Horse racing over jumps doesn’t get any bigger or better than the Cheltenham Festival. It’s the premier UK National Hunt meeting that takes place over four days in the Cotswolds hills of southwest England.
Success at the Cheltenham Festival is keenly sought and highly prized. Only good racehorses are adequate to the rigours of running around its undulating, counter-clockwise racetrack, yet some exceptional equine athletes produce their best at Prestbury Park on more than one occasion.
Here are three previous winners of multiple races at the Cheltenham Festival aiming for even more glory in 2020 with the meeting on from 10-13 March.
Only 1930s steeplechasing royalty Golden Miller and the legendary Irish mare Quevega have won more times on this grand stage than Altior. He has come to the last four Cheltenham Festivals and gone away with Grade 1 prizes.
First up was the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Altior followed-up 12 months later in the Arkle after switching to fences and has landed the Queen Mother Champion Chase in the last two years.
Although an experiment of racing over further than two miles hasn’t worked out this season, bookmakers still have Altior down as favorite for a third consecutive Champion Chase. He puts his best foot forward at Cheltenham, so it’s no wonder he’s a top-price 7/2 for that.
Altior is a horse who turns up time and again at this meeting. If you’re looking for Cheltenham free bets – freebets.com are bound to have them on him to complete the hat-trick and match Golden Miller on five Festival victories in a row.
Another four-time winner at the meeting, although not in successive years, Tiger Roll has gone from plucky underdog to equine superstardom in his racing career. His Cheltenham exploits reflect a remarkable journey.
Tiger Roll was bred to be a Flat racehorse, but he was then cast off by major international owners Godolphin. Gigginstown House Stud saw something in him, however, and he won the 2014 Triumph Hurdle for them and trainer Gordon Elliott.
Where Tiger Roll came into his own, though, was when he stepped up to tackle extreme distances and have his stamina tested. He has since won the National Hunt Chase as a novice in 2017, then the last two Cross Country Chase races at the Festival and made modern era history in the Grand National at Aintree with consecutive victories.
That form in long-distance races in and around four miles, plus an ability to adapt to jumps of different sizes, are why Tiger Roll is 7/4 favorite for a third Cross Country crown come Cheltenham.
Defi Du Seuil will try to win a third different race at the Festival just like Altior and Tiger Roll have, but a more intriguing attempt is set to be made by Don Poli. Irish bred from an English sire out of a French mare by an American damsire; he scored in the 2014 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle for conditional jockeys.
Don Poli followed-up on that Cheltenham success 12 months later by winning the RSA Chase – the big Grade 1 for staying novices over fences. He was then third in the 2016 Gold Cup, the blue riband event of British Isles steeplechasing and centrepiece race of the Festival.
While Don Poli then lost his way after that, he has rolled back the years when dropped into point-to-point company. New trainer Nick Pearce and owner Darren Yates are looking at the Foxhunters Chase for him this year, and there’s each-way value in best odds of 16/1 on the pick of his form.