Connect with us


Ante-Post: Cheltenham Festival 2022

A look ahead to the 2022 Cheltenham Festival favourites following last week’s National Hunt showpiece



Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 16, 2021 Shishkin ridden by Nico de Boinville celebrates winning the 1.55 Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase Pool via REUTERS/Tim Goode

The Cheltenham Festival has only just finished, but it’s never too early to take a look ahead to next year, is it?

A fantastic four days of National Hunt racing revolved very much around Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead, despite Willie Mullins running out as leading trainer with victories in the final two races.

With wins for Honeysuckle, Put The Kettle On and Minella Indo in the three championship races, de Bromhead became the first trainer to achieve such a feat at the same Festival.

Gavin Cromwell’s Flooring Porter, tipped by our very own Reece Charlton, took the Stayers’ Hurdle on Thursday.

As per usual, there is a feeling of the post Festival blues this Monday morning but we’ll do our best to give you that buzz again by taking a look at the 2022 market well ahead of time.

Here’s the current details for the quarter of feature races in 12 months’ time.

Champion Hurdle | Tuesday 15th March 2022

Unsurprisingly, Honeysuckle is the 3-1 favourite following her impressive victory in the contest on Tuesday.

The daughter of Sulamani became the third mare since 2016 to win the Champion Hurdle, following on from her success in the Mares’ race last year.

Honeysuckle ridden by Rachael Blackmore following victory in the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham.
Will Honeysuckle land a hat-trick of Cheltenham Festival wins in 2022?

In doing so, she maintained her unbeaten record of 12 straight victories, with 11 arriving under rules.

Stable-mate Bob Olinger is in at 8-1 after a dominant victory in the Ballymore, with other novice star Appreciate It rated a 10-1 shot for Willie Mullins after his smooth Supreme win.

Both of the latter mentioned, however, are rumoured to be heading for life over fences next season.

2020 winner Epatante has drifted to 12-1 after being well put in her place by Honeysuckle a week ago, with Festival absentee Ferny Hollow – who holds incredibly strong form with the Supreme and Ballymore winners, valued at the same price.

Ferny Hollow
Willie Mullins’ Ferny Hollow beat Appreciate It in last year’s Champion Bumper and saw off Bob Olinger in a hurdle race earlier this campaign
Champion Chase | Wednesday 16th March 2022

Arkle winner Shishkin is as short as 5-4 to land next year’s Champion Chase for Nicky Henderson after his bloodless Gloucestershire victory this season.

The undefeated chaser recorded wins at Kempton and Doncaster en route to winning the Grade 1 novice event on the old course, easing past his four rivals in super style under Nico de Boinville.

Ryanair star Allaho, who arguably put in the performance of the Festival, is a 7-1 chance after battering his rivals into submission on Thursday.

Allaho’s rivals toiled in his wake in a destructive front-running display in the Ryanair

He’s second favourite to take a step down in trip to two-miles over the fellow Willie Mullins trained Chacun Pour Soi, who was turned over at odds on five days ago.

At 10-1, he’s the same value as his conqueror Put The Kettle On – a four time course-and-distance winner.

The newly crowned Champion Chaser, the brave Put The Kettle on kept up her incredible Prestbury Park record at the Festival last week

Energumene, who sadly missed an Arkle showdown with Shishkin, is 12-1 to prove he’s the sprint king over two mile chases next season.

Stayers Hurdle | Thursday 17th March 2022

Reigning kind Flooring Porter heads the market at 6-1 after his brilliant performance on St Patrick’s Thursday.

Flooring Porter scored a second Grade 1 success after his win at Leopardstown in December

Gavin Cromwell’s quickly improving type is the shortest valued horse in the race to retain his crown less than a week on from his finest hour, ahead of Phillip Hobbs’ Thyme Hill at 8s.

Aidan Coleman celebrates after Paisley Park wins the Stayers' Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival
Paisley Park bounced back to form after his disappointment last year with a solid third in the 2020 renewal

The 2020 Albert Bartlett fourth missed the 2021 renewal due to injury but is low enough in the betting to dethrone the six-year-old.

Old champion Paisley Park is third favourite at 12-1 after a brave third at Cheltenham and Emma Lavelle rued the lack of a preparation run in the Cleeve in the aftermath.

Two-time Cheltenham Festival winner Sire Du Berlais was not disgraced in the Stayers’ Hurdle when finishing second

Sire Du Berlais confirmed his credentials in the division when picking up the silver medal and he is a 14-1 shot to take the spoils next year, with the undefeated juvenile Duffle Coat 20-1.

Gold Cup | Friday 18th March 2022

Brown Advisory winner Monkfish soared straight into Gold Cup favouritism after his Wednesday win and is a 9-2 shot to give Willie Mullins a third win in the race.

Far from pretty, but Monkfish scored a second Cheltenham Festival win at 1-4 on Wednesday

Envoi Allen broke punters hearts when falling in the Marsh and his unbeaten record came to an end in the process, but he’s 7-1 to redeem himself at Prestbury Park in twelve months.

Defending champion Minella Indo shortened from 33-1 to 8-1 after he coasted clear of the field on Friday, and he sits as the third favourite behind the two current novices.

Runner-up A Plus Tard, also trained by de Bromhead, is 12-1 to exact revenge on his stable-mate.

Duel Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo does not feature inside the top quintet of the 2022 market

Champ, who hugely disappointed with his jumping before pulling up, is 14-1 for Nicky Henderson to put things right next season.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.