Betting Tips For Cheltenham: Who Are The Dark Horses This Year?

There are few more popular betting events on the sporting calendar than the Cheltenham Festival.

If Kentucky Derby betting is the biggest waging event in horse racing in the USA, Cheltenham Festival is likely to be its equivalent in England, followed by the Grand National. Every March, hundreds of thousands of fans descend on the Cotswolds to witness the biggest stars in jumps racing collide for the most illustrious honours.

That will be no different this year, as the championship races will once again see superstars such as Constitution Hill, Galopin Des Champs, and El Fabiolo look to extend their legacy.

But, there is typically a lot of value in the betting when it comes to betting on the races at the Festival, so who could be the dark horse contenders that look primed to out run their odds?

You Wear It Well

The G1 Mares’ Hurdle was one of the biggest talking points at the Festival last year, with many experts hoping that Honeysuckle would bypass the race in order to take on Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle. However, it is an interesting betting race in its own right, and there could be value with siding against last year’s Triumph winner Lossiemouth.

You Wear It Well could easily be one of the best backed horses of the day at Cheltenham on the Tuesday, as the Jamie Snowden runner has plenty of form at Cheltenham. The seven-year-old was excellent when landing the G2 Mares’ Novice Hurdle at the Festival last year, beating Magical Zoe by over two lengths. She ended the season by going up against the boys, and finished a respectable fifth in the G1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

She has continued her progression this term after finishing three lengths clear of subsequent winner Luccia at Wetherby, before battling in testing conditions at Sandown to finish third in the G1 Fighting Fifth. You Wear It Well is unlikely to go off in the Mares’ Hurdle as a 20/1 chance.

Fil Dor

Two-time winner of the G1 Ryanair Chase Allaho will be missing the Festival for the second year running in 2024, and his absence has opened up the betting for the Grade 1 at Cheltenham this year. Banbridge is an incredibly talented contender, but the Joseph O’Brien raider will likely need good ground to mount his best challenge.

Appreciate It and Envoi Allen both deserve respect, but Gordon Elliott could boast the best angle for bettors at this stage. The six-year-old has won just once in five starts over the bigger obstacles, but he will likely relish the stamina sapping test in the Ryanair at Cheltenham.

His performances this term have been much improved, finishing a close second behind Dinoblue on his reappearance in November, before finishing a respectable four lengths behind red-hot Champion Chase favourite El Fabiolo in the G2 Hilly Way Chase. Elliott is enjoying an excellent campaign this term, and a win for Fil Dor at the Festival would be a welcome sight for owners Caldwell Construction Ltd, who have already had a heart-breaking year following the loss of Mighty Potter.

Noble Yeats

The G1 Stayers’ Hurdle is always one of the most interesting betting races at the Cheltenham Festival, as there is no standout star in the division. The betting has opened up following the announcement that Theleme won’t be making the journey from France, and Irish Point could easily be the most progressive rival in the field. Legends of the game such as Monkfish and Paisley Park are set to compete, but both could be vulnerable.

Emmet Mullins has already revealed that the nine-year-old will line up in the Stayers’ Hurdle this year, and the runner will have a first attempt over the longer distance over hurdles when he lines up in the G2 Cleeve Hurdle on Trials Day. Noble Yeats certainly adds a very interesting betting angle to this race, as he is thorough stayer at the highest level.

He landed a famous win in the Grand National in 2022, before finishing fourth in the race off a big weight last year. He also showed his class at Cheltenham last year when staying on better than most to finish fourth in the prestigious G1 Gold Cup. If at that level back over hurdles, he looks an incredible betting chance in the Stayers’ Hurdle this year.


The big race of the entire week comes in the form of the prestigious G1 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Galopin Des Champs is the heavy favourite to successfully defend the honour that he won last year, and he returned back to winning ways in staggering fashion when landing the G1 Savills Chase over Christmas. King George winner Hewick could be set for a renewed bid, but a chance could be taken on Nassalam at a massive price.

It is worth mentioning that the seven-year-old will need his ideal conditions to stand any chance at Cheltenham, but he has looked very dominant on heavy ground throughout this season.

He was one of the most dominant winners in the history of the G1 Welsh National earlier this season, beating Iron Bridge by a staggering 37 lengths. While he isn’t the most obvious Gold Cup player, he would be incredibly over priced for trainer Gary Moore if the ground turns heavy at Cheltenham.