The Best Horses from UK & Ireland Set to Descend on Cheltenham

The Best Horses from UK & Ireland Set to Descend on Cheltenham
The Best Horses from UK & Ireland Set to Descend on Cheltenham

When it comes to national hunt racing in the UK, there is no other week quite like the Cheltenham Festival.

Whether it is from home, or from across the Irish Sea, the very best of the best descend on Prestbury Park to take each other on across four days, and a total of 28 races.

The 2022 Cheltenham Festival is on its way, and yet again, the very best all look set to do battle with each other. Headlining the action, we have four Championship races, the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and Gold Cup.

Many Irish punters will be looking towards the first of those, the Champion Hurdle, where Honeysuckle will be looking to repeat her victory from last season. The latest Cheltenham Festival betting odds show that she is the favourite to do that and faces a field that could well be seen as a little below the quality we are used to seeing in that race.

It’s not just Ireland that have a big banker in one of the Championship races though, when it comes to the Champion Chase, the UK has a strong contender of their own. That is Shishkin, trained by Nicky Henderson, and an impressive winner of the Arkle at last year’s festival. His biggest danger is Energumene, a horse that he beat at Ascot earlier this season, staying stronger than his rival, something that the Cheltenham hill should help him reinforce when they meet again.

Wide Open Gold Cup Headlines the Week

While the four races mentioned are the best of the week, when it comes to the biggest race of them all, look no further than the Cheltenham Gold Cup. A test over three miles and two furlongs, you need a special horse to win this race, one that can jump brilliantly has the stamina to get home, and the speed to make a winning move at the end of the race.

The winner of the Gold Cup in 2021 was Minella Indo, staying on in the closing stages stronger than his rivals to take the prize. He is back to try and win again in 2022, while the horses that finished in second and third behind him are also back. Those are A Plus Tard, who came second, and previous dual winner, Al Boum Photo, who finished third on that occasion.

Newcomers aiming to try and steal the crown off Minella Indo include Galvin, who won the National Hunt Chase as a novice at the festival last season, Conflated and Protektorat, who is trained in the UK by Dan Skelton.

The Gold Cup will always get attention from fans of the sport, but this season in particular, it may get the extra attention it deserves. With many big names, previous winners, and a likely big field going to post, this could well prove to be the most exciting race of what looks to be a great week of racing.

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