While bookmakers will be taking bets on who will finish top trainer and top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival, it is unlikely odds will be available for the most successful owner at the meeting. If any firm decided to price up that eventuality, there is little doubt that JP McManus would be clear favourite.
The Irishman has, over the years, won the majority of the races at the greatest four days of national hunt action in the world. With another powerful team at his disposal next month, the outstanding Jumps supporter looks sure to improve upon his already impressive record at the festival. Here is a list of those horses expected to take plenty of beating, together with a few who could go well at a decent price:
Major Fancies For The Non-Handicaps
Epatante – Champion Hurdle A top price 100/30 with Betfair Sportsbook to give his owner a unique ninth hurdling crown. The mares’ Christmas Hurdle victory sets the standard and with the 7lb sex allowance, has to be a leading fancy.
Champ – RSA Chase Heads the betting for the three mile Grade 1 for novices at a best price 7/2 with 888Sport. Impressive in winning his first two starts over fences and had the race won when taking a crashing fall at Cheltenham last time. Major chance, providing his confidence hasn’t taken a knock.
Defi Du Seuil – Champion Chase Sets the standard this season over two miles with victories at Cheltenham, Sandown and Ascot. The 9/4 chance with Coral and Betfred faces two formidable rivals however, in dual winner Altior and Chacun Pour Soi.
Easysland – Cross Country Chase This French-trained gelding was bought by McManus after winning his last six races and looks the major threat to another victory for Grand National favourite Tiger Roll. 100/30 with Ladbrokes and Sportingbet.
Fakir D’oudairies – Arkle Second favourite at 6/1 with Coral and Betway behind market leader Notebook. The Joseph O’Brien-trained five-year-old has taken really well to fences and looks sure to put up a bold effort.
Chantry House – Supreme or Ballymore Unbeaten over hurdles and a serious contender for either of the two novice hurdles. Pedigree suggests the Ballymore could be the better option for the three mile point to point winner who is a 14/1 chance with Betway and 8/1 with bet365 (nrnb).
Sporting John – Ballymore Should Chantry House head to the Supreme, this recent Ascot scorer, a best price 10/1 with Paddy Power, is likely to represent McManus in the 2m 5f contest.
Betfred Cheltenham Festival 2020 Non Runner No Bet!
Horses To Look Out For In The Handicaps
Ultima Handicap Chase OK Corral – 14/1 with Unibet
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Aramax – 8/1 with Betfair Sportsbook
Pertemps Network Final Sire Du Berlais – 8/1 with Corral
Kim Muir Handicap Chase Glenloe – 7/1 with Corral