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"The National Hunt Chase is done” - Ladbrokes announce Cheltenham Festival turnover

jon-vine
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Last updated: 22 Mar 2024
jon-vine
Jon Vine 22 Mar 2024
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  • Ladbrokes reveal the turnover figures for the 28 Cheltenham Festival races
  • The Gold Cup came in at number one
  • Simon Clare of Ladbrokes has called for the National Hunt Chase to be scrapped
corbetts
Corbetts Cross winning the National Hunt Chase. (Getty)

Simon Clare of Ladbrokes has called for the National Hunt Chase to be scrapped, after the betting turnover figures for the 28 Cheltenham Festival races were announced.

The Gold Cup topped Ladbrokes' list of the most gambled-on races of the Festival. The Albert Bartlett, County Hurdle, Triumph Hurdle, Hunters Chase and the Martin Pipe also featured in the top seven of the list, mainly due to the fact that they take place on Gold Cup day. The other day four contest, the Mares' Chase was down in 13th place.

The Stayers' Hurdle, won in fantastic style by Teahupoo, jumped up to third place in Ladbroke's turnover list. The Ryanair Chase was eighth, two places ahead of the Mares' Hurdle. The Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase were low on the list, which is unsurprising considering the betting for each was dominanted by just one horse.

Only three races generated a lower turnover than the Champion Chase. The Kim Muir Challenge Cup and Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, two races that I thought the Cheltenham Festival could lose, came in at last and third-place place respectively.

Down in 26th place was the National Hunt Chase. The oldest race at the meeting has undergone some changes in recent years. Those alterations were introduced to ensure the safety of the horses taking part, but they have certainly ushered a decline in the race's popularity, both with people within the sport and, it seems, the betting public.

"Sometimes you have to accept that things are done and I think the National Hunt Chase is done,” Said Simon Clare, PR Director for Entain, the parent company of both Ladbrokes and Coral. 

“Back in the day, it was a four-mile chase for genuine Corinthian amateurs on horses who wouldn't have been anywhere good enough to run in a Brown Advisory or an Ultima. They used to be relatively inexperienced horses who would give relatively inexperienced riders a good spin around Cheltenham.

"Now, it's practically Gold Cup horses and only the most professional amateurs. Some people will say you should get rid of the Turners but I think the anachronism is the 3m6f race. It's almost the lowest betting race, it's a small field every year. I'd get rid of it."

2024 Cheltenham Festival Race Turnover Ranking


Rank
Race Name
1 Gold Cup
2 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
3 Stayers' Hurdle
4 County Hurdle
5 Triumph Hurdle
6 Hunters' Chase
7 Martin Pipe Hurdle
8 Ryanair Chase
9 Supreme Novices' Hurdle
10 Mares' Hurdle
11 Arkle Chase
12 Coral Cup
13 Mares’ Chase
14 Champion Hurdle
15 Gallagher Novices' Hurdle
16 Turners Novices' Chase
17 Ultima Handicap Chase
18 Grand Annual Handicap Chase
19 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase
20 Mares' Novices' Hurdle
21 Champion Bumper
22 Pertemps Final
23 Plate Handicap Chase
24 Queen Mother Champion Chase
25 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
26 National Hunt Chase
27 Kim Muir Challenge Cup

*Only 27 races were listed because the Cross Country was cancelled*

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