Horse racing fans will be counting down the days now until the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, the biggest meeting of the year in National Hunt racing.
It’s never too early to place a bet in the ante-post markets for the meeting, where there are 28 races set to take place across four days at Prestbury Park.
With this in mind, here are five bets you should place on the Festival.
Envoi Allen To Win Supreme Novices Hurdle – 5/2
The standout novice hurdler in the UK and Ireland so far this season has been Envoi Allen. He enhanced his Supreme Novices’ Hurdle claims with success in the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month. Gordon Elliott’s runner is 5/2 to come out on top in the Festival opener where he can give Ireland the perfect start to the meeting.
Altior To Win Champion Chase – 3/1
Altior suffered his opening defeat over fences in the Christy 1965 Chase when he was second behind Cyrname on his first attempt over 2m. Although that was a respectable run behind a very good horse, expect to see Nicky Henderson’s superstar return to 2m at the Festival in the race he won in 2019, the Queen Mother Champion Chase. As a result of that defeat at Ascot, Altior can now be backed with the Cheltenham 2020 odds of 3/1 for the feature 2m race of the season, which looks very generous indeed.
Tiger Roll To Win Cross Country Chase – 2/1
Tiger Roll has yet to appear this season, however, that should not give supporters of the horse too many concerns, as he did not make his reappearance until February last season. The path once again for the horse will be the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, and then the Grand National at Aintree a month later. The dual-Grand National winner won the Cross Country by 22 lengths in 2019 and he is fancied at 2/1 to complete a hat-trick of successes in the contest.
Champ To Win RSA Chase – 7/2
Henderson looks to have another smart chaser on his hands with Champ who is two from two over fences. His latest victory came at Newbury last month. The Grade One winner over hurdles could be even better as a chaser. The seven-year-old is 7/2 in the RSA Chase betting, the 3m novice race at Cheltenham, where on the evidence of what we have seen so far this season, he is the one to beat.
Lostintranslation to win Cheltenham Gold Cup – 4/1
Lostintranslation is the new favourite at 4/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup following his win in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the opening leg of the Chase Triple Crown. The second season chaser won the Mildmay Novices’ Chase back in April and since then has also prevailed in a Listed race at Carlisle. Colin Tizzard’s runner should feature in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day before his opening bid in the Blue Riband event at the Festival, where he could give his trainer his second success in the contest.
There is still plenty of racing to take place from now until the Festival, so keep an eye on all the market moves in the ante-post betting as the action unfolds.