices' Hurdle: SIR GERHARD ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (11/8)
Brown Advisory Novicesโ€™ Chase: GALOPIN DES CHAMPS ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (5/6)
Coral Cup: GOOD RISK AT ALL ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (7/1)
Champion Chase: SHISHKIN ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (4/6)
Grand Annual Chase: BUDDY RICH ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (7/1)
Champion Bumper: FACILE VEGA ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (11/10)


Turners Novices' Chase: BOB OLINGER ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช / GALOPIN DES CHAMPS ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (5/4)
Pertemps Final: WINTER FOG ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (13/2)
Ryanair Chase: ALLAHO ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (4/6)
Stayers' Hurdle: FLOORING PORTER ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (7/2)
Paddy Power Plate: CELEBRE D'ALLEN ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (6/1)
Mares Novices' Hurdle: BRANDY LOVE ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (11/4)
Kim Muir Chase: FRONTAL ASSAULT ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (9/2)


Triumph Hurdle: VAUBAN ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (7/4)
County Hurdle: STATE MAN ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (5/1)
Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle: MINELLA CROONER ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (4/1)
Cheltenham Gold Cup: A PLUS TARD ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (3/1)
Festival Hunters' Chase: BILLAWAY ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (3/1)
Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase: MOUNT IDA ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช / ELIMAY ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (5/2)
Martin Pipe Hurdle: LANGER DAN ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (9/2)

Only 7 of the 28 races currently have British-trained favourites, but that's no surprise given there were 23 Irish-trained winners last year.

Interestingly, the first three favourites are British-trained and the home team will surely need to start well to avoid another drubbing.

Last year Willie Mullins edged the Top Trainer award on countback from Henry de Bromhead - both had 6 winners.

And Mullins' currently has the favourite or joint-favourite in an astonishing 12 races this year, albeit Galopin Des Champs accounts for two of those.

His others are: Gaelic Warrior, Stattler (jf), Sir Gerhard, Facile Vega, Allaho, Brandy Love, Vauban, State Man, Billaway and Elimay (jf).

At this stage Gordon Elliott has 5 favourites: Run Wild Fred (jf), Buddy Rich, Frontal Assult, Minella Crooner and Mount Ida (jf).

That's one more than Henry de Bromhead: Honeysuckle, Telmesomethinggirl, Bob Olinger and A Plus Tard.

For Britain, only Nicky Henderson currently has more that one favourite: Constitution Hill and Shiskin.

No trainer has had more than 8 winners at a Cheltenham Festival - a record shared by Willie Mullins (2015) and Gordon Elliott (2018).