Cheltenham Festival 2021 Top 5

Last year this blog highlighted Fakir D’Oudaries who finished 2nd in the Ryanair at a whopping 50/1 as well as some other great runs.

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 2021, the in-running low and where they are now and what the targets could be this season. This year we will be adding a video per race!

Supreme Novices Result 2021

For Pleasure is the only one of interest and that’s for the Grand Annual. He’s currently 25/1 NRNB which I think is a price that is worth a bet on. If he runs here then I think he can run a big race.

Shishkin takes all the beating in the Champion Chase but nothing else is interesting from this race.

Vintage Clouds is very interesting and looks to have been campaigned to return to this race off the same mark as when winning last year. I like him and think he’ll go well again and we are already on him. I also like Cepage who is off a lower mark and may have been saved for this race. Having not run since December, the NRNB at 28/1 is very important here.

Liam’s Cheltenham Festival Selections

Nothing interests me here from last year. Honeysuckle wins again beating Appreciate It and Epatante in 3rd.

Concertista is likely to run in the Mares Novice Chase and is 2 from 2 over fences and would go off favourite. The 4th horse here Indefatigable could be interesting if dropping back to the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle race again. Off just 2lb higher mark she would surely go close again if ridden with restraint. There is no price currently for her in this race.

Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle

Fred Winter Result 2021

Nothing interests me here for this year.

This race from last year is already working out well and could become even better in the next few months. Galvin is 2nd favourite in the Gold Cup, I think Escaria Ten goes very close in the Grand National, Snow Leopardess has already won 2 feature handicaps this year including the Becher Chase at Aintree whilst Remastered is one of our selections for the Ultima Handicap.

With Bob Olinger Bravemansgame running in Grade 1’s and looking to have big chances, the others who are running in handicaps have to be interesting. We are already on Does He Know @ 16/1 for the Ultima and he’s rated 147. Therefore a horse with a current rating of 148 who was comfortably in front of him in this race and has since been tried in races featuring Grade 1 horses looks a good bet for a handicap. Gaillard Du Mesnil at 10/1 is that horse.

Monkfish is out for the season whilst Fiddlerontheroof looks like he’s running in the Gold Cup. Dickie Diver could be interesting back over hurdles and has a Pertemps Qualifier entry this weekend.

Heaven Help Us is rated just 2lb higher than when winning and could be interesting but I think she’ll run in the Mares event instead. Tea Clipper is rated 4lb higher over fences and could well in a handicap but may find one or two better handicapped. Janika back in this race off a 2lb lower mark could go well but he’s not shown anything this season.

If Shishkin & Energumene both run they both beat all of these. I don’t think Chacun Pour Soi will run this year.

I think Easysland reverses the form this year with Tiger Roll but don’t think this will be enough to win this race. The new JP recruit & Ajas are probably the 2 I would be interested in.

Grand Annual Chase

Grand Annual Result 2021

I’m not sure Sky Pirate runs here this year whilst Entoucas has not been seen since April. The interesting one for me didn’t actually finish in the Top 5 but fell early on. Embittered sent off 9/2 favourite is 5lb lower this year and has been highly tried (no chance of winning) and is interesting.

Sir Gerhard & Kilcruit are bound for the Supreme or Ballymore whilst I think Three Stripe Life will also run in the Supreme. Elle Est Belle runs shortly and could be interesting off a mark of 133. Hopefully she doesn’t win at Huntingdon.

If Fusil Raffles was a better jumper then he would be interesting off just 149 in the Paddy Power Plate however as he’s likely to make a mistake or two this could cost him as there is sure to be something well handicapped that jumps well. Shan Blue off 148 would be even more interesting but connections are suggesting they are running him in the Ryanair Chase instead. Strange one that.

Mrs Milner is likely to run in the Mares Hurdle and has proved the form was quite good. The Bosses Oscar was campaigned poorly with Cheltenham in mind last year and started off the season running ok. His last 2 runs have been poor but that does mean he’s dropped to a mark that could get him into the Kim Muir. If he does then he would go well if he completed the course. NRNB is very important here.

Personally I can’t see Allaho getting beat here.

Flooring PorterPaisley Park both come back for the Stayers Hurdle again and Sire Du Berlais could run in the Pertemps Final. He is however still 3lb higher than his last win the Pertemps Final and isn’t getting any younger.

Paddy Power Handicap Chase 

Paddy Power Handicap Chase Result 2021

The Shunter would do well to win again off a much higher mark and I think he’ll run in the Ryanair instead. Farclas surely goes for the Grand National whilst the others don’t appeal at all.

I don’t like this race at all. I can’t see any angles this year from the Top 5 here last year.

With Mount Ida likely to run in the Mares Chase and having won a Listed and Graded event since and the 2nd placed Cloudy Glen having won the Ladbroke Trophy the form looks quite good. 4th Hold The Note has lost his way but 5th Storm Control has won at Newbury and finished 2nd at Doncaster in the Sky Bet Chase. The 3rd Shantou Flyer now has a 2nd and 3rd to his name at the Festival and off a 5lb lower mark looks interesting here. He’s not been seen for a while so NRNB is again important.

Whilst I think Zanahiyr will reverse the form this year with Quilixios , I don’t think they will be fighting out the finish in the Champion Hurdle.

I do really like Eclair De Beaufeu this year if he runs. If you are not already on then a NRNB looks a good plan here. The race has worked out well and I think Éclair was unlucky last year not getting a clear run after the last. He has Cheltenham Festival form which is always good. Belfast Banter, Milkwood, Edwardstone & Third Time Lucki all make the form look strong.

Vanillier was impressive last year but hasn’t set the world alight over fences whilst Oscar Elite doesn’t look straight forward and I’m not sure what his best trip is. Stattler is favourite for the National Hunt Challenge Cup but he’s too short to be backing for me.

The best horse in my opinion won it last year in Minella Indo and ran a great race last time out at Leopardstown. His Cheltenham Festival form of 121 clearly shows he peaks at Cheltenham. I think he will outstay A Plus Tard again this year with Al Boum Photo running well but finding these 2 too good again.

Mares Chase

Mares Chase 2021

Not a race I like and although Elimay would have the best chance from last year, I think Concertista is a better horse.

How Galopin Des Champs got in off his mark last year is incredible. Langer Dan clearly bumped into one and even off a 5lb higher mark would surely go very close as that would not have stopped him from finishing 2nd last year. Dallas Des Pictons looks to have been aimed at the Pertemps Final all year and he finished strongly here to suggest 3m at Cheltenham will be more his bag.

Summary of possible bets.

Ultima Handicap Chase

Cepage @ 28/1 NRNB

Grand Annual

For Pleasure @ 25/1 NRNB

Embittered @ 18/1

Paddy Power Plate

Gaillard Du Mesnil @ 10/1 NRNB

Kim Muir Handicap Chase

The Bosses Oscar @ 25/1 NRNB

Shantou Flyer @ 20/1 NRNB

Pertemps Final

Dallas Des Pictons @ 16/1 NRNB