Four Hot Favorites for 2020 Cheltenham Festival
By Space Coast Daily // March 4, 2020
Each and every calendar year of horse racing starts off with global attention fixed on Gulfstream Park in Florida for the Pegasus World Cup, but thoughts soon turn to the Cheltenham Festival over jumps in England.
This four-day meeting is the highlight of the National Hunt scene in the British Isles with hurdle races and steeplechases coming thick and fast in the middle of March. Cheltenham’s racetrack tests a racehorse’s stamina like nowhere else in the world.
Past American Grand National winners like Brain Power, Jury Duty and Morley Street have all raced at this Festival, so who are the horses to look out for across the pond in 2020? This is our guide to the hot favorites at Cheltenham this year.
Benie Des Dieux
Irish trainer Willie Mullins has dominated the Mares’ Hurdle and 2018 heroine Benie Des Dieux is out to regain her crown. She would’ve been a two-time winner of the race but for falling at the final jump last year, but could put that to rights.
Despite the challenge of the unbeaten Honeysuckle, Benie Des Dieux has looked as good as ever in winning the French Champion Hurdle and her return to action in Ireland in January. Many Cheltenham races predictions include this nine-year-old mare who is odds-on regain the Mares’ Hurdle.
ABOVE VIDEO: Each and every calendar year of horse racing starts off with global attention fixed on Gulfstream Park in Florida for the Pegasus World Cup, but thoughts soon turn to the Cheltenham Festival over jumps in England.
A racehorse named after pop icon Prince’s home, connections of Paisley Park partied like it was 1999 when he won the 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle. It made for a fairytale story for his owner Andrew Gemmell, who has been blind since birth but is a passionate fan of the sport.
Paisley Park has won each of his last seven races and is the clear favorite for a second Stayers’ Hurdle success. There isn’t much by way of opposition, so the eight-year-old makes a strong case for winning the race once again.
It’s hard to imagine horse races over marathon trips because there are so few long-distance events stateside, but American Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott has a real star on his hands in Tiger Roll. The story behind him is absolutely fascinating.
Worldwide Flat thoroughbred owner Sheikh Mohammed of Godolphin fame sold this horse, but he has made up into a remarkable and versatile jumper. Tiger Roll boasts four past Cheltenham Festival victories and has won the Aintree Grand National at Liverpool in each of the last two years
He goes for a third Cross Country Chase and heads Cheltenham Festival 2020 betting to do just that before trying to repeat in the world’s most famous steeplechase off topweight on April 4. Tiger Roll can never be counted out and the 10-year-old has the stamina to back up his brilliant displays over jumps.
If a racehorse has never tasted defeat, an aura of invincibility starts to surround them. That’s the case with another Elliott-trained Irish raider to Cheltenham in Envoi Allen.
He is a perfect eight from eight, including a point-to-point race in the Emerald Isle. Envoi Allen also won at last year’s Festival and has scored three consecutive hurdles victories en route to the Ballymore over the Irish Grand National distance.
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