Will Irish eyes be smiling at Cheltenham?

Will Irish eyes be smiling at Cheltenham?

Legendary Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

Staff reporter

Reporter:

Staff reporter

Another Irish bonanza is in store at Cheltenham.

Well, if the bookmakers are anything to by then Irish eyes will be smiling come the end of this annual four day festival of National Hunt Races.

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest and most prestigious horse racing events in the world.

The highlight of the festival is undoubtedly the Gold Cup, which is a Grade 1 steeplechase that is run over a distance of 3 miles 2 furlongs and 195 yards.

Other big races at Cheltenham include the Champion Hurdle (a Grade 1 hurdle race) and the Queen Mother Champion Chase (a Grade 1 chase).

Which horses have a chance of winning the Gold Cup?

This year’s race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, with a number of high-quality horses expected to take part. Many punters are already predicting that A Plus Tard – which is trained by Henry De Bromhead – will take home the spoils, but there are sure to be a few surprises along the way.

Other horses that are currently being backed include Gordon Elliott’s Galvin, as well as the De Bromhead-trained Minella Indo, whereas Dan Skelton’s Protektorat and Willie Mullins’ Al Boum Photo and Allaho are also fancied in some sections.

Today, Tuesday, all eyes will be on that brilliant mare Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle.

The Henry De Bromhead-trained star is unbeaten on the track and she looks destined to retain her title with opposition thin on the ground.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the feature race on day two and the Nicky Henderson trained Shiskin will go to post at short odds.

There is no doubting he is a quality performer and the Hill at Cheltenham will play into his strengths. Looks banker material.

The Stayers Hurdle, on paper, looks the most open of the Grade 1 contests.

Flooring Porter will be back to defend his crown and is sure to put up a bold showing.

A win for Paisley Park would be popular success for trainer Emma Lavelle but the Phillip Hobbs trained Thyme Hill just might get his day in the sun on the big stage.

Backing Irish trained horses may not get you rich this Cheltenham but it will get you winners.

Willie Mullins is set to once again head the trainers table with Paul Townsend favourite to be leading jockey.

Gordon Elliott is back and a few pounds on each of his runners could provide a healthy profit come Friday evening.

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