Three Tips For The Cheltenham Festival 2021
No horse racing festival in the United Kingdom comes close to the Cheltenham Festival. It is the four days of the year that all National Hunt racing fans mark in their calendars at the start of every year.
The Grand National is certainly one of the other huge events that fans will look forward to, but the Cheltenham Festival is the only time of the year when the biggest stars in the equine world are at the same event going head-to-head for the honour of being called the very best.
Still, which horses should gamblers be keeping a closer eye on at the festival this year?
There is always one horse that emerges as one that all gamblers will be keen to keep a closer eye on, and this year it has been Royale Pagaille. The seven-year-old for Venetia Williams amazed fans in his most recent outing at Haydock, as he delivered one of the performances of the season in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock.
He was the heavy favourite to win the race before the start, but nobody could have foreseen how well his jumping would be on that day at Haydock. He took the field apart piece by piece, and eventually went on to win from Potters Legend by 16 lengths.
That was the third success of the season for the seven-year-old, who had lost two from two before this season. Now it seems that Royale Pagaille is spoilt for choice when it comes to the direction he goes in at the festival. He is among the favourites for the Festival Novices’ Chase and National Hunt Chase, but also priced up for the blue ribbon event on the final day. On the form he showed at Haydock, he shouldn’t be completely discounted for the Gold Cup.
A horse that has become synonymous with the Cheltenham Festival will be back again in 2021, as Min looks for a second consecutive Ryanair Hurdle success. Many believed that Min’s best days were behind him after constantly falling short in battles against Altior and Politologue. However, the form of the famous Willie Mullins-trained horse has certainly picked up since the festival in 2019. His performances have been breathtaking at times, as he has won four from six starts.
At ten-years-old now, Min is being run more sparingly on the course, but there is no denying his credentials at the festival. You only need to look back to 12 months ago to see how much he loves running around Cheltenham, as he held off Saint Calvados to win by a neck. His reappearance this season came at Punchestown, where he won by a length from Tornado Flyer, and there is every expectancy that a second Ryanair on the bounce could be on the cards.
Al Boum Photo
The week’s biggest race takes place on Friday, as the 2021 Gold Cup will be competed. It promises to be one of the most intriguing in recent seasons, and it will only be more competitive should Royale Pagaille enter the fray. As things stand, it looks hard to see past Al Boum Photo regaining his title for a third consecutive year.
The Willie Mullins-trained horse will be looking to join a select group that have won the famous race on three occasions, with modern horses to achieve that feat including Best Mate and Arkle.
The nine-year-old won by a neck from Santini last year and returned to the track with a 19-length victory at Tranmore against Acapella Bourgeois.
There will be fierce competition for the illustrious prize, with Grade 1 winners such as Frodon, A Plus Tard and Santini, all likely contenders. But, the experience of Al Boum Photo could be vital.
Here you have it, the best tips for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival. And if you enjoy horse racing, make sure you consult also the Kentucky Derby expert picks by TwinSpires.