|Tuesday 24th March 2020|
Five 2020 Cheltenham Festival Winners to Follow
With another Cheltenham Festival done and dusted, it’s still well worth your while looking back over the four-day extravaganza for some of the most eye-catching performances and impressive displays.
With that in mind, we’ve picked out five winners from the premier jumps meeting that it could pay to follow going forward next season. All of these Cheltenham scorers deserve recognition.
Talk about upgrading a performance. Shishkin encountered so much trouble in-running in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle that it’s a wonder he was able to get up and score on the line by the narrowest of margins.
Trained by Nicky Henderson for dual Gold Cup-winning owners Joe and Marie Donnelly, Shishkin was taken right around the outside of the field under a brave ride by Nico de Boinville before getting switched back to the inside. Despite forfeiting all that ground, he then found just enough to win a ding-dong tussle with Abadcadabras right up the Cheltenham hill. Whether he stays hurdling or ends up over fences, Shishkin is one gutsy horse.
One of the beauties of the Festival is it’s not all about Grade 1s. Imperial Aura was backed off the boards for trainer Kim Bailey for the Listed novices’ handicap chase on the opening day and fully justified favouritism to win.
He is yet to finish outside of the first two in four starts over fences, with three of those coming at Cheltenham. The handicapper may have raised Imperial Aura a whole stone for his ready Festival success, but he doesn’t have to improve much more to be a Ryanair Chase contender next year.
Scalping Tiger Roll makes French Cross Country specialist Easysland of obvious interest. He left the dual Grand National hero for dead in the unique test over the banks and hedges, bounding away for a wide-margin success.
Aged just six, it is scary to think he could still have tons of improvement in him. Easysland may well be a Grand National horse of the future, having proven his stamina over three-and-three-quarter miles at Cheltenham. Although it’s been cancelled this year, you can find more racing data for the next events in the UK online at MansionBet. And, it seems Easysland has a big future, so it’s worth keeping tabs on him.
Highly-regarded JP McManus owned racehorse Champ put in a career-best to land the RSA Novices’ Chase and emerge as a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender for 2021. He was way behind the leaders turning for home and had over eight lengths to make up jumping the last.
What happened between then and the line was amazing, as Henderson’s charge let the turbo kick in to get up in-between tired horses in front and just land the spoils. Champ showed scintillating speed and wouldn’t be out of place lining up in something like the King George VI Chase at Kempton en route back to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup on that basis.
Irish trainer Willie Mullins does amazingly well with his mares and fillies, so Triumph Hurdle heroine Burning Victory is of obvious interest moving forward. Ridden cold by Paul Townend, she did benefit from runaway leader Goshen unseating at the final flight which handed the race to her.
What may be worth taking out of the Triumph is how Burning Victory stayed on under a patient ride, and that bodes well for when this typical French import to the Mullins stable steps up in trip. She looks one to follow for the Mares’ Hurdle next season after just two starts over jumps because she should only get better.