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Top 10: Moments you cannot miss at this year’s Cheltenham Festival

Several memorable times lie ahead at Prestbury Park at this year’s meeting



Epatante and Barry Geraghty after winning the Champion Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival

With less than 15 days to go until the greatest show on turf, the excitement continues to build for the best week in the jumps racing calendar.

From the possibility of a famous hat-trick to a potential farewell from a racing hero, here are 10 moments that you simply have to tune in for through the Cheltenham Festival.

10. Monkfish’s perfect chasing record to continue?

Willie Mullins’ rising star heads to Cheltenham in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, hoping to land back-to-back victory at the Festival.

Monkfish and Paul Townend after winning at Leopardstown Racecourse at the Christmas Festival
Monkfish has made a perfect start to life over fences, winning all three starts to date

The seven-year-old has won all three of his starts over his fences and is considered to be the banker of the festival for some punters.

It will take something special to beat this classy contender.

9. The return of a former Festival winning mare?

Since the formation of the Mares’ Hurdle back in 2008, no runner has ever regained her title.

Step forward 2019 winner Roksana.

Dan Skelton’s Roksana has found only Stayers’ Hurdle hopefuls Paisley Park and Thyme Hill too strong so far this season

Dan Skelton’s mare has leapt back into form this season, winning two Graded contests so far this season.

However, the nine-year-old faces a tough challenge in Willie Mullins’ Concertista who landed the Mares Novices’ Hurdle last season and has won both her starts this season.

A clash that has flown under the radar, but should not be missed.

8. A new contest debuts at Prestbury Park…

Out with the old, in with the new.

It was announced last year that the Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase was to be taken out of the Festival schedule in favour of a Mares’ Chase on the final day.

Elimay and Mark Walsh winning at the Punchestown Festival in May 2019 at Punchestown Racecourse in Ireland
Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the inaugural Mares’ Chase, with Elimay currently heading the betting

The likes of Elimay, Colreevy, Annie MC and Put The Kettle On are entered, making this a competitive debut for the new contest.

7. The Stayers’ Hurdle Trilogy reaches its conclusion

The seasonal showdown of Paisley Park and Thyme Hill reaches its climax in National Hunt’s showpiece event.

The Stayers’ Hurdle hosts a winner-takes-all showdown, with both runners landing a victory over each other this term.

Thyme Hill landed the first blow in the Long Distance Hurdle, while Paisley Park responded with a late rally to snatch the Long Walk Hurdle.

Arguably the most exciting clash over the small obstacles at this year’s Festival.

6. Envoi Allen’s Cheltenham hat-trick aims

A Festival winner on the flat. A Festival winner over hurdles. A Festival winner over fences?

Envoi Allen has quickly become the poster boy of National Hunt racing, oozing pure class and talent everywhere he goes.

Envoi Allen is already a duel Cheltenham Festival winner having won the Champion Bumper and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

The seven-year-old heads to Cheltenham for the Marsh Novices’ Chase, which has seen several of his rivals swerve the contest.

The unbeaten star could well be making 12 wins in 12 starts here.

5. Chacun Pour Soi’s Festival bow

After missing out last year due to an 11th-hour withdrawal, Chacun Pour Soi returns to Prestbury Park with a point to prove.

The three-time Grade 1 winner has looked faultless this season, winning all three of his starts in emphatic fashion.

He is the one to beat in the Champion Chase, and he could give Willie Mullins a maiden win in the contest.

4. Tiger Roll’s final charge?

With a superstar making his Prestbury Park debut, a racing legend could well be performing his parting song shortly after.

Dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll heads to the Festival for the seventh and possibly final time, aiming to land a fifth success at the prestigious meeting.

The legendary Tiger Roll is a four-time Cheltenham Festival winner

With his connections unsure whether to make a tilt at a third Grand National success, the 11-year-old could well be retired if he doesn’t perform in the Cross Country Chase.

Get the tissues at the ready.

3. The battle of the Supermares

The unbeaten Honeysuckle takes on the reigning victor Epatante in the Champion Hurdle in what is an exciting clash on the opening day of the Festival.

Both runners have one Festival win to their name, with Honeysuckle seeing over Benie Des Dieux in the Mares’ Hurdle last season.

Goshen at Ascot Racecourse
A rose between two thorns? Goshen will be hoping to dispatch of Honeysuckle and Epatante in this year’s Champion Hurdle

Add the impressive Goshen into the mix, and we do have a cracking race on our hands.

A contest that has the potential to be a classic.

2. The Arkle triple showdown

Tuesday holds another treat for racing fans, as three impressive novices meet in the Arkle Chase.

Last year’s Supreme winner Shishkin spearheads the British chances of success, while rapid improver Energumene is the leading Irish hope of victory.

Dan Skeleton’s Allmankind qualifies as the outsider of the three, but he could produce a big run in this contest.

Shishkin and Nico de Boinville jumping a fence at Kempton Park Racecourse
Somebody’s 0 has to go to, but will it be Shishkin to keeps his unbeaten record over fences in tact?

This could well be the best race of the week.

1. The Gold Cup hat-trick attempt

Without a doubt, the biggest moment of the week comes in the Festival’s main event.

Al Boum Photo is aiming for a third successive Gold Cup success.

Will Paul Townend and Al Boum Photo be celebrating for a third time at the Cheltenham Festival this March?

Willie Mullins’ star could join the likes of Golden Miller, Cottage Rake, Arkle and Best Mate in achieving the feat.

A rare moment that you simply cannot miss.

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.