Horses You Should Consider Betting on at Cheltenham in 2020

Steeplechase scene black whitePart of the thrill of being at Cheltenham and placing a bet on your favourite horse is that you never really know how it might perform on the day. Most people bet on horses with the most favourable odds or most promising tips as outlined in Cheltenham betting offers. While this is a good strategy for success, it doesn’t always work. It is surprising just how many times the underdog has come out on top at Cheltenham, particularly the younger up and coming horses.


Horses by Trainer 

Willie Mullins. Willie Mullins remains the trainer to keep your eye on this year. He is, of course, the all-time leading trainer with 65 total wins. This year is set to be equally impressive, with two out of 31 entries for the 2020 Champion Hurdle with Aramon and Sharjah. There’s also the chance he could be supplementing Benie des Dieux.

Gordon Elliott. Producing three winners last year, he’s supposed to achieve great things once again. Keep your eyes peeled for Abacadabras (supreme) and Champagne Classic in the National Hunt Chase.

Nicky Henderson. As usual, Nicky has several up and coming horses such as Shishkin (supreme), Champ (RSA) and other contenders for the Championship Hurdle and Gold Cup. Other horses to look out for include Epatante (10/3) which featured a great boxing day win at Kempton. Santini also got back on track at the previous Blue Ribans chase so could be another horse worth watching in 2020.


Horses by Jockey 

Ruby Walsh. In the history of Cheltenham, Ruby Walsh still remains number one, despite being retired since May. He’s achieved an astounding 59 total wins thanks to superb horses like Klassical Dream in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and again in the 1998 Champion Bumper. Further wins were also achieved in 2009 and 2016.

Paul Townend. There are many horses to consider betting on this year for Paul. These include Asterion Forlonge (supreme), Benie des Dieux, Chacun Pour Sol, Faugheen and Min. All these horses are predicted to be heading towards grade one events. Desert Hero has been particularly impressive, achieving several back to back wins.

Davy Russell. Achieving a total of nine wins since 2015 from 66 rides, this isn’t expected to stop any time soon. The novice Envoi Allen has performed fantastically and is now heading to grade one this time around.

Nico de Boinville. Since 2005, Nico has won nine races from forty-nine rides in total. Who knows whether he will win the second Gold Cup with Santini this year.


Promising Horses at the 2020 Trials 

Galahad Quest. JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2). This 6/1 horse from Nicky Williams and Harry Cobden played a great position just behind the lead. An inexperienced horse that will only get better and better as long as he runs on the right ground.

Simply the Betts. Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase. The odds are 11/2 with this horse by Harry Whittington and Gavin Sheenan. Despite not having a precise rhythm last time around Kempton, he finished the second day with great form. Depending on the ground he’s travelling on, he should be able to jump well but needs to improve if he’s to rise in the rankings.

Cepage. Paddy Power 45 Sleeps to Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase (Grade 3). Cepage played an excellent performance despite his smaller size. Although the ground slowed him down last time, he’s also displayed impressive performances for Ryanair and is definitely a reliable jumper.

Bristol de Mai & Santini. Paddy Power Cotswold Chase (Grade 2). Santini is dubbed 13/8 in the 2020 renewal whereas Bristol de Mai did over three lengths with an impressive effort. It is a powerful horse which is still learning and has every chance in the Gold Cup.

Harry Senior. Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2). This horse, by Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power at odds of 4/1, is a high performing six-year-old which stays strong throughout and is on peak form. This horse fits perfectly into the Albert Bartlett race, despite struggling slightly at the bottom of the hill. Potential improvements may be seen on the day if the ground is suited to Harry Senior.

Paisley Park. Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2). It is very much business as usual for Paisley Park with a 4/6 odds of it being a favourite. This eight-year-old achieved success for a second time, winning the G2 Galliard Cleeve Hurdle. It will be interesting to see how he does for the G1 Paddy Power Stayer Hurdle. He tends to approach fast and is a great jumper. This could be due to his break from Ascot.

Back on the Lash. This horse has achieved local success recently with 13/2 odds for Jonathan Burke. This six-year-old horse was able to surpass Lust for Glory by 3.25 lengths.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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