Cheltenham Festival 2020
AUTHOR: JORDAN YATES
Marsh Novices’ Chase:
MISTER FISHER @ 7/1 (Each Way)
I’ve been a fan of Mister Fisher for some time now, Nicky Henderson’s six-year-old was a Grade 2 winner over hurdles and has since gone on to win two of three starts over fences. He won a decent novice chase around here at the December meeting when beating Good Boy Bobby by just shy of two lengths and he then followed up with a one length victory over Al Dancer in a Grade 2 at Doncaster. It’s likely he’s still got a lot of progression to come and he’s certainly got a chance here.
The superstar 12-year-old who has been nothing short of incredible this season in his first campaign over fences. He’s won two Grade 1’s on his last two starts including the Flogas Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival. If lining up here he’s a potent threat to all.
Pertemps Network Final:
RELEGATE @ 7/1 (Each Way)
Relegate won the Champion Bumper here for Willie Mullins back in 2018 and has since been switched to the care of Colm Murphy. She hasn’t shown a great deal since here win here, however she did win once more for Mullins that being over hurdles and her first start for this yard was a very promising fourth in a decent Punchestown handicap. That was enough to creep her into this race and she’s still a very unexposed sort who has clear ability.
MIN @ 11/4
Min has often been the bridesmaid at Cheltenham to Altior, finishing behind him in the Supreme and the Champion Chase. However, away from Prestbury Park he’s proved himself as a very smart Grade 1 performer. On his final outing of last season he won the Grade 1 Melling Chase at Aintree when beating Politologue by 20 lengths, and on reappearance this term he claimed another Grade 1 success when grinding out a two length victory over Hardline in the John Durkan. He couldn’t match stablemate Chacun Pour Soi on his most latest outing in the Dublin Chase, however I think this is the best chance of a Cheltenham Festival success that he has had.
A PLUS TARD
Henry De Bromhead’s six-year-old got the better of Champion Chase fancy Chacun Pour Soi when last seen back in December to claim a first Grade 1 success. He won the Close Brothers at last year’s Festival by 16 lengths and looks every part of a top-level chaser.
PAISLEY PARK @ 4/6
Paisley Park has been crowned king of the staying division in the last 18 months, winning this race last year when getting the better of Sam Spinner he arrives here on the back of a long standing winning run. He’s been seen twice this season, making his reappearance at Newbury when winning the Cleeve Hurdle by a length he then followed up with another win in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle here on Trials Day back in January. He’s very much the one they all have to beat here and it will take a special performance to dethrone him.
Tom George has reverted Summerville Boy back over hurdles following a short spell over fences this season. He won the Supreme here back in 2018 and ran a mighty race in the Cleeve Hurdle when second to Paisley Park in January. If progressing from that run he’s the clear threat to the hot favourite.
Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate:
SIMPLY THE BETTS @ 8/1 (Each Way)
BELAMI DES PICTONS @ 20/1 (Each Way)
Simply The Betts has had a fine season chasing for Harry Whittington, winniing three of his four chases and finishing second in the other. In those races he’s beat some very solid rivals such as Imperial Aura and Espoir De Guye. He’s only a seven-year-old and its likely there’s a lot more to come from him, he sits prominent in the betting here and is a major player in the race.
Belami Des Pictons hasn’t been in quite the same vain of form however he’s a more experienced sort and does have some solid form to his name. He was fourth in the BetVictor Gold Cup here back in November and Venetia Williams’ nine-year-old will contest the race off a six pound lower mark which he’s definitely got the talent to feature off.
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle:
FLORESSA @ 6/1 (Each Way)
Floressa represents the powerful duo of Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville and is certainly one of the most consistent mares in the line-up here. She was last seen when finishing a slightly underwhelming 3rd at Doncaster in a Grade 2, however that defeat came at the hands of Lady Buttons and trying to get the better of Lady Buttons at Doncaster is like trying to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. Before that she was the winner of a Listed race at Newbury when beating Jeremys Flame by over a length and has never been out of the top three. She’s got more improving to coming and she’s got every chance of making the frame again in this particular affair.
Henry de Bromhead’s six-year-old has won all three of her starts this season with a two length victory over Colreevy in a Grade 3 being the latest. She sports the Kenneth Alexander colours and joins a long line of talented mares for connections.
Kim Muir Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase:
DEISA ABA @ 10/1 (Each Way)
Deisa Aba arrives here in great form having won his last two outings for Phillip Hobbs. The seven-year-old made a unconvincing start to life over fences but got his act together on New Years Day with a 16 length success in a match race. Following on from that he went on to win a hot Sandown handicap beating Cloudy Glen by over three lengths. He’s very progressive and there’s likely a lot more to come from this son of Mahler.