How many times did Moscow Flyer win at the Cheltenham Festival?

How many times did Moscow Flyer win at the Cheltenham Festival?  Owned by Brian Kearney, trained by Jessica Harrington, in Moone, Co. Kildare and ridden, in all bar six of his 44 races, by Barry Geraghty, Moscow Flyer was an outstanding two-mile steeplechaser in the years following the turn of the millennium. The son of Moscow Society, from the family of Nijinsky, was no slouch over hurdles, winning seven of his 12 starts over the smaller obstacles, including three at Grade 1 level. Nevertheless, it was over fences that Moscow Flyer became what his trainer described as a ‘once in a lifetime horse’, winning 19 of his 28 steeplechases, including 10 at Grade 1 level, and just over £1 million in prize money in that sphere alone.

Moscow Flyer made an inauspicious debut over the larger obstacles, falling five fences from home in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse – which, unsurprisingly, he started at odds-on – in October, 2001. Thereafter, though, he won his next 19 completed starts before succumbing, by a short head, at odds of 1/4, to Rathnagar Beau in the Champion Chase at Punchestown in April, 2005. Indeed, he was awarded a Timeform Annual Rating of 184, placing him co-eighth in the all-time list, alongside Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Burrough Hill Lad and Long Run.

As far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned, Moscow Flyer made his debut at Prestbury Park in March, 2002, when he was a ready, 4-length winner of the Arkle Challenge Trophy. He returned to the Festival in 2003, justifying favouritism in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and again in 2004, when he was sent off odds-on to defend his title. However, he and Geraghty parted company at the fourth-last, leaving the race at the mercy of second favourite Azertyuiop, who ran out a ready 9-length winner. Moscow Flyer was back again in 2005, regaining his title at the chief expense of Well Chief, with Azertyuiop only third, to make it three wins from four attempts and the Festival. He had one last try, on what turned out to be his final start, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2006, but could only finish fifth, beaten 11½ lengths, behidn Newmill.

Dublin Racing Festival: What it Tells Us About Cheltenham

Dublin Racing Festival: What it Tells Us About Cheltenham  If you’re a fan of horse racing, then no doubt you will have been glued to the Dublin Racing Festival action. Coming not too long before the Cheltenham Festival, this can often give us great insight into what we might expect to happen… and who are the movers and shakers to look out for?


There were plenty of runners that certainly made a claim for next month’s action, but some have put doubts into people’s minds. So, who were the biggest market movers? Who saw their prices rise – and fall? Let’s take a look at what the horse racing betting online odds are saying…

Absolute Notions

Firstly, we have the Absolute Notions, in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. His performance saw his odds in Cheltenham move from 40/1 to around the 12/1 mark. His performance was a step up from his previous form and his stamina has proven to be pretty impressive. Because there is no real standout runner in this division, his odds, even after they have dropped, should be pretty tempting and are certainly worth checking out.

A Dream to Share

This horse saw its odds move from a massive 40-1 down to around just 8-1 for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, which is quite a monumental change. The five-year-old has certainly raised a few eyebrows. After an extensive break of 8 months, he came back to win the Future Stars bumper, a race which, as the name suggests, is one that certainly highlights stars of the future… with previous winners including Appreciate It, Facile Vega and Envoi Allen.


Could it happen? Who knows, but there’s a lot more belief now than a few weeks ago.


Banbridge is due to run the Turners Novices’ Chase – and had previously been priced at 12-1 but now sits around the 6-1 mark. The stunning horse managed to come in 2nd in the Goffs Irish Arkle, but just 24 hours later, Mighty Potter gave an even more impressive performance. What’s more, he has previously been bested by his rival, beaten by 18 lengths. He certainly has the right attitude, but Mighty Potter may well be the one to create the magic.


Mighty Potter

So, let’s look at the Mighty Potter, also running the Turners Novices Chase. Before, he was priced 3-1 but is now sitting around 13-8.

This beast of a horse has excelled in his last two races, winning the Drinmore Novice Chase in December and followed this with the Ladbroke Novice Chase. His jumping skills are hard to fault, and he never gave his backers any moments of doubt. It is no wonder he is an odds-on favourite and, although he had a bit of a stumble at Cheltenham last year, this year might just belong to him.


Facile Vega

He had an outstanding event at the Dublin Racing Festival and there were many that had him down as a sure thing for the Champion Bumper… although doubts started to creep in. Rain meant heavy ground and by the time the race came around, he was an uneasy favourite. But there was no need to worry. He took strides to come up trumps and managed to beat a powerful field in a pretty impressive style. As such, he is now around 3/1 for the 2023 Supreme Novices Hurdle.


However, these are just a few of the top runners to look out for. There is going to be plenty of action throughout the Festival and no doubt there will be some shocks thrown in for good measure. Obviously, all eyes will be on the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Galopin Des Champs looking to beat down the threat of last year’s winner, A Plus Tard, but there are more standout horses to enjoy. Constitution Hill is one to watch in the Champion Hurdle as well.


Make sure you keep an eye on the odds so you get the best price possible no matter what horse you go for!

Cheltenham Betting Preview

Bookmakers and punters up and down the country are gearing themselves up for the biggest meeting of the racing calendar – the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. The action gets underway on Tuesday, 14th March and draws to a close four days later, by which time we’ll have witnessed more history being made at the picturesque Prestbury Park.

The Cheltenham Festival is the undoubted pinnacle of National Hunt racing in the UK and many thousands are preparing to make their way to Prestbury Park for the four-day meeting which gets underway later this month. 

On each of the four days, punters can focus their minds on seven races and the leading UK bookmakers have been gearing themselves up for the big event with a vast array of price boosts, enhanced places, free bets and bonuses. 


Day One – Champion Hurdle

The feature race on Day One of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival is the Champion Hurdle, a contest which takes place over two miles and which is one of the most coveted hurdling prizes in horse racing. The 2023 renewal looks set to be centred on one particular contender, namely the Nicky Henderson star Constitution Hill. He won comfortably in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and his excellent form has continued into the new season with two relatively effortless victories in Grade 1 company. 

We feel that the Henderson superstar will take a bit of beating in this one, however his biggest threat comes in the form of State Man, the Willie Mullins contender having beaten 2022 Champion Hurdle victor Honeysuckle in convincing fashion in the Irish Champion Hurdle last month. 


Day Two – Queen Mother Champion Chase

As a general rule, the Queen Mother Champion Chase is usually won by one of the racing superstars, recent years seeing the likes of Altior and Sprinter Sacre finish first past the post. 2022 victor Energumene will be aiming to successfully defend his crown in the 2023 renewal of the contest, however he will be facing some stiff competition from leading contender Edwardstone who won the Arkle in impressive fashion twelve months ago.

He will also need to reverse his form with Editeur Du Gite against whom he lost in the Clarence House Chase two months ago. A handful of other big name contenders include GreaneteenGentleman De Nee and Blue Lord.

Irrespective of who lines up for this contest, we are all-but-assured of a superb race featuring an abundance of stars.


Day Three – Ryanair Steeplechase

The Ryanair Steeplechase – introduced in 2005 – has become one of the most popular and eagerly-awaited races at the Cheltenham Festival and it is now a serious rival to the Stayers’ Hurdle as the highlight of Day Three, many new betting sites offering a wealth of bonuses on this and the many other key races at the Festival.

The last two renewals of this contest have been won by Allaho and while he has yet to be seen this season, he will be going all-out to complete a hat-trick of successive wins this time around. Handler Willie Mullins has been hugely successful in this race in recent years with wins in all-but-two of the last seven renewals. Should Allaho not be up for the challenge, Mullins stands another good chance of success with Blue Lord, the latter looking impressive prior to a disappointing showing at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Other notable contenders in this contest include Fury RoadShishkin and Fakin D’Oudairies, however with all-but-one of the last ten winners of the race returning at single-figure odds, we’ll be siding with the runners at the head of the market.


Day Three – Stayers’ Hurdle

The Day Three traditional highlight has long been the Stayers’ Hurdle which takes place over three miles. Here we see the smaller obstacles being used and we envisage the 2023 renewal being one of the Festival’s most open feature contests. 

Flooring Porter has triumphed in the east two renewals of this race and the eight-year-old will be looking to complete a hat-trick here, however he will be up against some strong contenders in 2023, most notably Gordon Elliott’s Teahupoowho won comfortably over the same trip two months ago. 

Other notable contenders likely to be in the line-up include Blazing KhalHome By The Lee and Klassical Dream, the latter having started as favourite in the 2022 renewal.


Day Four – The Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Gold Cup is the standout contest for the entire four-day Festival and while the other days undoubtedly boast plenty in the way of thrilling action and notable races, the whole meeting always hinges on this contest.  

The 2021 and 2022 renewals of this famous contest have been jam-packed with excitement from beginning to end and the evidence suggests that the 2023 renewal will be no different.

A Plus Tard was a convincing winner by fifteen lengths twelve months ago, stablemate Minella Indo coming in second to give handler Henry De Bromhead an impressive 1-2 in this feature. 

Galopin Des Champs heads the betting for this year’s contest, the Willie Mullins contender having looked a certain winner before falling at the last in the 2022 Turners’ Novices’ Chase. He bounced back from that disappointment by triumphing in the Boylesports Gold Cup and is deserved favourite to win the prize here.

That’s certainly not to say that he doesn’t have strong rivals in the field. 2022 winner A Plus Tard disappointed on his annual appearance in the Betfair Chase but he should nevertheless be marked down as a strong contender here. The best British hope here could be Bravemansgame following his win at Kempton in the King George VI Chase.


Best Odds and Free Bet Offers

Once you have picked your horses on each day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, it is important that you get the best odds available and take advantage of the numerous bonuses and promotions on offer for the Festival. All of the leading UK and Irish betting sites offer new and existing customers a wide range of free bets, enhanced places and price boosts and these can give you added value on all of the key races at this year’s meeting.

Which is the oldest of the four ‘championship’ races at the Cheltenham Festival?

The so-called ‘championship’ races at the Cheltenham Festival, one of which forms the feature race on each of the four days, are the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup. The first two are run on the slightly sharper Old Course, while the last two are run on the New Course, which places more emphasis on stamina.

A race known as the ‘Cheltenham Gold Cup’ was first run on Cleeve Hill, overlooking the current racecourse, in 1819, long before the establishment of the Cheltenham Festival. However, that race was run over three miles on the Flat and restricted to three-year-olds. In its current guise, as a level weights steeplechase, the Cheltenham Gold Cup was not added to the Cheltenham Festival programme until 1924. Nevertheless, the Cheltenham Gold Cup pre-dates the Champion Hurdle, which was inaugurated in 1927 and, as such, is the oldest of the ‘championship’ races in their recognisable, modern form.

To avoid any confusion, a version of the Stayers’ Hurdle has been run at the Cheltenham Festival, with a few interruptions, since 1912. However, the original incarnation, the Stayers’ Selling Hurdle, ceased to be in 1938 and its successor, the Spa Hurdle, was replaced by the Stayers’ Hurdle, as we know it today, in 1972. The Queen Mother Champion Chase, too, is a relatively recent addition to the Festival programme, having been inaugurated, as the National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase, in 1959.


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