3 best performances at the Cheltenham Festival 2020

With everything that’s happened in the last year, the 2020 Cheltenham Festival seems like an awfully long time ago. With this year’s showcase approach, we’ decided it was time to remind you about some of the top class racing action we witnessed last March. Read on to see the top three performances at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival – three classics in their own right – ahead of the 2021 meeting.

2020 Cheltenham Festival best performances

Champ (RSA Novices’ Chase)

For many, this was the race of the week at the Festival and it certainly delivered the best finish of the four days. Jumping the last, the RSA glory looked to be heading over the Irish Sea as Minella Indo and Allaho battled it out up the hill.

However, under a never-say-die Barry Geraghty ride, Champ flew home after the last to nab both on the line and give trainer Nicky Henderson his fourth success in the race.

The JP McManus-owned horse had been as big as 399-1 in-running on Betfair as he jumped the last, while Minella Indo traded as low as 1/25. Staying is the name of the game in the RSA Chase though, and Champ and Geraghty certainly nailed that and put in a performance that will be talked about for years to come.

Ferny Hollow (Champion Bumper)

It may lack the thrills and spills of fences and hurdles, but the Champion Bumper is always a highlight of the week at the Cheltenham Festival and 2020 proved no different.

The Willie Mullins trained Appreciate It was all the rage in the betting ring having won his three previous races – he was eventually sent off the 15/8 favourite under Patrick Mullins. But it was stablemate Ferny Hollow who took the Cheltenham glory at 11/1 for jockey Paul Townend and owners Cheveley Park Stud.

Turning into the straight, Appreciate It hit the front for favourite backers but, in behind, Ferny Hollow loomed large having traveled beautifully throughout the race. When asked for his effort by Townend, Ferny Hollow strode clear and won by two and a half lengths with Appreciate It finishing a gallant 2nd. He was Willie Mullins’ tenth Cheltenham Bumper winner but sadly we won’t see Ferny Hollow at this year’s Festival due to a leg injury.

Samcro (Marsh Novices’ Chase)

The March Novices’ dished up yet another cracking Festival finish as Samcro, Melon, and Faugheen battled it out up the Cheltenham hill.

Samcro was victorious and, for many, this win redeemed his reputation after a rocky two years following his win in the Ballymore Novices’ at the 2018 Festival.

Since his Ballymore success, he had only registered the one victory in seven races and was seen by some as over-rated – particularly over fences, where had suffered two short-priced defeats.

Arriving at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival following wind-surgery, Samcro jumped beautifully bar an error at the second last but Davy Russell was able to regain momentum and the pair just held off Melon, with Faugheen a running-on third.

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