The five horses to follow at Cheltenham Festival

With the New Year coming in fast, it means that the infamous Cheltenham Festival is a mere blink away. Tickets are selling, travel arrangements are being made, and bets are being placed.  Cheltenham Race Course odds can help give you hints as to who is favoured for each event, but here is some more information about some of the most anticipated horses of the meeting.

Honeysuckle
The mare is one of the hottest racehorses in the business at the moment. Recently she ramped up her winning streak to seven from seven, making her one of the favourites to walk away with a first-place prize at Cheltenham.

Racheal Blackmore is the jockey who has aided this feat, saddling Honeysuckle for the last six of her runs. At five years old, the racehorse is in her peak for hurdle competitions with plenty of years left in her yet. At this early stage, she’s being touted as one of the possible entries into the Champions Hurdle, but later on, this month will be racing at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.

Envoi Allen
The Gordon Elliott gelding is another racehorse that claims a staggeringly impressive record. With another seven wins from seven events competed in, as of December 1 st, Envoi Allen is pitched as a sure bet for the meeting in March. By the time Cheltenham Festival is here, the horse would have turned six years old, a prime age for raking in the top prizes.

Previously the horse was pitched as a flat racehorse, but after nearly a year’s break from the racetrack, Envoi Allen came back in November to challenge the hurdles. With the gelding holding a 1 st place win at Cheltenham in a flat race last year, it’ll be interesting to see if the recent pattern of hurdles is here to stay.

Laurina
Since Willie Mullins took charge of the mare’s training in 2017, she has gained some incredible form.  Her worst finish to date was placing fourth at Cheltenham earlier this year, although in 2018 she finished first in the Novices’ Hurdles. It will be interesting to see how she fares in 2020.  Her most recent event saw her win on a chasing debut. When it comes to Cheltenham next year, rumours have surrounded the bay mare collecting the Arkle Trophy despite her wobble for the
Champion Hurdle in the Cotswolds last season.

Champ
The name says it all with the bay gelding being unbeaten in four outings at Newbury racecourse. His latest event was his eighth win from 11 starts, but it came with some drama. Upon approaching the rail, the horse couldn’t understand why he was headed right and not left, which would have taken him further along to his usual distance. Narrowly swerving it at the last minute added a sense of thrill to the race, not to the pleasure of jockey Barry Geraghty though. You can watch the heart-
stopping action here:

Of course, Cheltenham will provide the gelding with a new challenge, but with odds of 5/2 on walking away with a first-place prize, it looks set to be a promising festival for the horse.

Samcro
If you’re a fan of horseracing, the sight of this gelding’s name might come as a bit of a shock. At Fairyhouse racecourse last month, Samcro came up against Fakir D’Oudairies in a direct run for the win after leaving the pack behind earlier in the race. Sadly, the last hurdle was one too many and Samcro, unseating jockey Jack Kennedy from the saddle and out of the race.

Many have suggested that if the gelding had managed to stay on his hooves, he would have won the race. It was quite the display for onlookers, but his strong showing before the fall means that he is one of the favourites to win an event at Cheltenham Festival next year. You can watch the dramatic end to the race here: