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Taking place on the 10th-13th March, the 2020 Cheltenham festival promises to be yet another rip-roaring show of horse racing entertainment.
The four days of pure horse racing joy features the Champion Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Ryanair Chase and the Gold Cup with hundreds of four-legged phenomenons taking to the turf in Gloucestershire.
Cheltenham festival betting hit the £500 million mark in 2019 with the likes of Espoir D’Allen and Al Boum Photo causing big upsets. But, who could well be the dark horses in 2020?
Supasundae – Champion Hurdle
At 33/1, Supasundae is an outside bet for taking the Champion Hurdle title. But, jockey Robbie Power has been with his horse for 18 races, finishing in an average of third position, including five first-placed finishes.
In 2017, Power won the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle on Supasundae and the ten-year-old mare could rekindle that form that saw the duo take first place at Aintree in April 2019.
Un de Sceaux – Queen Mother Champion Chase
Ridden by Paul Townend, the 12-year-old mare Un de Sceaux has her work cut out to challenge in the Queen Mother Chase alongside the likes of Altior and Cyrname. But, in the past five years, Un de Sceaux has won at Cheltenham three times. And, in Townend’s last three races, Un de Sceaux has finished second, second and first.
At 25/1, Un de Sceaux could certainly be worth a punt especially given Townend’s close relationship with trainer Willie Mullins.
Cadmium – Ryanair Chase
Yet another one of famous trainer Willie Mullins’ huge stable of horses, Cadmium is priced at 33/1 to take home the Ryanair Chase title. In terms of rider, it all depends on who is on the saddle. Paul Townend – also likely to be on Un de Sceaux – has won two out of five races on the eight-year-old mare and has been by far the most successful, especially after his Aintree victory in April 2019.
Danny Mullins (no relation to trainer Willie) rode Cadmium last time out, but came sixth out of seven riders at Leopardstown. A talented horse and still very much a threat, if Mullins can build on Townend’s success then anything can happen.
Frodon – Gold Cup
Winner of last year’s Ryanair Chase, Frodon is definitely not a frontrunner for this year’s Gold Cup with odds of 33/1. Yet, Bryony Frost has ridden the eight-year-old mare to five triumphs in her last eight races, giving both horse and rider ideal preparation for the big one as Cheltenham nears.