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Which Ante Post Favourites for the 2020 Cheltenham Festival Could Be Vulnerable?

The secret to betting on horse racing is knowing when to take on a favourite. Even at illustrious events like the Cheltenham Festival, market leaders don't always win.

It's easy to say with hindsight, of course, but sometimes it pays to take on a fancy. Ahead of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, which favourites could be vulnerable?

Altior


"Altior" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Carine06

One defeat at Ascot to Cyrname doesn't necessarily mean the mighty Altior is a spent force, but this campaign of experimenting over a longer trip hasn't worked out so far. Taking on a four-time Festival winner is a brave call, but the reality is that Nicky Henderson's stable star is now 10-years-old.

Age is no barrier to success, however. Sprinter Sacre had his finest hour at the same time in his career that Altior now finds himself at, but there are going to be horses with a lot less mileage on the clock than the dual Queen Mother Champion Chase hero.

Altior may still be favourite for that Grade 1 contest at 3/1, but he could face unexposed rivals come the Festival in March - they include Chacun Pour Soi, who is among many 2020 Cheltenham best tips from experts.

Allmankind

The Triumph Hurdle market, on the four-year-old's only Grade 1 race at the Festival, sees some bookmakers make Irish Grade 2 winner Aspire Tower the favourite, and others have Chepstow Grade 1 scorer Allmankind as the leading fancy. Both are front-running types who like to dictate proceedings.

Allmankind, in particular, has only one way of racing, as demonstrated in the Finale Juvenule Hurdle, and there is a danger than Dan Skelton's charge will end up in a battle for the lead come Cheltenham. With Aspire Tower pressing him up front, the pair may simply cut each other's throats, potentially setting things up for a closer race.

Betting on the Triumph is always a bit murky for punters as unexposed and lightly-raced types do just as well at the Festival in this as ones with proven form in the book. Allmankind may thus be one fancy to take on, despite a best-price of 8/1 available with Betfair.

Champ

Henderson also has the market leader for the three-mile RSA Chase, in the vaunted Champ. Named after Tony McCoy, who was the retained rider to owner JP McManus for so many successful years, he took a tumble out on his most recent start over fences at Cheltenham, with the Grade 2 Dipper Novices' Chase entirely at his mercy.

Like Altior, it's far from ideal preparation during what has been a carefully mapped campaign to the Festival. The RSA is shaping up to be a very hot race, with strong Irish opposition highly likely in the form of Battleoverdoyen and Minella Indo among others.

Champ may face a wave of raiders from the Emerald Isle who are stacking up in behind him in the betting. These could also include popular veteran Faugheen, and the highly-regarded Samcro. So, the RSA ante post favourite may have his work cut out to justify odds of 3/1.


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