The Festival is now just two weeks away and there are currently only two odds-on favourites in the ante-post markets, both of whom are trained by Nicky Henderson:
That's less than we had at the start of the year, since when Energumene and Facile Vega were beaten in their final pre-Festival runs, although both remain favourites.
Delta Work is odds-on with some bookies to retain his Cross Country Chase crown, but can still be backed at 11/10 elsewhere.
Last year there were five odds-on favourites at the Festival, of which three won: Honeysuckle at 4/7, Sir Gerhard at 8/11 and Allaho at 4/7.
The two beaten odds-on shots (both 5/6) were Galopin Des Champs and Shishkin.
Back in 2021, four of seven odds-on favourites were beaten, while in 2020 only one of the six odds-on shots won!
Over the last three years that's a total of just seven from 18 odds-on favourites (39%) who have repaid their backers.
Last year 12 of the 28 Festival races (43%) were won by the favourite, compared to 8 winning favourites in 2021 and 2020 (29%).
Below we detail the current favourites for all the Cheltenham Festival races in 2023:
DAY 1 FAVOURITES
DAY 2 FAVOURITES
DAY 3 FAVOURITES
DAY 4 FAVOURITES
GREAT BRITAIN v IRELAND
A remarkable 23 Festival races in 2023 currently have Irish-trained favourites.
Which could signal a repeat of their domination in 2021, when winning the Prestbury Cup 23-5.
Last year the Irish won a total of 18 races - including all five of the showpiece events.
As ever, Willie Mullins led the charge with a record-breaking 10 winners, including five on the final day.
He currently has no less than 12 favourites, including one co-favourite, and 11 of those 12 horses are French-breds (5 of his 10 winners last year had a French suffix).
Notably, all eight Grade 1 winners at the recent Dublin Racing Festival were French-breds (who represented 51% of runners).
Six of those were trained by Mullins.
Of all the Festival favourites for 2023 listed above, 18 are French-bred horses.
So while there were 9 French-bred winners at last year’s Festival, in all likelihood that total will be surpassed this year.
For Britain, Nicky Henderson has three favourites at this stage (he saddled two winners at each of the last two Festivals).