What Can We Expect from the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup?

2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup predictions horse racing

What Can We Expect from the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup?

As the blue riband event of steeplechases, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of those races everyone involved in National Hunt horse racing dreams of winning.

While betting apps for horse racing have always considered this the race of the year in terms of turnover, the Gold Cup is once again a competitive heat in 2020. That is reflected in the market on the Cheltenham Festival’s marquee race too.

What can we expect from this year’s Gold Cup? History is against 2019 winner Al Boum Photo repeating the dose, yet he has always been prominent in the betting.

Best Mate was the last horse to win consecutive Gold Cups back in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Kauto Star famously regained his Cheltenham crown in 2009, but didn’t land back-o-back renewals.

While Al Boum Photo – a historic maiden triumph for Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins in race after many years of trying – has done nothing wrong, it’s another raider from the Emerald Isle who has been tipped by experts in their predictions for the Gold Cup this year.

That is Delta Work. Trained by Gordon Elliott for Gigginstown House Stud, he was an impressive winner at the Punchestown Festival in May after finishing a staying on third in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham last season.

Delta Work has since landed two Grade 1s around Leopardstown, besting Al Boum Photo’s Punchestown conqueror Kemboy on both occasions. The latter was unlucky to take a bad step on landing after the first fence in the 2019 Gold Cup and unseating his rider, but did then show his best form in the spring.

If Delta Work is fancied in the market, then Nicky Henderson’s lightly-raced Santini – who finished second in the RSA Chase – must be too. Gold Cup glory is the long-term career aim for this leading British contender who has since advertised his claims when landing the official trial, the Cotswold Chase, on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham.

Another novice form line last season to consider is the JLT Novices’ Chase. Defi Du Seuil has gone down in trip and mopped up prizes over two miles, while runner-up Lostintranslation went up in distance and put his best foot forward in winning three of his four subsequent starts.

Colin Tizzard’s charge is on the comeback trail, however, after pulling up in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park over Christmas. That wasn’t a going day for Lostintranslation, but certainly was for Clan Des Obeaux.

The dual King George hero failed to stay in the Gold Cup last season for Paul Nicholls and that Kempton form from Boxing Day has taken some knocks. This is because both the runner-up, Cyrname, and third home, Footpad, have been beaten favourites since.

Al Boum Photo isn’t the only previous Gold Cup winner set to line-up on Friday, 13 March. Native River was a fine fourth and far from disgraced when bidding to defend his crown last year.

Another representing team Tizzard, he is set for a fourth outing in the Gold Cup having finished third and first on his first two tries. Native River comes into the race in-form after winning a third Denman Chase at Newbury last time out.

Presenting Percy was sent off favourite for last year event, but failed to fire and finished lame. He is now a double figure price for the Gold Cup as the comeback trail continues.

Shrewd Irish trainer Pat Kelly may yet bring Presenting Percy back to his best. This horse has shown that at Cheltenham with two previous Festival victories among his back form.

Henry De Bromhead has a couple of lively outsiders in Monalee and Chris’s Dream. The former has been a Cheltenham Festival runner-up twice before and placed fourth in the RSA last year.

Monalee came on for a disappointing reappearance run when headed close home by Delta Work over Christmas. He goes back to Cheltenham and a crack at the Gold Cup a fresh horse.

Chris’s Dream, meanwhile, has been progressive this season. A winner of the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan, he has since followed-up in a Grade 2 on Trials Day at Gowran Park.

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