Spring Fling – The 2020 Cheltenham Festival
The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner, getting underway on 10th March
Last year we watched Tiger Roll scoop his second consecutive Chase victory, Bryony Frost become the first female jockey to win the Ryanair Chase on Frodon, and Al Boum Photo achieve Gold Cup Champion, adding further fuel to Willie Mullins’ legendary rivalry with Gordon Elliott who walked away with 3 wins himself.
In 2020, the “greatest show on turf” remains a four-day event, and promises to be just as action packed for punters as the memorable 2019 edItion was.
Day 1 of the festival (Tuesday 10th March) is officially known as Champions Day. The finest young hurdlers will vie it out in the opening SkyBet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, while we await to see who will join legendary racehorses Darn Run and Hatton’s Grace by winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle.
Day 1’s Grade One races are: 1.30pm – SkyBet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, 2.10pm – Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase, 3.30pm – UniBet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy, 4.10pm – David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle.
Other races include the G3 Ultimate Handicap Chase at 2.50pm, and the G2 Amateur Riders’ National Hunt Novices Chase at 5.30pm.
Ladies Day (11th March) will bring an exhilarating mix of strength, stamina and speed, with the Cross Country Chase sure to be dominated once again by Elliott’s star, Tiger Roll. The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase will also deliver some of the most exciting racing of the entire festival, with the best two-milers in the country taking on the demanding Prestbury Park course.
The Grade One races on Ladies Day are: 1.30pm – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, 2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase, 3.30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, 5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
The 4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase and the G3 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at 2.50pm make up the best of the rest.
St. Patrick’s Thursday (12th March) will offer a whole host of top-class races, with the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle and Ryanair Chase taking feature billing. The Pertemps Network Final will also be contested by one of the biggest fields in the festival, and should offer punters some great betting action.
Day 3’s Grade One races are: 1.30pm – 1MARSH Novices’ Chase, 2.50pm Ryanair Chase, 3.30pm Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.
Grade Three handicap action comes courtesy of the 2.10pm Pertemps Network Final Hurdle and the 4.10pm Brown Advisory/Merriebelle Stable Plate Chase. Amateur riders will close out the day with the 5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase.
Gold Cup Day on March 13th really shouldn’t need any introduction. One of the most sought-after elite titles in British racing is on offer during the final day of the festival, and will no doubt be quite the spectacle. We’ll also get the chance to see some future talents crowned in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, while the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle will close out the Festival at 5.30pm.
Gold Cup Grade One action comes via the 1.30pm – JCB Triumph Hurdle, 2.50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, and the 3.30pm Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Gold Cup Day also features two Grade Three races, the Randox County Handicap Hurdle at 2.10pm, and the 4.50pm Johnny Henderson Handicap Chase.
Betting Tips and Favourites
As a key event in the British racing calendar, you can expect competitive horse racing odds throughout the entirety of the festival, as well as in the run-up online – some online bookmakers are already pricing up all of the 28 races in advance.
- At 13/8, Benie Des Dieux is a big hitter for the G1 Mares Hurdle on Champion Day.
- Tiger Roll is currently 7/4 to claim his third consecutive Cross Country Chase title on Ladies’ Day.
- Following another showdown between Un De Sceaux and Defi Du Seuil in the Clarence House Chase, Defi is the current 2/1 favourite for the G1 Champion Chase on Ladies Day.
- Another red hot favourite for Ladies Day is Envoi Allen, who is 11/8 to storm the Novices’ Hurdle.
- After his second consecutive Cleeve Hurdle win (and the seventh consecutive win in total), Emma Lavelle’s Paisley Park is 10/11 to defend his crown and retain the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle title on Day 3.
- 2019 Gold Cup Champion, Al Boum Photo is 9/2 to repeat the victory again on Day 4.