Cheltenham Festival 2024: Best Ante-Post Bets

Cheltenham Festival 2024: Best Ante-Post Bets
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With markets available for nearly all the big races at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, we’ve picked out three horses that look value plays from long range.

A lot can happen between now and the festival and we won’t be getting the insurance of non-runner, no bet for a long time yet, so the best way to approach 2024 festival bets is to focus on value in the Cheltenham odds.

Here’s our three Cheltenham Festival 2024 best bets…

Fun Fun Fun – 2024 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle 12/1

Fun Fun Fun ran to nothing like market expectations in the Champion Bumper but that was only her third lifetime start and it will be a surprise if she doesn’t leave that form a long way behind next season.

The completely unexposed daughter of Martaline simply couldn’t land any sort of blow in the Grade 1 contest having been held up towards the back of the field by Daryl Jacob and there were no obvious excuses barring ground conditions possibly not suiting.

It’s clearly a concern that she has now bombed out on her only try at Cheltenham but it’s far too soon to be pigeon-holing her in the ‘doesn’t like Cheltenham’ category.

Fun Fun Fun looked a potential superstar when powering clear late on to land the Grade 1 mares’ bumper at Leopardstown in fine style and, given her dam is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 scorer Yorkhill, then it’s a fair bet that this mare is going to thrive over obstacles.

There is a chance that Willie Mullins might want to go up in trip with Fun Fun Fun at some stage but in the near to short term, it’s likely she will stick to two miles.

With that in mind and providing she jumps proficiently, she could easily end up a major player in the 2024 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle and the 12/1 available with with horse racing betting sites looks tempting enough.

Ballyburn – 2024 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 16/1

Ballyburn didn’t run at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival but connections’ decision to adopt the more patient approach with this hugely exciting son of Flemensfirth could pay rich dividends next season.

Ballyburn was an impressive winner of a Loughanmore point at the backend of 2022 and he could hardly have made a bigger impression on rules debut for Willie Mullins when he stormed home to win a Punchestown bumper in February.

That brilliant finishing effort was all the more impressive given the five-year-old had pulled so hard through the first half of the race and the form has real substance to it because the horse back in third, Irish Panther, had finished within two lengths of subsequent Champion Bumper runner-up Fact To File at Leopardstown in December.

All of which points to Ballyburn being a potentially top-class prospect for hurdles next season and the Ballymore looks his most likely destination given his talent and stamina. 

Willie Mullins said after the Gowran success that Ballyburn ‘is a horse that we are really looking forward to going over jumps’ and he could easily become one of the novice stars of the 2023-24 season. 

The 16/1 with betting apps about him winning the Ballymore looks a great bet even at this long range. 

Teahupoo – 2024 Stayers’ Hurdle 12/1

Teahupoo couldn’t justify his position as market leader for the 2023 Stayers’ Hurdle but he still ran a mighty race in defeat behind stablemate Sire Du Berlais.

In a race run at a strong pace, Teahupoo travelled sweetly throughout under a confident Davy Russell but he wandered around a touch when push came to shove and was also done no favours by the drifting Dashel Drasher.

It’s fair to say that, had he kept straight and true after the last he would have finished much closer to the winner, at the very least.

Teahupoo is still only a six-year-old and that was just his second try over a staying trip as a hurdler, so there could be plenty more to come from this gelding next year as he matures physically.

With that in mind, the Stayers’ Hurdle looks just the right race for Teahupoo again next season and he doesn’t need to find much more to land the Grade 1 prize in 2024. 

The 12/1 about him with betting sites is very appealing to go one better next year.