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Off The Fence: Cheltenham Festival review with a treble for 2025

The Off The Fence panel look back at all the action from across the four days of the Cheltenham Festival and have two horses to put in their tracker.

Tony Keenan suggested a 105-1 treble for the 2025 Cheltenham Festival which involves three stars from this year.

“The only thing that interested me was the Champion Hurdle, Willie Mullins has got three horses there around the 4-1 to 8-1 bracket; Ballyburn, Lossiemouth and State Man. There’s very little chance they’re all going to turn up for a Champion Hurdle but it would be brilliant if they did.

“You can however do somewhat of a related treble with State Man going for the Champion Hurdle again, Lossiemouth going to the Mares’ which to me would be very possible. She might just decide to go to the Mares’ again or more likely she will run against State Man at Punchestown in one of those Grade 1 races and get beaten, and Ballyburn going over fences.

“If you were to put those into a treble – State Man to the Champion Hurdle, Lossiemouth to the Mares’ and Ballyburn to the Arkle – it works out to 105-1.

“And if Ballyburn heads to the Turners it’s about 79-1. You’d need an awful lot to go right but betting on splitting up Willie Mullins’ best horses hasn’t been the worst policy over the years.”

There was no stopping Lossiemouth in the Mares' Hurdle
Image: Lossiemouth is one that Tony Keenan is banking on winning back-to-back Mares’ Chases

Two for the tracker

Barry Geraghty has his eye on one from Martin Pipe. This horse placed despite not completely handling the trip.

“I thought Answer To Kayf stayed on well and Waterford Whispers pulling away from the turn-in, he got out-paced.

“He finished strongly. I’d imagine a step up in trip is on the cards there, maybe a three-mile handicap at Punchestown would be of interest to him.”

From the penultimate day of the Festival, one from the Turners Novices’ Chase caught Keenan’s eye. He finished a respectable fifth.

Keenan said: “Iroko – I think the way that race was run was the last thing he wanted as he returned from a setback. He was a horse mainly ruled out for the season after his win in Warwick and in this race from the start, there was no hiding place or warm-up at all.

“Grey Dawning and Ginny’s Destiny went at it and that should’ve found out any fitness or conditioning weakness, but he hung in very well with them.

Iroko is Tony Keenan's one to watch
Image: Iroko is Tony Keenan’s one to watch

“I would say this trip was on the sharp side with him. He won the Martin Pipe last year which suggests he’s more of a three-miler. I wouldn’t mind seeing him now to go onto the three-mile race at Aintree or something like that.

“I could see him improving again on that providing he gets a fair run between now and then.”

Watch the Off The Fence digital show on the At The Races YouTube channel

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