Well, can you believe it, it’s almost that time of year again. The most prestigious National Hunt meeting of the year is almost upon us. From Tuesday March 10th to Friday 13th March, both casual and serious punters alike will be tuning into the four day feast of jump racing that is the Cheltenham Festival. Over the coming weeks there will of course be 2020 Cheltenham tips and betting opportunities galore, with office sweepstakes and the like taking place and TV audiences well into the millions for the jewel in the crown that is the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The Gold Cup is steeped in history, having first taken place on 12th March 1924 with prize money of just £685 (whereas in 2019 the first place purse was £351,688 and total purse £625,000). The likes of Best Mate and Kauto Star have in part cemented their place in the annuls of racing, due to their Gold Cup wins, which is testament to what the race means to people. It’s not the only race that stands out in a big way though. Other Group 1 races held during the Cheltenham Festival are the Champion Hurdle, the (almost) 2 mile Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle, all of which have prize money in the £300,000-£500,000 range. These races and others all draw in the cream of the racing crop, in terms of owners, trainers, jockeys and of course horses. They will no doubt, once again, be responsible for many captivating moments in this 28 race Festival of excellence.
So what’s the state of play for the big races at the Cheltenham Festival 2000 you may ask. Well, in terms of the Gold Cup there’s no firm favourite, which if anything adds to the excitement and unpredictability of the race. Al Boum Photo, Santini and Delta Work are all seen to have what it takes at about the 4-1 and 5-1 mark with bookmakers. Also in firm contention are the likes of Lostintranslation, Clans Des Obeaux and Kemboy all at around 6-1. There’s a good spread among tipsters; Greg Wood of The Guardian for instance highlights the Gordon Elliot trained Delta Work’s recent Irish Gold Cup win as reason to be positive about its Cheltenham Gold Cup chances .https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2020/feb/03/chacun-pour-soi-plenty-appeal-odds-cheltenham-festival-horse-racing-tips Of course there’s no guarantee that all of these selections will even race on the day, but it’s handy nevertheless to get a good indication of the current lay of the land.
Elsewhere there are a few selections that punters and bookies alike appear to think are a class above the field. For example,in the Stayers Hurdle, Paisley Park is currently 9/10 favourite (with Benie Des Dieux second favourite at 8-1), and much fancied Appreciate It is 9/4 to win the Champion Bumper. Tipsters will of course ramp up their predictions as the Festival approaches, and whether you gleam anything from their contributions or are dead set on your own approach is down to you, and all part of the fun. Whatever your approach, the very best of luck to your betting balance during this years Cheltenham Festival.