Cheltenham 2024 | 18/1 punt leads big-price outsiders

Cheltenham, Horse Racing

As the hours tick closer until the flag drops on the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, punters will be seeking the marquee wins and big returns across the week.

With 28 races across four days of competition once more, finding winners is the ultimate pay-off, not least at a big whack.

We’ve looked at three of the big NAPs for the week, but how about some real value?

Casting our eye on the formbook, BestofBets have picked four runners, once for each day, who have e/w chances or better at 10s or bigger.


Ultima Handicap Chase (14:50) – Famous Bridge – 18/1 – BetUK

Sandwiched between the Arkle and Champion Hurdle on opening day, the Ultima Handicap Chase over 3m1f looks a wide open contest.

Despite recent disappointment, we quite like Famous Bridge to rise to the occasion.

The jf in both Great Yorkshire and Grand National Trial over the winter months, the mount of Sean Quinlan no-showed at Doncaster and pulled-up, with the jockey unseated last time out.

His price for this contest has tumbled since.

It is worth noting however, his most recent outing was on heavier ground, and his best runs have been on soft turf and between 3m and 3m1f.

Forgetting his last two outings, Famous Bridge has won four of the last five and with the Ultima trip over 3m1f, he can make a better fist of things at a decent price.



Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle (13:30) – Handstands – 12/1 – 888sport

Moving on to Wednesday’s opener, formerly the Ballymore Novices’, could Handstands be somersaulting toward victory?

Stepping up to the plate for red-hot trainer Ben Pauling, Handstands is four races unbeaten in his embryonic career.

This 2m5f trip will be the 5yo’s very first, but with wins over 2m3.5f and 2m4.5f, the extra half furlong may prove to be in his wheel-house.

Another contender who likes juicy ground, his last win at Huntingdon last month saw an impressive victory over Nicky Henderson’s Jango Baie, showing consistent pacing and a strong finish.

It looks as though either Ben Jones or Harry Cobden will jump aboard, so Handstands is indeed in good hands.

But for Pauling, with his own stable based in familiar Gloucestershire terrain, punters should consider this horse’s credentials.



Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (15:30) – Paisley Park – 16/1 – BoyleSports

Thursday’s pick is made with more than a dose of romance, and just perhaps, the old boy Paisley Park has been saving his best for possibly last.

A five-time entrant in this race, the veteran makes his seventh Cheltenham Festival appearance.

His only win during that time was in year two but on his Stayers’ bow – then under the Sun Racing umbrella as 11/8f.

So why the appeal in 2024?

One of the longest race records of all active horses around, the last victory for Emma Lavelle’s 12yo last was a memorable Long Walk Hurdle at Kempton around Christmas 2022.

Simply put – and with all love for this wonderful horse aside – his jumps season has been sensational, but so far without that merited win.

With three gutsy runners-up finishes, it was his most recent outing on the new course, the Cleeve Hurdle, where he came closest.

Nosed out by former National winner Noble Yeats, this year’s return to Cheltenham could very well be his last.

To have any chance, he will of course have to go toe-to-toe with Grade Hurdle favourite, Teahupoo, and a former foe in 2021 and 2022 champ, Flooring Porter, to name just two.

But, there is an awful lot of good feeling for this wonderful animal.

Five years on from his last Stayers’ win on debut, can Paisley Park go out in glory at a big price?


JCB Triumph Hurdle (13:30) – Salver – 14/1 – Betfred

To finish, another stable very much in-form this season has been the Gary Moore clan, and in Salver lies an interesting flutter.

A horse unbeaten in four since gelding, the 4yo has won in all conditions since debuting last November.

Salver has three wins around the 2m mark, most impressively on tough ground at Chepstow over Christmas.

That factor shouldn’t be shunned despite a steep step-up in class, and at 14s, punters could start the final day of the Festival on a high.

Could Caoilin Quinn provide a silver Salver? Or perhaps even better?


The 2024 Cheltenham Festival begins on Tuesday.

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