Cheltenham Festival 2020 Top 5 and In Running Lows

Last year this blog highlighted Concertista @ 25/1 and Dame De Compagnie @ 20/1. 2nd and 3rd in the Gold Cup and 2nd in the Kim Muir. Hopefully we can find another couple of big price winners!

Horses that run well at one Cheltenham Festival generally run well at subsequent Cheltenham Festivals either due to the way the races are run or because connections target a return and here we look at those who finished in the Top 5 of each race of the Cheltenham Festival 2020, the in-running low and where they are now and what the targets could be this season.

Shishkin  – has looked a real natural over fences and won comfortably on chase debut at Kempton over 2m2f before dropping back to 2m for the Wayward Lad Grade 2 again at Kempton. He looks to have the 2m speed but 2 1/2 mile stamina which should mean he’s very hard to beat over the 2m trip at Cheltenham. I currently think he would be as strong as Envoi Allen in the Marsh Novices Chase.

5/6 for Arkle & 20/1 for Marsh Novices

Abacadabras – (in running low of 1.15) – 2nd at Down Royal in a Grade 2 behind Aspire Tower before winning the Grade 1 Morgiana at Punchestown beating Saint Roi. He was disappointing in the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle when only 5th beaten over 23 lengths but Gordon Elliott does have a quieter period over Christmas and the horse has proven form at Cheltenham. 3 of the 4 to finish in front of him at the Cheltenham Festival – Shishkin, Thyme Hill and Envoi Allen. Can now be backed at the same price as when he crossed the line behind Shishkin.

20/1 for Champion Hurdle, 40/1 for Arkle

Chantry House – (in running low of 7.20) – has been sent chasing and won a Novice chase at Ascot when sent off 4/9. Was disappointing when taking on Fusil Raffles and Lieutenant Rocco at Cheltenham over 2 1/2 mile. Is he likely to drop back in trip now. If he does, can you really see him being anywhere near Shishkin at the finish. Not really sure what to make of Chantry House at this stage.

50/1 for Arkle , 33/1 for Marsh Novices & 33/1 for RSA Chase

Asterion Forlonge – (in running low of 2.70) – jumped badly right handed in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and arguably did well to finish 4th. It was interesting to see it was this Donnelly horse that was well backed whilst Shishkin was very weak. He returned this season and won a Beginners Chase at Punchestown comfortably. He fell on his most recent start at Limerick in a Grade 1 chase when sent off 4/6f. Mullins generally sends smart horses to that race with Faugheen, Bellshill and Felix Yonger all having won that race before (Al Boum Photo fell). Having jumped out to the right at Cheltenham, is he likely to be seen back at Cheltenham this year or saved for Punchestown? I think more the latter.

33/1 for Arkle, 33/1 for Marsh Novices, 33/1 for RSA Chase

Allart – (in running low of 22.00) – pitched straight into a Grade 2 Chase on chasing debut against Fiddlerontheroof who had chasing experience (3 runs) and it was clearly a good performance from Allart to win going away. Very much reminds me of Mister Fisher who ran well in the Marsh Novices Chase last year but found 3 too good. If Allart does turn up in the Marsh Novices then Envoi Allen is the obvious one he would have to take on.

25/1 for Arkle, 16/1 for Marsh Novices, 20/1 for RSA Chase, 25/1 for Grand Annual

Supreme Novices Result 2020

Abacadabras looks overpriced at 16/1 for the Champion Hurdle. He disappointed last time out but Gordon Elliott generally takes his foot off the gas over Christmas. His horses start the season and end the season in much better form. We know Abacadabras likes Cheltenham having finished 4th in a very good Champion Bumper (Envoi Allen 1st and Thyme Hill 3rd) and arguably hit the front too soon in the Supreme Novices which I think was a strong renewal. I’m already on but at shorter odds (straight after his 2nd in the Supreme – couldn’t get the 16/1 that was available) but if you are not then I think he is a good bet now. Shishkin is clearly the one to beat and we are on at bigger prices for him in the Arkle. The other 3 may run well in Novice Chases but have Shishkin and Envoi Allen in the way in the Arkle and Marsh Novices whilst Monkfish looks tough to beat in the RSA.

Put The Kettle On – Won the Champion Chase in tough style last year and proved that was no fluke by winning the Grade 2 Shloer on her return at Cheltenham in November. She beat Duc Des Genievres that day with Defi Du Seuil pulling up. Not sure Duc Des Genievres is a strong form line having not won since winning the Arkle in 2019.  Put The Kettle On was then beaten at Leopardstown in a Grade 1. She was no match for Chacun Pour Soi or Notebook. That’s probably her level and I would be aiming her at the Mares Chase instead of the Champion Chase.

8/1 for Mares Chase, 20/1 for Champion Chase, 25/1 for Ryanair

Fakir D’Oudaries – (in running low of 1.6) – ran a cracker in the Arkle last year when 2nd to Put The Kettle On. He was only 5 and arguably hadn’t stopped improving. He traded at 1.6 in the run and certainly gave the winner a good run for her money. Considering plenty were talking about Put The Kettle On as a Champion Chase hopeful, I’m surprised Fakir D’oudaries was not given much credit for finishing 2nd. He returned this year and arguably proved that 2m is too sharp for him now when beaten by Notebook (who is excellent everywhere except Cheltenham) and I was then surprised to see him stepped up a full 1m into one of the hottest (if not the hottest) races you will see around Christmas time. A relentless pace set by the Mullins pair and the step up to 3m proved too much and he pulled up but I think this should tell connections the Ryanair is his only option. He’s finished 2nd and 4th at Cheltenham Festivals (4th in Supreme as a Juvenile) and it would be a surprise if he didn’t at least run at Cheltenham.

50/1 for Champion Chase , 50/1 for Ryanair , 100/1 for Gold Cup

Rouge Vif – (in running low of 6.60) – was a long way behind the front pair in the Arkle and is arguably a very good handicapper but short of Grade 1 class. He has probably shown that this season already having won a handicap at Cheltenham in October very impressively and was given an 8lb hike. Since then he’s finished 3rd of 5 at Sandown in a Tingle Creek and then 4th of 6 at Kempton in a Desert Orchid Chase. He’s likely to turn up in the Champion Chase as doesn’t really have anywhere else to go but I would be surprised if he was good enough to challenge the proven 2m Grade 1 horses.

25/1 for Champion Chase, 20/1 for Ryanair

Global Citizen – (in running low of 12.5) – was 33/1 for an Arkle and only actual beat 2 finishers in Al Dancer and Notebook (hates Cheltenham) and was a long way behind the front pair. His mark is falling and he’s now down to 150 after 2 pulled up efforts at Exeter and Kempton. He’s clearly not Champion Chase quality so the Grand Annual would be his likely target, if they even run at Cheltenham. I think he will be saved for Aintree for the Red Rum Handicap Chase.

33/1 for Grand Annual. 100/1 for Champion Chase

Al Dancer – (in running low of 16.50) – was well beaten in the Arkle and has returned this season up in trip. The 2m4f trip suited perfectly at Newton Abbot when beating Master Tommytucker (now rated 159) giving him 6lb. He’s since finished 3rd and 9th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Caspian Caviar at Cheltenham. Sent off 5/1 favourite for both, he’s obviously been disappointing but crucially he needs better going and when he gets his ground I think he can bounce back. A dry forecast in the week up to Cheltenham could see his odds tumble for the Brown Advisory Handicap Chase.

25/1 for Brown Advisory Plate

Arkle Result 2020

Fakir D’oudaries at 50/1 for Ryanair Chase looks a big price. He’s now finished 4th in a Supreme Novices Hurdle (as a 4 year old) and was only beaten 1 3/4 length when trading 1.6 in the run in the Arkle. Always looked like he would want further. Beaten on return by Notebook before he was stepped up from 2m to 3m. That looked too far and he pulled up. Dropping back to 2 1/2 mile for the Ryanair looks ideal. My only concern would be if they run again over 3m and get him dropped another few pounds where he would then surely be aimed at the handicap. If I knew the ground was going to be good or better then Al Dancer at 25/1 for the Brown Advisory looks big but we will need to wait until closer to the time for that.

The Conditional – won what a looked a very competitive Ultima Handicap Chase and I think those involved in the finish were the ‘right horses’. The Conditional has since finished 3rd in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury (2nd last year off a 10lb lower mark) and 2nd last time out behind Mister Malarky at Ascot. He’s now rated 149 which is 10lb higher than when winning this race last year. Off this 10lb higher mark, I think there is likely to be a couple that are better handicapped but you would imagine he should run another solid race.

20/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Kildisart – (in running low of 2.08) – came there travelling really well and I thought hung fire a bit when asked for his effort despite only being beaten by a neck with Discorama and Vinndication just behind in 3rd and 4th. He returned this season with the cheekpieces removed and over hurdles which suggests connections felt he was still well handicapped off a 5lb higher mark. After what was surely a fitness run at Wetherby over hurdles he returned to fences and the cheekpieces were back on. He ran ok for 7th in the Ladbrokes Trophy and the handicapper has dropped him 2lb for that effort. This means for just a neck, if he and The Conditional re-opposed in the Ultima Handicap Chase he would be 7lb better off. That would surely be enough to reverse the placings. I would imagine this has been the plan since finishing 7th in the Ladbrokes Trophy with the Aintree 3m as a his 2nd target should Cheltenham go wrong.

25/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Discorama – (in running low of 3.85) – is a real smooth traveller but doesn’t always find much off the bridle and that could happen again this year. The tongue tie was dropped at Galway when only beaten a short head by Kim Muir winner Milan Native and then it was put back on when beaten a long way in November at Cheltenham when sent off the 15/8 favourite. The Ultima Handicap Chase trip is arguably as far as he wants and he may be outstayed again by a stronger stayer or 2 but I can also see him being heavily supported again by those who were on last year (we were) as he is currently rated just 1lb higher.

25/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Vinndication – (in running low of 1.8) – finished 2nd behind Cyrname at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase when clearly 2nd best before falling in the Ladbroke Trophy. Kim Bailey is adamant he would have gone very close and feels he is a Gold Cup horse. However he also stated that without another run over fences this Gold Cup plan may have to be scrapped and a run in the Stayers Hurdle would be an alternative. If his trainer is adamant he would have won the Ladbrokes Trophy and is a Gold Cup horse then I wonder whether he’ll end up taking the happy medium and returning for this Ultima Handicap Chase off just  a 1lb higher mark.

20/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase, 20/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 50/1 for Gold Cup.

Big River –  (in running low of 2.42) – was just like in 2019 badly outpaced before finishing strongly and if I am right he finished behind the right horses, he could be interesting this season. He finished 3rd on his return at Cheltenham off a mark of 143 before running another eyecatching race when finishing strongly at Chepstow in the Welsh National. He’s been dropped down to a mark of 139 which is 2lb lower than when 5th in this race. I think off 139 he could try the Kim Muir instead of the Ultima Handicap Chase. Another furlong than his last 2 Cheltenham Festival runs and arguably a weaker race (top weight is rated 145), I think he can go very close and not get so far behind.

I’m hoping this like from Lucinda on my tweet is a hint that this is his target.

25/1 for Kim Muir, 40/1 for Ultima Handicap

Ultima Handicap Chase Result 2020

Kildisart ran really well last year and has plenty of Cheltenham form. He arguably finished his race off better than Vinndication who now looks Gold Cup bound. The Conditional is 10lb higher and would struggle to give the weight differences to those who finished around him. Discorama is very tricky and doesn’t find a lot despite always travelling well. I would be keen to see Big River run in the Kim Muir Handicap instead of this race. You would likely have a strong ‘team’ if you backed all 4 who are currently down to return to this race. At 20/1, 25/1, 25/1 and 40/1 they were sent off 15/2, 10/1, 11/2 & 20/1 last year. I’m currently siding with Kildisart at 25/1. Big River can be backed at 25/1 for the Kim Muir and I think he will go very close here.

Epatante – won the Champion Hurdle and it never looked likely anything was going to beat her all the way round. Sharjah ran on strongly but was ridden to pick up any pieces. She returned this year with a facile victory in the Fighting Fifth when her only danger was forced to make the running and set the race up perfectly. She wasn’t as good at Kempton over 2m and arguably gave the winner too much of a lead but wasn’t really closing at the finish. She does however have Cheltenham form in the bag and with a stronger pace and more rivals to take her to anything that is trying to make the running, she still looks the one to beat.

Sharjah (in running low of 1.66) – for me was ridden to pick up any pieces and that resulted in a great run for 2nd. He has since run twice over 2m on the flat (too far) and despite the trip being too far on the flat, has disappointed but bounced back to win at Leopardstown in the Matheson Hurdle. His 3rd win in the race. He clearly runs his best races at Leopardstown over hurdles and although can be given a similar ride at Cheltenham as last year, I feel there will be others that are already gone.

8/1 for Champion Hurdle

Darver Star (in running low of 3.3) – ran a great race for 3rd as Novice but is already a 9 year old so won’t be getting many chances at the festival so you could understand why they went straight into the Champion Hurdle last year. He has since won a Beginners Chase at Punchestown in good style but has found his level when being beaten at Punchestown in a Grade 2 Novice and then at Leopardstown in a Grade 1 when 2nd to Franco De Port. I would argue this form is not as strong as what he had showed over hurdles and I would be switching him back to hurdles as quickly as possible as the Novice Chases look very tough with Shishkin, Envoi Allen and Monkfish all looking hard to beat. The Champion Hurdle has a slightly more open look.

33/1 for Arkle , 33/1 for Marsh Novices, 50/1 for Champion Hurdle

Cilaos Emery – (in running low of 3.65) – returned to Hurdles after falling at Leopardstown last season and after winning at Gowran Park ran a good race for 4th in the Champion Hurdle. He was expected to make a winning return over fences in the Clonmel Oil Chase but was comfortably beaten by stablemate Bachasson over 2m4f. The drop back to 2m is a strong possibility but he looks like the sort to run another solid race at the Festival but find 2 or 3 too good.

40/1 for Champion Chase, 40/1 for Ryanair Chase,  50/1 for Champion Hurdle

Petit Mouchoir– (in running low of 6.8) – purchased at the late stage of his career by the Moran’s was a surprise. Now trained by Gordon Elliott he has continued to hold his form. After Cheltenham he finished 2nd in a Grade 3 hurdle behind Aramon and then 3rd in the Galway Hurdle off a mark of 155. Arctic Fire won the County Hurdle off a mark of 158 and Petit Mouchoir off 157 would arguably have a better chance in the County Hurdle than the Champion Hurdle. No bookmaker has currently offered a price for the County Hurdle.

66/1 for Champion Hurdle

Champion Hurdle Result 2020

Nothing interests me here for the Graded races but I did advise a few of my owner clients to purchase Petit Mouchoir with the County Hurdle as a target and it would be foolish of me to not have a bet if he did turn up in that race. Keep that one quiet for the moment (don’t shout about it on twitter!)

Honeysuckle – won this race last year in a race that Rachael Blackmore won and Paul Townend and Robbie Power lost by their rides. I’m not sure if I think the best horse won on the day. This season she started by winning the Hatton’s Grace with Ronald Pump closing all the way to the finish. I think was a good run on her seasonal return and she should improve for the run. Connections have been talking about the Champion Hurdle over and over again and whilst the Mares Hurdle is clearly the best race for her, they may be tempted this year.

3/1 for Mares Hurdle, 16/1 for Champion Hurdle

Benie Des Dieux – (in running low of 1.20) – I think should have won last year and don’t really think Paul brought her proven stamina into the race enough. She hasn’t been seen since, a common theme with Mullins Mares Hurdle runners. I expect to see her run in the Galmoy Hurdle again and then connections can decide if she runs in the Mares Hurdle or Mares Chase or Stayers Hurdle. With the form of Thyme Hill and Paisley Park looking strong, I think they will not run in the Stayers Hurdle and the Mares Hurdle and Mares Chase being the main 2 races.

5/1 for Mares Chase, 8/1 for Mares Hurdle, 25/1 for Champion Hurdle, 12/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Elfile – (in running low of 12.00) – was no match for Honeysuckle and Benie Des Dieux and hasn’t been seen since. She’s clearly talented but is likely to find a few too good again if she returns this season.

12/1 for Mares Chase, 25/1 for Mares Hurdle

Roksana – (in running low of 27.00) – won the 2019 Mares Hurdle after Benie Des Dieux fell at the last. She finished 4th last year which was probably a fair reflection of her ability compared to other mares. She has returned this season winning a Grade 2 at Wetherby but I’m not sure those behind were that much in the grade. Her 3rd behind Paisley Park and Thyme Hill was a very good run and a reproduction of that would see her run well in either the Mares Hurdle or Stayers Hurdle but is she good enough to beat Honeysuckle/Benie Des Dieux or Paisley Park/Thyme Hill…probably not.

14/1 for Mares Hurdle, 16/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Stormy Ireland – (in running low of 7.20) – switched to Paul Nicholls after finishing 5th last year and although she’s finished 2nd on 3 of her 4 runs they have not been in races that suggest she can go close in a Graded race at Cheltenham. The Coral Cup or Brown Advisory could be potential races but she’s certainly not a selection at this stage.

33/1 for Mares Chase, 50/1 for Mares Hurdle

Mares Hurdle Result 2020

Benie Des Dieux has now fallen at the last when going to win this and finished 2nd when jockeys got a lot of criticism for letting Honeysuckle up the rail. I think we will see Honeysuckle go for the Champion Hurdle this year particularly as Epatante has been beaten this season. I think this means Mullins has to decide between Benie and Concertista here and with Benie having had form over fences, I think that’s where she will go.

Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase – no longer at the Cheltenham Festival

Imperial Aura – was one of the most popular winners of the Cheltenham Festival and one of 2 Cheltenham Festival winners from this race:

(the form worked out very well – 2 x Cheltenham Festival winners, On The Slopes won his next 2 races)

Since winning this race he won a Listed Chase at Carlisle in good style and then a Grade 2 at Ascot. He had his biggest challenge last weekend at Ascot but unseated early on so we never really got a gauge on whether he is Grade 1 company or not. I think he is and he is likely to have another run before Cheltenham to get him back on track.

7/1 for Ryanair Chase & 40/1 for the Gold Cup

Galvin – (in running low of 1.53) – pushed a very well handicapped horse in Imperial Aura and traded as low as 1.53 and has franked this form by winning the last 4 races and is now going straight to the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in March. Finishing 2nd to Imperial Aura was a very good run.

5/1 for National Hunt Chase

Hold The Note – (in running low of 8.6) – has since finished 4th at Wetherby in a Novice Chase over 3m, 4th of 5 at Newbury over nearly 3m and then 3rd of 5 over 3m1f at Cheltenham. He dropped back in trip to 2m4f at Kempton but appeared outpaced before quietly running on again late on. He’s now rated just 138 which is 7lb lower than when 3rd at Cheltenham. Off 138 he’s unlikely to get into the Brown Advisory Handicap Chase at this stage but as he’s still a Novice, you can see him returning to Cheltenham for the Novice Handicap in January won by Simply The Betts last year and a win here and he would then get into the Brown Advisory Handicap.

No prices yet

Whatmore – (in running low of 13.0) – travelled well on his return at Ascot when 2nd to Ascot specialist Regal Encore and then finished 2nd to rejuvenated Yorkhill at Newcastle. He’s now rated 145 which is 7lb higher than when 4th at the Festival. I’m not sure he’s handicapped to win a big handicap at the Festival after his 2 very good efforts this season.

33/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase,

Beakstown (in running low of 5.5) – has not been seen since the Cheltenham Festival.

No prices yet.

Northern Trust Handicap Chase Result 2020

Imperial Aura looks a really good horse and should go well in the Ryanair whilst Galvin is going straight to the National Hunt Challenge Chase. Both would likely run big races. I am very keen to give Hold The Note another chance as the owners do like their horses to run well at the Cheltenham Festival. Off 138 he would look very nicely handicapped but looks right on the cusp of getting into the Brown Advisory and connections may want to find another race for him before that to try and win and guarantee a run. Currently he is not listed in the Brown Advisory but should he win a similar handicap in the near future he is likely to be introduced.

National Hunt Chase

Ravenhill – pulled well clear with runner up Lord Du Mesnil. He dropped back in trip for the Kerry National but unseated when appearing to not be able to keep up. He has since finished 6th in a Grade 3, 8th in a Grade 1 and 3rd in a Grade 2 and looks like he’s being campaigned with a staying handicap in mind. The Irish National being the obvious one. Currently rated 151.

50/1 for Grand National

Lord Du Mesnil – (in running low of 2.0) –  went clear but was caught by Lord Du Mesnil and maybe didn’t quite get home but I also think he was beaten by a strong stayer. He returned over hurdles with connections clearly trying to keep his mark over fences. He tried the Grand National fences in the Grand Sefton and although he jumped ok, he was never involved in the race as the trip appeared too short. He returned a marathon trip in the Welsh National and was beaten 19 lengths back in 9th. He may need to drop a few pound to really get involved but the long distance handicaps are definitely on his radar.

16/1 for Welsh Grand National & 66/1 for Grand National.

Lamanver Pippin – (in running low of 28.00) – was a long way behind in 3rd and returned to Cheltenham in November running well for 3rd when travelling like the winner. He then ran in the Welsh National trial and was beaten 38 lengths when sent off the 10/3 favourite. The cheekpieces didn’t do their job and I imagine we will see these dropped very quickly. Off 135 he would be right on the cusp of getting in the Kim Muir which could the be the target with Will Biddick having ridden him to his 2 3rd place finishes at Cheltenham.

25/1 for Welsh National

Forza Milan – (in running low of 11.0) – has been very busy since running at Galway twice, Navan and Fairyhouse twice. He bounced back to form when winning last time out over 2m5f at Fairyhouse in a beginners chase. The Kim Muir could be his target as well but he wouldn’t be a selection for me at the moment.

25/1 for Kim Muir

Smoking Gun – (in running low of 20.0) – 7th at Fairyhouse when dropped back to 2m before stepping up to 2m4f at Cork and running well for 3rd. Having won over 3m1f, you would imagine he’s being saved for a return to Cheltenham. Again the Kim Muir could be his target but he was beaten far enough in this race last year to suggest they may look elsewhere this year.

No Prices yet.

National Hunt Challenge Result 2020

I think Ravenhill has been campaigned with a feature handicap (Grand National at Aintree or Irish National) in mind and think he’s worth keeping in mind when he tackles long distance handicaps. Similarly Lord Du Mesnil has been campaigned with a feature race in mind. I think he can go very close in the upcoming Welsh National. Lamanver Pippin could be interesting in the Kim Muir if he turns up.

Envoi Allen – won the Ballymore Novices Hurdle in good style cementing his position as one of the leading Novices and one to look forward to over fences. He’s started in good style. He won comfortably at Down Royal in a Beginners Chase before winning a 4 runner Grade 1 chase. It arguably didn’t actually feature Grade 1 rivals but he still won comfortably without coming out off 2nd gear.

Evens for Marsh Novices, 16/1 for RSA Chase

Easywork– sadly passed away since.

The Big Getaway – (in running low of 1.51) – has always had a lofty reputation and ran a good race for 3rd behind Envoi Allen at Cheltenham. He disappointed on his return on chase debut at Navan when only 3rd but bounced back to form at Leopardstown winning by 10 lengths. He will need to step up on that form and will likely be seen at the Dublin Racing Festival at the beginning of February.

16/1 for Marsh Novices, 20/1 for RSA Chase, 16/1 for National Hunt Chase

The Big Breakaway – (in running low of 11.00) – not to be confused with the The Big Getaway finished 4th in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle and has started life over fences in good form winning at Cheltenham before just failing to concede a penalty to Bold Plan at Exeter. The front pair were well clear and this was a good performance. He was then stepped up into Grade 1 company at Kempton in the Kauto Star Novices Chase and finished 2nd behind Shan Blue. This performance could be marked up as Colin Tizzards’ horses were not running great at the time.

50/1 for Marsh Novices, 16/1 for RSA, 16/1 for the National Hunt Chase

Mossy Fen – (in running low of 65.00) – has disappointed this season over fences finishing a well beaten 4th of 5 at Cheltenham behind Galvin when sent off the 5/2 2nd favourite and then pulled up at Cheltenham when again only sent off 3/1 in a race featuring Protektorat and Southfield Stone. Connections clearly think he has ability and can jump a fence but he’s yet to put his best foot forward.

66/1 for RSA Chase, 100/1 for Marsh Novices.

Ballymore Hurdle Result 2020

Nothing interests me from the Ballymore. Despite arguably not beaten any likely Grade 1 performers yet, Envoi Allen is going to take all the beating in the Marsh Novices Chase but he is even money already! I will be keeping an eye on Mossy Fen in case he turns up in a handicap in the near future.

Champ – not seen since and Nicky Henderson suggests there are no suitable races for him…..what a load of rubbish!

12/1 for Gold Cup

Minella Indo – (in running low of 1.06) took advantage of a mistake from Allaho at the 2nd last to look like he was going to go and win this race but made a mistake himself at the last before the turbo charged Champ ran him down in the final few strides. This season he started off winning a Grade 3 at Wexford by 25 lengths before winning a Grade 2 at Navan in good style. He then fell in the Savills Chase which was a surprise as his jumping is usually very good. Sent off the 5/2 favourite it’s clear he should still be in the running for the Gold Cup at this stage if he can jump round safely.

10/1 for Gold Cup

Allaho – (in running low of 2.00) – had suggested all season that the Marsh Novices would have been the better option and it was no surprise to see him get tired late on in the RSA Chase. He’s since ran over 2m4f in the Grade 1 John Durkan at Punchestown on Heavy going and disappointed somewhat finishing 6th of 7. He then finished 4th in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown and once again suggested that he doesn’t stay this far and the Ryanair looks the obvious option for him.

12/1 for Ryanair Chase, 50/1 for Gold Cup

Battleoverdoyen – (in running low of 3.5) – was a long way behind the front 3 in the RSA Chase and it would take a lot to think he can beat them over the Gold Cup trip. He’s now pulled up at Cheltenham over hurdles and finished a well beaten 4th over fences. This season he won a Grade 2 at Down Royal beating Easy Game and Samcro before finishing a well beaten 4th in the John Durkan at Punchestown. Not really sure Cheltenham suits him and wouldn’t be rushing to back him in anything.

33/1 for Ryanair Chase, 66/1 for Gold Cup

Aye Right – (in running low of 50.00) – was a long way behind in 5th and was never a real challenger to win the RSA Chase. He has proven himself to be a very good handicapper though finishing 2nd at Kelso behind Nuts Well in October. He stepped up on this form when 3rd in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall at Wetherby behind Cyrname and Vinndication and then ran a great race for 2nd in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. He only went up 1lb for this 2nd in the Ladbrokes Trophy and his mark of 151 may be workable in the Ultima Handicap at the festival.

25/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase, 100/1 for Gold Cup

RSA Chase Result 2020

Minella Indo came down too early in the Grade 1 at Leopardstown to really get an idea of how he was going to fare. I think he would have gone close and think he’s solid in the Gold Cup. I would be disappointed if he’s out of the 3 with the current 3 for me being the front 3 in the betting. Allaho is surely going to run in the Ryanair Chase but it’s looking like a hot Ryanair Chase and I worry whether he’s just a soft finisher. Battleoverdoyen doesn’t run his best races at Cheltenham whilst Aye Right could be interesting in the Ultima Handicap Chase

Dame De Compagnie– was dropped 2lb before the festival after an appeal over her 2lb collateral form rise. This proved to be a great move by connections and a terrible decision by the appeals committee. (Indefatigable would go on to win the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap). She has not been seen since and chasing has been suggested when she does make her return to the track. Rated 148 (8lb higher)

12/1 for Mares Hurdle, 20/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 25/1 for Coral Cup, 25/1 for Mares Chase, 40/1 for Champion Hurdle

Black Tears – (in running low of 2.2) – came into this race off the back of a 2nd in a Grade 3 Mares Hurdle and ran a great race trading as low as 2.2 in the run. finishing a clear 2nd. This season she has finished 3rd in a Mares Listed Hurdle at Punchestown before filling the same position in a Grade 3 Mares Hurdle behind Concertista. This surely shows she is not good enough to win a Mares Hurdle at the Festival and a return to the Coral Cup off a 7lb higher mark looks the more realistic route. Rated 147 (3lb higher)

33/1 for Mares Hurdle, 40/1 for Coral Cup,

Thosedaysaregone – (in running low of 3.20) – ran well for 3rd at Cheltenham and has since been tried on the flat over 1m4f – 2m and has finished 4th, 5th, 8th and finally 2nd at Tramore. She returned to the National hunt sphere in a Chase where she was comfortably beaten in a race won by Mengli Khan. That was back in September and being owned and trained by Charles Byrnes, it would be no surprise to see him return to Leopardstown in February for the race he won last year and be backed off the boards. He’s currently rated 2lb higher than when finished 3rd at Cheltenham. Rated 141 (2lb higher)

25/1 for Coral Cup

Cracking Smart – (in running low of 44.0) – finished 4th in this race last year and has since been disappointing falling in a Grade 2 at Navan, before finishing 5th in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse when beaten a long way. 2 Subsequent handicap runs over 3m have seen him finish 15th and 14th at Navan and Leopardstown respectively. Due to this, he has dropped to a 3lb LOWER mark than when 4th at Cheltenham. Rated 150 (3lb lower)

50/1 for Coral Cup

Honest Vic – (in running low of 11.00) – stepped up in trip on return and was a very impressive winner of a Pertemps Qualifier with a performance good enough to run a good race in the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. After winning he was stepped up in grade to Grade 1 company where he ran ok for 5th behind Paisley Park, Thyme Hill, McFabulous and Summerville Boy. He was asked to make most of the running after nothing wanted to go forward and that didn’t work. I don’t think this showed his true ability and he could be interesting back at Cheltenham and given a more patient ride. I think he’s a decent e/w bet in the Stayers Hurdle and hope connections can give him a confidence booster winning run in a Handicap in the near future.

66/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Coral Cup Result 2020

Honest Vic at 66/1 for the Stayers Hurdle looks a big price. His performance when winning at Cheltenham was very good and would see him go very close in the Stayers Hurdle. His most recent effort can be ignored as he was left in front after nothing wanted to go forward and was an easy target for those who reeled him in. The form has been franked with Paisley Park and Thyme Hill both showing they are the pair to beat at the festival whilst the 3rd McFabulous showed he just didn’t stay over 3m.

Politologue – took advantage of Altior and Chacun Pour Soi not turning up and Defi De Seuil…..well not turning up either. He has since won the Grade 1 Tingle Creek at Sandown beating stablemate Greaneteen by 7 lengths. Was that a strong Grade 1?

7/1 for Champion Chase, 33/1 for Ryanair Chase

Dynamite Dollars – (in running low of 7.20) – sadly no longer with us

Bun Doran – (in running low of 10.0) – finished 3rd in a poor Champion Chase and his 2 runs to date this season are probably a truer reflection of his ability when finishing 7th in Haldon Gold Cup (Handicap) at Exeter and then finishing 5th in Grade 2 at Cheltenham beaten over 20 lengths. He has dropped to a mark of 154 which is starting to look like where connections need to be focusing.

No prices yet.

Defi Du Seuil – (in running low of 1.40 (sent of 1.45)) – ran nowhere near his best at the Festival and disappointed back in 4th making plenty of mistakes and not looking like himself at all. He returned to Cheltenham in November and after ballooning the 1st and landing awkwardly he never looked like he was going to win and disappointed again. He was ultimately pulled up and whilst connections claim there is nothing hindering him, there surely is.

20/1 for Champion Chase, 20/1 for Ryanair Chase

Sceau Royal – (in running low of 13.50) – Was highlighted as a horse we were interested in for the Grand Annual this year as he clearly wasn’t Grade 1 company over fences. Rather frustratingly he was dropped to Hurdles this season and won the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las off 150 before winning the Grade 2 Unitbet Hurdle at Wincanton. He was no match for Epatante when setting the race up for the Champion Hurdler and then arguably ran to his level when 4th at Cheltenham in the Unibet International Hurdle. A return to fences for the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton was short lived as he fell at the 5th. Can’t imagine he will be kept over fences after that run and the Champion Hurdle or completely skipping Cheltenham are likely.

33/1 for Champion Hurdle, 50/1 for Champion Chase

Champion Chase Result 2020

If we knew that Defi Du Seuil was fit then 20/1 looks huge for a horse who was 5/1 when both Altior and Chacun Pour Soi were meant to be taking him on last season. I think a fit Defi Du Seuil and Altior and Chacun Pour Soi ALL beat Politologue this year.

Easysland – comfortably beat the reigning Cross Country and Grand National champion Tiger Roll and there was no fluke about this. Granted Tiger Roll may be regressing especially based on his form this season but the rest were even further behind. He was beaten at Cheltenham on his return but was giving away 21lb+ to his rivals. Off level weights at the festival, it’s hard to see anything beating Easysland.

2/1 for Cross Country Chase

Tiger Roll – (in running low of 1.43) – lost his crown to Easysland and hasn’t been as good this season finishing 6th on the flat at Navan well behind Ilmig and then pulling up on his return to Cheltenham over the Cross Country fences. This would be a worry if you fancied him to go close again this season. I think he could now be regressing.

7/1 for Cross Country Chase

Out Sam – (in running low of 70.0) – was 18 lengths behind Tiger Roll and a total of 35 behind Easysland. He’s since pulled up at Downpatrick and Fell at Kilbeggan in a Veterans Chase. He finished 5th at Cork in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National before finishing 4th over the Cross Country fences at Cheltenham in a race lacking a real star Cross country horse.

33/1 for Cross Country Chase

Diesel D’Allier – (in running low of 28.0) – was well beaten at Cheltenham in the Cross Countr Chase before pulling up at Le Lion D’Angers. He’s since finished 4th at Paul the last twice. Can’t be considered as a potential danger to Easysland.

33/1 for Cross Country Chase

Urgent De Gregaine – (in running low of 16.0) – was also a long way behind at Cheltenham. He’s performed well for 2nd at Lyon-Parilly but would need to step up massively to get involved in the finish here.

No prices yet.

Cross Country Chase 2019 Result

Easysland was beaten recently at Cheltenham but that was in a handicap. Back at the Festival he will be much better off with his rivals and will take all the beating again. Potters Corner will have learnt plenty for his first experience but will be 21lb worse off at the Festival. I can’t see the favourite getting beat unless it’s by another French horse yet to run over the course.

Aramax – was well supported into 15/2 from 11/1 in the morning having drifted just a few days before the race. Into handicaps against older horses he finished well beaten 15th in Galway Hurdle afterwards and hasn’t got going over fences yet finishing 8th and 10th in Beginner Chases since. He’s not an Arkle horse but could be interesting when he gets a handicap mark.

66/1 for Arkle.

Night Edition – (in running low of 1.57) – travelled well in the Fred Winter and was only narrowly beaten by a gambled JP runner. He returned this season off a 2lb higher mark in the Betfair Exchange Trophy where he was a well beaten 15th. He may have needed the run and better ground but it would be a bold call to suggest he is handicapped to win a County Hurdle.

33/1 for County Hurdle

Saint D’Oroux – (in running low of 4.0) – ran a solid race at Cheltenham finishing 3rd but never really looked like he was going to win. He finished 9th on his return at Bellewstown before running much better at Galway when not beaten far in a Novice hurdle. Stepped up in trip he finished 3rd again in a Novice hurdle but was beaten much further and was quickly dropped back in trip. Back into a handicap and over 2m he ran much better finishing 2nd behind West Cork Wildway but off his current handicap mark, is he even going to get in a race at Cheltenham.

33/1 for Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle

Recent Revelations – (in running low of 3.0) – traded as low as 3.0 in the run here and having chased home Aramax at Naas in the lead up to this race. He’s certainly gained experience since with a 2nd at Tipperary over 2m4f and then again at Roscommon over 2m. He disappointed at Galway when stepped up 2m6f. An 18th place in an 18 runner race on the flat quickly ruled the flat out and he’s since finished 5th of 5 at Punchestown and then was well beaten at Punchestown over Christmas. He’s had enough runs to arguably suggest that he isn’t well handicapped and his only hope is that a return to Cheltenham sees him return to better form.

33/1 for Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle

Clemencia – (in running low 11.0) – was highly tried as Juvenile finishing 4th in a Grade 2 behind Aspire Tower and then 4th in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown albeit well beaten both times. He dropped into handicap company for the Festival and finished a decent 5th on his first run for Tim Vaughan. He fell at Cheltenham on his return this season before finishing 4th at Cheltenham in a handicap and then 7th just a few days ago at Exeter. He doesn’t look that well handicapped.

No Prices yet

Fred Winter Result 2019

Aramax has been hugely disappointing since winning this race and they could have something lined up for him over fences but what, is anyones guess at this stage! The others have had chances and not capitalised. Clemencia may be the only one who I am very slightly interested in.

Ferny Hollow – won a Novice hurdle before being ruled out for the season.

Appreciate It – (in running low of 1.50) – looked to me like he needed further after trying to make a lot of the running at Cheltenham in the bumper and it was those held up that picked up strongly. He was still good enough to hold off all bar one of these. He has since won a Novice hurdle at Cork over 2m and then won the Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown comfortably beating the highly rated Ballyadam who wilted late on after trying to go with Appreciate It. He looks very good and I still think he has the stamina to go close in an Albert Bartlett but clearly has the speed to go very close in a Supreme Novices Hurdle as well.

3/1 for Supreme Novices Hurdle, 8/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle

Queens Brook – (in running low of 3.20) – ran a good race on only her 2nd start under rules finishing 3rd in the Champion Bumper. She won a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse before finishing a neck 2nd in a Grade 3 Mares Novice Hurdle. She was thrown in at the deep end on her next start taking on Concertista and Minella Melody and was put in her place but she can’t be discounted if they go back to novice company with the Mares Novice Hurdle the likely target.

25/1 for Mares Novice Hurdle ,  25/1 for Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle , 50/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle, 100/1 for Supreme Novices Hurdle

Third Time Lucki – (in running low of 6.0) – has already won 5 races and 3 times since finishing a good 4th at Cheltenham. After winning 2 Novice hurdles at Uttoxeter and Wetherby as expected he finished 2nd in the Supreme Novices Trial at Cheltenham when the winner was given far too much rope and Third Time Lucki tried to reel him in but wasn’t good enough. He’s since got back into the winners enclosure winning a Novice hurdle at Kempton. His relatively quiet campaign (hasn’t taken on any Grade 1 rivals yet) could mean he hasn’t had a hard season but may also mean he is found out at the festival.

16/1 for Supreme Novices Hurdle, 33/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle

Eskylane – (in running low of 3.0) – won Maiden hurdle at Punchestown but has been comfortably beaten in a Grade 3 at Navan when only 5th and then again when 5th in a Grade 2 at Navan. He’s clearly not Grade 1 company and shouldn’t be aimed at any of these races at the festival but could be interesting in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle.

33/1 for Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle, 40/1 for Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

Champion Bumper Result 2019

I thought Appreciate It was going to be very good and a future Gold Cup horse and the fact he is good enough to win over 2m and in impressive fashion, I think he could be very very good. He could be the Envoi Allen of the Novice Hurdles this year. I’m keeping an eye out for an entry for Eskylane in a handicap.

Samcro – won a thriller of a Marsh Novices Chase last year beating Melon and Faugheen. This season he started with a 3rd in Grade 2 at Down Royal over 2m4f before stepping up to 3m for the Grade 1 Savills Chase. This didn’t work and he disappointed pulling up when when well beaten.

16/1 for Ryanair Chase, 66/1 for Gold Cup

Melon – (in running low of 1.07) – finished 2nd in the Marsh Novices to go with his 2nd in a Supreme Novices Hurdle and 2 Champion Hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival. This season he’s started with a 3rd in the Grade 1 John Durkan at Punchestown behind Tornado Flyer and Min before finishing 3rd in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown when kicking on with Kemboy far too far from home and they both got run down by A Plus Tard.

12/1 for Ryanair Chase & 33/1 for Gold Cup

Faugheen –  (in running low of 2.50) – ran really well for 3rd aged 12 but has not seen since. Could you be backing a 13 year old at the Cheltenham Festival in one of the feature Graded races?

No prices.

Mister Fisher – (in running low of 4.30) – finished 4th not too far behind the front 3 in the Marsh Novices Chase. Ran at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power Chase and was sent off 11/2 2nd fav but ran a poor race and pulled up. Returned to Cheltenham for the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase and beat Kalashnikov.

16/1 for Ryanair Chase

Tornado Flyer – (in running low of 12.5) – never looked like winning the Marsh Novices Chase but ran well for 5th. Has returned this season finishing 2nd off top weight in a feature handicap before finishing 2nd to Min at Punchestown in a Grade 1 and then ran in the packed Grade 1 Savills Chase where he ran well again for 5th. Likely to drop in trip with the Ryanair in mind and certainly wouldn’t be without a chance.

25/1 for Ryanair

Marsh Novices Chase Result 2020

Melon consistently runs well in the big races and is still doing this season in Grade 1 events. He should run well in the Ryanair Chase but is there going to be 1 or 2 that beat him again? I’m not a fan of anything else from this race for this years festival.

Sire Du Berlais – won the Pertemps Final last year for the 2nd consecutive year. He also led home a 1-2-3-5 for my NagMe’s in the race. This season he has won a Grade 2 over 2m4f at Navan staying on strongly at the finish. He disappointed a bit in the Grade 1 at Leopardstown when only 3rd but beaten a long way by Flooring Porter.

11/1 for Stayers Hurdle,

The Storyteller – (in running low of 1.12) – finished just 1/2 behind Sire Du Berlais in the Pertemps Final for a 1-2 for Gordon Elliott. Arguably travelled better than the winner as well. Has been heavily campaigned since initially pulling up at Galway before then winning at Galway twice before 2nd at Gowran Park in a Grade 2 Chase. He then won a Grade 3 Chase at Punchestown and a Grade 1 Chase at Down Royal. He returned to hurdles at Leopardstown where he finished 2nd just in front of Sire Du Berlais but 6 lengths behind the winner Flooring Porter.

22/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Tout Est Permis – (in running low of 7.00) – has since finished 2nd in Grade 3 behind The Storyteller and then 3rd in a Grade 1 again behind The Storyteller. He returned to hurdles with a 5th place behind subsequent Grade 1 winner Flooring Porter and then returned chasing again when 9th in the packed Savills Chase. Currently rated 134 over hurdles which is 2lb lower than when 3rd in this race last year but does still need to qualify.

No prices currently.

Third Wind – (in running low of 6.4) – was only 6 when finishing 4th in a race behind subsequent graded winners and Tout Est Permis who has performed well in Graded races. He finished 5th on his return in a qualifier not beaten far before finishing 2nd in a Grade 3 handicap behind the rapidly improving Main Fact. Stepped up to Grade 1 company last time out he wasn’t beaten too far by the likes of Paisley Park and Thyme Hill. 5lb higher than last year but could still be improving at just 7 years old.

33/1 for Pertemps Final, 50/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Relegate – (in running low of 6.2) – looked unlucky last year having finished really strongly from a poor position but may struggle to get in this year and has yet to qualify. Has since finished 4th in Grade 2 at Navan well beaten by Sire Du Berlais before being pulled up at Haydock behind Main Fact. Only 11th in a handicap off 135 last time out at Navan means she is now rated 134. She does still need to qualify for this race.

No prices currently.

Pertemps Final Result 2020

Currently I have too many angles into this race, Relegate but she needs to qualify and maybe win a race to get a high enough mark, Tout Est Permis but needs to qualify, Third Wind arguably behind 3 very well handicapped horses. Away from this race last year, The Bosses Oscar, Mrs Milner and Mohaayed (sadly died in January) all look very appealing……eeek.

Third Wind from this race looks the most appealing as he really should get in and has qualified. Could have just bumped into 3 smart horses last year.

Min – narrowly held of Saint Calvados to win the Ryanair last year with A Plus Tard close behind. They were well clear of the rest. Min has only been seen once since Cheltenham when winning a Grade 1 at Punchestown in December beating Tornado Flyer and Melon.

6/1 for Ryanair Chase

Saint Calvados – (in running low of 1.58) – arguably would have won with a clearer run after the last on his first run over 2m4f. He returned this season with a decent 4th in King George at Kempton when his fitness just let him down late on. Ryanair looks obvious target as 3m at Kempton is not a Gold Cup test.

10/1 for Ryanair Chase

A Plus Tard – (in running low of 2.1) – has been chopping and changing distances and returned this season finishing 2nd at Navan in a Grade 2 before stepping up to 3m in the loaded Savills Chase. A strongly run race he finished best of all to run down the 2 Mullins horses. Now all systems go for the Gold Cup.

16/1 for Ryanair Chase, 10/1 for Gold Cup

Frodon – (in running low of 6.40) – returned at Aintree in December when finishing 4th beaten a long way in a race where most of the fences were omitted. Allowed a free ride out front at Kempton in a race that suited him and won the King George. Feel there are likely to be stronger types in the Gold Cup.

16/1 for Gold Cup

Duc Des Genievres – (in running low of 22.21) – switched to Paul Nicholls this season and returned with a decent 2nd in Grade 2 at Cheltenham behind 2020 Arkle winner Put The Kettle On. Was only good enough for 3rd in Grade 2 at Kempton behind Nube Negra and Altior.

33/1 for Champion Chase

Ryanair Chase Result 2020

Saint Calvados is the one for me here. I felt he was unlucky when not getting a clear run after the last and he showed he stayed this far. He’s a much better horse now and can settle early and this helps him get the trip.

He ran a good race in the King George when 4th and I was shocked to see Bet365 DRIFT him for the Ryanair after that.

They have since sorted themselves out and he’s back to 9/1 for the Ryanair. If you can get 10/1 I still think he’s a great bet.

Lisnagar Oscar – won a Stayers Hurdle which arguably fell apart a bit. He has since finished 4th in Grade 2 at Wetherby behind Roksana and then 7th in Grade 1 at Newbury behind Thyme Hill and Paisley Park and was beaten a long way.

33/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Ronald Pump – (in running low of 1.76) – didn’t get a clear run at Cheltenham and I felt was the best horse on the day. He returned with a fall in Grade 2 at Navan before then finishing a good staying on 2nd behind Honeysuckle at Fairyhouse over 2m4f. Doesn’t show his best until running over 3m over hurdles.

20/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Bacardys – (in running low of 2.24) –  finished 4th on his return in the race won by Honeysuckle with Ronald Pump in 2nd and then ran poorly when pulling up at Leopardstown in a Grade 1. 6th and 3rd in last 2 renewals but is now an 10 year old.

66/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Emitom – (in running low of 8.8) – has been sent chasing this season and yet to really set the world alight with a 2nd beaten a neck by Hurricane Harvey and then well beaten by If The Cap Fits and Fiddlerontheroof at Ffos Las. Rated 147 which could be interesting in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

33/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 50/1 for RSA Chase, 50/1 for Marsh Novices.

Summerville Boy – (in running low of 6.0) – won on his return at Aintree over 2m4f won at Aintree before finishing 4th in a Grade 2 at Newbury in a race that has worked out really well. Dropped to 2m at Cheltenham when only 5th before another 5th at Kempton over 2m5f. Might be looking at Aintree as his main target.

50/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Stayers Hurdle Result 2020

The best horse didn’t win on the day, that horse is still Paisley Park whilst Thyme Hill looks to be the young pretender. I think both of these are going to go close but their prices reflect that. At a bigger price, Ronald Pump can’t be ignored. With a clear run in this race last year, I think he wins whilst his 2 runs this year have clearly demonstrated he needs 3m and won’t be at his best until he gets back to 3m. His last runs over 3m over hurdles have been 11122. 2nd at Leopardstown beaten by a horse who is now rated 20lb higher and 2nd in the Stayers Hurdle when unlucky not to win. 20/1 looks too big. Would be interested in Emitom if stepped up to 3m and dropped into a handicap at the festival.

Simply The Betts – continued his impressive season winning in what looked a very competitive field. Returned this season at Cheltenham off an 8lb higher mark and finished a moderate 6th in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase in November. Not been seen since and would run off 157 again.

33/1 for Stable Plate, 40/1 for Ryanair, 66/1 for Gold Cup

Happy Diva – (in running low of 1.4) – showed her liking to Cheltenham with a big run for 2nd. Has since finished 5th on return at Wetherby before surprisingly falling at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November. Finished 3rd in a Mares Listed Chase since and could run off the same 149 mark if returning to this race at the Festival.

33/1 for Stable Plate,

Mister Whitaker – (in running low of 4.3) – another Cheltenham specialist has only had 1 run since when finishing 6th in Grade 2 at Wetherby. A return to his level in this handicap again off the same 152 mark and he would be interesting.

33/1 for Stable Plate

Oldgrangewood – (in running low of 12.0) – returned this season at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase when he ran well for 4th before slightly disappointing when only 4th next time at Newbury in an easier race. Now 1lb LOWER than when 4th in this race last year.

33/1 for Stable Plate

Ben Dundee – (in running low of 4.00) – has not been seen since. Rated 147. Same Mark.

No prices yet.

Brown Advisory Chase Result 2020

Similar to the Pertemps Final, this race also throws up a few that I’ve got my eye on including Happy Diva and Mister Whitaker off the same mark and Oldgrangewood off a 1lb lower mark! Spiritofthegames from further down the field off a 2lb lower mark. Ben Dundee could also be interesting if there a season long plan to return here.

Concertista – was our best result of the week winning for us at 33/1 as highlighted in this blog post last year (S.P 9/2). She won comfortably by 12 lengths and has since won a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse won Grade 2 at Fairyhouse when expected to win before beating the same sort of rivals in a Grade 3 at Leopardstown. Clearly has ability but needs to prove herself still against the boys if a Champion was of interest.

3/1 for Mares Hurdle, 20/1 for Champion Hurdle, 40/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Dolcita – (in running low of 2.1) – moved to Paul Nicholls and she finished 2nd at Hereford sent off 1/4 in November and has not been seen since.

50/1 for Mares Hurdle

Rayna’s World – (in running low of 520.0) – returned to the flat afterwards and finished 2nd at Catterick off 70. Went back hurdling in October and won at Hexham at 1/5 in a Maiden Hurdle. Has since finished 2nd twice at Hexham and then again at Haydock in a Mares Listed hurdle.

100/1 for Mares Hurdle

Yukon Lil – (in running low of 5.20) – won a Mares Beginners Chase at Cork over 2m before finishing 3rd at Navan in a Novice Chase. Winner did chase home Envoi Allen recently.

50/1 for Mares Chase

Colreevy – (in running low of 4.9) – tried to make most of the running at Cheltenham but faded late on. She has since won comfortably at Punchestown over fences over 2m3f before winning a Grade 1 at Limerick when the hot favourite fell.

6/1 for Mares Chase, 40/1 for Mares Hurdle

Mares Novices Hurdle Result 2020

Concertista could be a good bet again this season but this time for the Mares Hurdle. If Benie Des Dieux goes over fences and Honeysuckle runs in the Champion Hurdle, Concertista goes off odds on for the Mares Hurdle. She’s currently available at 3/1. I wouldn’t want to see Concertista run in the Champion Hurdle and based on running in 2 Mares Hurdles, I don’t think Willie has this in mind.

Milan Native – just foiled one of our other bets from this blog in Kilfilum Cross. He was 2nd at 8/1 having been suggested at 33/1!. Milan Native has since won at Galway in a 3 runner race. He then finished 2nd in a 4 runner Grade 3 at Wexford well behind Minella Indo. He has since pulled up at Fairyhouse in November and finished a well beaten 15th at Leopardstown in December. Rated 147 so won’t get in this race this year. (needs to be 145 or less)

33/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Kilfilum Cross – (in running low of 2.02) – did everything right at Cheltenham but found one too good. Was raised 4lb for that effort but has since dropped after finishing 4th at Fakenham, pulling up at Cheltenham when sent off just 4/1. He then finished 7th at Doncaster over a trip on the short side and pulled up again at Ludlow in December. He’s now down to 135 which is 3lb lower than last year and would be right on the cusp of getting in this year.

33/1 for Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Bob Mahler – (in running low of 5.64) – has ran 3 shockers since pulling up at Cheltenham, Haydock and Kelso. The handicapper has dropped him down to a mark of 137 which is 3lb lower than when he was 3rd. Since his 3rd place, the blinkers have also been replaced with Cheekpieces.

33/1 for Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Plan of Attack – (in running low of 6.0) – has similar to Bob Mahler and even Kilfilum Cross been very disappointing since. Plan of Attack has pulled up at Listowel and then again at Navan before running better but still not great when 8th at Leopardstown in December. 3lbs lower than when 4th in this race.

22/1 for Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Deise Aba – (in running low of 8.0) – another one to run poorly since. Deise Aba has pulled up at Haydock when sent off 13/2 and then at Chepstow in the Welsh National trial when sent off 9/1. Has dropped to 137 which is 5lb lower than last year.

28/1 for Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Kim Muir Chase Result 2020

I’ve been highlighting Big River for this race for a few weeks. Looking at those who ran in this race last year , Kilfilum Cross could just squeak in again, Deise Aba looks very tempting off a 5lb lower mark whilst both Bob Mahler and Plan of Attack are off 3lb lower marks. Having placed in the race twice already Kilfilum Cross would have to be a selection for me and watching the race again Bob Mahler was arguably too prominent too early but ran on again. Interesting to see since his 3rd the blinkers have been replaced with Cheekpieces

Burning Victory – not seen since and for me after watching the race again, she was definitely the deserving winner (after Goshen had unseated). Isn’t great at hurdling at all.

22/1 for Mares Hurdle

Aspire Tower – (in running low of 6.2) – has since won a Grade 2 at Down Royal beating Abacadabras and then finished 2nd in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown beaten by the 3 time winner Sharjah. Over hurdles looks to be the best of the Juveniles from last season.

14/1 for Champion Hurdle, 33/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Allmankind – (in running low of 2.82) – returned with a 3rd over hurdles behind Botox Has and The Pink’n. Won on chase debut comfortably as expected before winning the Grade 1 Novices at Sandown beating 2 other 4 Year Olds. I do think if race was run again Hitman would win as felt Cobden let Skelton get away at a crucial time in the race.

10/1 for Arkle, 50/1 for Marsh Novices Chase

Navajo Pass – (in running low of 22.0) – ran in a good race on his return but was only 5th of 6 at Aintree. Dropped back into handicap company when 7th again at Aintree in December. Sent to Musselburgh for a handicap and won comfortably over hurdles. Rated 149 now.

50/1 for Coral Cup

Sir Psycho – (in running low of 15.0) – hasn’t quite fired yet this term. Finished 5th on his return at Chepstow in the Grade 3 Silver Trophy handicap before finishing 9th in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham. Handicapped has given him a chance as now rated 142 (4lb lower than at beginning of season).

33/1 for Coral Cup, 40/1 for County Hurdle

Triumph Hurdle Result 2020

Goshen was an obvious unlucky loser here and would have won nicely however has been very disappointing since. From those who ended up fighting out the finish, I strongly believe the best horse won the race. Burning Victory hurdled atrociously and yet was still good enough to beat Aspire Tower and Allmankind. She also looked to be idling after the last until they all came to her where she then picked up really strongly. She clearly needs to hurdle a lot better to get involved in anything at the festival and that would probably rule out the Champion Hurdle but the Mares Hurdle looks the obvious target and at 22/1 she could be a great bet.

Saint Roi – was a real handicap plot and won nicely. He has since won a Grade 3 at Tipperary before finishing 2nd in a Grade 1 at Punchestown behind Abacadabras. He then finished 4th beaten 5 3/4 lengths by Sharjah at Leopardstown. Is he even likely to be JP’s 2nd string in the Champion Hurdle?

14/1 for Champion Hurdle

Aramon – (in running low of 4.0) – was arguably unlucky as was given too much to do. He has since won a Grade 3 at Tipperary before going on to win the Galway Hurdle off a mark 6lb higher than when 2nd in the County Hurdle.

Out for the season.

Embittered – (in running low of 6.0) – has been campaigned over fences this season and arguably ran into 2 very well handicapped horses in the Coral Cup. Started off this season finishing 2nd at Navan in a Beginners chase behind the highly rated Easywork, then finished 2nd in a Grade 3 Novice Chase behind the highly rated Andy Dufresne before finishing 4th of 6 in a Grade 1. Not likely to be Grade 1 class but interesting if goes for a handicap.

20/1 for Grand Annual, 40/1 for County Hurdle

Buildmeupbuttercup – (in running low of 2.10) – arguably travelled best of all and better than Saint Roi (often does travel strongly). She didn’t pick up again and finished 4th. She has since finished 5th in the Galway Hurdle, 3rd at Galway on the flat. She then won at Killarney in a Mares Listed hurdle. She then finished 5th at Leopardstown in a feature handicap on the flat. She then won twice over hurdles in Mares Listed Hurdle events at Gowran Park and Punchestown. Stepped up to Grade 3 Mares Hurdle last time out and disappointed back in 6th of 7. Arguably points her towards another tilt at the County Hurdle off just a 4lb higher mark.

25/1 for County Hurdle, 33/1 for Mares Hurdle

Elusive Belle – (in running low of 10.0) – finished 5th of 8 on return this season in a Mares Listed Novice chase before winning comfortably in a handicap at Newbury. Last seen finishing 3rd of 4 at Kempton in a Grade 2 and is now rated 7lb higher than when 5th at Cheltenham last season.

33/1 for Mares Chase

County Hurdle Result 2020

Buildmeupbuttercup often travels well in these big handicap races but doesn’t really go through with her effort. She has won 3 of her last 5 races and 3 of her last 4 over hurdles with her only defeat coming in a Grade 3 Mares Hurdle. If she drops back into handicap company here off just a 4lb higher mark then I think she can go very close again. Embittered looks to have been campaigned for the Grand Annual!

Monkfish – won a great race where 4th was beaten just 2 lengths and they all pretty much jumped the last together. Won a beginners chase at Fairyhouse very comfortably before winning a Grade 1 at Leopardstown beating Latest Exhibition again. Looked a good race and Monkfish was very strong at the finish.

2/1 for the RSA Chase, 14/1 for National Hunt Chase

Latest Exhibition – (in running low of 1.52) – won at Punchestown in October before finishing 2nd to Pencilfulloflead at Punchestown in November in a Grade 2 and then pushing Monkfish all the way in the Grade 1 at Leopardstown. Has never finished outside the front 2.

10/1 for the RSA Chase, 14/1 for National Hunt Chase

Fury Road – (in running low of 1.54) – was also involved in the photo at Cheltenham but probably hasn’t convinced as much since. Won a Grade 2 at Punchestown when fully entitled to before finishing 4th at Leopardstown behind Flooring Porter.

20/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Thyme Hill – (in running low of 2.0) – looked unlucky not to finish closer at Cheltenham and be at least involved in the photo. Has since won at Newbury in a Grade 2 beating Paisley Park and McFabulous. Then finished 2nd to Paisley Park at Ascot beaten just a neck. The Stayers could well be another great race between the pair.

4/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Janidil – (in running low of 8.40) – looked to be in this race as JP didn’t need anything else in the handicaps (he won most). Has since been campaigned over fences and won at Naas comfortably before finishing 3rd in a Grade 1 at Limerick. Looks perfect for a handicap this year.

16/1 for Brown Advisory Chase, 33/1 for Marsh Novices Chase, 40/1 for RSA Chase

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Result 2020

The front 4 were all very smart and have all improved again this season. The horse in 5th Janidil was only running here as JP had the other races covered. Having been beaten in a Grade 1 last time out , connections should give up on that route and go down the handicap route. I think he will be perfect for the Brown Advisory Handicap. JP always likes to have a horse in a handicap that gets smashed up and I think he could be one this year. 16/1 looks a good price for me.

Al Boum Photo – won a thriller of a Gold Cup with 5 or 6 having big chances turning for home. Can he win the Gold Cup again this year? After it worked last year, he’s won on his prep run at Tramore comfortably and will go straight to Cheltenham now.

7/2 for Gold Cup

Santini – (in running low of 2.0) – I thought he would have won if he didn’t have to switch after the last and the hill certainly played to his strengths. He returned this season in a race where there were very few fences and was beaten by Lake View Lad at Aintree. He then finished 5th in the King George in a race again that doesn’t suit him. He is a 3m2f+ horse and will only be seen at his best at Cheltenham.

10/1 for Gold Cup

Lostintranslation – (in running low of 2.30) – ran a cracker for 3rd at Cheltenham considering he had pulled up at Kempton on his most recent run in the King George. He returned this season at Haydock where he won last year but was beaten out of sight this season and then again pulled up at Kempton. Colin Tizzard gets ideas in his head and sticks to it and never deviates which I think is the detriment to plenty of his horses.

33/1 for Gold Cup

Monalee – (in running low of 7.8) – unlikely to make it to the festival.

50/1 for Gold Cup

Delta Work – (in running low of 6.8) – wasn’t beaten far at Cheltenham despite finishing 5th and could be stronger this year but his prep hasn’t been great. He finished 5th of 9 at Down Royal in a Grade 1 behind The Storyteller before unseating in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. Likely to be seen again at Leopardstown for the Dublin Racing festival.

25/1 for Gold Cup

Cheltenham Gold Cup Result 2020

I don’t think Santini has had conditions to suit him yet and the 10/1 is too big considering I think with a clear run last year after the last and he beats Al Boum Photo. Normally pulling up at Kempton would be a terrible prep BUT crucially Lostintranslation did the same last year and yet still ran a cracker for 3rd in the Gold Cup. If he really did bleed in the King George and Tizzard can sort this out then 33/1 is very big.

Chosen Mate –  disappointed in the Grade 3 Grimes Hurdle on his next start before winning on the flat at Killarney over 1m6f suggesting he should get further than 2m now. He was 4th of 5 in a Grade 3 Hurdle before going back over fences again at Fairyhouse when pulling up. He ran an interesting race when never involved at Fairyhouse recently but is still 9lb higher than when winning at Cheltenham!

20/1 for Grand Annual

Eclair De Beaufeu – (in running low of 5.0) – fell at Navan over fences in a Grade 2 which was probably beyond him but was still running ok. He then fell over hurdles when looking like he coming there to win the race. He got round safely last time out at Leopardstown over hurdles which was probably the idea of the race. He’s only 4lb higher than his 2nd at Cheltenham last season.

25/1 for Grand Annual

Us And Them – (in running low of 4.90) – ran in the Galway Plate afterwards over an extra 6f which didn’t work and he was well beaten. He dropped to 2 1/2 mile next time when again well beaten in 8th at Killarney. Was looking held at Cork when falling 2 runs ago before being well beaten again at Fairyhouse last time out. The last twice he has only been sent off 13/2 which suggests connections feel he is going to come good soon. His 143 mark is 4lb lower than when not beaten far in 3rd in this race last year and 9lb lower than his peak over November 2019.

33/1 for Grand Annual

Greaneteen – (in running low of 3.10) – was sent off 5/1 for this race last year and ran well for 4th (St Pirran 2004 was last horse to win a handicap before going on to win Grand Annual). This season he returned with a win in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter beating Moonlighter before finishing 2nd at Sandown in the Tingle Creek behind Politologue. Rated 11lb higher now, the Champion Chase is likely his only target.

16/1 for Grand Annual, 33/1 for Champion Chase, 33/1 for Ryanair Chase

Theinval – (in running low of 4.20) – ran another great race at Cheltenham but is getting towards the end of his career. After finishing 5th on his return at Leicester he was then only good enough for 7th of 8 at Kempton. He’s now rated 136 which is 5lb lower but is unlikely to get in off that weight.

50/1 for Grand Annual

Grand Annual Result 2020

Eclair De Beaufeu arguably travelled as well as Chosen Mate and didn’t get the clearest of runs after Jan Maat pecked 2 out in front of him. He was the only one closing down the winner after the last and was then set a near impossible task at Navan on his return when slipping after the last. Looked to be bouncing back when falling 2 out at Fairyhouse over hurdles when picking up really well before running flat at Leopardstown again over hurdles. Returning to Cheltenham off just a 4lb higher mark looks the plan at 25/1.

Indefatigable – won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Hurdle at 25/1 which was a surprise. Look what I tweeted in December 2019 (Dame De Compagnie went on to win the Coral Cup). She returned with a 7th on the AW at Lingfield before finishing 3rd of 8 at Kempton in Mares Listed Hurdle. She was then beaten comfortably at Kempton in a Grade 2 and is now rated 149 which is only 4lb higher than when winning at Cheltenham.

33/1 for Mares Hurdle, 66/1 for Stayers Hurdle.

Pileon (in running low of 1.50) – Has really disappointed over fences since. He’s finished 4th of 4 at Cheltenham and then pulled up in Beginners Chase. He’s rated 138 over fences which is 10lb lower than his hurdles mark from last year. Not sure where he might end up though.

No prices yet.

Great White Shark – (in running low of 6.60) – returned to the flat in a handicap and finished a close 7th before returning to hurdles over 2m6f and winning. She then returned to the flat for the Cesarewitch at Newmarket and won in impressive style. She looks to be a stayer now and the 3m Stayers Hurdle could be her target.

25/1 for Stayers Hurdle,

Happygolucky – (in running low of 18.0) – was only beaten 3 lengths at Cheltenham and has looked quite good over fences since. He won at Stratford beating subsequent handicapper winner Paint The Dream in good style before finishing 2nd at Fakenham behind Getaway Trump. He got back to winning ways next time at Cheltenham beating The Might Don and Hold The Note. Can certainly still be improving as he’s only had 7 runs under rules.

40/1 for Marsh Novices Chase.

The Bosses Oscar – (in running low of 5.0) – returned this season with a win at Thurles in a race where he was arguably lucky to keep it in the stewards room before finishing 2nd to subsequent Grade 1 winning Flooring Porter. He had to qualify for the Pertemps Final and maybe did slightly too much by finishing 2nd at Leopardstown instead of 4th or 5th which would have been ideal. He’s been raised to a mark of 143 which would be fine but we know the English handicapper likes to give them another 5lb+.

8/1 for Pertemps Final

Martin Pipe Hurdle Result 2020

The Bosses Oscar was my TurfTalk Podcast horse to follow with this Pertemps Final in mind when available at 25/1. He’s now 8/1 and that price isn’t worth backing now if not already on. Hope for something else to look incredibly well handicapped. I was on Indefatigable last year from this blog…..for the Coral Cup and she looks a good bet again for that race. For this Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Race none of the others from the first 5 catch my eye. I do like the obvious Column of Fire, Mill Green and Five O’Clock all of whom have yet to run this season!

Summary of possible bets.

Champion Hurdle

Abacadbras @ 16/1

Ryanair Chase

Fakir D’oudaries @ 50/1

Saint Calvados @ 10/1

Ultima Handicap Chase

Kildisart @ 25/1

Stayers Hurdle

Honest Vic @ 66/1

Ronald Pump @ 20/1

Brown Advisory

Mister Whitaker @ 33/1

Janidil @ 16/1

Kim Muir

Kilfilum Cross @ 33/1

Mares Hurdle

Burning Victory @ 22/1

County Hurdle

Buildmeupbuttercup @ 25/1

Grand Annual

Embittered @ 20/1

Eclair De Beaufeu @ 25/1

Gold Cup

Santini @ 10/1

Pertemps Final

Third Wind @ 33/1