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Three Best Bets for Handicap Races at Cheltenham Festival 2024

The handicap races at the Cheltenham Festival are arguably the most competitive contests across the four days of the meeting. With the entries and weights now published for those races, here is a look at the best bets.

Meetingofthewaters – Ultima Handicap Chase

Willie Mullins is set to travel to the Cheltenham Festival with one of his strongest-ever teams. He has some big chances on day one in the Grade One races, but he could also land the Ultima Handicap Chase with Meetingofthewaters, who is 7/1 in the horse race odds at the time of writing.

The Irish chaser has just two horses ahead of him in the Cheltenham 2024 racings odds for the opening handicap of the week, with Crebilly and The Goffer available at 6/1 and 13/2 respectively. Based on what he has achieved this season, you could argue that Meetingofthewaters should be the market leader.

The seven-year-old has had victories at Cork and Leopardstown, with the latter coming at Listed level during the Christmas period. He does need to bounce back from unseating his rider last time out, but off a mark of 145, the handicapper has given him a great chance of doing that.

Wodhooh – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

With five wins from five starts over hurdles, Wodhooh has made a faultless start to her National Hunt career. Her latest two victories have been Listed wins at Newbury and Doncaster.

When she scored at Newbury back in December, Gordon Elliott’s runner stretched away from her rivals after the final hurdle for a comfortable success. Just a month later, she showed her durability as she was ridden more prominently and was still able to triumph by over six lengths.

Irish horses have won the last six renewals of the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, while Elliott holds the record for the most victories with four wins. Wodhooh looks like a smart juvenile who can help him add to his tally in the day one contest.

My Mate Mozzie – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

On just his second start over fences, My Mate Mozzie scored over this the Grand Annual course and distance in a novice chase at the November Meeting. That outing will have given him invaluable experience of Prestbury Park.

Trainer Gavin Cromwell thinks a lot of this horse as he ran him in the Grade One Novice Chase at Leopardstown during their festive programme. He finished a respectable second place behind Found A Fifty, one of the leading contenders for the Arkle Trophy.

The eight-year-old has been successful in a point-to-point, bumper, hurdle and chase contest. However, he looks to have taken a big step forward since he has gone chasing. This horse could have been given a shot at one of the Grade One races at the meeting but Cromwell feels his best chance is in this 2m handicap.

Enjoy all the action across the 28 races at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. It looks set to be a meeting to savour.