Davy Russell and Gordon Elliot were the major winners during the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, with the duo finishing as leading jockey and trainer respectively after the jam-packed four-day event. Russell ended the Festival with four wins to his name, while Elliot matched the all-time record for the number of wins during the event, with eight successes to his name. However, a whole host of additional runners and riders will have been happy with their performances and Cheltenham 2018 results, with some major surprises to speak of too.

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28 races helped to make up the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, with things kicking off on Champions Day with the Supreme Novices Hurdle, before climaxing on Gold Cup Day with the Challenge Cup Handicap Chase. Let’s take a closer look at the full Cheltenham Festival results, with some of the biggest names in horse racing featuring.

Champions Day – Tuesday

Place Horse Jockey Trainer
1 Presenting Percy Davy Russel Jack Rubben
2 Presenting Percy Davy Russel Jack Rubben
3 Presenting Percy Davy Russel Jack Rubben

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Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Summerville Boy claimed the first win at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, win jockey Noel Fehily leading the Tom George trained horse to a famous victory, despite putting in a far from perfect display. Summerville Boy eventually saw the 5/1 pre-race favourite Kalashnikov by just a neck, overcoming a mistake on the second to last hurdle to produce one of the best comebacks of the Festival. 

Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase

Ruby Walsh led Footpad to victory in the opening Grade 1 race of the 2018 Festival, handing champion trainer Willie Mullins his first success in the process. The overwhelming favourite opened up a 14-length lead coming into the home straight, eventually finishing comfortably ahead of both outsider Brain Power and Petit Mouchoir.

Ultima Handicap Chase

Jockey Lizzie Kelly claimed her first Cheltenham win onboard Coo Star Sivola last year, who lived up to its favourite status to win by a neck from Shantou Flyer. Coo Star Sivola navigated the 20-hurdle circuit well, before fighting off a late charge in order to win this Grade 3 race.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

The second Grade 1 race on Day One was won by Buveur D’Air for trainer Nicky Henderson. Barry Geraghty led the French-trained horse to a narrow victory having led from early on, meaning that he became the first to claim back-to-back Champion Hurdle victories in the history of the Cheltenham Festival. Henderson and J.P. McManus claimed their seventh success in this race too, meaning that they will once again be a strong team in 2019.

David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle

 Perhaps the biggest shock on Day One cam in the Mares’ Hurdle, with Benie Des Dieux finished narrowly ahead of Midnight Tour and pre-race favourite Apple’s Jade. Gordon Elliot’s Apple Jade was expected to cruise home, however the team of Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins proved too strong in a topsy-turvy race. 

National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup

The Grade 2 race for amateur riders was undoubtedly one of the most enthralling contests throughout the entirety of the 2018 Festival, with ten-year-old Rathvinden eventually coming out on top for the father/son duo of Patrick and Willie Mullins. Having overcome a potentially costly mistake on the 10th hurdle, Patrick Mullins won “Ride of the Season” for his exploits.

Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase

Day One was concluded in exciting fashion, as Mister Whitaker overcame the likes of Rather Be and Rocklander to eventually win by just a head. The win also handed ex-professional footballer Mick Channon his first Cheltenham success.

Ladies Day – Wednesday

RSA Insurance Novices' Chase
Place Horse Jockey Trainer
1 Presenting Percy Davy Russel Jack Rubben
2 Presenting Percy Davy Russel Jack Rubben
3 Presenting Percy Davy Russel Jack Rubben

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

Firm favourite Samcro lived up to his billing by winning the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, handing trainer Gordon Elliot another success in the process. Jockey Jack Kennedy led the Irish sensation to a comprehensive victory, leading from the off to eventually see of a spirted comeback from Black Ops by three lengths.

RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase

The second Grade 1 race on Ladies Day saw favourite Presenting Percy win one of the most tactically led races of the entire Festival. Davy Russell led the 2019 Gold Cup frontrunner to victory after attacking on the final hurdle, eventually coming out on top by a distance of seven lengths. This performance was regarded by many as one of the best of the 2018 Festival.

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

With Ruby Walsh having suffered an event-ending injury, replacement jockey Mark Walsh led Bleu Berry to victory in the Handicap Hurdle. The 20/1 outsider came from the back of the field in order to hold off Topofthegame in order to win by the smallest of margins. Pre-race favourite William Henry struggled, before eventually finishing in fourth position in a hugely competitive field.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Nicky Henderson’s Altior claimed victory in the most prestigious race on Day Two, taking advantage of a fall from Douvan on the fourth to last fence, who had looked imperious up until that point. Willie Mullins’ Min finished in second place, ahead of God’s Own.

Cross Country Handicap Chase

Cause of Causes was the favourite to make it back-to-back wins in the Cross Country Handicap Chase, however it was Gordon Elliot’s Tiger Roll who overcame his stablemate when the push came to shove. In one of the more uneventful races of the Festival, a supreme run from Tiger Roll saw him finish ahead of both Urgent De Gregaine and The Last Samuri.

Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Veneer of Charm came out on top in this Grade 3 race, handing Gordon Elliot a hat-trick of winners on Ladies Day. Despite faltering on the final hurdle, the four-year-old overcame both Turning Gold and Nube Negra thanks to an excellent sprint finish.

Weatherbys Champion Bumper

The final race on Day Two saw Willie Mullins claim a 1-2-3 in the Weatherby’s Champion Bumper, with Relegate coming out on top over Carefully Selected and Tornado Flyer. Katie Walsh ran Relegate to a narrow victory by a neck, in what was undoubtedly a fitting end to one of the most exciting Ladies Day’s in recent years.

St Patrick’s Day – Thursday

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JLT Novices’ Chase

Shattered Love won the opening race on Day Three of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, seeing off Terrefort and Benatar in the JLT Novices’ Chase. Gordon Elliot’s horse kicked on to overcome one of Nicky Henderson’s prized assets, eventually winning by a comfortable seven length margin.

Pertemps Network Final

A win for Delta Work made it two wins from two on Day Three for trainer Elliot, with the pre-race outsider overcoming stablemate Gelnoe in the process. In what was one of the closest races of the entire Festival, Delta Work won by just a nose, while 33/1 Connectable finished in third position.

Ryanair Chase

This famous Grade 1 race was won by Balko des Flos, who overcame 2017 winner Un De Sceaux in order to claim the Ryanair Chase for Henry de Bromhead. With Cue Card having pulled up early on, it was left to the top two to battle it out, with Balko des Flos narrowly stopping Un De Sceaux from making it back to back successes, eventually winning by four lengths.

Stayers’ Hurdle

Despite having been out of action for almost a year due to injury, Penhill returned to Cheltenham with a bang by winning the Stayers’ Hurdle in perhaps the biggest race on Day Three. Supasundae and Wholestone were both in the running until the latter stages, however it was Penhill who broke away from the leading pack to claim a victory by two lengths.

Stable Plate Handicap Chase

Gordon Elliot made it two consecutive days with treble winners after The Storyteller lived up to his favourite tag by seeing off the competition by a margin of a length and three quarters. Splash of Ginge made things interesting by keeping up with the winner until the latter stages, however the 25/1 shot was eventually made to settle for the runner-up spot.

Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices Hurdle

In a race ran by both fillies and mares, Willie Mullins’ Laurina claimed victory, with Davy Russell leading her to an emphatic win by a massive 18 lengths. Cap Soleil and 80/1 shot Champayne Lady made up the top three, however it was all about Laurina in this one.

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

Missed Approach gave Warrren Freatrex victory in the Challenge Cup, the final race on Day Three of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. The 8/1 frontrunner produced a fantastic jump over the last hurdle, before following it up with a sprint finish to claim the win by a small margin. Favourite Mall Dini and Squouateur made up the top three.

Gold Cup Day – Friday

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JCB Triumph Hurdle

Apple’s Shakira went into the Triumph Hurdle as the firm favourite, however he was unable to deliver in hugely competitive field, with Farclas eventually holding off the challenge of Mr. Adjudicator to win by 1 ¾ lengths. Gordon Elliot claimed another Cheltenham 2018 winner as a result.

County Handicap Hurdle

The 2018 County Handicap Hurdle was undoubtedly one of the best races of the 2018 Festival, with 33/1 outsider Mohaayed coming out on top in an exhilarating dual against Remiluc, who himself was priced at 50/1 going into the race. Dan Skelton was onboard Mohaayed, producing one of the biggest shocks of the entire festival.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

33/1 shot Kilbricken Storm claimed victory in this Grade 1 Novices Hurdle, seeing off long-time leader Fabulous Saga after a strong sprint finish. It was Nicky Henderson’s OK Corral and Santini who made up the top three, with Kilbricken Storm handing Colin Tizzard his first success of the 2018 Festival.

Golf Cup

Colin Tizzard made it back to back wins when Native River claimed victory in the famous Gold Cup, finishing ahead of favourite Mite Bite in the process. Champion Jockey Richard Johnson was onboard of Native River, who were neck and neck for a large proportion of the race, until Tizzard’s prized asset showed its superior speed up the hill and over the last fence.

Foxhunter Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

Pacha Du Polder pulled out one of the performances of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival in winning the Foxhunter Steeple chase, making it back to back wins in the process. In a hugely exciting race, winning jockey Harriet Tucker suffered a dislocated shoulder during the ride, however this amazingly didn’t effect the performance of Pacha Du Polder.

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Gordon Elliot secured his eighth and final victory of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival when Blow By Blow strode to a five length victory in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, finishing ahead of 33/1 outsider Discorama and Early Doors, who finished second and third respectively.

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

The finale to the 2018 Cheltenham Festival was won by Le Prezien, with the 15/2 shot finishing ahead of the Kerry Lee duo of Gino Trail and Top Gamble. It was Gino Trail who was leading until the last hurdle, however jockey Barry Geraghty turned things around for Le Prezien as he galloped home to win by four and a half lengths.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 Cheltenham Festival was certainly a mixed bag for the bookmakers and punters, with many of the favourites failing to live up to their pre-race billings. However, those looking to bet on the 2019 Festival should certainly not be put off as a result, with ante-post markets already being available on many betting platforms. It is also well worth keeping an eye out for Cheltenham related promotions, which are certain to appear in the build up to the event in March.