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Cheltenham Festival: 5 course winners to watch out for in 2021

Past successors at Prestbury Park to keep an eye on over the four days

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The Big Breakaway and Robbie Power winning at Cheltenham Racecourse in November 2020

The excitement for the Festival continues to build, as we near closer to the biggest racing event of the year.

While many runners are searching for their maiden success at Prestbury Park, there are some who are hoping to add another win to their Cheltenham tally.

Here are five runners with past victories at the Gloucestershire course to look out for.

The Big Breakaway – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (14/1)

A horse filled with potential, The Big Breakaway makes his second appearance at the Festival after finishing fourth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle last season.

The six-year-old got off to the best possible start over fences, landing a 10-length victory at Prestbury Park on his chasing debut.

After disappointing on his next run out at Exeter, Colin Tizzard’s gelding bounced back to form with a strong second behind Shan Blue in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.

The Big Breakaway looks bred to tackle the larger obstacles and could well be an undetected threat to market favourite Monkfish.

Champagne Classic – Cross Country Chase (16/1)

It may well of been over 400 days since Champagne Classic was last seen on a racetrack, but the 10-year-old can return with a bang at this year’s Festival.

A winner of the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle on his first appearance at Cheltenham back in 2017, he would go on to miss both the 2018 and 2020 meetings due to injury.

He missed the 2019 edition as well, with connections decided not to send the gelding across the Irish Sea after failing to fire on his two previous starts.

A forgotten force of old and unfairly dubbed as an ‘overachiever’ by his owner and trainer, he could well spring a surprise on his return to Gloucestershire here.

Fusil Raffles – Marsh Novices’ Chase (20/1)

A dual winner at the course back in November and December, Fusil Raffles has impressed on his first four starts over fences.

The six-year-old does currently hold entries in the Arkle and Marsh, but trainer Nicky Henderson has stated his intentions in running him in the latter.

Fusil Raffles has won three races this season, including twice at Cheltenham

His last performance caught the eye, as he battled in testing conditions to see off Lieutenant Rocco and stablemate Chantry House to win a Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.

Fusil Raffles looks to be in his element at the 2m4f distance and could be a surprise contender to Envoi Allen in the Marsh.

Fakir D’oudairies – Ryanair Chase (11/1)

A tough youngster, Fakir D’oudairies surprised several punters with a cracker of a run behind Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase, finishing a respectable second at Leopardstown.

Although he was eight lengths behind Willie Mullins’ talented sort, the gelding saw off the impressive Notebook and Grade 1 winner Tornado Flyer by seven lengths.

Joseph O’Brien’s runner has some impressive Cheltenham form behind him as well, finishing first, second and fourth on his three respective starts.

The six-year-old has thrown himself into contention for the Ryanair on the back of his effort at the Dublin Racing Festival and should be in the mix on St. Patrick’s Thursday.

Duffle Coat – Triumph Hurdle (14/1)

With four wins in four starts, Duffle Coat caught the eye when winning the Triumph Hurdle Trial back at Prestbury Park in November.

He came from last to first to see off Adagio by five lengths, who would go on to land Grade 1 honours in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.

However, the four-year-old suffered a setback and Gordon Elliott confirmed it is a race against time to get the gelding to Cheltenham.

If he can bounce back in time for the Festival, Duffle Coat could be a real contender for the Triumph Hurdle on the closing day of the Festival.

*Odds courtesy of bet365 and are correct at the time of publish.

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.

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