The Cheltenham Festival is the highlight on the National Hunt calendar in horse racing and is a meeting which grabs sports fans’ attention every March. The bookmakers have already priced up all 28 races across the week.
Here is a look at who are the favorites for five of the big races at the meeting and a trip down memory lane at a highlight in that contest over the past couple of decades.
Paisley Park Tops Stayers’ Hurdle Betting
Paisley Park will be hoping to add his name into the history books by becoming a repeat winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle in March, where he is the 6/4 favorite.
Big Buck’s confirmed his position as the greatest staying hurdler ever in this race in 2012 when he prevailed for a fourth straight year. Although Paisley Park has a lot to do to match his achievement, he could be on his way to multiple success.
Gold Cup Betting Is Wide Open
There is no clear favorite in the betting for the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup which suggests this year’s contest is wide open. 2019 winner Al Boum Photo currently tops the market at 9/2.
The meeting between Denman and Kauto Star in 2008 stands out as one of the best clashes we have seen in this race of the last couple of decades and hopefully, we will get something similar in March.
Denman was able to get the better of his stablemate on that occasion at odds of 9/4, running his rivals into the ground from the front in a dominant display to claim his only Gold Cup. Kauto Star did gain revenge 12 months later in the race though to regain his crown.
Can Tiger Roll Win Cross Country Chase Again?
Tiger Roll is emerging as a horse that the public loves, just like they took to Red Rum in the ’70s. Gordon Elliott’s runner returned at the Festival in 2019 to retain his crown in the Cross Country Chase, a month before winning the Grand National for a second time.
The Irish horse is expected to return to the Cross Country Chase once again in March where he has Cheltenham Festival betting odds of 7/4 in the unique contest at the meeting.
Epatante 3/1 To Show Girl Power In Champion Hurdle
Prior to her victory in 2016, only three mares had won the Champion Hurdle before. Annie Power was able to add her name to the roll of honor in the leading 2m hurdles contest that year.
Mullins’ mare was cheered all the way to the finish line at Cheltenham, as she went off as a popular 5/2 favorite, leaving punters absolutely delighted on day one of the meetings.
This year, it is another mare who is the favorite for the Champion Hurdle in Epatante. Nicky Henderson’s runner had her odds slashed into 3/1 by the bookmakers following her win in the Christmas Hurdle.
Altior 3/1 To Bounce Back In Champion
Sports fans love it when a champion is able to make a comeback in their respective sport and reach the very top again. That was the case when Sprinter Scare prevailed in the 2016 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Another champion will be looking to bounce back in this 2m contest in March, as Altior recently suffered the first defeat of his career at Ascot when he finished second in the Christy 1965 Chase.
Altior has been fantastic over fences over the last few years, and many people expect him to defend his crown at Cheltenham – where he is 3/1 to do so.
Hopefully, there will be many more memorable Cheltenham Festival moments in 2020 when the meeting begins on March 10.