Cheltenham Festival 2020 St Patrick’s Day Preview
Cheltenham Festival Day Three, also known as St. Patricks Day never disappoints! With tens of thousands of racegoers emerging themselves in the one the most beautiful atmospheres across the whole tournament. We are promised to see thousands of Irish descendants bouncing throughout the entire afternoon showcasing Ireland in full swing. Throughout the day we will witness seven races in total including The Ryanair Steeple Chase, the featured race of day three.
Cheltenham St. Patrick’s Day Going & Ground Conditions
The first day of the Cheltenham Festival was dryer than many people expected, especially after heavy rain spells during the weekend before the Festival. This was much-welcomed news and allowed for an exciting day of horse racing. For St Patrick’s day, the same weather is forecasted with light rain showers forecasted to feature during the afternoon. The going is likely to be soft due to the limited amount of rain and consistent wind speed. Just like last year, for St. Patrick’s Day, we will see the switch from the old course to the new course. Naturally, the courses ground conditions will better for the first few races of the day.
St. Patrick Days Race Preview
St.Patricks Day is a chance for the famous Cheltenham crowd to reap the luck of the Irish. With the first race commencing at 13:30 and the final competition taking place at 17:30 we are promised with yet another action-packed day of horse racing entertainment.
Golden Miller Novices’ Chase (13:30 pm)
The first race of the day takes place over 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 168 yards and is named after the distant memory of Golden Miller. This grade 1 race is for horses aged five and over. The races most successful trainer; Willie Mullins will be hoping that Faugheen will be able to assist him in continuing his pristine record. However, he will be coming up against the one and only Nicky Henderson – after already having a reasonably successful start over the first two days. Mister Fisher is thought to be the one to beat with his impressive Cheltenham chasing debut during December.
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle (14:10 pm)
The Pertemps Final is anticipated to be an open and exciting race with a very competitive line-up all eager to claim the prize. The race is run over 2 miles, 7 furlongs and 213 yards which includes a total of 12 fences. This grade 3 race is for horses aged five and over. In order to of qualified for this event, each of the horses would have had to take part in a Pertemps series event, finishing in the top six. The track is designed to be reasonably large, which can only add extra flavour and excitement to an already open and competitive event.
Ryanair Chase (14:50 pm)
The Ryanair Steeple Chase will be the first feature race of St. Patricks Day and promises to be a race you do not want to miss. The race is run over 2 miles with 17 fences and 4 furlongs. Like the first two races, the horse is open to horses aged five and over. It is common knowledge that Ryanair Chase is a race which favours previous Cheltenham winners due to its use of the Prestbury Park course. The favoured horse is A Plus Tard who possess that valued Cheltenham Festival experience. For those who don’t know Rachael Black more will be riding him.
Stayers Hurdle (15:30 pm)
The fourth race of the day and also the second featured race of the day is a Grade 1 featuring 12 hurdles and 7 furlongs across a 2-mile distance. Unlike the previous three races, this race is for horses who are aged four or older. The favoured horse for this race is undoubtedly Paisley Park, he won this race last year, and he is thought to be the winner’s tip for 2020 also. Despite being a clear favourite, City Island is tipped to be Paisley Parks biggest challenger after taking the crown at Baring Bingham.
Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup (16.10 pm)
The fifth race of the day is better known to many as the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase. The Grade 3 race spans across 2 miles, 4 furlongs and features a total of 17 fences. Last years winner Siruh Du Lac who was ridden by Lizzie Kelly is tipped to be the favourite once again. However, competitor runners such as Clondaw Castle & Oldgranewood are fancied to be Siruh Du Lac closest challenger.
Mares Novices Hurdle (16.50 pm)
Won four times by Willie Mullins since the debut of the race in 2016, this race is relatively new to the Cheltenham Festival line up. Taking place on the new course, like all of the other races throughout St. Patricks Day, this Grade 2 race features eight fences across a 2-mile course and 1 furlong. Minella Melody will no debatably set-out with the aim of breaking Mullins’ 4-year reign. Minella Melody will also be ridden by Rachael Blackmore further strengthening the case for victory.
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup
The final race of St. Patricks Day is the well renowned Challenge Cup. This race was first to run at Cheltenham in 1946 and is designed to suit amateur riders. The race is over 3 miles and 2 furlongs featuring 21 jumps. Following the trend, this race will run left-handed on the new course. The horse competing must be ages five years or older. Many people are speculating Deise Aba and his chances of securing the victory despite only having four runs with fences in his racing career.
Looking forward to Cheltenham St. Patricks Day
Although no one can guarantee the horses that will take home the victory. The one thing we can guarantee is that St. Patricks Day will be a day to remember for thousands of horse racing enthusiasts. You can stay up to date with the latest Cheltenham Festival news over on the Eventmasters blog!