The last day of the Cheltenham Festival is the biggest one of the week. It is the day of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in which horses, jockeys and trainers go down in Cheltenham history.
JCB Triumph Hurdle – Burning Victory
Goshen came into this race as the favourite at 5/2 after bursting onto the scene three weeks prior to this race. Solo was a close second in the betting at 7/2, but this race had several contenders in it making it a great way to start Gold Cup day.
Allmankind went off very eager as expected with Goshen and Aspire Tower both sitting just behind. The trio kept the pace well throughout the race and were fighting for first place as they went around the course.
As they approached the final three fences, Aspire Tower wasn’t jumping well and fell further back into the field. Goshen, who has won races by 34 lengths in recent times, set off to do just the same. He flew past Allmankind and just had to see it home.
As they approached the final fence though, disaster struck as Goshen didn’t jump well and jockey Jamie Moore came flying off.
This then allowed Burning Victory to power past Allmankind and Aspire Tower to win the first race of the final day.
Goshen was the only horse to not complete the race.
Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle – Saint Roi
24 horses made up the second race of the day with Minella Charmer and You Raise Me Up non-runners. Up until ten minutes before the race, Ciel De Neige was the favourite but Saint Roi went ahead in the odds at 9/2 with some bookmakers.
Moohayed set off at the front and was joined with Le Ligerien and Pakens Rock. Saint Roi and Ceil De Neige were right next to each other in the middle of the pack.
As they came round the first circuit, Embittered took the lead along with Le Ligerien and Pakens Rock. Coming down the hill it was the same three but as the field opened up, it all changed.
Ciel De Neige seemed to have nothing left in the tank but Saint Roi was waiting to go. Barry Geraghty let him run after jumping the final hurdle and flew home to win.
Only two horses didn’t complete the race, and they were both non-runners.
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – Monkfish
19 horses were in this years Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle with Thyme Hill the bookmakers favourite at 4/1. However, no one could be ruled out as last year’s winner was Minella Indo at a huge 50/1.
Sempo and Monkfish led from the start along with the 50/1 priced House Island. As they finished the first circuit Harry Senior was at the back and struggling, as the front three looked to move away from the field.
Harry Senior was pulled up coming into the bend as Thyme Hill was starting to make a move after holding off for so long. Monkfish was making mistakes and wasn’t jumping well coming into the final three from home.
However, as they hit the home straight Monkfish fought back. It was between him and Latest Exhibition, with the Willie Mullins trained horse winning by a neck.
Only Harry Senior pulled up.
Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase – Al Boum Photo
It was time for the biggest race of the week, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This was a very tough race with some fantastic competition and Al Boum Photo was back to try and defend his crown as the favourite at 10/3.
£351,000 was up for grabs in this race and from the off, it was Kemboy who was the keenest. Alongside him was Santini and they were also joined by Bristol De Mai after the second fence.
After the first circuit, Elegant Escape was leading the way with Monalee and Bristol De Mai not far behind. Delta Work was struggling with jumping and didn’t look a real contender. Al Boum Photo wasn’t prominent at this point, but at six to go he started jumping well.
Coming around the turn Al Boum Photo was making ground with every jump and as they approached the last, it was between him and Santini. It was a real race to the end and Al Boum Photo retained his Cheltenham Gold Cup by a head.
St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase – It Came To Pass
Following the Gold Cup was always going to be tough but a 66/1 outsider made sure it was a race to remember! The favourite for the race was Billaway for Willie Mullins at 11/4.
Marcle Ridge, the 100/1 priced horse started off the race like the favourite. He led from the front and did so from a distance. On the first circuit, he seemed to be increasing his distance from the field with every fence. Billaway was back in the middle of the pack and not looking to push on too soon.
As they came around the turn heading for home it was still Marcle Ridge in the lead. With two to go, Shantou Flyer tried their hand at leading and took over from the 100/1 priced horse. As they approached the last two fences, the field had spread out giving It Came To Pass a clear run for home.
As he jumped the final fence, Billaway was closing in but after clearing it, It Came To Pass increased the gap to win by an impressive 10 lengths and was priced at 66/1.
No horses fell, but four did pull up.
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase – Chosen Mate
The festival’s penultimate race had 18 runners in it, with someone hoping to match the efforts of Croco Bay last year, winning at 66/1! The favourite for the race was Chosen Mate at 7/2.
The veteran Gino Trail led from the start, with the 13-year-old running like a 6-year-old. Croco Bay who won last year joined up at the top trying to retain his title. Marracudja who was taking inspiration from Croco Bay’s run last year was prominent at 50/1.
With three to go, Eclair De Beauf made headway and was testing with Chosen Mate still behind the leading group. Between the last two, Chosen Mate then took the lead but had a poor jump over the last. Thankfully though it wasn’t costly, and Davy Russell guided him home to win at 7/2.
Three horses pulled up in this race, and one of them was Gino Trail, who led well at the beginning.
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle – Indefatigable
The final race of what was a fantastic festival had 23 runners competing for the first place prize of £43,000. The favourite was Front View at 4/1, being ridden by Jonjo O’Neil Jr.
There was a false start so the horses had to be sent back and to try again. Big Blue lead after this alongside Great White Shark, with the latter at 40/1.
At the start of the race, the field was bunched up which meant there were a few untidy jumps. Throughout the race though, the same front two weren’t really challenged, as everyone else kept back.
Coming into the final turn, it looked as if Indefatigable wasn’t in the race at all. As they jumped the second to last, Column Of Fire ran through the hurdle, meaning Indefatigable couldn’t jump. This allowed them to power on and close down the gap, winning it on the line by a neck.
One horse fell, one was brought down and two were pulled up in the last race of the 2020 festival.