Cheltenham A-Z: Match your name to a runner at the Festival

Sire Du Berlais winning the Pertemps under Barry Geraghty at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival

Looking through the form book is a very time consuming process and isn’t everyones cup of tea. The Cheltenham Festival is a very public event and many punting novices will be having a bet.

For a bit of fun, we are going to give you a horse to follow at the Festival using your first name. So if your name is Adrian, the horses name will start with A and so on…

Please keep in mind that these are not myracing’s tips in any way, shape or form. This is a bit of fun for the week that you can hopefully share with your family and friends.

A – Appreciate It

Champion Bumper runner-up that he will stay much further than two miles in time but he has the speed to land the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He jumps for fun and is a great big horse who will make a chaser one day.

B – Billaway

Jumping let him down in the Foxhunters Chase last year but he heads into this year’s renewal with two impressive wins under his belt. Found shock winner It Came To Pass too good last year but can make amends this time around.

C – Chacun Pour Soi

Produced another imperious display to dominate his rivals in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase at Leopardstown. Now an odds-on favourite to provide Mullins with a first victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

D – Dame De Compagnie

Returns to hurdling and returns to her favourite track after an unseat in the Scilly Isles. Nicky Henderson’s mare loves Cheltenham. The form figures of her last four starts at the track read 1151. The fifth came over two miles. Huge player if she turns up in the Mares’ Hurdle.

E – Envoi Allen

Already won the Champion Bumper and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, is a red-hot favourite to complete a Festival hat-trick in the Marsh Novices’ Chase. Probably the people’s banker of the festival.

F – French Aseel

Made the 20-mile move to Willie’s yard from Ellemarie Holden after running out an incredibly impressive winner on Irish debut at Leopardstown. Ran out a 22-length winner after being backed from 25-1 into 7-2 favourite. Could be a monster.

G – Gaillard Du Mesnil

Won a Leopardstown maiden hurdle with a lot of authority before going on to land a Grade 1 at the same track at the Dublin Racing Festival. Beat some proper classy horses that day and is the deserved favourite for the Ballymore.

H – Honeysuckle

Should lock horns with Epatante in the Champion Hurdle in what looks like a battle of the mares. If the ground has any bit of juice in it, Henry de Bromhead’s charge will take the world of beating. If it’s good ground, she could be vulnerable.

I – Imperial Aura

Will lead Kim Bailey’s strongest ever team into battle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Won the now defunct novices’ handicap chase at last year’s meeting and was impressive in winning his first two starts of the current campaign at Carlisle and Ascot. Unseated at Kempton in January but is a huge player in the Ryanair.

J – Jerrysback

Third in the National Hunt Chase behind Le Breuil last year, beaten 47 lengths so was well defeated. JP McManus loves the Kim Muir so he might have a tilt at that now and he would have a big say from his current rating.

K – Kilcruit

The son of Stowaway won in the style of a potential superstar at the Dublin Racing Festival. Pulling twelve lengths clear of the highly-regarded Letsbeclearaboutit at the finish, his rider barely moved a muscle. Monster material.

L – Lieutenant Rocco

Pulled up in the Albert Bartlett last season but will find handicap company much easier and must be a big player in the Ultima. Beat a good field comfortably at Ffos Las last month and will appreciate any mud on offer.

M – Monkfish

Put up arguably the most impressive performance of his career to date in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown. Last season’s Albert Barlett winner is now three out of three over fences and he must be added to any accumulator.

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N – Nassalam

Ran out a 49-length winner at Fontwell in December and although he has tasted defeat two times on the trot, Gary Moore is no doubt saving him for the big day. No disgrace being defeated by Monmiral latest and will go for the Fred Winter.

O – One For The Team

Put it up to the talented Next Destination in a race at Newbury and then stayed on dourly to not be beaten far in the Kauto Star. A real test of stamina will suit him, so the Cheltenham hill will bring out the best in him.

P – Paisley Park

Beat Jedd O’Keeffe’s Sam Spinner in a thrilling renewal of the 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle. Disappointed last season, but was back to his best when landing Ascot’s Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle in December from Thyme Hill.

Q – Quilixios

While more likely to take on stablemate Zanahiyr in the Triumph Hurdle on Gold Cup day, the Grade One-winning four-year-old also has the option of Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on day one.

R – Royale Pagaille

Most recently, winning at Haydock by 16 lengths, announced himself as a real Cheltenham contender. Would be a player in the Gold Cup but he has been smashed in for the National Hunt Chase this week.

S – Shishkin

Won the Supreme at last season’s Cheltenham Festival and did everything right when making a successful chasing debut at Kempton in November. Could be the next Sprinter Sacre in waiting.

T – Tritonic

Put himself front and centre in the Triumph Hurdle picture when he made it two from two over hurdles in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton. 99-rated Flat performer could take some stopping in this.

U – Umbrigado

In the right hands in David Pipe, a man who knows how to plot a Cheltenham handicap winner like no other. Will probably end up in the Grand Annual over the shorter trip after an impressive win over 15.2f at Wetherby when last seen.

V – Verdana Blue

Finished 5th in the 2019 Champion Hurdle but doesn’t seem to have the speed for two miles these days. As a consequence, if she does run there is every chance that she will line up in the Mares’ Hurdle but she’s like decent ground.

W – Wide Receiver

Has a good few entries but we think the 6-year-old will take the handicap route this season. The Martin Pipe should be spot on for him. Well beaten off by Appreciate It in Grade 1 company last time but has cracking hurdle form in the book and could be well treated.

X – Latest Exhibition

Couldn’t find a horse that started with “X” running at the Festival but this is the next best thing. Runner-up to Monkfish in a thrilling Albert Bartlett finish last season. Hasn’t matched that form this term so could be foolish to take on Monkfish or Envoi Allen. National Hunt Chase is the call.

Y – Youmdor

Twice a winner on the level in France, he won a juvenile hurdle at Gowran Park by 16 lengths on debut for Willie Mullins. Fell at Fairyhouse when sent off the 4-9 favourite and was out of his depth when 4th in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Outside chance in the Triumph Hurdle.

Z – Zanahiyr

Although stablemate Quixilios is a Grade 1 winner, connections are confident that Zanahiyr is a better horse. He’s three from three this season, routing his rivals in each contest and could be pretty special.

Get clued up for the festival with the latest Cheltenham tips and Cheltenham free bets to get a head start on your festival punting. 

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