Who will be competing at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival?

Grad III Races at Cheltenham Festival

Who will be competing at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival?

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival is only a few weeks away, set to take place between 16-19 March at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire.

Last year’s event was one of the final major sporting events to take place in the United Kingdom as planned prior to the country going into its first national lockdown.

28 races take place over the four-day event, with seven scheduled each day, 40 minutes appear.

The most-anticipated race of the card comes on Day Four and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which has a £625,000 prize pool alone.

This year’s event is currently set to take place behind closed doors and that’s unlikely to change with such little time between now and the start of the event. That means fans will be looking for a channel where they can watch horse racing without making any payment.

Here’s a look at the biggest races of the event along with the favourites in each:

The Champion Hurdle

The Feature Race from Day One will see Epatante look to defend his title. John P. McManus’ horse has only raced twice since its success at last year’s Cheltenham Festival – finishing 1st in Newcastle back in November, and runner-up at Kempton the following month.

Epatante is currently set to head into this year’s race as 9/4 second favourite, with odds only narrowly longer than current 2/1 favourite Honeysuckle. The seven-year-old horse won at Leopardstown earlier this month to make it 11 successive wins in its career.

Silver Streak is the third favourite at 9/1, whilst the rest of the field is back at 10/1+.

The Queen Mother Champion Steeple

Only a handful of the 28 races at this year’s event are odds-on favourites. One of them comes in the 15:30 race on Day Two as Chacun Pour Soi is currently at 4/6 with the bookmakers.

Paul Townsend rode the nine-year-old horse to victories in its last three races – Cork in December, and then Leopardstown the same month, and again earlier this month.

Altior is the 6/1 second favourite, followed by Politologue and Nube Negra at 8/1.

The Ryanair Steeple Chase

In one of the closer starting fields, few experts can be confident with their horse racing tips in picking a winner in the third race on Day Three.

Allaho is the current 5/1 favourite, closely followed by Imperial Aura and Min, both at 7/1. Not far behind that trio are Frodon and Saint Calvados at 10 with the bookmakers, and no one will be writing off 12/1 Melon and 14/1 Fakir Doudairies before the start.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup

Al Boum Photo won the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup by a length ahead of Santini is the 3/1 favourite last year. This was the second consecutive year Paul Townsend had ridden home Willie Mullins’ horse.

Looking to make it a hat-trick in 2021, Al Boum Photo is set to head to Cheltenham as the 3/1 favourite this year, ahead of A Plus Tard at 7/1 and 10/1 Royale Pagaille.

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