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Irish Stars Put Their Cheltenham Festival Credentials on the Line



Irish Stars Put Their Cheltenham Festival Credentials on the Line

Several Irish trained horses tested their credentials for next year’s Cheltenham Festival at Fairyhouse Racecourse over the weekend.

The two-day Winter Festival produced plenty of pointers for the National Hunt showpiece and it would be no surprise to see some of the form franked next March.

With that in mind, we look at a handful of horses who will be bidding for big race glory at the Gloucestershire venue in 2024.


Corbetts Cross

Corbetts Cross was one of the best backed horses at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, with punters making him the 9/4 favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

However, he crashed through the wing of the final flight when coming to win the race to leave bookmakers breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The horse did not impress onlookers with the manner of his jumping bigger obstacles on his seasonal reappearance at Naas last month, but bounced back with a vengeance on Saturday.

The six-year-old had horse race betting sites running for cover after recording an eye-catching victory in the Jim Ryan Racecourse Services Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse.

The winner was cut in the ante-post markets for the Turners Novices Chase and the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham and he is undoubtedly one to watch this season.



Trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins unleashed two potential Cheltenham contenders in the Kettles Country House Hotel Supporting Fingal Ravens GFC Raceday Maiden Hurdle.

Ballyburn had been heavily touted for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after impressing in bumpers, but the Mullins horse had to settle for second place behind Firefox.

A slick jump at the second last put Elliott’s charge in control of the contest and Ballyburn was unable to make up the deficit in the final stages.

The imposing son of Walk In The Park looks to have the scope to step up in distance further down the line, but will likely be kept to two miles this season.

The winner is now priced at 10/1 with online bookmakers for the Supreme, while Ballyburn was pushed out to 12/1 from his previous single figure price.



Teahupoo proved too hot to handle for favourite Impaire Et Passe as he completed back-to-back wins in the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.

The six-year-old defeated Honeysuckle in the race last year and gained another notable scalp by beating a horse who has been touted as a potential Champion Hurdle contender.

Jockey Paul Townend appeared to have made a winning move aboard Impaire et Passe in thehome straight, but Teahupoo refused to be denied.

The pair were neck and neck on the run to the final flight but Teahupoo responded well for pressure under jockey Jack Kennedy to secure victory by a one length margin.

Teahupoo finished third in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last season and is now priced at 4/1 to win next year’s renewal.


Impaire Et Passe

Impaire Et Passe moved out to 8/1 from 11/2 for the Champion Hurdle after suffering the first defeat of his career at Fairyhouse and connections may need to rethink their future plans after this run.

The horse may not have been fully tuned up for his seasonal reappearance, but the way he was outstayed by Teahupoo was extremely disappointing.

Suggestions that Impaire Et Passe could challenge Constitution Hill for the two-mile hurdling title this season look fanciful at best, and Mullins may decide to plot a different course.

While the horse remains lightly raced over hurdles, his long-term future clearly lies over bigger obstacles and switching him this season makes sense.

Constitution Hill is a class apart as a two-mile hurdler, and there is nothing to gain by entertaining the idea that Impaire Et Passe could lower his colours at Cheltenham.


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Irish Stars Put Their Cheltenham Festival Credentials on the Line.’ What are your predictions for this years Cheltenham Festival? Let us know!


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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