Who will be crowned the Leading Owner at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival?

As the anticipation builds for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, one of the biggest questions on the lips of racing enthusiasts and pundits alike is — who will emerge as the Leading Owner of this prestigious event? 

Despite a myriad of contenders vying for glory across the four days, the battle for supremacy could be one-sided as one man tends to dominate proceedings at Prestbury Park — JP McManus.

It is still worth assessing the top contenders and analysing their prospects though, so read on as we look at those hoping to claim the coveted title of Leading Owner at the Cheltenham Festival. 

JP McManus

The defending Leading Owner, landing the award with an impressive four wins, four seconds, and five thirds in 2023, JP McManus holds a strong hand again this year. 

The most successful owner in Cheltenham Festival history with 73 winners, McManus boasts an array of short-price market leaders and potentially plucky underdogs this year.

From odds-on favourite Fact To File to Capodanno, who is 7/1 in the Ryanair Chase 2024 odds, the Irish billionaire should have enough firepower to win this award easily once again. 

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Last year’s runners-up, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s ‘Double Green’ silks are growing in stature year after year. 

Someway behind McManus, the dual owners had two winners and one third-place finisher at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. 

El Fabiolo looks like another guaranteed winner for Munir & Souede, as he’s 1/2 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and looks good value to back with your Cheltenham welcome offers.

Jessica Donnelly

Jessica Donnelly has an impressive list of Cheltenham Festival winners, notably back-to-back Gold Cup successes with Al Boum Photo in 2019 and 2020, respectively. 

The former bookmaker was third in the Leading Owner standings last year, with one win and two seconds to her name. 

Donnelly’s leading charge at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival is odds-on favourite Sir Gino in the Triumph Hurdle, but she might be in with a chance of a third Gold Cup with Shishkin.

Rich Ricci

One of the most flamboyant owners in the sport, with standout pink and green polka-dot silks to match, Rich Ricci has had his fair share of winners at the Cheltenham Festival. 

The American businessman has owned some iconic horses too, like Min, Annie Power, Vautour, and Douvan, but he is going through something of a transitional period following a golden generation. 

Nonetheless, Ricci and his wife Susannah should be able to add to their tally of Cheltenham winners this year with the likes of Lossiemouth, Gaelic Warrior, and Allegorie De Vassy fancied. 

Honorary mentions

Ronnie Bartlett has a few good chances to extend his record this year, with Galvin in the Glenfarclas Chase, Banbridge in the Ryanair Chase, and exciting prospect Ballyburn — who is the favourite for both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle. 

Cheveley Park Stud have enjoyed high-profile victories at Prestbury Park in recent years, including a Gold Cup success with A Plus Tard, and they could pick up further victories with Tullyhill, Envoi Allen, and Sir Gerhard. 

Slade Steel, Irish Point, and Teahupoo are a few standout horses for Robcour, while Gigginstown House Stud boasts the likes of Brighterdaysahead, Delta Work, and Jalon D’ouadairies. 

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