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