Cheltenham Festival Handicap Entries Revealed

The latest batch of Cheltenham Festival entries were announced on Wednesday, with potential contenders for all nine handicaps unveiled. The Coral Cup and Martin Pipe attracted the greatest number of entrants, with 110 horses in contention for both intermediate handicap hurdles, whilst the County Hurdle attracted 81 entries.

50 juveniles went forward for the Boodles Fred Winter, whilst the Pertemps Final attracted 53 potential runners following the series of Qualifiers during the season.

The first handicap of the week, the Ultima, attracted 82 entries, headlined by last weekend’s Ascot winner Does He Know (7-1 general). Of the other handicap chases, 38 went into the Grand Annual, 63 entered the Kim Muir, whilst 67 have the option of running in the Plate.

Horses currently prominent in the betting for multiple Festival handicaps include Winter Fog (10-1 Coral Cup, 14-1 Pertemps Final), Rightplacerightime (12-1 Pertemps Final, 14-1 Martin Pipe) and Floueur (12-1 Ultima, 14-1 Kim Muir).

Perhaps surprisingly, the number of British-trained handicap favourites currently outnumbers that of those trained in Ireland. In addition to Does He Know, Good Risk At All (Coral Cup), Sporting John (Pertemps Final), Celebre D’Allen (Plate) and Langer Dan (Martin Pipe) all top the current markets for those respective races, whilst Venetia Williams’ Brave Seasca shares Grand Annual favouritism with Ireland’s Ciel De Neige.  Gaelic Warrior (Boodles), Frontal Assault (Kim Muir) and Top Bandit (County Hurdle) are the three Irish raiders currently heading the betting in Festival handicaps. 

The weights for the Cheltenham Festival handicaps will be released on March 1st