Cheltenahm Festival 2020: Day Four Preview

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JCB Triumph Hurdle

An intriguing renewal that features some top-class juveniles and in 2020, it’s mainly the British as opposed to the Irish to have the strong hand. Solo is the 11/4 market leader with Sky Bet after his more than impressive British debut at Kempton last month, winning the Adonis, a recognised trial for this race, by 13 lengths.

He was well backed that day and looked very classy and it remains to be seen, just how far he could reach. Whilst Solo is new on the scene, the two bets juvenile hurdlers in Britain come to blows here as Dan Skelton’s Allmankind takes on Gary Moore’s Goshen.

Both have been front runners and have looked classy when winning their races and have been popular in the ante post markets. Allmankind is already a Grade One winner and is a 7/2 shot whist you can get 3/1 about Goshen, who will need to improve his jumping.

The main Irish hope looked to have been Henry De Bromhead’s Aspire Tower, however, he fell at the last when perhaps beaten, at odds on, at the Dublin Racing Festival and now needs to prove himself again and is 11/2. The winner that day was Joseph O’Brien’s, A Wave of the Sea and he’s a 12/1 shot for JP McManus.

County Hurdle

The County Hurdle is no doubt one of the most difficult handicaps of the week for punters, so Sky Bet are helping by offering six places and it’s 7/1 the field.

That field is headed by Ciel De Neige for Willie Mullins and JP McManus. He was third in last years Fred Winter and finished second in the Betfair Hurdle last month and looks sure for another big run.

Dan Skelton has won three of the last four running’s of this race, including the last two. In 2018, Mohaayed was victorious for him and Bridget Andrews and the pair are reunited here as they attempt to win the race for a second time. He is three pounds higher in the weights this time and is 8/1 for another Skelton success.

Willie Mullins, whilst having the favourite, also has many other chances. Aramon was a Grade one winning hurdler last season but hasn’t hit the same heights since and is 9/1 and Buildmeupbuttercup is 12/1.

Others to note could be Christopher Wood for Paul Nicholls at 20/1, he has some smart pieces of form to his name, as does Adjali for Nicky Henderson, 10/1 and Stolen Silver for the Twiston-Davies team, he is 12/1.

Albert Bartlett

A tough assignment for novice hurdlers over three miles and can often turn into a bit of a slog. Thyme Hill has been the ante post favourite for this race throughout the year and his form reads well from last year’s Champion Bumper, to his hurdle victories this season, including the Grade One, Challow, at Newbury. He is 7/2 for Richard Johnson and Phillip Hobbs, who will be hoping for a change in fortunes after Sporting John and Defi Du Seuil’s disappointments.

Harry Senior is another one of the British hopes for Colin Tizzard, who also will be hoping for a winner. Robbie Power will do the steering on the 15/2 shot. As usual, the Irish have many chances coming into this, the main one being Latest Exhibition, who was a Grade One winner at the Dublin Racing Festival for Paul Nolan and is 5/1.

Willie Mullins’ main hope will be Monkfish, an 11/2 shot, whilst Gigginstown are spearheaded by Gordon Elliot’s Fury Road, 10/1, and 14/1 shot, Cobbler’s Way, for Henry De Bromhead.

Gold Cup

The main race of the week, in what is an epic renewal between some old faces and the new chasers on the block. Last year's winner Al Boum Photo was responsible for giving Willie Mullins his first Gold Cup and is 7/2 joint-favourite with Sky Bet to defend his crown, having had the exact same preparation as last year.

He is joined at 7/2 by Nicky Henderson’s Santini, who won at Cheltenham on trials day on his second start of the season. He was impressive second in last years RSA off a poor preparation and holds the form ahead of Delta Work, who left behind his season debut in November for back to back Grade One wins in the Lexus and Irish Gold Cup and is 5/1 for Gordon Elliot.

Lostintranslation may be somewhat of the forgotten horse, having beaten RSA winner, Topofofthegame at Aintree in April and was a winner of this season’s Betfair Chase. He was pulled up in the King George however and hasn’t been seen since and Colin Tizzard has had a poor week so far and is a 6/1 shot.

Kemboy was ante post favourite at the start of the season however has been beaten on both his starts this season and is 8/1 but was ahead of Presenting Percy, last year’s favourite for the face and he is a 10/1 poke. Double King George Clan Dex Obeaux also looks for Cheltenham success and is 7/1.

Foxhunter Chase

Hazel Hill took this as favourite 12 months ago for Phillip Rowley and Alex Edwards and looked primed for another strong challenge but was beaten at odds on at Wetherby last month by Jonjo O’Neill’s, Minella Rocco.

Hazel Hill is still a 5/1 joint-favourite but now must reverse form with Minella Rocco, who’s enjoyed a slight revival, since dropping into Foxhunter company and was placed in the 2018 Gold Cup. He has the services of Derek O’Connor and is 11/2.

Hazel Hill shares favouritism with Willie Mullins’ Billaway and is ridden by Patrick Mullins and beat Staker Wallace last time of JP McManus, who is 7/1. Shantou Flyer for Rose Loxton was runner up here 12 months ago and is owned and ridden by David Maxwell and is available at 9/1.

Grand Annual

Paul Nicholls won this in 2018 with Le Prezien and has the best chance here, according to Sky Bet with Greaneteen, who is three from three over fences and looks to still have an improvement in him and is a 9/2 shot.

Gordon Elliot has two live chances too. Chosen Mate was a Grade 2 winning hurdler and is 15/2 whilst Éclair Du Beaufeu ran well in last years County Hurdle and is 10/1. Alan King’s Lisp has been well supported in the ante post markets. He is one from three over fences and does have some strong pieces of form to his name and is 7/1 with Sky Bet.

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

JP McManus, Joseph O’Brien and Jonjo O’Neill Jr all teamed up for victory in this race last year and they hope to have another success this time with market leader, Front View who is 5/1 with Sky Bet.

He looks to have been trained for this race in mind for a good while. Gordon Elliot loves this race and has won two of the last three renewals and it looked like he would have made it three out of three last year with the strong travelling Dallas Des Pictons, however, he was seen off by Early Doors. He has two strong chances here, Column of Fire, 6/1, who was a good third in a handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival and The Bosses Oscar who is 10/1.

Phillip Hobbs’ Pileon has some smart pieces off form and is 15/2 and will be ridden by the impressive Ben Jones and Five O’Clock for Willie Mullins won a Grade three last month and could improve.

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