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The Cheltenham leading jockeys prize tends to be a closer fought battle than the trainers title, however Paul Townend is the deserved favourite to take the crown for the third consecutive year. We take a look at the main contenders for this year's leading prize.
Former jockey Ruby Walsh was a Cheltenham specialist, winning the prize a staggering 11 times. More recently the title has been landed by a variety of jockeys from Paul Townend to Rachael Blackmore and Nico De Boinville.
All prices were correct at the time of writing this article.
Paul Townend: current odds 2-5 Paddy Power
Paul Townend took the leading jockeys prize in 2023, 2022 and 2020 and will attempt to follow up again this year, it looks likely he will achieve this feat and he priced up accordingly.
As number one jockey to Irish Champion trainer Willie Mullins, Townend will have the pick of the Mullins contenders which makes him odds-on favourite to land this trophy.
Townend will ride Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup, State Man in the Champion Hurdle, El Fabiolo in the Champion Chase, along with the big Mullins hopes throughout the week.
Jack Kennedy: current odds 4-1 Paddy Power
Gordon Elliott's stable jockey, Jack Kennedy, was sidelined during last year's Cheltenham Festival with an injury, however he has a strong chance of partnering multiple winners at the 2024 Festival.
Kennedy's chances include smart chaser, Gerri Colombe, in the Gold Cup and he boasts excellent chances on Brighterdaysahead and Delta Work.
Mark Walsh: current odds 10-1 Paddy Power
Mark Walsh has a superb book of potential rides ahead of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival for owner JP Mcmanus.
Last year, his tactical ride aboard 33-1 winner Sire Du Berlais showcased his riding talents in the Stayers' Hurdle and he will once again partner the reigning champion.
Other rides include Jonbon, Iroko, Fact to File and Corbetts Cross.
Nico De Boinville: current odds 10-1 Paddy Power
Nico De Boinville took the Cheltenham leading jockey's prize in 2019 and is currently 10-1 to win the 2024 title.
As Nicky Henderson’s stable number one jockey, De Boinville has built up a strong rapport with Champion Hurdle star Constitution Hill, this year’s odds-on favourite for Tuesday’s feature race.
Sir Gino and Shishkin will also be ridden by Nico De Boinville and represent excellent chances.
Rachael Blackmore: current odds 14-1 Paddy Power
Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham leading jockeys award in 2021 and she is in the mix for the 2024 prize.
In 2021, Blackmore celebrated a total of six wins and in 2022 she recorded three wins, finishing third in the table, the pinnacle being her win aboard A Plus Tard in the Gold Cup.
Last year she recorded two wins and the history-making jockey will ride Henry de Bromhead’s main protagonists.