We are now just, what feels like, a few furlongs away from the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and what better way to get those Cheltenham tips than with the help of the Racing Post Weekender.
We’ve had a good flick through their fancies for the big meeting and pulled together a 111/1 acca from their selections.
Shiskin (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle)
Nicky Henderson’s enthusiasm for Shishkin is infectious and he can get the trainer’s festival off to a flyer in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Tuesday.
A three-time winner of the race, Henderson has long held the view that Shishkin might be special and it looked that way when the six-year-old struck in a Kempton bumper 12 months ago.
The point winner began this term as one of the yard’s brightest, if not best, novice hurdle hopes, but fell at Newbury before Christmas.
He put that right in decisive fashion at the track soon after and bolted up in Huntingdon’s Sidney Banks last time out. Shishkin jumps, travels, stays and can quicken – all the ingredients needed for the Supreme.
Notebook (Racing Post Arkle)
Go back a few seasons and favourites had a poor record in the Racing Post Arkle, but the tide has turned with six of the last eight market leaders doing the business. Admittedly, all six were good things sent off at odds-on whereas this year’s renewal is very open.
The odds available for Notebook are nothing like so prohibitive, but he’s still hard to fault. Henry de Bromhead’s gelding is 4-4 over fences (eight of the last ten winners had between three to five chase starts behind them) and his latest victory in the Irish equivalent represents a persuasive piece of form.
Eleven of the last 14 Irish-trained winners took in that Grade One and seven won it, so he has much to live up to.
Minella Indo (RSA Chase)
Minella Indo was a 50-1 shot when landing the Albert Bartlett here last March but it would be much less of a shock if he struck again this time.
That was the first of two Grade One victories over hurdles for Henry de Bromhead’s seven-year-old and he has made an encouraging start over fences, chasing home Laurina over an insufficient two miles and four furlongs before winning at Navan in January.
He jumped well that day, handles all sorts of ground and is proven at this venue, so there is every chance he can add a second festival success.
Tiger Roll (Cross Country)
Tiger Roll can continue his progress towards immortality by landing a fifth festival success.
With victories in the Triumph Hurdle and the National Hunt Chase on his record, the superstar has thrived in this unique test and last year’s 22-length success was right up there with the best efforts of his career.
Connections have always said a third victory in this race was important to them and a recent spin over hurdles at Navan was the perfect prep run, as he travelled well until getting tired in the closing stages.