Cheltenham Festival 2024: race and Henderson scrapes the trio – live | Cheltenham Festival 2024

Key events

Greg Wood


Every Festival winner still matters to Willie Mullins – his intensely competitive nature demands it – but if he was frustrated not to win the opener here yesterday despite being first and second favourites, the annoyance was tempered somewhat by the identity of the horse that beats them. Slade Steel was dismissed by Mullins Ballyburn at the Dublin Racing Festival in February, and his comfortable success in the Supreme also confirmed Ballyburn’s status as the biggest banker at his yard’s meeting. And just in case – you can never be too sure, after all – Mullins will also line up the next two in the betting, Island Atlantic And Predators Gold. Neither has yet put together a run that would pose a serious threat to the favorite, but hey, you can never be too sure and the prize money for second place is pretty good too. The main danger for a Mullins 1-2-3, at least in audience terms, is that of Nicky Henderson. Blue Jingkobut the team’s form is so abject at present – five of the six starters on Tuesday have been withdrawn – that the undefeated pear trees, of Ben Pauling’s yard, could prove to be a greater threat.



This calendar revised in its entirety.

  • 1:45 p.m. – Gallagher novice hurdles, 2m 5f

  • 2:30 p.m. – Brown Advisory Novices’ Pursuit, 3m 1/2f

  • 3:15 p.m. – Coral Cup Hurdle (handicap hurdle race), 2m 5f

  • 4:00 p.m. – Queen Mother Betway Champion Hunt, 2m

  • Abandoned – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, 3m 5 1/2f

  • 4:50 p.m. – Johnny Henderson’s Great Annual Handicap Race, 2m

  • 5:30 p.m. – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (NH open standard flat race), 2m 1/2f


This statement from Nicky Henderson on Shishkin and Champ.

“Unfortunately, it will not be possible for Shishkin to participate in the Gold Cup on Friday. He was targeted like all our potential runners this week, but unfortunately he showed an unsatisfactory picture that he could not run on.

“He seems to be 100 per cent into himself and has been working and studying better than ever and we were really looking forward to Friday. We hope that along with all the other non-participants this week they will be back in time for Aintree or Punchestown.

“Unfortunately, Champ has also succumbed and will not run in tomorrow’s Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle and the equivalent race at Aintree may be on the agenda.”


Here are Tuesday’s arrivals at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.


Poor Nicky Henderson had a terrible festival so far. Luccia running a cracker in the Champion Hurdle seemed like an almighty shock to someone who was otherwise distracted. Champ, the horse named after AP McCoy, will also not be part of the Stayers.


Tuesday was a day of triples, trixies and Yankees. Punters had to bet big to win big.


John Brewin

John Brewin here, your guide for a slightly truncated Wednesday race card. We will miss Cross Country. No Cheese Wedges or Aintree fencing this year. And while there will be a handful of Henderson horses, the Seven Barrows team has pretty much gone home. Jonbon, brother of Douvan the Destroyer himself, would have added a dimension to the Champion Chase, and Shishkin missing the Gold Cup is a story that could have been for one of the chase’s mystery horses. Are you continuing the Mullins procession today? It’s more than likely we’ll look to Gordon Elliott and Henry de Bromhead to lower the colors of their fellow Irishman.


Barry Glendenning is here all weekand had a rather low-key opening day for anyone not named Mullins or Townend.



Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Hello from Cheltenham where, unfortunately, disappointments followed one another this morning as we approach the second day of this year’s Festival.

News that today’s seven-race card had fallen to just six with the abandonment of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase was followed by the withdrawal of three runners from Nicky Henderson’s yard, including Jonbon, the Queen’s second favorite Mother Champion Chase, amid concerns. on the health of his rope.

Five of Henderson’s six runners here on Tuesday were arrested, and the trainer said in a statement published on “.

The statement continues: “It was obvious that something was affecting almost all of our horses and, as a result, we reluctantly decided that Jonbon, First Street (in the Coral Cup) and Kingston Pride (in the Champion Bumper) would not participate. run today. It is impossible to pinpoint the reason for all of these disappointments and none of these horses have given us any cause for concern and all of yesterday’s starters were declared clean after the race and I am pleased to say that all are in good health this morning.

“Unfortunately there will still be some non-starters on Thursday and Friday. I hope everyone understands that we have to do this for the benefit of everyone, especially the horses. It’s very, very disappointing for everyone.

Shishkin, the third favorite in Friday’s Gold Cup, has since been added to the absentee list, and there will be obvious concerns that Sir Gino, the favorite in the Triumph Hurdle earlier in the day, could join the list.

The Cross-County Chase, meanwhile, was abandoned following an inspection this morning. “After 11mm of rain yesterday there was no improvement in conditions on the cross-country course and with areas of the track impassable, the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase was unfortunately abandoned,” it read. in a press release. “The forecast for the rest of the week continues to look unsettled, with further showers likely on Thursday and Friday. There will therefore not be sufficient improvement by Friday March 15 and the decision has been made not to reschedule the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase at the Festival.

As a result, the start time for today’s first race, the Gallagher Novice Hurdle, has been pushed back to 1:45 p.m. and the completely revised running order is as follows:

1.45 hurdles Gallagher Novice
2:30 p.m. Brown Advisory Novice Pursuit
3.15 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
4:00 p.m. Queen Mother’s Champion Chase
4:50 a.m. Johnny Henderson Annual Challenge Grand Cup
5:30 p.m. Champion Bumper

It was an inauspicious opening to the day, and El Fabiolo is now odds-on at 1-3 going into the final race following the elimination of his main market rival. There is still much to hope for, however, including the possibility of Willie Mullins becoming the first trainer to record 100 Festival winners. He is the favorite in the Gallagher (Ballyburn), Brown Advisory (Fact To File) and Champion Chase, and a hat-trick in all three currently pays out at around 5-2.


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