Cheltenham Tips: Who Will Be Top Jockey At The 2024 Festival?

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Cheltenham Tips: Who Will Be Top Jockey At The 2024 Festival?
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There can be no doubt that the jockey firmly in the driving seat when it comes to top riding honours at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival is reigning champion Paul Townend, who is a heavy odds-on favourite with betting sites to land the spoils again.

Townend, who took over as number one rider for Willie Mullins when Ruby Walsh retired in 2019, has already ridden 28 Cheltenham Festival winners - six of which earned him the top jockey award in 2023. 

The all-powerful Mullins yard is once again the dominant force in terms of number of Cheltenham Festival favourites, with Townend set to partner multiple festival favourites as things stand, including Gold Cup hotpot Galopin Des Champs. 

The reigning champ is undoubtedly the one they all have to beat again in 2024 but bookies know that, too. He’s a very prohibitive favourite so his backers won't be getting rich. 

Let’s take a look at the key players in the latest Cheltenham odds.

Cheltenham Top Jockey Odds

Paul Townend2/5William Hill
Jack Kennedy5/1Bet365
Nico de Boinville10/1Boylesports
Mark Walsh10/1Boylesports
Rachael Blackmore16/1William Hill
Harry Cobden16/1Boylesports
Danny Mullins20/1Bet365
Patrick Mullins33/1Bet365

As outlined above, Paul Townend dominates this market at 2/5 with betting apps and with good reason. 

The problem for anyone hoping to get on him at bigger odds after a slow start is that he rides Ballyburn, Il Etait Temps, State Man and Lossiemouth on the opening day of the meeting.  

If Townend were to get just one winner on the Tuesday, then this market could have a more open look to it and it may be worth getting involved as the festival progresses.

Jack Kennedy looks sure to ride at least one winner over the week and he is one to keep a close eye out for in the handicaps. 

The bulk of his rides will be for Gordon Elliott, who has some big bullets to fire, Kennedy missed the festival last year through injury so he will be keen to make his presence felt in 2024.

Elliott hasn't enjoyed the best of seasons this year, but that is mainly down to the domination of Willie Mullins.

Nico de Boinville was sure to be amongst the winners with Constitution Hill, but he may have to wait a little longer for a winner this year after the news broke that he would miss this years Champion Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson’s stable jockey also has a decent chance on Jonbon in the Champions Chase, who aims to bounce back after his shock defeat last time out.

It's on the Friday where things could get really exciting for Nico, as he saddles up on the Donnelly owned trio of Sir Gino, Shanagh Bob and Shishkin.

Mark Walsh is no stranger to Cheltenham Festival success as he has ridden several winners at the meeting, including Espoir d'Allen in the 2019 Champion Hurdle and Sire Du Berlais in last years Stayers Hurdle.

He frequently rides for owner J.P McManus who looks to have a very exciting crop of young horses on his hands.

In the Novice Hurdle divisions he has Mystical Power, Jeriko Du Reponet and Majborough, and on the Novice Chase scene he has Fact To File, Inthepocket, Iroko and Corbetts Cross.

Dinoblue and Jonbon also hold big chances, while he is sure to pick up a few winners in the handicaps along the way, so it could be a very fruitful festival for the green & gold silks once more.

Rachael Blackmore became the first female rider to become top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival when she rode six winners in 2021 and she will no doubt have high hopes for this year's festival, despite her odds of 16/1 with horse racing betting sites.

However, Henry De Bromhead doesn’t appear to have the same level of firepower this time around, especially as his stable stars Honeysuckle and A Plus Tard have been retired.

Harry Cobden is enjoying another fantastic season and trades at the same price as Rachael. 

Nicholls tends not to target Cheltenham as much anymore, but he still has many big chances with the likes of Stay Away Fay, Ginny's Destiny, Teeshan, Stage Star and Bravemansgame.

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