You have to go back to 2012 to find the last time that either Gordon Elliott or Willie Mullins didn’t win the Cheltenham Festival champion trainer award.
These two Irish heavyweights always seem to turn up to the March extravaganza in fine fettle, and that gives punters a fantastic headstart when drawing up their shortlist of bets for the meeting.
There are few horse racing meetings on the planet quite like Cheltenham, where the ante post betting markets are pretty reliable in determining who will run in which race, and their chances of taking the spoils at Prestbury Park.
It’s great news for those who like a flutter because they are able to hoover up some early value with less risk than is usually attached to ante post betting, where non-runners tend not to be refunded. That’s the gamble, in all senses of the word, of taking the inflated prices available.
But the beauty of studying the Gordon Elliott yard in advance of the spring showdown is that punters can align their tanks on the lawn and get their money down early, with research provided by the likes of a full Cheltenham Festival free bets guide helping to manage risk on the bankroll front, too.
So which of Elliott’s horses are worthy of carrying your money in 2020?
Cross country chase betting: Tiger Roll
You know the drill here: Tiger Roll will (probably) go for a historic hat-trick of wins at the Grand National in April. What a joy it must be for Elliott and connections, then, to have Cheltenham Festival as a mere run-around prior to a more pressing engagement at Aintree.
But as you probably know, Prestbury Park has been a happy hunting ground for the nine-year-old, who has twice won the cross country chase and enjoyed two other triumphs at the famous meeting.
An injury has thrown something of a curveball into the mix, but Tiger Roll is not a horse who has previously required a warm-up run prior to an electric showing elsewhere.
The plan of the Gigginstown network is to throw their prized asset into the Boyne Hurdle in February, and if all goes into plan there, a pair of hat-trick bids will be made: the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, before all eyes will be on Tiger Roll in the Grand National.
Champion bumper betting: Envoi Allen
The two-mile brilliance of Envoi Allen gives Elliott, his connections and punters a myriad of opportunities at the festival.
The five-year-old is available in the ante post stakes of both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Ballymore, with the latter the most likely destination for him to back up a debut Cheltenham Festival victory last year in the Champion Bumper.
Envoi Allen (148P from 142P)— Timeform (@Timeform) December 2, 2019
Produced the best performance by a novice hurdler in Ireland this season.
He recorded a timefigure of 152, which matches that of Klassical Dream in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last season.pic.twitter.com/R1Ihz5gNvs
Six starts, six wins. Envoi Allen has already caught the eye this season with a couple of comfortable triumphs. Everything is in place for another Cheltenham challenge, with odds of 9/4 at the time of writing for that Champion Bumper very appetising indeed.
RSA chase betting: Battleoverdoyen
When letting the media into his yard for a traditional pre-season tour, Elliott’s eyes lit up when discussing Battleoverdoyen.
The giant bay certainly looks the part, and everything was going rather smoothly in his career until being pulled up as the favourite in the Ballymore last year.
But the six-year-old has since rallied with two wins this term, and if Davy Russell gets the ride at the festival then a decent tilt in one of the feature races – probably the RSA Chase – surely beckons.
Once again, Gordon Elliott will be expected to go very well at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020.