2021 Cheltenham Festival: St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When does the 2021 Cheltenham Festival take place? Tuesday 16th March – Friday 19th March, 2021

What time does the St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase start? Friday 19th March, 2021 – 15:40 (UK)

Where can I get tickets for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival? The 2021 Cheltenham Festival will take place without spectators

What TV channel is the 2021 Cheltenham Festival on in the UK? ITV will be televising the first six races of each day, while Racing TV subscribers will be able to watch all of the action

Where can I stream the 2021 Cheltenham Festival in the UK? The first six races of each day can be streamed live on the ITV Hub, while Racing TV subscribers can live stream all of the action

THE LOWDOWN

Billaway could well justify his expected favourite tag as he goes in search of a third successive win. He has shown good consistency this season with two wins and a second and that comes off the back of a second-placed finish in this race last year. He can go one better but will have to see off last year’s winner It Came To Pass if he is to do so. He was a huge 66/1 winner last year in a major upset but he has not backed that up this term and unseated his rider in less than ideal preparation last time out at Thurles. Bob And Co is another useful contender having won on his only outing this season in a Class 3 contest to make it a hat-trick of wins. His wind surgery clearly helped in his win at Haydock and he could have room for further improvement here.

THE PREDICTION

Bob and Co and Billaway both look like they can improve on their recent efforts to continue their respective winning streaks but preference is for the latter. He was ten lengths behind last year’s winner of this contest but he can go one better having performed well this season and with an eye-catching win at Naas under his belt, he brings some strong form into this race which should see him prevail.

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