Popular Cheltenham Winners! Festival Roofraisers + 69/1 Acca!

Faugheen and Ruby Walsh winning the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton 2015

The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of National Hunt Racing and provides us with four days of jaw-dropping and spectacular racing. From Desert Orchid’s Gold Cup, to Annie Power’s final flight blunder, to Kauto Star regaining the Gold Cup, it also provides us with some sensational storylines that leave us gripped and compelled.

This year’s Festival will be no different, with plenty of emotional and potentially heart-warming stories culminating in the next four days. We’ve had a look at some of those potential moments, separate to our Cheltenham Festival tips, so you know what you’re looking out for at this year’s Festival.

Envoi Allen Confirms Star Status

Although many will expect it, as I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from the roars of the crowd when he turns into the straight (hopefully on the bridle), Envoi Allen can confirm his star status at the Festival on Wednesday. A perfect three out of three over hurdles, including two Grade 1 races, if he can add Festival honors to his trophy cabinet, it’s hard to deny that he hasn’t broached star status.

The sky is the limit for Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old, and there will be plenty hoping, us included, that he can show the racing public that he really is, racing’s second coming!

Altior Notches The Champion Chase Hat-Trick

Given his price, it’s very easy to forget that Altior is a perfect 20/20 over obstacles at the two-mile distance. He’s been imperious in the two-mile chasing division since he stepped foot into it, winning the last two renewals of the Champion Chase.

He returned this season over 2m 5f, where he took on Britain’s highest-rated chaser Cyrname, finishing a gallant second over a distance that clearly wasn’t his own. Back down in distance, he was an easy winner at Newbury and confirmed that he was every bit as much Altior as he was twelve months ago.

Had he not had that run at Ascot, I would suggest his price wouldn’t be quite where it was, and he’d take the roof off the main stand if he could complete a famous and record-equalling hat-trick in the contest.

Golden Oldie Faugheen Rides Again

Winner of the 2014 Ballymore and 2015 Champion Hurdle, Faugheen has been one of the most popular horses in training for many years and his resurgence over fences has been a joy to watch. Despite being a novice, at the age of twelve years old, he’s proven that age really is just a number with three superlative performances.

He toughed out like the old Champion we know when landing the Grade 1 Flogas at Leopardstown last month and that run cemented him into the market for Wednesday’s Marsh Novices Chase. Facing horses such as Itchy Feet, who are literally half is age, can the old boy really do it? One thing is for sure, if he does, the roof really will come off this place.

Popular Paisley Shines Again For Andrew Gemmell

The story of Paisley Park and Andrew Gemmell really is a modern fairytale. Gemmell, who has been blind since birth, and Paisley Park, who nearly passed away three years ago, triumphed in last year’s Stayers’ Hurdle, to scenes of joyous celebration in the Cheltenham Winner’s Enclosure.

He was a rapid improver last term for his inspiring owner, and will arrive at this year’s renewal having won seven races on the bounce. He looked as good as ever when landing the Cleeve over course and distance in January, the same route he took to land the Stayers’ Hurdle twelve months ago. There’s no doubt, that there will be fewer popular winners at Cheltenham this week, than if Paisley Park can go back to back.

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