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Festival Plate Tips, Odds, Free Bets, Betting Offers & Preview

Better known by its former title, the Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup, this two-mile four-and-a-half-furlong race is a valuable handicap chase with £120,000 prize money.

The Festival Plate is always a hotly contested race, with some big-priced winners in recent years, including Carrickboy at 50/1 in 2013, Darna at 33/1 in 2015, and Coole Cody at 22/1 in 2022.

Read on for Festival Plate betting odds, tips, and free bets for the 2024 race.

Race Details
When:Thursday, March 14th - 4:10pm
Winner’s Prize:£67,524
Distance:Two-miles & four-furlongs
Race Type:Grade 3 Chase
Course:New Course
Where to Watch?ITV Racing, Racing TV, Bookmaker Streams

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Festival Plate Tips

If you like competitive Cheltenham Festival handicaps, this is certainly one of the toughest for punters to solve across the entire four days of the meeting. A guaranteed big field makes this even tougher, with previous course form, current form, ground and trip all to consider before punters can even begin to try and work this out.

If you need some betting pointers, check out the thoughts of our top tipster Charlie McCann below, who has his eye on a 10/1 fancy.

Charlie McCann - Shakem Up’arry (Each-Way)

I was convinced Crebilly was going best when coming down two out on chase debut, although when Ginny’s Destiny scooted clear up the run-in, I quickly changed my opinion. The winner is now rated 22lbs higher and is a leading contender for the Grade 1 Turners tomorrow while Crebilly is just 6lbs higher despite winning at Exeter last time in a race where the second has franked the form.

Crebilly must have an outstanding chance, but he lacks big field chase experience – his win came in a three-runner race – and at 4/1 he is short enough in the betting.

Theatre Man also holds outstanding form claims, having himself chased home Ginny’s Destiny last time. I backed him on that occasion and thought he had fallen out of the television going to four out before finishing with a rare flourish. A 3lbs rise is fair and he – like Crebilly – deserves his place at the head of the market.

The last two winners of the race have been aged ten and eleven, and the each way vote goes to SHAKEM UP’ARRY who finished third in the corresponding race twelve months ago but ran a career best last time when winning over course and distance from a 3lbs lower mark.

Coming into the race last year, he had stamina to prove, but his excellent run in the Coral Cup, sound jumping, and fluent win on heavy ground at New Year suggest he is an improved performer this time around. He is 4lbs higher in the weights today and must give weight to the unexposed pair at the top of the market, but the Harry Redknapp-owned 10-year-old gets the vote.

The 10/1 about with William Hill was taken on Wednesday morning, but I feel we will get a double-figure price on race day.

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Shakem Up’arry (Each-Way)

Festival Plate

Festival Plate Betting Odds

As you would expect with a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival, this year’s Festival Plate is a wide-open betting contest with several horses with excellent chances.

However, many punters expect the JP McManus-owned Crebilly, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by Jonjo O’Neill JR, to take all the beating in this year’s race.

What Happened Last Year?

Seddon won the 2023 Festival Plate under jockey Ben Harvey for Irish trainer John McConnell.

Sent off at odds of 20/1, Seddon was prominent throughout the race and put in an excellent round of jumping, eventually running out a two-length winner, sparking scenes of celebrations for the winning owners, the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate.

Festival Plate Key Stats

  • Just five of the last 13 winners of this race have been from Ireland
  • 11 of the last 12 winners had at least one win over hurdles
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had at least three runs that season

Previous Winners of the Festival Plate

Check out the last five winners of the Festival Plate in the table below.

2022Coole Cody
2021The Shunter
2020Simply The Betts
2019Siruh De Lac


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When is the Festival Plate?

The Festival Plate is the fifth race on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival - this year, on Thursday, March 14th.

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What distance is the Festival Plate run over?

The Festival Plate is run over a distance of about 2 miles and 4½ furlongs, with 17 fences jumped.

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Who is the most successful trainer in the Festival Plate?

The most successful trainer of current times is Nicky Henderson, who has trained the winner of the Festival Plate on four occasions.

More Cheltenham Tips

Check out our tips for all the other Cheltenham Day 3 races:

Scott McGlynn

Famed for his Acca of the Day and Bet Builder selections, Scott provides tips across many sports on Freebets, and is our lead Scottish football writer