It’s the final countdown for Cheltenham Festival and punters will be studying the form as they look to finalise their betting picks.
Here’s our guide to the horses that could be making headlines from Tuesday….
Cheltenham Festival 2020 – Cheltenham Week in Preview
Biggest nap of the week….
Cash Back (Arkle) – Willie Mullins has won 4 of the last 5 renewals of this race and Cash Back could give him another Cheltenham winner. Notebook is currently 5/2 favourite with Marathonbet and when these two clashed at Leopardstown last month, Cash Back finished only 3 quarters of a length behind after leading and making a poor mistake. You can currently get 6/1 for Willie Mullins 8-year-old to turn around that form on the Tuesday and that seems like a massive price.
Cheltenham Day 1 nap….
Darver Star (Champion Hurdle) – Last year’s winning trainer, Gavin Cromwell, sends Darver Star here in what looks a wide-open Champion Hurdle. Despite not winning on his last two starts he only finished behind Envoi Allen, Abacadabras and Honeysuckle in those races. He is currently double-figure odds and could at least hit the frame to return some decent each-way money.
Cheltenham Day 2 nap…
Panic Attack (Champion Bumper) – Willie Mullins trains the top two in the market, but it could be a former stable member that could land the prize. Panic Attack, now trained by David Pipe, has only had one run this season but was mighty impressive when she won at Market Rasen by 10 lengths. David Pipe won this race in 2015 with Moon Racer and Panic Attack, currently 10/1 with Marathonbet, is fancied to go close this year.
Cheltenham Day 3 nap….
Simply The Betts (Brown Advisory) – He has won 3 of his last 4 runs, the latest win coming in January over course and distance when holding off Imperial Aura – the current favourite for the Northern Trust on Tuesday. If he wins, then Simply The Betts will be backed to the hills.
Cheltenham Day 4 nap….
Monkfish (Albert Bartlett) – Monkfish has won his last two races by a combined 31 lengths for Willie Mullins and will go close in the Albert Bartlett.
Mullins only winner of this race was Penhill in 2017 who went onto win the Stayers Hurdle the following year and I think Monkfish could go down a similar route.
If you only watch one race all week…
Queen Mother Champion Chase – What a race we have in store on Wednesday – arguably the most-anticipated battle of the Cheltenham Festival 2020. Reigning two-time champion, Altior, facing Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi, Nicky Henderson vs Phillip Hobbs vs Willie Mullins.
This throws up a real old-school triple-threat match that that could rank alongside the all-time Cheltenham classics. Altior lost his air of invincibility earlier in the season whilst Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi have gone from strength to strength throughout the season.
Marathonbet can barely split them either as we have them priced up at 19/10 (Altior), 2/1 (Defi Du Seuil) and 11/4 (Chacun Pour Soi) in the latest horse racing betting ahead of the festival.
Envoi Allen – He is undoubtedly the rising star of the game. Unbeaten last season in bumpers, culminating with him winning the Champion Bumper at the Festival and now unbeaten this season over hurdles, with all roads steering to the Ballymore on Wednesday afternoon. Can he make it eight wins in a row?
One to watch….
Faugheen – The peoples champion returns to his favourite place, aiming to win his third race at the Festival in the Marsh Novices’ Chase on Thursday. He has sparkled back into form this season over fences, winning all three of his starts. The Machine looks like he is most definitely back and here to stay.
Gold Cup wildcard….
Presenting Percy – Last year’s SP favourite Presenting Percy had a bizarre preparation in the build up with a 3-mile race over hurdles his only outing of the season prior to the big race. This year Pat Kelly has got him out more regularly and though form figures of 3-5-3 wouldn’t have you rushing to place a bet on the 9-year-old, it could all be a master plan. Twice a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017 & 2018, he’s currently 9/1 to claim Friday’s Gold Cup.
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