The Cheltenham Festival of 2019 ended in March and there were a few surprises. Al Boum Photo, for one, had us all at the edge of our seats, as did Tiger Roll. With a few months away, Cheltenham 2020 is also promising to be action-packed and the Cheltenham welcome offers are already sought by the lovers of horse races. So, who are the likely winners?
One of the biggest changes the riders will have to account for in their training sessions is the new course. While the old course is tight and has four starting positions, the new course is a real nail-biter with the final bend which is longer than we have grown accustomed to. In other words, underdogs have better chances of catching up in the final stretch of the races.
When it comes to hurdles, all signs point to Al Dancer. Why? Well, the horse is practically unbeaten and can handle soft ground in cases there’s rain. However, the horse is expected to dominate only the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle. If we take a look at the Champion Hurdle, it is wise to consider the horse that has already dominated the race two times: Buveur d’Air.
Topofthegame is also already familiar with the course, so it would be wise to take it into consideration as a serious contender. It has already proven itself in 2019 by taking on the RSA Chase. That being said, Topofthegame needs to watch its back, since Santini is on the move, so the RSA chase of 2020 is certainly going to be interesting to see.
The seven-year-old Al Boum Photo dominated the Golden Cup in 2019. It is not clear whether this horse or the previous winner, Native River, is going to emerge victorious at the most-anticipated event in Cheltenham. Another horse to watch out for is Might Bite, though it did strike out when it was supposed to step up. However, being a runner-up means that it is still able to come up with a trick or two in 2020.
Whoever the winners might be, it is time to take a step back and consider a few factors before guessing the performance of animals and jockeys or placing a bet. First of all, consider the track conditions and which horse excels where. Next, don’t disregard horses based on their previous failures. If it was a one-time thing, it could very well be a fluke and there could be some interesting odds against them. Consider the horses’ age and experience. Don’t disregard the condition the jockey is in, either. Sometimes, it doesn’t boil down to the ability of the horse, trainer, and jockey as much as it can be about the relationship between the three.
If you like to bet on horses, show bets are as safe as it can get, though, naturally, there is no such thing as a safe bet. In case you don’t know, a show bet is the one where you predict your horse to finish in one of the first three positions.