2024’s Cheltenham Festival Highlights

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The 2024 Cheltenham Festival kicked off on Tuesday, 12th of March, featuring seven of the 28 races scheduled over the next four days. This write-up highlights the proceedings of this year’s events, including the complete list of Champion Day winners, noteworthy incidents, and runners expected to dominate in the final race on Friday. Read on!

State Man Wins the Champion Hurdle  

State Man is the winner of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival’s Champions Hurdle. Ridden by Paul Townend, the 2-5 favorite scooped the win in the absence of the defending champion Constitution Hill. This is after trainer Nicky Henderson ruled Constitution Hill out of the race following a poor workout.

State Man finished second in last year’s event, and his win this year moved trainer Willie Mullins closer to the 100 milestone at the Festival. The winner went against Irish Point and Lucia, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

In an interview after the race, Mullins noted that while State Man might be only a better horse at Leopardstown, he still managed to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival. He also noted that you must show up to win races and showed high hopes of Constitution Hill competing in the coming year’s event. Overall, Mullins was satisfied with State Man’s win, expressing his optimism for future competitions.

A Strong Opening Day for Mullins

Spectators were impressed by Townsend’s patient and rather calm ride at Prestbury Park. In the beginning, Slade Steel, which was being ridden by Rachael Blackmore, briefly prevented Mullin from adding to his tally of 97 victories. The win marked Blackmore’s 15th victory at the Festival. Nonetheless, this has been a familiar start to the Festival, where the usual participants tend to perform well at the beginning.

Mullin and Townend won three races, which put the trainer in a better position to reach 100 wins on Wednesday. Lossiemouth’s win brought him closer to his goal.

Unfortunately, Mullin’s Embassy Gardens couldn’t end the day in style as Corbetts Cross, a favorite in the National Hunt Chase, won the final race of the day instead.

It was also an unfortunate event for trainer Fergal O’Brien after his horse, Highland Hunter, got fatally injured earlier in the day in the Ultimata. Hunter was leading the race until three fences from the finish when it started to weaken, falling heavily in the race. He was aged 11 prior to his death.

Champion Day Winners at 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Here’s the full list of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival’s Champion Day winners:

  • State Man: Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge
  • Slade Still: Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle
  • Chianti Classico: Ultima Handicap Chase
  • Lark In The Morning: Boodle Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
  • Lossiemouth: Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle

Who is Likely to Win the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Being one of the most awaited events, it’s no surprise that pundits have come out to offer odds to those who bet on Cheltenham races. Based on various pundits’ analysis and statistics, the winners of the last 24 Cheltenham Gold Cup runnings were aged nine years or below. Moreover, in the last 23 runnings, the winners had won Grade 1 races before competing in the Gold Cup.

Last but not least, winners of the last 5 Gold Cup runnings were trained in Ireland, with 9 out of 12 runners having won their previous races before winning the Gold Cup.

With that in mind, here are the pundit’s predictions on who will win this year’s Gold Cup based on the above statistics:

  • Galopin Des Champs has a 42% chance of scooping the victory to retain his Gold Cup crown, followed by Shishkin with an 18% chance, and Gerri Colombe occupying third place with a 13% chance.
  • In the middle is Bravemansgame with 7%, Hewick, L’Homme Presse, and Gentlemansgame with 6% each.
  • Finally, runners expected to finish last are Corach Rambler, with a 5% chance, and Monkfish, with a 4% chance. 


The Cheltenham Gold Cup Festival is among the most prestigious horse race events in the UK. This year’s total prize is £625,000, with the winner of the Golden Cup walking away with £350,000. Based on most pundit’s predictions, Galopins Des Champs will win this year’s final event. After all, he will be guided by this year’s Champion Day winners, Paul Townend and trainer Willie Mullins.

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