The Road To Cheltenham – 2019/2020 Jump Season Preview

The Return of the jumps

From the team that brought you horses to follow like Grade 1 Chase winner La Bague Au Roi, Pasley Park and Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo.

Tom and Dave joined Andrew to look ahead to what promises to be one of the most exciting jump seasons in recent memory. With old favourites and new up and coming stars all likely to clash over the coming season, let’s have a look at who The Finishing Line has picked for you this season.

prices are correct at time of writing.

Novice Hurdlers

We start with the up and coming hurdlers, and what better place to start than last season Champion Bumper and the 1st and 2nd.

Envoi Allen @ 5/2 to win any race.


This big powerful gelding went the season unbeaten and is sure to make up into a fine hurdler. But, is that to say he will reach the highest over hurdles that he did in bumpers? The simple answer, yes.

Everyone agrees that with a step up in trip and similar racing tactics as shown in his bumper year, Envoi Allen could hit the heights of another Cheltenham Festival victory.

Click the link below to get the best ante-post price on Envoi Allen to win any race at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival 5/2.

 

Blue Sari @ 14/1 for the Supreme Novice Hurdle


Blue Sari followed home previously mentioned Envoi Allen in the Champion Bumper but travelled like a speed horse and showed that surge of speed to get up to the quarters of Envoi Allen, only for the winner’s stamina to kick in and pull away.

This is where everyone on The Finishing Line agreed that Blue Sari is a tailor-made Supreme Novice horse. Cruising speed? Check. Turn of foot? Check. Hurdling ability? We will soon find out. But if he has the knack for jumping at such speed, he could be one exciting horse to follow for the season. Coming out of the world-famous Willie Mullins stable in Closesutton you can be sure that he will be schooled to get the job done.

To get Blue Sari at a very tempting ante-post price for the Supreme Novice Hurdle at 14/1 click the link below.

Gypsy Island (Now out for the season)


The Peter Fahey trained mare has the world at her feet. Bar a blip in a maiden hurdle where she was turned over by the Henry de Bromhead trained Put The Kettle On, who herself has racked up a sequence of wins, Gypsy Island has racked up hugely impressive wins back in bumpers where she travelled so well and put her races to bed within a matter of strides. Some would say she is beating nothing in behind, but if you look through her form there is real substance to it. For example, Colreevy who was 12 ½ lengths behind Gypsy Island at Fairyhouse in April went on to beat the Champion Bumper 4th in Abacadabras at the Punchestown Festival. So, the form is there for everyone to see.

Been touted for a tilt at the Mares Novice Hurdle come Cheltenham, it looks like she could be a tough nut to crack.

To get as big as 8/1 in the ante-post markets click the link below.

Novice Chasers

When you look at potential Novice Chasers for the new season, you automatically get dragged towards last season top novice and open hurdlers. But, with that said there is always a few that were just biding their time over hurdles with a chance to show the real them over the larger obstacle’s. Let’s see can we find another La Bague Au Roi…

Minella Indo @ 16/1 for the RSA Chase


A good starting point is with the impressive Albert Bartlett winner Minella Indo who then went onto the back up that performance with a just as dominant display at the Punchestown Festival.

For such a young horse to back up a win over 3 miles on soft ground at the grandest stage of them all and back it up at the Punchestown Festival, you can only stand up and take notice.

Hailing from a stable where horses nearly always excel over fences you can be sure that you will see an even better horse when he hits the racetrack for his beginner’s chase. After you will see him go on to bigger and better things in what I think could be a potential Gold Cup horse come next season.

With sights more than likely set on the RSA Chace come the Cheltenham Festival, why not have an anti-post bet at a big price (16/1)for this hugely talented gelding.

Reserve Tank @ 16/1 for the JLT Novice Chase


Trained by Colin Tizzard, Reserve Tank made huge progress in the space of four months last season. Winning a novice hurdle at Sandown over 2 miles in February and then going on to win two Grade 1s, one at Aintree and the other at Punchestown, beating the likes of Brewin’upastorm and Sam’s Profile along the way.

Whispers have come out of the Tizzard yard that he is going chasing with a view of making his debut at Chepstow. If this is true, then expect to see this lad shine over fences and take hand in all the top novice events this coming season.

If you are confident that he will shine like we at The Finishing Line are the click the link below for a selection of ante-post markets.

Bright Forecast @ 16/1 for the RSA Chase


This horse to follow has been a slow burner and I think has just been biding his time over hurdles before a career over fences. After finishing 4 ½ lengths behind City Island and 2 lengths behind another Grade 1 winning hurdler in Champ, this was enough to convince me that Ben Pauling has a very good horse on his hands.

Where is will start? Your guess is as good as mine. But, for me, he is one that will improve no end for a fence.

If you think he is worth a small bet at what are very tempting ante-post prices for any race at the Cheltenham Festival, well simply click the link below.

Open Hurdlers

In what promises to be a huge season for some of the last season novices, let’s have a look at who we think it is worth following all season.

Klassical Dream @ 4/1 for the Champion Hurdle


Let’s start with who we all think has a huge chance of adding the Champion Hurdle to his Supreme Novice Hurdle.
Klassical Dream has shown everything you could look for in a Champion Hurdle contender. If you mixed everything you want in a Champion Hurdle horse up in a bowl, put in the horse oven, you would end up with Klassical Dream.

Travels so well, jumps hurdles like a pro and has the will to win with that big touch of class.

Expect to see him go down the Willie Mullins trusted route he took with Hurricane Fly by taking in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, the Grade 1 Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown at Christmas time before taking in the Irish Champion Hurdle before the tilt at the Champion Hurdle in March.

Do I expect him to be fighting it out at the last hurdle come March? No, I expect him to be clear jumping the last and powering up the hill.

Paddy Power might have made a bit of a bobo here. They are 7/2 for Klassical Dream to win any race at Cheltenham, but only 3/1 for the Champion Hurdle. That’s a no brainer, back him to win any race at the bigger odds. Just follow the link below.

Honeysuckle @ 7/1 for the Mares Hurdle


Honeysuckle, I have been signing her praise since her maiden hurdle win back in November 2018 at Fairyhouse. She has done nothing but improve and improve with each run and pick up her first Grade 1 at Fairyhouse while still looking green in doing so.

This is going to be a huge season for the Henry de Bromhead trained mare, with all eyes fixed on the Grade 1 Mare Hurdle where she is likely to come up against Benie Des Dieux. If this is that case we are in store for one hell of a race come Cheltenham.

But to me, I think Honeysuckle can take that next step forward and thwart Benie Des Dieux search for redemption after her final flight fall last season in the same race.
Get 7/1 off Betfair for Honeysuckle to win the Mares Hurdle.

 

Paisley Park @ 3/1 for the Stayers Hurdle


This is one of the more obvious ones. Paisley Park beat everything put in front of him last season and I think will do the same again this season. But, the reason I have put him up as one to follow is because bookmakers will try to get him beat every time he runs because of his lazy running style.

He will turn up at all the big 3-mile Grade 1 Hurdles from the Long Walk to the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham. As mentioned in The Finishing Line podcast, you will always get a novice from last year stepping up in trip trying to best the slow champion. This happens every year and there is no doubt this will happen again. So, with all that said Paisley Park is a horse to row in with where every he runs because this lad is a true champion.

Get as big as 3/1 with Bet365 for the Stayers Hurdle.

Open Chasers

This season open chasers looks to be one of the best bunch we have seen in a number of years. With that said, let’s have a look at some of the exciting prospects for the upcoming season.

Lostintranslation @ 11/1 for the Gold Cup


This is the once the chaser that has me dreaming of Gold Cup glory again. Chased home a hugely improved mare in his novice season in La Bauge Au Roi over a trip short of his best. He was second over 2m 4f in the JLT at Cheltenham again over a trip short of his best.

Stepped up to 3 miles for the first time at Aintree against the RSA winner Topofthegame. This race is where we saw what Lostintranslation is made of. He made the RSA winner look average by giving him a beating of 6 lengths been eased down.

Is he Gold Cup class? To me, yes. Everything about him says to me Gold Cup winner. That said, this is one of the best Gold Cups we are likely to see in years gone by with the like of reigning Gold Cup Champion Al Boum Photo, Kemboy, Santini Delta Work, and possibly Altior.

But, with all that said, Lostintranslation is one I want to keep on the right side of.

He is currently 11/1 with Bet365 to jump his way to Gold Cup glory.

Chacun Pour Soi @ 6/1 for the Champion Chase

This pick has been something of a slow burner, but my did he arrive on the scene with a bang. Winning his beginners chase my no less than 31 lengths doing a hack canter, then showing up at Punchestown where he took on JLT winner Defi Du Seuil and giving him a beating. Settled in the middle to rear he cursed through the race and led two out and put daylight between him and Defi in a matter of strides. For a horse to do that in such a short space of time in his racing career, you can be dam sure he is a monster.

Chacun Pour Soi could be the most serious challenger to Altior in recent times, and if they both turns in full health come March we are in for a breathtaking race.

Unibet is currently 6/1 with Unibet to dethrone the mighty Altior.

The Finishing Line

For much more Horse Racing tips, new and racing reviews, subscribe to The Finishing Line YouTube Channel or listen to us on the go through our Soundcloud Podcast. Simply click the links below and click the subscribe button.

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