Ireland’s Best Hopes for Cheltenham Glory


Ireland’s Best Hopes for Cheltenham Glory

Anyone who follows national hunt racing will be well aware that the Irish have always had a special relationship with the Cheltenham Festival. In fact, the Irish connection is such an integral part of the Festival that it would just not be the same without it. Everyone from star trainer Willie Mullins to amateur jockey hero Jamie Codd have played their part in painting the Festival green down the years.

However, who are this year’s great hopes for Irish winners in the Festival? Undoubtedly, there will be the several by the time the last race has finished on Gold Cup Day on the 16th March, after all, there were 19 Irish-trained winners last year.


Some of the more likely winners, along with their current odds from William Hill, are highlighted below. If you want some more extensive analysis, you can read expert betting tips for the Cheltenham Festival 2018 for the latest updates.

Apple’s Jade – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Tues 13th March, 16:10pm)

Current odds: 5/6

Apple’s Jade could be one of the key players in Gordon Elliott’s bid to land the Top Trainer award for a second year in succession. The lightning-quick mare is seen as having a brilliant chance to win the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, just like she did in 2017. The main competition seems to be coming from Let’s Dance (4/1), who is trained by Willie Mullins. So an Irish one-two could well be on the cards in this one.

Un De Sceaux – Ryanair Chase (Thursday 15th March, 14:50pm)

Un De Sceaux will be going for his third win at the Cheltenham Festival and, possibly, a second win in the prestigious Ryanair Chase. He is a hugely popular runner with the Cheltenham crowds, with many punters fascinated by his front-running tactics. He has been an excellent acquisition for the Mullins’ team. Expect one of the loudest cheers of the week if Un De Sceaux lands another win for trainer Willie Mullins.

Sizing John – Cheltenham Gold Cup (Friday 16th March, 15:30pm)

Current Odds: 5/1

Finally, a chance for greatness. To win one Gold Cup is difficult enough; to win two will ensure that people are talking about Sizing John in fifty years’ time. Much credit should go to trainer Jessica Harrington for turning Sizing John into a champion worthy of winning the ‘big one’ at Cheltenham. He will have some stiff opposition in the shape of the King George VI Chase winner Might Bite however. Regardless of who wins, this should be one of the racing highlights of the year.