Five Horses To Take Out Of The Cheltenham Festival


The first horse that caught the eye in defeat across the four day festival was the Willie Mullins trained Kilcruit, who under a less than impressive ride by Paul Townend, could only finish second when favourite in the Champion Bumper.

The gelding had been a model of consistency in the build up to the festival landing both his events, including a Grade Two at the Dublin Racing festival.

He took on his toughest test yet in the Champion Bumper, going up against his Cheveley Park owned stablemate Sir Gerhard, who under a good ride by Rachael Blackmore took the Grade one spoils.

Kilcruit on the Wednesday was a very unlucky loser making up serious ground up the hill to narrowly be beaten, with Sir Gerhard and Blackmore just being allowed the first run going from the front.

Being stepped up in trip over hurdles next season can see Kilcruit in a better light and he is worth sticking by next season, showing pure ability to date.


Next up is Entoucas for JP McManus and Joseph O'Brien who all season had been primed for a crack in the Grand Annual off a lowly mark and it almost paid off with him just being beaten in a photo-finish.

All season long the gelding had placed in big handicap company, having four tries over fences and always running credibly whilst sneaking under the radar of the handicapper.

He headed into the Cheltenham festival with a live chance on the Wednesday and jumping the last looked well beat, but made up a huge amount of ground to take it to the judges, who unfortunately did not give him the verdict.

Although being beaten by Sky Pirate and his mark will certainly go slightly up, he is horse worth keeping an eye on with this only being his first ever season over fences.


Another handicapper that was unlucky at the festival was the Denise Foster trained Farclas, who was a winner of the Grade One Triumph Hurdle back in 2018.

However, this season it was more of a hard luck story for the gelding with him like Entoucas, being ran all season to keep his handicap mark for the Paddy Power Plate and he unfortunately bumped into one in The Shunter.

All season long the Gigginstown owned runner had been in and around the frame in the big chase handicaps over staying trips in Ireland.

This kept his handicap mark down and allowed him a crack at the Cheltenham festival and going off second favourite for the Plate left him with a big chance.

However, The Shunter for the shrewd Emmet Mullins was chasing a £100,000 bonus with his horse after a win at Kelso and having a low weight over fences added with a superb 7lb claimer on board saw him go from the front and win nicely.

Only when you look at the finishers behind The Shunter you start to see how well Farclas ran on the day and if keeping a decent mark will land a big handicap one day.

Haut En Couleurs

On the Friday the Grade One Triumph Hurdle saw a popular winner in Quilixios, but the horses battling it out for second and third took the eye having our ran their odds and especially Haut En Couleurs for Willie Mullins.

The gelding was making his first start for the yard having been bought from France by the Donnelly's after winning his sole start at Auteil.

With the teams other horse that was aimed in the race, French Aseel being injured, it left them having to run this gelding and he showed bundles of ability.

Taking on the best in the division having not run since October and having his first start in the UK it was a very spirited run and he looks a horse in the future to take note of.

Whether Mullins sends him over fences or keeps him over hurdles, he looks a two miler that could land some black type glory in his career.

Oscar Elite

The final horse that we believe is worth adding to the tracker off the back of his run at the Cheltenham festival is the Colin Tizzard trained Oscar Elite.

The Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle was dominated this season by the Gavin Cromwell trained Vanillier, but back in second was Oscar Elite at a huge price that ran a superb race.

With the Tizzard team having a less than impressive season and the horses on show in third race, for this horse to do what he did showed serious talent and going forward is a horse to keep on side.

At Odds of 40/1 he manage to finish ahead of all the big guns and it seems this in the future he will need to be kept over staying trips to get the best out of him.

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