Five of the biggest Cheltenham Festival shocks over the last 10 years

Updated: 28/02/2024

The Cheltenham Festival isn’t always a favourite’s paradise. There have been plenty of shocks down the years too.

From Annie Power’s fall, to Cue Card’s 40/1 win and Lord Windermere’s surprise Gold Cup triumph in 2014, we’ve rounded up five of the biggest shocks over the last decade.

Labaik – 2017 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Melon and Ballyandy didn’t go off as huge joint-favourites for the 2017 Supreme. But no-one expected the ultra-temperamental Labaik to dispose of the pair of them in such scintillating fashion.

Gordon Elliott’s raider went off at 25/1 having finished 100l behind the winner in his Naas prep-run and refused to race in his two runs prior in December.

Special Tiara – 2017 Champion Chase

No-one expected Douvan to get beat in the 2017 Champion Chase. Not least our traders, who had him down as odds-on at 2/9 to make it 14 wins in a row over obstacles for Willie Mullins.

But beaten he was. By over 11l in fact, as Special Tiara caused a huge upset on Day Two of the Festival and left one punter £500,000 out-of-pocket.

Glens Melody – 2015 Mares’ Hurdle

Day One at Cheltenham always provides punters with the chance to get a leg up early doors.

And in 2015 bookies were staring down the barrel of a combined £50m loss after the first three legs of the Un De Sceaux, Douvan, Faugheen and Annie Power four-timer all obliged.

Only Annie Power’s dramatic fall at the last in the Mares’ Hurdle denied bettors a huge pay-out.

Lord Windermere – 2014 Gold Cup 

You don’t tend to get too many long-odds winners of the Gold Cup. So Lord Windermere’s 20/1 success in 2014 was a huge surprise in a race where 2013 winner Bobs Worth went off as the fav.

Jim Culloty’s charge was given a patient ride before striking close to home to edge out the rallying On His Own by a short-head following a belated steward’s enquiry.

Cue Card – 2010 Champion Bumper

Cue Card enjoyed a stellar career which included two Ascot Chase successes, three Lancashire Chase wins and a memorable victory in the King George VI Chase. But he wasn’t always fancied.

Joe Tizzard’s charge wasn’t given a prayer in his first start at the Festival, going off at 40/1 in the 2010 Champion Bumper. He won by 8l and the rest, as they say, is history.

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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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