Our guide to the 2022 Cheltenham favourites will take you through the big-hitters for the four championship races. The Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and the Gold Cup are the four major events, each having that one go-to horse most punters are pinning their hopes on.
Odds will no doubt fluctuate from bookie to bookie when it comes to all Cheltenham Festival favourites. But, knowing the main contender for the biggest races of the year will help with your crucial betting decision making.
The Cheltenham Favourites – Top Races
With the hope that spectators will be allowed back next year, the 2022 Cheltenham Festival is sure to be a huge event as usual. Every race over the four days will be eagerly anticipated, but each day has its own main event.
There is obviously a long way to go until the festival comes around again. But here are the current favourites for the four big races.
|Stayers’ Hurdle||Flooring Porter||5/1|
*Odds are subject to change.
Before deciding which bookmaker to bet with, we recommend checking out all the Cheltenham Betting Offers.
Day 1 – Champion Hurdle
There is always plenty of excitement on the opening day of the festival – and a number of big Grade I races for punters to enjoy. But the biggest of the lot is always the Champion Hurdle.
The race is the last leg in the Triple Crown of Hurdling and the most prestigious hurdling event in the National Hunt calendar. With a purse of just under £340,000, the Champion Hurdle is a highly valued title and Honeysuckle will be aiming for back-to-back victories after triumphing in 2021.
The Irish mare is the early favourite once again and trainer Henry De Bromhead will be hoping that his 2022 is as good as this year.
Day 2 – Champion Chase
The highlight of the second day of the festival is always the Champion Chase. Raced on the Old Course over a distance of about two miles, the runners and riders are subjected to 13 fences along the way.
The previous year’s Arkle Chase winner is always fancied for the Queen Mother’s Champion Chase (to give it its full title) the year after – and Shiskin definitely follows that trend for 2022.
He easily won the Arkle this year and is already heavily favoured to triumph in the big one on the second day. No other horse really comes close at the moment and this looks like it could be the most popular festival bet.
Day 3 – Stayers’ Hurdle
This is the biggest long-distance race in the National Hunt calendar. Raced over three miles and consisting of 12 hurdlers, this is a real test of stamina. Flooring Porter won by almost four lengths in 2021 and he should be back to defend his crown next year.
With such a demanding race, it is not a surprise that the market is usually fairly open. Flooring Porter won at 12/1 and has been made the early favourite for 2022. But no horse has won back-to-back since Big Buck’s incredible four-year winning streak starting in 2009.
If the Irish horse can repeat the trick next year he is sure to go down alongside some of the biggest names in National Hunt history.
Day 4 – Gold Cup
This is the big one. The blue riband event of National Hunt racing. The entire Cheltenham Festival is a glorious carnival of racing – but everyone looks forward to the Gold Cup.
Raced over 3 and 1/4 miles, this steeplechase is open to horses aged five years or older and challenges the runners to a gruelling 22-fence run. Some of the biggest names in the sport have won the Gold Cup in its distinguished history.
Horses such as Arkle, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star have transcended horse racing and entered the nation’s consciousness.
Minella Indo ended a two-year winning streak from Al Boum Photo in 2021 and is tipped by many to win again in 2022. But Monkfish is the early favourite after winning the Novices’ Steeple Chase this year.
Top Favourite Horses for the Cheltenham Festival
Here are some key details about the four current favourites for the feature races.
- Age: 7
- Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
- Owner: Kenneth Alexander
After taking Epatante’s crown this year, Honeysuckle is favoured once again to win the Champion Hurdle. The Irish mare simply blew away all competition to romp home and it will take something special to stop a repeat performance in 2022.
- Age: 7
- Trainer: Nicky Henderson
- Owner: Mrs J Donnelly
Shiskin looks like being one of the most popular bets of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and has already attracted a lot of interest for the Champion Chase. He destroyed the competition in this year’s Arkle and now looks to step up another gear.
It all looked too easy for the Irish gelding as it cruised to victory – so the odds could become even shorter over the next few months.
- Age: 6
- Trainer: Gavin Cromwell
- Owner: Flooring Porter Syndicate
After winning the gruelling Stayers’ Handicap in 2021, Flooring Porter is being regarded as a real chance to take the crown again next year. The Irish gelding has looked very good recently and will be back at Cheltenham in 2022 to defend his crown.
- Age: 7
- Trainer: WP Mullins
- Owner: Mrs S Ricci
Monkfish won he 2021 Novices’ Steeple Chase after becoming an overwhelming favourite to finish ahead of the pack around the three-mile course. But in 2022 there is real hope that he will be winning the main event. Although it wasn’t the most perfect ride from Paul Townsend, the victory was still very impressive and that is enough to harness belief for the Gold Cup.
There will be some real competition for the crown next year – including 2021 champion Envoi Allen – but Monkfish looks like going all the way.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Favourites and Odds
Check out the latest odds for the 2022 Gold Cup below. The jewel in the Cheltenham Festival crown promises to be another exciting race and punters are already trying to get ahead of the game with some early ante post bets. Click here to see an overview of all Cheltenham Odds.
|Gold Cup Favourites||Odds||Bookmaker|
|A Plus Tard||12/1|
|Al Boum Photo||25/1|
*Odds are subject to change. Last updated 19/03/21
Cheltenham Betting Tips
Naturally, you’ll need to know more than who the Cheltenham favourites are before finalising a bet. Here are some of the basics to keep in mind when picking a bet at the Cheltenham Festival:
- Don’t always stick with favourites – many big-priced winners go in at Cheltenham.
- Check the form – for the championship races especially, only the best win at the Festival.
- Look for improvement – while the past form is important, horses are prepared to peak at Cheltenham. Look at the ratings and find horses who are climbing the ladder.
- Prioritise staying power on the New Course – in the Gold Cup for example, while class is important staying 3¼ miles around here is tough.
- Prioritise Cheltenham form – Prestbury Park is unique, so those with Cheltenham form are preferred.
There are numerous things to keep in mind, depending on the race type. Speed is of the essence on the Old Course, stamina on the New Course. Your Cheltenham favourites will be at the head of the market for a reason but aren’t guaranteed winners.
Cheltenham Betting Offer Types
As always, bookmakers climb over each other to offer great Cheltenham Festival promos. What is offered specifically depends on each bookmaker of course.
Deals on all the Cheltenham Festival favourites are expected, such as free bets if you lose to one of them. You can also nab a non-runner, no bet deal with most firms in the ante-post markets.
Extra places are usually handed out for each-way purposes too. These aren’t important as regards strong Cheltenham favourites, but are great for the competitive handicaps.
One last thing to take advantage of is Best Odds Guaranteed. With most bookmakers, you can take the price for your horse in the morning and if it wins at a bigger SP, you’re paid at the higher price.
‘BOG’, as it is known, is indeed crucial for Cheltenham favourites. The difference between backing a horse at 6/4 and it going off at 7/4 can feel huge so take advantage.