The 2019/2020 jump season, is set to provide a stellar line up of racing entertainment for racing fans and punters alike. We take a look at the biggest jump races for the season ahead.
King George VI Chase
The King George VI Chase – which many would view as the most prestigious Grade 1 chase after the Cheltenham Gold Cup, is first on the list. Kempton Park Racecourse plays host to the Grade 1. The £250,000 three-mile chase, welcomes a new race sponsor for 2019 – Ladbrokes bookmakers.
Paul Nicholls trained Clan Des Obeaux was the 2018 winner, who put on a stellar performance to land the Grade 1 title, over Gold Cup winner Native River and ante-post favourite Mite Bite. prove for that run. He ran a cracker at Down Royal and should improve for that run.
Can last year’s winner make it two in a row? The seven-year-old will certainly have his work cut out as names such as Altior, Kemboy and Min are all likely contestants.
Ladbrokes Trophy Chase
The Ladbrokes Trophy Chase is one of the most exciting highlights of the Winter Festival at Newbury Racecourse. The three-mile and two furlongs contest, established in 1957 as the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, and it was initially staged at Cheltenham Racecourse and in 1960 moved to Newbury.
The race has been won by nine horses which have also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The most recent of these is Native River (winner in 2016), the winner of the latter race in 2018.
The 2018 Ladbroke Trophy witnessed Sizing Tennessee win the Grade 3 handicap for trainer Colin Tizzard.
Sandown Racecourse welcomes its Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase each December. The event was first run in 1979, and it was named in honour of Tingle Creek a very talented and popular National Hunt racehorse in the 1970s.
The £150,000, one-mile and seven furlongs chase, witnessed Nicky Henderson’s stable star Altior storm home in front in 2018. The question will remain, can the Nico De Boinville mount return to the winners’ circle two years in a row. Second, to Altior in the Champions Chase, last season was 2017 Tingle Creek winner Politologue.
Politologue is trained by Paul Nicholls, who holds the title of the leading trainer with ten previously trained winners of the Tingle Creek. Can Politologue make it 11 for the Somerset-based trainer?
The Champion Hurdle
Day one of the Cheltenham Festival welcomes the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle. Set over two miles, the £450,000 feature race is one to cause many punters thrills and spills. (Thinking back to Annie Power in 2015!)
You cannot mention the Unibet Champion Hurdle without flagging up dual winner Buveur D’Air, who was denied his hat-trick after falling at the third under Barry Geraghty last season. Can the eight-time Grade 1 winner return to his winning Champion Hurdle ways at the 2020 Festival?
Since joining forces with Willie Mullins from France, Klassical Dream has registered a perfect four wins over hurdles, including three Grade 1s, and was last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner under Ruby Walsh.
Apple’s Jade failed to fire at the spring festivals, but this mare has proved herself in the past that she has bags of ability and now that many have written her off, could this be the season she finally asserts herself at Cheltenham?
Queen Mother Champion Chase
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the leading the minimum-distance chase in the National Hunt calendar, and it is the feature race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Nicky Henderson trained back-to-back winner Altior, and perhaps if run in this, connections will be hopeful of a hat-trick in the one-mile seven-furlong contest.
The Ryanair Chase
The Ryanair Chase is another highlight of the Cheltenham Festival, with the Grade 1 is open to horses five years of age and older. The 2019 contest witnessed Bryony Frost storm home aboard Paul Nicholls trained Frodon. Can the son of Nickname make it two in a row?
Last seasons JLT Novice Chase winner Defi Du Seuil may be another runner to keep an eye on if entered.
The Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle
The £325,000 three-mile Stayers’ Hurdle is open to horse four years and older. It is the leading long-distance hurdle event on the National Hunt calendar, and it is the feature race on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival.
2019 winner Paisley Park won the Grade 1 in style last season and connections will be hopeful of a repeat trip to the winners’ circle.
Benie Des Dieux, is a fantastic eight-year-old mare, who has a stellar form to her name. She has been mentioned in the ante-post betting market and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with if entered.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious National Hunt events on the racing calendar.
It is a roll of honour that features the names of such chasers as Arkle, Best Mate, Golden Miller, Kauto Star, Denman and Mill House. Most recently, 2019 winner Al Boum Photo ridden to victory by Corkman Paul Townend. Can he join history makers and win it on the double?
Names such as Willie Mullins trained Kemboy and Nicky Henderson’s Santini have been mentioned alongside superstar Altior to go to post in this upcoming season’s Gold Cup.
The Gold Cup is the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain, and in 2019 it offered a total prize fund of £625,000.
The Grand National
The Grand National is one of the biggest National Hunt races in the world. Each April, Aintree Racecourse comes alive for the three-day Festival to host one of the highlights of National Hunt racing and in turn attracts fans all over the world.
Gordon Elliott trained Tiger Roll has won the race back to back the previous two years. The Davy Russell ridden gelding became the first horse to do so since Red Rum in 1974.
Can the small horse with the huge heart, land a hat-trick this season? Or how about 2018 Gold Cup winner Native River? The Grand National is always the most entertaining race to watch – as every year a field of forty runners go to post.