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“Cheltenham racecourse” by Carine06 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“Cheltenham racecourse” by Carine06 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Irish trained National Hunt horses winning at the Cheltenham Festival has been a predominant theme over the last three years.

Emerald Isle raiders have gone in time and again at the four-day jumps horse racing spectacular at Prestbury Park of late, so who are some of the leading Irish hopes for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival?

Apple’s Jade

Mares don’t come any tougher than the Gigginstown House Stud owned, Gordon Elliott trained Apple’s Jade. She’s still only a six-year-old, but recently recorded a third consecutive success in the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle over 2m 4f at the Fairyhouse Winter Festival.

While it’s perfectly common for Apple’s Jade to take on the geldings at the highest level throughout her campaign, connections have preferred to race her against her own sex come the Cheltenham Festival. It’s for that reason that she is a best-price 2/1 ante post favourite to regain the Mares’ Hurdle title with BetVictor and reverse last year’s form with Benie Des Dieux.

Mengli Khan

Grade 1 winning novice hurdler Mengli Khan represents the same owner and trainer. Since his solid two-length third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2018 Festival, the five-year-old gelding has made an impressive steeplechase debut on a midweek card at Punchestown.

Mengli Khan has thus emerged as Ireland’s leading contender for the 2m Arkle Challenge Trophy for novices over fences. Supreme second Kalashnikov and official Arkle Trial winner Lalor are potential challengers for the home team, however, so a very competitive general 7/1 price is available on him.


We couldn’t mention Irish raiders for the Cheltenham Festival without bringing up Willie Mullins. The County Carlow trainer will send rafts of horses over to this meeting just like long-time rival Elliott.

The Mares’ Hurdle is a particular Cheltenham Festival race dominated by Irish runners
The Mares’ Hurdle is a particular Cheltenham Festival race dominated by Irish runners" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Carine06

Reigning Stayers’ Hurdle champion Penhill is 7/1 ante post favourite with William Hill to retain his crown. Owned by Brighton and Hove Albion FC chairman Tony Bloom, the seven-year-old has already won twice at the Festival, landing the Albert Bartlett back in 2017 and then stepping into open company with no prep run in the other three-mile contest.

With no obvious British contender for the Stayers event, punters can expect to find Cheltenham betting offers & odds for 2019 aplenty featuring Irish horses here. The first five in the ante post market are all trained in the Emerald Isle.

Presenting Percy

Three of the last five Cheltenham Gold Cup winners have been Irish raiders and, after leading home hopes disappointed on reappearance in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, dual Festival winner Presenting Percy heads the betting at a best-price 5/1 with bet365.

Trained by Patrick Kelly, the seven-year-old has wins over both hurdles and fences at 3m around Prestbury Park, but stays further. That is a key asset for any Cheltenham Gold Cup horse.

As a ready winner of the RSA Chase, Presenting Percy also has winning form over the Irish Grand National course and distance of 3m 5f at Fairyhouse when landing the Porterstown Handicap Chase.

Tiger Roll

Grand National hero Tiger Roll is arguably the jewel in County Meath handler Elliott and Gigginstown’s crown, because he’s young enough to be a serious contender for the world-famous Aintree steeplechase again.

Connections are plotting a similar campaign for the eight-year-old to last season, where he landed the Cross Country Chase over three-and-three-quarter miles at Cheltenham en route. Tiger Roll, who has won three different races at the Festival already, is a warm 7/2 favourite for consecutive Cross Country crowns with BetVictor.

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