Horses to Watch Out for in the Lead Up to the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival 2020

A few horses to watch in the lead-up to the Cheltenham Festival. (Photo credit: Cheltenham Rcecourse).

The Cheltenham Festival is fast approaching and trainers are sending out their jockeys and horses in a number of trial races as the event nears. The weeks leading up the Cheltenham Festival will see trial races run as trainers build-up their horses to potentially win a major trophy and prize money packet. Horse racing fans can keep up with all the races during festival season here and find the latest bet bonuses and offers before wagering on the races.

Invariably, there will be a number of horses that raise the eyebrows of the horse racing world with some excellent pre-Cheltenham race finishes. Right now, these horses are ones to watch out for in the lead-up to the Cheltenham Festival. You will want to keep an eye on them for a number of reasons.

Garde La Victoire

Phillip Hobbs’ Garde La Victoire is entered in the Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The event will take place on the last day of the Cheltenham Festival as it is the penultimate race of the four-day meeting.

Garde La Victoire hasn’t won a race since January 2017 at Sandown Park and goes into the Grand Annual Chase at 33/1. It is believed Garde La Victoire could do well on soft ground at Cheltenham. The horse had taken 14 months off prior to a December 21st race at Ascot. He looked rusty in the event finishing sixth of 12 horses.

According to one report, Garde La Victoire has been hard to train. While the Hobbs-trained horse is still one to follow, it is worth following Garde La Victoire as one to pass on when the Grand Annual Chase grows closer.

Harry Senior

Famed trainer Colin Tizzard has a lot to consider after Harry Senior won his last two races in the build-up to Cheltenham. Harry Senior is a strong horse with stamina to spare. As it stands, Harry Senior will compete in the 2020 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and is currently listed at antepost betting odds of 12/1.

Tizzard has stated he will enter Harry Senior for the Albert Bartlett Novices‘ Hurdle if the ground is good at Cheltenham. However, the trainer has claimed if the ground is soft, Harry Senior will be deployed in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Harry Senior is 16/1 to win the Ballymore. With two wins from his last two, Harry Senior is definitely one to watch out for pre-Cheltenham.

If the Cap Fits

If the Cap Fits didn’t have a good outing in his Cheltenham Festival trial on January 25th, coming in fifth over three miles. Harry Fry’s eight-year-old is set to run in The Stayers’ Hurdle Race which could be too much of an ask.

Some of the reaction by bookies following If the Cap Fits’ finish over the weekend was quite negative. The horse is now 12/1 to win The Stayers’ Hurdle. Paisley Park is odds on to win the race at 8/11, but If the Cap Fits shouldn’t be counted out for his poor trial run.

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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