The Cheltenham Festival 2022 looms ever larger on the horizon and bookmakers are now offering odds on every race at the meeting.

The ante-post markets are pretty well established for the feature races but we have picked out five horses who could reward each-way support at long odds.

For the more ambitious, here is a very early prediction after the previous Festival for five more fancied Cheltenham runners in an ante-post accumulator.

Winter Fog

Our first selection is Winter Fog, formerly trained by Daniel Murphy but now in the care of Emmet Mullins. The eight-year-old races in the colours of Paul Byrne, carried to victory at last season’s Cheltenham Festival by The Shunter.

Winter Fog joined Mullins in October and made an eye-catching debut for the yard at Leopardstown over Christmas.

He was backed at all odds down from 28/1 to 8/1 for the competitive Pertemps Network Qualifier. For most of the way the gamble looked set to be landed but Panda Boy found extra on the run-in for forge clear and win by three and three-quarter lengths.

Winter Fog was taken out of the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton in January and Mullins is playing his cards close to his chest regarding Cheltenham Festival options. Wherever he runs, he shaped as though he has a major handicap in him.


Paul Nicholls introduced an exciting prospect at Kempton on December 27th in Iceo, a four-year-old French import. He attracted plenty of market support to start 9/4 favourite under Bryony Frost. He took a strong hold and pulled his way to the front with two to jump. It was then simply a matter of how far he would win by, Frost easing him across the line with 17 lengths back to the runner-up.

Iceo was given quotes ranging from 8/1 to 14/1 for the Triumph Hurdle but this option was given a luke warm reception by Nicholls. He is already looking forward to a potential chasing career for the gelding. His owners will have the final say and the way that Iceo sluiced through the soft ground at Kempton, he would be something to bet on if the heavens open.

Heaven Help Us

Paul Hennessy trains Heaven Help Us, a staying mare by Yeats. Despite winning at Leopardstown last February, she was allowed to start at odds of 33/1 for the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. She was racing off a 12lb higher mark but made all the running and stormed home by nine lengths.

Although beaten in her last four races, she gave every indication that she will be at her peak for Cheltenham when narrowly beaten at Leopardstown at the end of December. She looked to have done enough to repel her rivals but was reeled in close home by Royal Kahala. She has since been trimmed to around 9/1 for the Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle while she is 20/1 for a repeat win in the Coral Cup.

Saint Calvados

The result of the King George VI Chase at Kempton on December 26th was expected to provide clues to the Cheltenham Gold Cup with 2021 winner Minella Indo heading the field. He was pulled up along with Nicky Henderson’s Chantry Bridge, leaving Tornado Flyer to beat dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux.

The frustrating Asterion Forlonge fell at the last fence but looked booked for second place at the time.

The eye-catcher was third-placed Saint Calvados who shot to the front on the home turn. His run for home was short-lived as his suspect stamina gave out. The shorter Ryanair Chase beckons for the nine-year-old, a race in which he was beaten only a neck by Min in 2020. A very important part of ante-post betting is to seek out the best odds on offer. He is a top-priced 10/1 in the Cheltenham betting. There are a wide range of apps to bet on horse racing, allowing you to click through to your registered accounts.

Haut En Couleurs

The last of our five selections is Haut En Couleurs, a five-year-old gelding trained by Willie Mullins. He was a top-class juvenile hurdler last season, being placed in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle at Punchestown. The son of Saint Des Saints made an encouraging start to his novice chasing career when landing the odds at Leopardstown in December.

Mullins will shuffle his pack for the novice chases at Cheltenham. Haut En Couleurs could make his presence felt in either the Arkle Chase or the longer Turner Novices’ Chase.

The Cheltenham Festival 2022 begins on Tuesday, March 15th and runs through until Friday, March 18th.