The 2024 Cheltenham Festival is now under two months away and trainers are busily putting the
finishing touches to their preparations for the four-day meeting.
While a handful of horses may not appear again until the big event in March, most of the leading
Festival contenders will have at least one more run over the next few weeks.
With that in mind, we take a look at four upcoming meetings which will provide you with some
useful form pointers for the Cheltenham Festival.
Clarence House Chase Raceday – Ascot – January 20
The Clarence House Chase at Ascot often features some of the leading contenders for the Champion
Chase at Cheltenham and that is undoubtedly the case this year.
El Fabiolo and Jonbon, who head the betting for the big two-mile chase in March, are scheduled to
do battle at the Berkshire venue this weekend.
The pair met in last season’s Arkle Novices’ Chase at the Festival, with El Fabiolo storming up the hill
to secure an emphatic victory.
However, Jonbon appears to have strengthened up significantly this season, sparking hopes that he
can reverse the form this time around.
Dublin Racing Festival – Leopardstown – February 3-4
Punters will be in their element on the first weekend in February, when the prestigious Dublin
Racing Festival is staged at Leopardstown.
The best Irish betting sites are already offering odds on the meeting, which features a whopping
eight Grade 1 events over the two days.
The highlight on the opening day is the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup, which traditionally serves as an
important trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The second day is headlined by the Irish Champion Hurdle – a race which has been won by Apple’s
Jade (2019), Honeysuckle (2020-2022) and State Man (2023) in recent years.
Betfair Super Saturday – Newbury – February 10
Staged just over four weeks before the Cheltenham Festival gets underway, Betfair Super Saturday
at Newbury is one of the last main steps to the big meeting in March.
The Denman Chase, Game Spirit Chase and Betfair Hurdle are important pointers for races at
Cheltenham, while the supporting card is also well worth monitoring.
Denman, Coneygree and Native River all won at the meeting before claiming victory in the
Cheltenham Gold Cup, highlighting its significance in the racing calendar.
With live music throughout the afternoon and a brand new afterparty to add to the fun, Betfair
Super Saturday is great place to warm up for Cheltenham.
Coral Trophy Day – Kempton – February 24
Coral Trophy Day at Kempton offers trainers one last opportunity to get a prep run into their horses
before the Cheltenham Festival starts on March 12.
There are four Graded races on the card including the Coral Trophy Handicap Steeple Chase and the
Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.
The latter event was won by Zarkandar in 2011, who subsequently went on to win the Triumph
Hurdle at Cheltenham the following month.
The Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle and the Coral Pendil Novices’ Steeple Chase are other
standout races on an action-packed seven-race card.