Cheltenham Festival 2024: Your day one four-fold accumulator

21 February 2024

The Cheltenham Festival is fast approaching, so it is a good time to look ahead to the biggest week in Horse Racing. 

The first day of the festival is all about multiples. The day is traditionally dominated by Irish trainers and selecting a four fold of Willie Mullins horses is extremely popular. The partnership between Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh, provided us with many iconic Cheltenham moments and a whole heap of winners. 

However, Annie Power’s fall at the last in 2015, broke punters hearts as it killed the dreams of Mullins/Walsh opening day multiple. Here is a breakdown of our most popular four-fold from the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Supreme Novices Hurdle 

The Festival’s traditional curtain raiser is run over just two miles and therefore places a premium on fast and accurate jumping. 

Ballyburn is the favourite for this one. Trained by Willie Mullins, who holds the record for most wins in this race with seven. The six-year-old has won its last two races going into the festival by a total of 32 lengths. 

It is still not certain which race Ballyburn will run in as it also holds an entry and favourite status in day two’s Baring Bingham Novice’s Hurdle. 

Mullins also trains the next two in our market. Cheveley Park Stud’s Tullyhill is at 4/1. Tullyhill won by nine lengths last weekend at Punchestown and has won on both its outings in 2024. The five-year-old Mystical Power will be an alluring bet for some. The first foal of Annie Power has won both its races over hurdles by seven lengths. Mystical Power is priced at 7/1.

The leading English hope is Jeriko Du Reponet, trained by Nicky Henderson. It was disappointing in its last outing in the SBK Supreme Trial at Doncaster, but still won by a length and quarter. Currently priced at a shade bigger than 7/1. 

Four-fold selection: Ballyburn @ 19/10

Champion Hurdle

Constitution Hill is arguably racing’s biggest star. He cantered home to win by nine lengths last year and looks set to become a two-time winner of the biggest race over hurdles. He is unbeaten in his eight races over hurdles, winning by an average of just over 12 lengths. 

Trained by Nicky Henderson, the seven-year-old has only been seen once this season, when he cruised to the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Stage Star came closest to challenging Constitution Hill last year, and once again looks likely to be the leading challenger. Trained by Willie Mullins, State Man is a very impressive horse winning ten of its 13 races over hurdles. But Constitution Hill is a class above. 

If you’re looking for a banker, this is it.

Four-Fold selection: Constitution Hill @ 1/3

Mares Hurdle

The Mares Hurdle sees our attention return to the Willie Mullins and Paul Townend combination. Mullins has dominated this race winning nine of the 14 renewals.

He is also the trainer of this year’s favourite Lossiemouth. The five-year-old mare won the Triumph Hurdle at last year’s festival and was incredibly impressive at Cheltenham Trials Day in January, beating Love Envoi by nine and half lengths. She has won six of her seven races so far, but has only run once this season. Owned by the flamboyant Rich Ricci, who also owned Annie Power; punters will have their fingers crossed that we don’t have a repeat of the 2015 fall.

Mullins also trains the next three horses in the market, led by Ashroe Diamond who has four wins from seven races over hurdles. Last time out she won the SBK Yorkshire Mares Hurdle by two and a half lengths. Lossiemouth being two from two at Cheltenham gives her the edge and the stunning turn of speed back in January had people wondering whether she could challenge Constitution Hill.

Four-Fold selection: Lossiemouth @ 8/11

National Hunt Chase

To finish up the four-fold we have another Mullins runner. 

Embassy Gardens has two wins from two races over fences, most recently at Naas at the end of January when it won by ten lengths on soft to heavy ground. Trained by the master of Closutton, he will be piloted by Patrick Mullins who holds the record for most wins in this race with four, most recently in 2022 and 2023.

Embassy Gardens has won both of his races over fences and by a total of 23 lengths. He looks a cut above the rest of the field. Corbetts Cross, 7/2, has only won once in his four races over fences and fell last time out at Fairyhouse. 

Four-Fold Selection: Embassy Gardens @ 9/4

There it is then, your four-fold for the opening day of the Festival, paying at around 17/1 it should get the festival off to a strong start.

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