Cheltenham Festival - Horses to Watch

Cheltenham Festival Clues: Horses To Watch

The ‘Road to Cheltenham’ is well and truly underway, and so, with less than a month until Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, it’s time to see which horses to look out for at the big meeting! Along the exciting road, there are a number of key races that take place and also provide multiples clues for horses that stand a strong chance at the prestigious meeting.

Many leading Cheltenham contenders took to the stage at the Betfair Ascot Chase Raceday last weekend (Saturday 16th February 2019), and horseracing fans were treated to fantastic action on the track that allowed many clues to come forth. Cyrname and Clan Des Obeaux were undoubteldy two of the most impressive runners who will both be key players in any races if they target Cheltenham Festival. Both horses are trained by Paul Nicholls and would be significantly noble runners for Group One entries at Cheltenham.

Below is our pick of the top three horses you should keep an eye on as they continue to blossom in the run up to the Festival!

1. Clan Des Obeaux

Clan Des Obeaux is a rising star who is a prominent contender for the renowned Grade One Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase! Following his recent King George success, last weekend he went on to win the Denman Chase at Ascot by a great 11 lengths under Harry Cobden. Initially starting second, he by passed every obstacle in what seemed to be effortless jumps, quickly putting pressure on his competitors.

Cheltenham Gold Cup winners are seldom born, they are built through challenging racedays such as these and it is clear that Clan Des Obeaux is consistently improving. Jockey Harry Cobden remarked:

“He had a good bit left. He’s improving all the time and I didn’t want to find out exactly what was left today – we’ll save that until March.”

2. Cyrname

Cyrname produced the most thrilling performance last weekend, winning the Ascot Chase by a tremendous 17 lengths! This win comes just a month after his last win at the same racecourse when Cyrname triumphed with a  21-length win, leaving Ruth Jefferson’s Waiting Patiently trailing behind in second place. Following the wins, trainer Paul Nicholls noted:

“I had no idea he would improve like he has done. It is an astonishing improvement.”

It would certainly be a treat to see Cyrname run at Prestbury Park.

3. Al Dancer

Al Dancer gained an impressive Betfair Hurdle win at Ascot’s chase raceday. He charged through the race just before pulling clear towards the end and landing victory at Ascot! It’s no surprise that he has quickly gained status as favourite to run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival.

Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement from the horse if he is to beat other strong contenders including Fakir D’Oudairies and Angels Breath! His cruising speed is one to be watched and not taken for granted…



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