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11th Mar 2024

Cheltenham Tuesday live: All the tips, drama, interviews and results

Niall McIntyre

Cheltenham Tuesday

It’s almost time for the famous Cheltenham roar.

Keep up with all the drama of Cheltenham Tuesday right here on our live-blog. (It might take one minute to load.)

Overnight rain

Some heavy overnight rain has left Cheltenham’s Cross Country course in a ‘bog,’ according to racing journalist Matt Chapman.

With only 2-4mm of rain forecast, a damaging 6mm fell on Tuesday morning, with more to come.

“Standing water everywhere on the drive to Cheltenham,” said pundit Kevin Blake who is at the racecourse, “and not likely to stop soon looking at the rainfall radar.

“Definitely going to impact on the ground and you’d have to worry about the cross-country course which was already testing.”

As a ‘contingency plan’ the race may now be ran on Gold Cup day (Friday.)

Wednesday’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase will now face a Wednesday morning (8am) inspection, which we will update you on the results of.

“Following 6mm of rainfall overnight which is a significant change from the 2mm to 4mm initially forecast, and with a further 2mm to 4mm forecast today,” read a statement from the racecourse, “there will now be an inspection on the cross-country course.”

With soft ground now anticipated, should it last the week, it will hardly be ideal for hard ground horses such as Gold Cup Hewick and Ryanair chance Banbridge. Heavy ground is anticipate for the start of Tuesday’s card.

‘Search for bog-loving horses,’ says Matt Chapman.


Willie Mullins’ stranglehold over the National Hunt game has perhaps never been as pronounced.

The Carlow based trainer will head to Prestbury Park this week with a breath-taking 70-strong team of horses.

With a record-breaking 94 winners to his name as things stand, he is expected to surpass the century mark by the time this Friday rolls around.

11 March 2024; Trainer Willie Mullins on the gallops ahead of the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in Cheltenham, England. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

In truth, he could be into the 100s by Thursday morning. In the first two days alone, little summarises Mullins’ dominance quite like the fact that, at the time of writing, he’s set to saddle ten ante-post favourites in the first two days of racing.

He trains the favourite for three of the four championship races, with Gordon Elliott’s Teahupoo’s short odds in the world hurdle the only exception.

The Prestbury Cup

Perhaps as a consequence of Mullins’ continued success, Ireland’s dominance over England continues at the Olympics of horse-racing. In fact, over the last eight years, England have only won the Prestbury Cup once.

With Mullins supported by the likes of Henry de Bromhead and Gordon Elliott, the Irish are expected to have another successful week at the Cotswolds.

The ground

John ‘Shark’ Hanlon’s Gold Cup hopes are pinned on the shoulders of his horse Hewick. They lie in the hands of Wexford jockey Jordan Gainford but they all lie helplessly in the lap of the weather gods. Shark, the Kilkenny trainer, has said in the build-up to the festival that, should the weather go against him on Cheltenham week, ‘the people’s horse,’ will not race.

27 July 2022; Jockey Jordan Gainford celebrates on Hewick after winning the Tote Galway Plate during day three of the Galway Races Summer Festival at Ballybrit Racecourse in Galway. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Hewick, just like Joseph O’Brien’s Banbridge (favourite for Thursday’s Ryanair chase) is a hard ground horse and will not race if the weather is wet, and the ground softens up.