With only 35 days remaining until the greatest show on turf, the best contenders on the National Hunt circuit are preparing to march on the hallowed ground of Prestbury Park.
However, there are some entrants that have flown under the radar and potentially show some value at the Gloucestershire meeting.
Here are five high-odds outsiders that could produce a big performance at the Cheltenham Festival.
Captain Guinness – Arkle Chase @ 25/1
It must be noted that there are two seriously rated contenders lined up for this contest in the form of Shishkin and Energumene, but there could be some each-way value at the very least here in Henry De Bromhead’s talented youngster.
Captain Guinness’ raw ability caught the eye in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle last season, running a cracker to finish second behind Andy Dufresne. He looked a real threat in last season’s renewal of the Supreme before unfortunately being brought down by the falling Elixir D’Ainay late on.
The six -year old has shown a fair level of promise since switching to fences this season and was looking a possible threat to Energumene in the Irish Arkle before falling two out.
At an enticing price of 25/1, Captain Guinness still has room to improve at this level and could well be an undetected threat in this year’s edition of the Arkle Chase.
Chantry House – Marsh Novices’ Chase @ 25/1
After rounding off a promising season with a strong third in the Supreme, Nicky Henderson sent the seven-year-old novice chasing this term.
Chantry House gathered some interesting after hacking up by 26 lengths on his debut over fences, but was disappointing when odds-on favourite in a Novices’ Chase at the International meeting at Cheltenham at December.
However, Henderson’s prospect was found to have a minor back issue after the race and therefore could be excused for that performance.
Chantry House can improve further if his previous form is anything to go by and if his trainer decides to run him in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, then he could push Envoi Allen all the way.
Goshen – Champion Hurdle @ 25/1
The victim of one of the most dramatic moments of last year’s Festival, Goshen left punters speechless when he unseated rider Jamie Moore on the final fence when around 10 lengths clear in the Triumph Hurdle.
The loss seems to have stayed with the five-year-old, as he finished last in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December. However, Gary Moore’s runner looks like a go hard or go home type contender when looking at his form. On his four finishes over hurdles, Goshen has won by 23, 34 and 11 lengths while losing by 29 lengths.
If he turns up on the day, he could well be unstoppable if at his best and has shown himself as a force to be reckoned with in previous runs. A slight gamble to take on his current form, but 25/1 is a sweet price for a gelding that has shown strong ability.
Itchy Feet – Stayers’ Hurdle @ 25/1
With the seven-year-old not taking to fences as well as hoped this season, last season’s Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase winner has been reverted back to hurdles.
He was due to run in the rearranged Cleeve Hurdle on Saturday at Wetherby, but the meeting was abandoned. That could have gave some clues to how Itchy Feet would have performed on his return to the smaller obstacles, but there is no question that Olly Murphy’s star acquisition has a lot of ability.
With some decent hurdling form on his record, including a strong third in the Supreme in 2019, he could a surprise contender in the Stayers’ Hurdle if his trainer decides to take the plunge.
St Barts – National Hunt Chase @ 33/1
A promising chaser for Phillip Hobbs, St Barts has shown impressive ability in his short time over fences. After a strong second on his chase debut, he made all on his next start to claim his first victory over the larger obstacles off a mark of 128.
Philip Hobbs’ gelding relished the 3m distance and although his true level of stamina is yet to be tested, he could progress even further.
St Barts has shown the capability to cope with testing ground and could well be a future chasing star for the Somerset trainer. 33/1 is a very generous price if his trainer opts to send the seven-year-old to the Festival.
*Odds are bet365 and are subject to change