2021 Cheltenham Festival Picks

Cheltenham picks page. See what the profitable handicappers at OLBG are predicting for the races at the Cheltenham Festival. For predictions on all today's racing see our horse racing picks page. For interesting stats, trends and general advice for wagering at Cheltenham, read on below our tipster content on this page. 

  • 2021 Cheltenham Festival - OLBG Member Ante-Post Picks

    Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Picks

    Here are some ante-post selections from OLBG's best performing horse racing handicappers:

    Tuesday

    1.55 Arkle Challenge Trophy - Allmankind picked by david37 (708 profit to 10 point stakes over the last 6 months).

    "All eyes have been on Shishkin and Energumene in the ante-post market and neither are very attractive odds around Evens and 9/4 respectively. ALLMANKIND is very interesting and has a seriously big engine. Not many top jumpers graduate from flat racing (he actually won a C4 maiden on the all weather) to hurdles and still fewer to chasing. Always a keen going type bordering on tear-away he has still managed some easy wins. Since joining Dan Skelton he has improved and crucially learned how to race a bit more efficiently. He is officially about half a stone behind the two market leaders but has bags of scope yet for improvement including his jumping which has been mostly good. Sure to be suited by some better ground he has the speed figures to win and much will depend on how the race is run. The Arkle is usually run at a decent pace and some really strong stayers and speedy types have all won the race. Having won a G1 on soft at Sandown stamina won't be an issue and he has the superior basic speed which may be decisive if the going is good on Tuesday. Still available at 6 and 7/1 this looks the percentage play in a very exciting race."

    2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase - Aye Right selected by sirspread (1063 profit to 10 point stakes over the last 12 months).

    "The Ultima Chase is the first handicap at Cheltenham and will be ultra-competitive with the bookies going 10/1 the field at this stage Aye Right trained by a lesser light in Harriet Graham looks to be a decent value bet at a top price of 25/1 (16/1 in places) he looks to have had an ideal preparation and was a strong second last time out despite the jockey dropping his whip he has course form and ran a belter here last year (Festival Novices’ Chase) when 5th to Champ despite making numerous mistakes he is lightly raced over fences so there should be further improvement and his jumping looks to be in better shape he will need to defy a mark in the mid 150s but the race throws up winners in that range more often than not."

    Wednesday

    4.50 Grand Annual Handicap Chase - Eldorado Allen tipped by Peterb4 (1176 profit to 10 point stakes over the last 6 months).

    "Horse has shown decent form over fences so far – including once at Cheltenham (old course) off a mark of 146. If this one fulfils this engagement off a mark of 149, I can see Tizzard (a trainer who normally gets his runners right for the Festival) having this one prepared ideally for the day. If the going is G/S or no worse than soft then I think this should have a good chance at decent odds. Good Luck All."

    Thursday

    2.10 Pertemps Hurdle Final - Champagne Platinum is tipped by spurs1967 (1900 profit to 10 point stakes over the last 12 months).

    "I am hardly uncovering anything that the market doesn't show but with this his sole entry I do feel he is a plot strategically targeted even more than others for this race. His mark has been protected as well as it could have been in his two runs this term and he represents a leading owner with a good record in this race. Year-on-year it seems you need a potential graded class runner for this race and his profile suggests to me he could be heading in this direction. Unless I am missing something this year's renewal does not look as strong as previous seasons and I would be surprised if he wasn't well punted on the day. Many who have taken in a brief spell chasing often show up well in this race and he ran with credit in the Kim Muir at last year's festival. Those lightly campaigned this season could well eclipse the more established battle-hardened types in the handicaps and looking ready now he should be highly competitive."

    2.50 Ryanair Chase - Mister Fisher is fancied by JackpotRod (1834 profit to 10 point stakes over the last 12 months).

    "Mister Fisher looks interesting in a race that looks likely to cut up from here on in to me. It’s his only entry, so ground depending, he will go here. Given his potential liking from Spring-like ground, it's worth taking a Non-Runner No Bet punt. 7-year-olds have a better record in this race than any other age group, with 5 of the last 8 winners being 7, so whilst Allaho and Fakir D’Oudairies are to be feared, there are barely any other entries from the younger generation and they are only 6, and will still be 6 by the time of the race. Mister Fisher in fact is one of only two 7-year-olds entered at this stage (Greaneteen the other). His win ahead of Kalashnikov was impressive, and that horse has nicely franked that in the Denman Chase, as he wasn’t far behind Clan Des Obeaux and Secret Investor at all. Mister Fisher has little to find with the principles on ratings and looked soundly on the upgrade running an RPR of 168 last time here. He was 4th in the Marsh last year, not too far behind the 3 Irish raiders in Melon, Samcro and Faugheen. Whilst you can pick holes in that form, with many of the current market principles booked elsewhere, I wonder if that opens the path for Mister Fisher to put up a big run having been lightly campaigned so far."

    OLBG horse racing tipster noflukemamaluke (828 profit to 10 point stakes over the past 3 months) also likes Mister Fisher.

    "Min is defending his Ryanair title this year, and I always thought it was interesting that Paul Kealy from the Racing Post thought he was an odds on chance at the time. His price at the time was 5/1, and needless to say, he went on to win at 2/1, and the likes of Ruby Walsh, for one, has been quite ebullient about his chances this year, but I think I am more in the MISTER FISHER camp. He beat Kalashnikov gamely in the rearranged Peterborough Chase, and it's no coincidence both Paul Kealy and Tom Segal already have flagged him up. I think he's got great each-way appeal in what is an open looking renewal. He's generally speaking a very consistent fellow when it comes to Cheltenham, and he's still only a 7yo who is improving all the time. Part of me would like Min to win again, and I know he is a faster horse when it comes to Allaho, but with Mister Fisher, it's all about 2m4fs. He seems to thrive on soft, good to soft ground, and I think he gets those conditions at Cheltenham this year; I don't think there'll be any heavy ground at the Festival, and I wouldn't rule the in-form Dashel Drasher for a place if he runs, but I’m with Mister Fisher, he’s improved every year at Cheltenham, and I think 2021 is his year in Ryanair Chase. I’ve got him each-way at 14/1, which I think is a good price."

    Friday

    1.30 Triumph Hurdle - Tritonic predicted by attitude adjuster (1051 profit to 10 point stakes over the past 12 months).

    "Tritonic has done nothing wrong over hurdles in two starts so far and made his hurdles debut at Ascot and won that despite been given a lot to do from the last there. He improved plenty for that and really showed his class when romping home in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton and was not stopping late on there and pulled away from the field. He had run at group level on the flat and is a class recruit to the hurdle ranks and with the strong pace he is likely to get in the Triumph he should be seen at his best just sitting off that pace and producing his flat speed late on. Alan King has won this a couple of times in the past and always seems to have a smart horse every season in this division and this one might well be the best he has had in this division."

    2.10 County Handicap Hurdle - Edwardstone predicted by kenny1504 (1173 profit to 10 point stakes in the last 6 months).

    "Progressive type, finished  2nd in three bumpers before going straight over hurdles last season, winning first two starts and finishing the season off with a respectable sixth in the Supreme hurdle at last year’s festival. Returned to action with a good run in the Greatwood back at Cheltenham before switching to fences for one run, unseated rider. Much happier back over hurdles, winning at Market Rasen before running well in the Betfair. Seems ideally suited by big field handicaps and the stiff uphill finish should play to his strengths. Looks a solid player at current odds and unlikely to be far away. "

    3.30 Gold Cup - Al Boum Photo selected by Dave1962 (568 profit to 10 point stakes over the last 6 months).

    "This year, Al Boum Photo bids to achieve what Best Mate (2002-2004), and Arkle (1964-1966) have done and that is to win a hat-trick of Cheltenham Gold Cups. Trained by Champion Irish Trainer, Willie Mullins, Al Boum Photo is a nine-year-old with an official rating of 175, the highest in this year's race. His trainer again targeted the Savills New Year's day Chase run at Tramore as the only race he would run in before entering the Gold cup. In 2019 and 2020 Al Boum Photo won this race by six lengths. This year he won by an impressive nineteen lengths. Each time he has won at Cheltenham he runs on really well up the Cheltenham Hill. Even though Santini got to within a neck last year, Al Boum Photo showed a great attitude, and though he had to dig deep he pulled enough out so that his head was in front at the winning post. Best Mate was a nine-year-old when he won his third Gold Cup and since 2002 there have been five nine-year-olds who have lifted the trophy. There are plenty of dangers opposing him in his hat-trick attempt but with his proven record, battling attitude, and the Willie Mullins stable in really good form, Al Boum Photo has every chance of joining the ranks of Best Mate, and Arkle who have been the only horses to have won the Gold Cup three times in the last sixty years."


    4.50 Paddy Power Mares Chase - Elimay tipped by wakgw04 (2383 profit to 10 point stakes over the past 12 months).

    "Trained by Willie Mullins she is consistent and jumps well. She has already run at Cheltenham in the mares hurdle in 2019 finishing 6th. According to Willie Mullins, she has huge scope and she has been very progressive over fences winning easily at Naas last time. She seems to handle any ground and is a worthy favourite."

  • Cheltenham Racecourse Map

    Track: ('Old' and 'New') Left-handed, undulating, galloping with an uphill finish.

    The make-up of each is broadly similar in that they are vast, galloping, undulating and left-handed. The last half mile is taken uphill placing emphasis on stamina and, whilst the fences are more forgiving these days, the fourth and third last taken on the side of the course before the turn for home, still catch plenty out. 

    Cheltenham National Hunt Racecourse Map
    Cheltenham National Hunt Racecourse Map
  • Cheltenham Festival Picks - 2021 Trainer Statistics

    Willie Mullins is well out in front when it comes to the number of winners at the Cheltenham Festival in the last ten years with fifty-five winners.

    The next best is some twenty-three winners short of him, Gordon Elliott, with 32 winners, whilst just one behind Gordon on 31 is Nicky Henderson, further back on the list is Paul Nicholls with 19 winners.

    At the other end of the spectrum, Charlie Longsdon has had 60 runners without recording a single winner and only two placed runners.

    Others who have failed to record a win in the last ten years are Evan Williams (41), Tim Vaughan (38) and Richard Newland (32).

    Gordon Elliott has an excellent win LSP and his place statistics are good too with 39% of his runners placing for an eachway LSP of +68.22.

    Below is a table of how some of the top trainers have fared at the Cheltenham Festival in the last ten years:

    Trainer R-W-P Win EW
    W P Mullins 469-55-145 -32.90 -75.40
    Gordon Elliott 216-32-85 +95.80 +68.22
    Nicky Henderson 363-31-97 -112.58 -93.86
    Paul Nicholls 273-19-51 -47.76 -66.79
    David Pipe 161-10-28 -41.67 -43.17
    Jonjo O'Neill 114-9-23 -13.00 -22.74
    Henry De Bromhead 104-8-27 +12.75 -4.84
    Philip Hobbs 149-7-23 -102.50 -71.46
    Colin Tizzard 134-6-21 -17.50 -34.20
    Rebecca Curtis 47-5-6 +37.38 +6.81
  • Cheltenham Festival Picks - 2021 Jockey Statistics

    Davy Russell has notched up nineteen winners over the past ten years and is and is four wins clear of Paul Townend on 15 whilst Nico de Boinville (11) is the only other jockey in double-figures.

    Those who have not fared well and not ridden a winner in the last ten years are Paddy Brennan (72), Tom O'Brien (52) & Danny Mullins (43).

    Another of note who has a poor record is Aidan Coleman, from 112 rides in the past ten festivals he has notched up just two winners.

    If you are looking for profitable jockeys in the place market then Jack Kennedy is one to watch. A 42% place strike rate and an LSP of +46.95 (Betfair Place SP).

    Below is a table of how some of the top jockeys have fared at the Cheltenham Festival in the last ten years:

    Jockey R-W-P Win EW
    Davy Russell 125-19-46 +61.07 +36.35
    Paul Townend 131-15-39 +33.90 +1.74
    Nico de Boinville 75-11-23 +25.11 +6.00
    Tom Scudamore 122-9-26 -19.00 -10.50
    Mr J J Codd 33-9-14 +39.83 +20.60
    Richard Johnson 133-8-19 -50.50 -61.18
    B J Cooper 92-8-28 -12.62 -16.73
    Sam Twiston-Davies 141-6-21 -78.50 -55.59
    Jack Kennedy 36-5-15 +40.73 +29.58
    Robbie Power 70-4-15 -17.00 -24.36
  • 2021 Cheltenham Festival Pointers

    In this section, we have added some valuable trends and pointers from previous Cheltenham Festivals plus a selection of OLBG's best performing horse racing handicappers have given insight and early thoughts on their early ante post-festival picks across the four days.

    These Cheltenham Festival pointers below will hopefully help narrow down your selection process and shortlist for your Cheltenham best bets...

    • For runners coming to the festival having previously won at the festival, the 7yo runners are the standout with a strike rate of 24% since 2013. In 2018 Buveur D'Air, Presenting Percy and Penhill were all successful with only Road to Respect and Ibis Du Rheu unsuccessful. In 2017 Yorkhill, Tiger Roll and Altior were all winners, however, they are a combined 0-12 in the past two festivals.
    • Last time out fallers do not have a great record, only 7 wins spanning over 202 races since 2003. In both 2018 (0-10) and 2019 (0-13), they drew a blank, however, in 2020 they did provide two winners in Ravenhill and Champ.
    • Since 2003, 75% of the races (349 from 464) have been won by a runner who had won within its last three starts in the UK/IRE.
    • Don't write off female jockeys, this season they have produced some top-class wins. Between 2011 and 2014 they were 0-57 at the festival. However, the number of wins has been steadily improving, 2015 (1), 2016 (2), 2017 (3), 2018 (4), 2019 (4) & 2020 (2) and with the like of Bryony Frost and Rachael Blackmore they are proving their worth.
    • Avoid old boys! When considering the age of the horse compared to the youngest in the race, those who are 5+ years older have an awful record. Just 10 winners since 2003 covering over 2019 races, in 2017 they were 0-26, 2018 they were 0-29 and although hitting a winner in 2019 that was from 28 runners and then again in 2020 they drew a blank from 30 runners, only 2 of those placed.
  • Cheltenham Picks - Racetrack Guide

    The track at Cheltenham is unique in that is has an ‘old course’ and a ‘new course’. The old course is used for the Showcase and November Meetings + the first two days of The Cheltenham Festival.

    Many of our tipsters picks for Cheltenham will include an understanding as to whether the horse will perform on the unique track. Some horses can have amazing form but just don't like the characteristics of the horse at Cheltenham.

    Horses for Courses is a term which is more significant at Cheltenham than perhaps any other track. Many horses become track specialists and win many times at Cheltenham, some coming back to the festival each year to win or run well in top-class races. So a major Cheltenham pick is to look at horses with proven track form.

    The 'New Course' is used for The International, New Year's Day, Festival Trials Day, the 3rd and 4th days of The Cheltenham Festival and the late-season April and May meetings.

    The ‘Old Course' is said to ride faster, meaning strong-travelling, prominent running types are favoured over hold-up horses or those who take some kidding along.

    Type of Racing: National Hunt Only

    Highlights: The Cheltenham Festival (March) and ‘The November Meeting’.

    * All statistics below are based on the previous five years at Cheltenham

    Cheltenham Outright Favourite Statistics

    • Handicap Chases: 21-113 (19%) -25.33
    • Handicap Hurdles: 20-90 (22%) -4.46
    • Non-Handicap Chases: 48-125 (38%) -8.66
    • Non-Handicap Hurdles: 52-122 (43%) +1.53
  • Picks From The Racetrack for Cheltenham

    Racing has taken place at Prestbury Park since 1831.  Now considered the home of National Hunt racing, the Gold Cup was first run as a National Hunt race in 1924. Its iconic modern status wasn’t always as such – the County Hurdle and the National Hunt Chase were the ‘big’ races in the early days.

    ‘All roads lead to Cheltenham’ is the recognised trend nowadays and whereas the Grand National may still be regarded as the most significant one-off race, the Cheltenham Festival is the target and the climax of the present-day jumps calendar.  

    Along the way, other significant meetings take place from October and conclude in May with a Hunter Chase evening.  After the Cheltenham Festival in March, the November meeting featuring The BetVictor Gold Cup (formerly the Mackeson) is next best in terms of importance and participation.

    In recent seasons, the number of Irish-trained Cheltenham winners from the Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott yards have increased hugely. There is also a large number of UK trainers based in or nearby Cheltenham, including Nigel Twiston-Davies, Jonjo O’Neill, Fergal O'Brien and Tom George who are always to be respected. Nigel Twiston-Davies tends to have winners at the October and November meetings, but generally finds winners harder to come by as the season draws on.

    As you’d expect, the facilities at Cheltenham are extensive.  Viewing the action and the paddock can be challenging at the Festival, although at other meetings it’s excellent.  Accommodation and travel arrangements should be planned as far in advance as possible as the town and surrounding routes can get extremely busy.  Any challenges aside, the racetrack itself is a must-see, positioned as it is with the beautiful and iconic backdrop of Cleeve Hill. They don’t come much better than the modern-day Cheltenham, whichever way you look at it and the anticipation, buzz and roar from the spectators as the tapes go up for the first race of the Festival meeting is an experience to savour.

  • Top Picks on How to Bet at Cheltenham

    Finding winners at Cheltenham is no easy task.  The best horses, trainers and jockeys always feature. Consequently, races at all meetings are seldom uncompetitive or lacking in class and depth. To make the challenge slightly easier here are a few general considerations.

    Course and distance winners are positive at any meeting, on any given day.  At Cheltenham, this is more so and any horse that has proven capable of negotiating the undulations and defying the ‘Cheltenham Hill’ should be kept on the short-list. Look for the letters 'CD' next to a runner on the racecard.

    2018 was rare in that the Festival was run on the bog-heavy ground.  This was an exception to the norm and typically 'Good' ground features in the going description.  If this is the case, look for form in the book on the quicker ground, it is not uncommon for horses to have been running under-par on winter ground only to come into their own in springtime. Whilst not impossible it can be difficult for hold-up horses that do not 'travel' well on the bridle to land a blow at Cheltenham, especially at the Festival where races are usually run at a relentless pace with large field sizes. 

    Certainly, any horse that travels on and off the bridle, or has a history of unwillingness is probably not going to have the heart or the luck-in-running required to feature at the finish. Horses that can jump and travel fluently in strongly run races with plenty of stamina reserves and the ability to see out the race distance up the Cheltenham hill have the key attributes for Prestbury Park. Be cautious of horses with a history of falls and be careful of Novice Chase events where a lack of experience can prove costly, regardless of class or form over hurdles.

    You can view the latest betting odds for each horse in every race at Cheltenham along with comments from OLBG tipsters. You may soon find one particular tipster you like and want to follow!

    You’ll notice the number of picks made on each horse, also expressed in % terms and the number of picks made with comments for each one. Our star rating is extremely useful in that it combines the popularity (i.e. how many picks made) and the latest betting odds.

  • Cheltenham Picks from Jockey and Trainer Statistics (All Meetings)

    Who are the best national hunt jockeys and trainers to bet on at Cheltenham?

    N J Henderson is the leading trainer here at Cheltenham with fifty-one winners but you would have recorded a loss if you backed all of their runners whilst following Gordon Elliott would have returned the most winners (thirty-three) from a profitable trainer. If you are looking for a trainer to follow in the eachway market then it is Emmanuel Clayeux who leads the way at Cheltenham, they have has a total of seven placings which includes two winners over the previous five years for an eachway LSP of +26.30. With an LSP of -146.62 at Cheltenham, P J Hobbs heads the list for worst trainers at this course, that is a result of thirteen winners from two hundred three runners which is a strike rate of 6%.

    Focusing only on jockeys who show a profit when backing all of their rides, top of the pile at Cheltenham for the number of winners is Nico Boinville who has produced a total of twenty-four winners in return of an LSP of +33.37. With an eachway LSP of +22.55 at Cheltenham, Felix De Giles leads the jockeys in profit for backing eachway which has been helped by their six placings which include a total of one winner. The jockey with the worst record at Cheltenham based on LSP is Sam Twiston-Davies who has only a 7% strike rate with fifteen winners from two hundred twenty-eight rides which have returned an LSP of -91.84.

    Cheltenham Picks & Hints

    Here are some factors at Cheltenham for certain trainers or jockeys which have been profitable:

    • 5-10 (50%) +18.33 - Backing Bryony Frost rides when on horses aged 6yo


    Cheltenham Top Jockey and Trainer Combinations

    Here are the best trainer and jockey combinations here at Cheltenham based on the number of winners:

    • 21 Wins: N J Henderson & Nico Boinville
    • 16 Wins: Daniel Skelton & Harry Skelton
    • 14 Wins: Fergal O'Brien & P J Brennan
    • 11 Wins: W P Mullins & P Townend
    • 9 Wins: D E Pipe & Tom Scudamore


    Cheltenham Top Trainers By Most Winners and a Level Stakes Profit

    Trainer R-W-P Win EW
    Gordon Elliott 205-33-80 +70.30 -3.07
    Fergal O'Brien 165-20-51 +8.26 -18.42
    Henry De Bromhead 103-11-25 +19.25 -18.72
    Nick Williams 50-8-14 +42.00 +13.30
    Miss Kerry Lee 40-6-16 +2.33 -4.10
    Miss Rebecca Curtis 56-4-9 +37.00 +13.78
    Jamie Snowden 40-4-11 +3.50 -5.55
    M J Scudamore 34-4-4 +29.00 +5.68
    John C McConnell 13-4-5 +28.75 +14.60
    Patrick G Kelly 8-3-5 +22.50 +10.00

    Cheltenham Top Jockeys By Most Winners and a Level Stakes Profit

    Jockey R-W-P Win EW
    Nico Boinville 142-24-45 +33.37 -6.49
    P J Brennan 163-20-51 +9.26 -14.08
    P Townend 86-12-27 +44.90 +8.45
    Bryony Frost 42-9-14 +17.58 -2.54
    M P Walsh 58-6-13 +3.13 -17.21
    Mr J J Codd 35-6-15 +14.50 +3.80
    Richard Patrick 28-6-16 +22.83 +13.96
    J W Kennedy 36-5-15 +40.73 +14.69
    Adam Wedge 59-4-15 +33.00 +21.80
    Rachael Blackmore 45-4-10 +19.25 -2.68
  • Cheltenham - The Open Trends & Pointers

    The Open at Cheltenham is a three-day festival which takes place in November, starting on Friday it runs through to Sunday.

    On Friday which is known as 'Countryside Day', you have the Grade 2 Novices Hurdle and also the Cross Country Chase.

    Saturday which is known as 'Gold Cup Day' features the Grade 3 Gold Cup Handicap Chase and the Grade 2 Novice Hurdle which acts as a trial for the Triumph Hurdle.

    'Open Sunday' as its known features Grade 2 trials for both the Arkle and the Supreme, the Grade 2 Shloer Chase and the Grade 3 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.

    The leading trainers at the open since 2003 are Paul Nicholls (38), Philip Hobbs (29), David Pipe (24) and Nicky Henderson (20). 

    The top jockeys are Richard Johnson (27), Paddy Brennan (14), Tom Scudamore (13) and Noel Fehily (11).

    Outright favourites have a 33% strike rate, in Novice Chases they have a 47% strike rate and in Handicap Novice Hurdles they have a 50% strike rate.

    The NHF races do not have a great record for favourites with 14% while runners within the first three odds positions of the market have a 61% strike rate.

    Runners who ran at the Cheltenham three day meeting in October last time out have produced 44 winners at this meeting, those who won at that meeting and then came here have a 19% strike rate.

    Finally, on a whole last time out winners have won 43% of the races which featured one since 2003.

Experts are OLBG tipsters with high strike rates, current month or 6 month profitability for a particular sport

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