National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

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The latest news and previews ahead of the National Hunt Steeple Chase at Cheltenham in 2021.

Patrick Mullins riding to victory in the National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup
DateTuesday, March 16, 2021
Start Time17:30
Distance3m 6f
TypeChase
Prize£125,000
Where to WatchCheltenham live stream at MansionBet
Horses’ Age5+ Years.
Cheltenham Festival Day 1: National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup

The National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup has been around for more than 150 years and has been run more times than any other race at the Cheltenham Festival.

It is open to amateur riders only and, as such, is one of the most prestigious races in their calendar and one of three Cheltenham Festival races exclusive to the amateur ranks.

This is a gruelling stamina test despite being shortened from four-miles to 3m6f in recent times. Only the Cross Country race is run over a longer trip at The Festival.

Jonjo O’Neill is the winning-most trainer in this contest with five wins, most recently via Minella Rocco in 2016.

A good jockey booking is essential amongst the amateur ranks and Jamie Codd is perhaps the best in the business right now, partnering the winner in this Cheltenham Festival contest three times since 2015.

Interestingly, since 2011, the score stands at 5-5 between Britain and Ireland in the National Hunt Cup.

National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup: Betting Odds

HorseLatest Odds*
Galvin9/2
Court Maid9/1
Monkfish10/1
Fury Road11/1
*All odds correct at time of writing

National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup: Tips, Predictions and Previews

With four wins since 2011, Gordon Elliott is rapidly closing in on the record for success in the National Hunt Cup and the Irish trainer has ante-post favourite Galvin for 2021.

He was narrowly denied at The Festival last March in a novices’ handicap chase over 2m4f but has put together an impressive winning sequence since that. At the Showcase Meeting in October he recorded a decisive Prestbury Park victory and, afterwards, his trainer confirmed he’s likely to be kept under wraps for this race in March.

Fellow Irish runner Latest Exhibition is also proving popular in the betting while Aione features for Willie Mullins in an ante-post market dominated by Irish contenders. Colin Tizzard’s The Big Breakaway is a plausible UK-house player, should he take to fences this term.

National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup: Recent Winners

YearHorseJockeyTrainer
2020RavenhillJamie CoddGordon Elliott
2019Le BreuilJamie CoddBen Pauling
2018RathvindenPatrick MullinsWillie Mullins
2017Tiger RollLisa O’NeillGordon Elliott
2016Minella RoccaDerek O’ConnorJonjo O’Neill
Source: Wikipedia
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