Cheltenham Festival 2023 Tips: Best bets for all four days and a 55/1 acca
- The Racing Post bumper preview is here
- Key talking points for each day
- Best bets of the week including:
- Jonbon to win the Arkle
- Bravemansgame to win the Gold Cup
The waiting is over and the Cheltenham Festival is nearly upon us, with hours until the famous Cotswolds roar goes up to signal the start of the 'greatest show on turf'.
Here's our look at some of the key stories that might unfold across the four days, as well as a best bet for each day and a big-priced Cheltenham Festival accumulator.
Day 1 - Tuesday March 14
Key talking point - Nicky Henderson takes on the Irish
The Irish are once more expected to dominate this week at Cheltenham and on Tuesday, legendary trainer Nicky Henderson is going to try and formulate a one-man blockade as he saddles leading contenders Jonbon in the Arkle, Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle and Marie's Rock in the Mares' Hurdle. If things go wrong for the Seven Barrows supremo it could be a long week for the home team.
Tuesday's best bet: Jonbon to win the Arkle (14:10) @ 13/8
With a record seven wins, Henderson knows how to prepare an Arkle winner. Jonbon has only been beaten by one horse in his career, the mighty Constitution Hill, and he has a verdict over main market rival El Fabiolo from Aintree last spring. His jumping can prove crucial here.
Day 2 - Wednesday March 15
Key talking point - King's hopes set in Stone
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the day two feature and looks wide open after Editeur Du Gite beat Edwardstone and Energumene to win the Clarence House Chase here in January.
They all clash again at Cheltenham. Energumene is the reigning champion but some frailties were exposed on Trials Day and last year's form looks weak now. Arkle winners have a tremendous recent record when coming back a year later to tackle this test and Alan King's Edwardstone could become the fifth horse since 2012 to do this double.
Wednesday's best bet: Edwardstone to win the Champion Chase (15:30) @ 6/4
Edwardstone was a shade unfortunate here in January not to win the Clarence House, tracking Energumene only for that rival to falter. Tom Cannon will have all angles covered this time and can pinch this race up the hill.
Day 3 - Thursday March 16
Key talking point - Elliott set for big day
Day three begins with the Turners Novices' Chase where Gordon Elliott's Mighty Potter is favourite and seemingly viewed as one of the 'Irish Bankers' of the meeting.
There's big pressure on Davy Russell and his partner, but they should deliver. Elliott could be in for a big day, with Teahupoo a key Stayers' Hurdle contender and certain to be relishing the recent rainfall in Gloucestershire.
Thursday's best bet: Magical Zoe to win the Mares' Novices' Hurdle (16:50) @ 9/1
Trainer Henry De Bromhead won this race in 2021 with Telmesomethinggirl and could do so again with Magical Zoe, who has been saved for this race all season after impressing at Down Royal in November.
The race is being run as the Jack De Bromhead Mares' Novices' Hurdle in memory of the trainer's teenage son and there will be no more popular winner.
Day 4 - Friday March 17
Key talking point - Nicholls going Brave in Gold Cup
It's St Patrick's Day at Cheltenham and plenty of shrewd judges are forecasting the Irish could have a landslide on Friday, with talk of a repeat of last year's clean sweep of the day four card.
The Gold Cup is of course the centrepiece on the final afternoon and Galopin Des Champs looks a worthy favourite for Willie Mullins after his Dublin Racing Festival win last time.
King George hero Bravemansgame represents Britain's champion trainer Paul Nicholls and could be the answer for the Ditcheat chief as he seeks to bridge a Gold Cup gap on his CV stretching back to Kauto Star in 2009. What a race we have in prospect.
Friday's best bet: Impervious to win the Mares' Chase (16:50) @ 7/4
Jumping is the name of the game here and Colm Murphy's Impervious looks far more reliable in that department than favourite Allegorie De Vassy, who tends to go off to her right at the obstacles and will forfeit plenty ground in doing so.
Cheltenham Festival 2023 Acca: Our four to follow at odds of 55/1
This Grade 1 performer stands out in the National Hunt Chase and having the assistance of Patrick Mullins in the saddle is quite an advantage.
Last year's winner should have few problems retaining his mantle. Stablemate Galvin has come in for market support against him but seems to have fallen out of love with the game.
Impressive at last month's Dublin Racing Festival, showing he can handle the burden of expectation on a big day, Mighty Potter looks hard to beat for his rivals.
Career-best at Kempton on Boxing Day, despite racing far wider than ideal. That was a good pointer in terms of stamina, however, and Messrs. Nicholls and Cobden are convinced he's still getting better.
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