- 1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 Arkle Chase
- 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3:30 Champion Hurdle
- 4:10 Mares Hurdle
- 4:50 Northern Trust Novices Chase
- 5:30 National Hunt Chase Cup
- 1:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 RSA Chase
- 2:50 Coral Cup
- 3:30 Champion Chase
- 4:10 Cross Country Chase
- 4:50 Boodles Handicap Hurdle
- 5:30 Champion Bumper
- 1:30 Marsh Novices Chase
- 2:10 Pertemps Final Hurdle
- 2:50 Ryanair Chase
- 3:30 Stayers Hurdle
- 4:10 Brown Advisory Plate
- 4:50 Dawn Run Mares Hurdle
- 5:30 Kim Muir Chase Cup
National Hunt Chase Cup Tips - 5:30pm Cheltenham
2020 National Hunt Chase Preview
The National Hunt Cup closes the first day of the Festival and this year sees the race run over a new trip for the first time. The race is one of the oldest at the Festival having been first run in 1860 and known as the longest race too.
Despite being trimmed a couple of furlongs to 3m6f it will still be the most demanding test of the four days and with the added fact that all horses are to be ridden by Amateur jockeys just adds to the interest.
Last season 18 runners started out and only four finished and a couple of those were out on their feet and should have arguably been pulled up earlier. This led to an outcry regarding the welfare of the horses hence the reduction in distance.
To be honest it won’t make any difference to the make-up of the race at all, the vast majority of runners will still be out to prove their stamina and going into the unknown.
The Irish have won this race five times since 2011, three for Gordon Elliott and two for Willie Mullins, it’s not that surprising that they have some very good young staying chasers.
Mullins looks to have a decent chance with Carefully Selected this year, last season the 8yo ended up finishing 3rd in a Grade 1 hurdle over three miles and a switch to fences was always going to be on the cards.
He has had three starts over the bigger obstacles now and has won all of them in decent style. He beat City Island at Punchestown back in January by 24 lengths and then followed that with another Grade 3 victory at Naas next time out, this time coming home four lengths clear of Forza Milan. He made mistakes that day so will need brush up his jumping around here but he does look a strong stayer.
It’s a race that Willie Mullins holds close to his heart having ridden the winner in both 1982 and 1984 for his late father Paddy.
Gordon Elliott has a strong team of novice chasers but lost his main hope Champagne Classic due to an injury that has put him out for the season. Ravenhill could be a suitable substitute, the 10yo was busy in the summer and has been given a break since falling at Navan in November. He's still got plenty of miles left on the clock and could improve over this trip.
Paul Nicholls has not had much luck in this race and bids to open his account with Danny Whizzbang who has bags of stamina. He was unbeaten last season over hurdles winning twice over three miles and then in November he broke his duck over fences at the first time of asking when he defeated the very well regarded Grade 1 winning hurdler Reserve Tank.
Next time out he stepped up in grade to contest the Kauto Star Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. He finished 3rd well beaten behind Slate House but it was a messy affair and was hampered by a faller late on. I think he is better than the finishing result and this test and track will suit him much better anyway.
Stablemate Truckers Lodge is not without a chance based on his excellent performance when second in the Welsh National behind Potters Corner. It was a big ask for a novice to even run in that race but to finish second was a very good effort. He will be one of the few runners in the line-up that has actually gone the distance and he jumps really well.
Colin Tizzard does well with his stayers having won the Welsh National a couple of times recently with Native River and Elegant Escape. He runs Copperhead who has already won twice this season, at Newbury and Wincanton. Last time out he won a handicap off 134 which really wouldn’t be good enough to get involved here but he is still improving with every run and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go well.
Another trainer with a decent pedigree for staying chasers is Kim Bailey, he saddles Two For Gold who has won at Carlisle, Kelso and Warwick this season. His front running aggressive style should be suited to this test and is an exciting horse to watch as he really takes on his fences.Punters Lounge Tip: Danny Whizzbang EW 14/1 at Betfair - Click Here To Bet
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