A look at Gordon Elliott’s best hopes at the Cheltenham Festival

Despite not having as strong a team at this year’s Cheltenham Festival as that of fellow Irish trainer Willie Mullins, the meeting’s two-time Leading Trainer award recipient Gordon Elliott has his fair share of elite talent lining up across the four days at Prestbury Park next month.

With that in mind, read on as we dissect Elliott’s best hopes at the Cheltenham Festival in 2023 when looking at the Cheltenham odds.

Delta Work – Cross Country Chase

Entering this three-mile and six-furlong affair at 10/11, ten-year-old Delta Work is one of Elliott’s best chances across the 28-race meeting. Despite not winning in his last two times out, the French-bred horse showed enough promise in his win at Punchestown last November in a field of 17 to excite the bookies for Cheltenham.

Couple that with the fact Delta Work has already reigned supreme in the Cross Country Chase, having achieved the feat in 2022, and the Gigginstown House Stud-owned thoroughbred looks primed for back-to-back triumphs.

Gerri Colombe – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

Unbeaten in his seven starts to date, 5/2 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase favourite Gerri Colombe has handled every step up in competition to date immensely well. After winning his first three outings on flat, Elliott tested his then six-year-old in a pair of hurdle fixtures which he won by eight-and-a-half lengths and one-and-a-quarter-lengths respectively.

It was then time for Gerri Colombe to taste Grade 1 chase action, and he has once again taken to the uptick in quality opposition like a duck to water.

With wins at Limerick and Sandown over promising jump prospects Adamantly Chosen and Thunder Rock – you can see why Elliott’s French thoroughbred is garnering such interest among punters.

Teahupoo – Stayers’ Hurdle

Currently sitting as the second favourite at 5/2 behind Blazing Khal, Teahupoo will be extremely hard to beat if he can replicate the runs he has had to kick off his 2022/23 campaign. His showing at Fairyhouse particularly turned heads, as he overcame the odds to defeat Klassical Dream and the previously undefeated Honeysuckle to win as a 20/1 shot.

The six-year-old followed that performance up with an emphatic 15-length victory in the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park last month.

As mentioned earlier, the Charles Byrnes-trained Blazing Khal appears to be his stiffest competition on paper, with the seven-year-old on a five-race winning streak – three of which were Grade 2 contests.

Galvin – Cross Country Chase

If Galvin is to secure his first win since October in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham next month, he will have to overcome stablemate and pre-race favourite Delta Work. Despite starting his season with a solid win in the Grade 3 Coverage Chase at Punchestown four months ago, his subsequent runs in November and December aren’t anything to write home about.

In what were his two maiden Grade 1 outings, he was off the pace at Down Royal, before being dominated at Leopardstown in which he finished 49 lengths behind eventual winner Conflated. However – given the Cross Country Chase is a Class 2 affair – punters clearly fancy Galvin’s chances of challenging against a less threatening field of entries at Prestbury Park. That is evidenced in the betting lines, with the nine-year-old the second favourite at 4/1.