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National Hunt Chase Tips, Odds, Free Bets, Betting Offers & Preview

The curtain comes down on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival with the 2024 National Hunt Challenge Cup, a race the Irish have won for seven of the last eight years.

This race for amateur jockeys was previously staged over 4 miles, but in 2020, the distance was reduced to just short of 3 miles and 6 furlongs, with the criteria for the qualifying riders also adjusted. The race still requires a top staying performance to win, regardless of the conditions.

This is another race in which the Irish have an excellent record, with Gordon Elliott winning four renewals (or five if you credit him with Galvin’s success in 2021).

Willie Mullins took this in 2017, 2020, 2022, and 2023, further enhancing his dominance of the Cheltenham Festival.

Read on for National Hunt Challenge Cup betting odds, tips and free bets.

Race Details
When:Tuesday, March 12th - 5:30pm
Winner’s Prize:£60,388
Distance:Three-miles & five-and-a-half furlongs
Race Type:Chase
CourseOld Course
Weights:11st 4lbs (5yo), 11st 6lbs (6yo+), 7lb allowance for mares
Where to Watch?ITV Racing, Racing TV, Bookmaker Streams

National Hunt Chase Betting Offers & Tips

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National Hunt Chase Tips

This race has just as much importance on the day as it does for the future. Over the years, we’ve seen horses go on from here to be staying chasers, including Tiger Roll, who won this race in 2017 before his Grand National heroics.

To close out day one, we have Alan Kelly’s Nap of the Day and Charlie McCann’s Nap of the Day going head-to-head in the lucky last!

Alan Kelly - Corbett’s Cross (NAP)

Having backed the Emmet Mullins-trained Corbetts Cross at 7/1 for this 3m 6f stamina test, I will be shouting the mount of top amateur Mr Derek O’Connor home in the first-day finale, a race which looks to concern the nap selection and Embassy Gardens from the Willie Mullins stable.

Unfortunate to fall when getting into a barging match with Gordon Elliott’s Run Wild Fred at Fairyhouse last month, Corbetts Cross is all about stamina and on his first try over this kind of trip is expected to outstay Embassy Gardens and the rest of the field.

Charlie McCann - Embassy Gardens (NAP)

Three of the seven runners in the National Hunt Chase are fitted with headgear for the first time. Mr Vango wears cheekpieces for the first time and comes on the back of a 60L win at Exeter in the Devon National.

The nod, however, goes to EMBASSY GARDENS, hooded for the first time, who has won both novice chases to date in the manner of a hose who will make a much better chaser than hurdler.

He has not looked in need of a hood so far over fences, but one would imagine the headgear is applied because the selection was too free when disappointing here in the Albert Bartlett last year. Willie Mullins has saddled the winner for the last two years and will be keen to land the hat-trick in a race now named in honour of his late mother, Maureen.

Corbett Cross heads the market for Emmet Mullins and he would have gone close had he not ducked out at the last in the Albert Bartlett here last year. I have not been as impressed as some by his jumping to date, although I appreciate if he gets it right on the big day, he is the class act in the field. That is a big if, however.

National Hunt Chase Betting Odds

The recent Irish domination of this race will likely continue, with Corbetts Cross and Embassy Gardens vying for favouritism.

A victory for Embassy Gardens would give Willie Mullins and Patrick Mullins a hat trick of wins in the race following Gaillard Du Mesnil’s victory in 2023 and Stattler’s in 2022.

What Happened Last Year?

The 2023 National Hunt Chase was won by Gaillard Du Mesnil, trained by Willie Mullins, and ridden by Patrick Mullins.

Sent off the 10/11 favourite for the final race of the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, Gaillard Du Mesnil put in a power-packed finish up the hill to reel in Chemical Energy and give Patrick Mullins his fourth success in the race.

National Hunt Chase Key Race Stats

  • 11 of the last 13 winners were aged between 7 and 9
  • Patrick Mullins has ridden the winner of the race four times in the last 10 years
  • 14 of the last 17 winners had previously won at least once over three miles

Previous Winners of the National Hunt Chase

Check out the last five winners of the National Hunt Chase in the table below.

2023Gaillard Du Mesnil
2019Le Breuil


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How can I watch the National Hunt Chase online?

The National Hunt Chase closes day one of the Cheltenham Festival. Not broadcast on ITV Racing, you can watch this race on Racing TV or with your bookmaker, where live streams of the action will be available.

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What time is the Cheltenham National Hunt Chase?

The National Hunt Chase is the final race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, with the race due off at 5:30pm.

More Cheltenham Tips

Check out our tips for all the other Cheltenham Day 1 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