Horse racing fans are in for a treat over the next couple of months as the focus in the sport switches from the flat to National Hunt action.
High-profile meetings took place across the two codes over the weekend, providing an exciting precursor for the months ahead.
Read on as we look at the main talking points from the two events and assess what is on the agenda between now and the end of the year.
Addeybb the Star of the Show at Ascot
Addeybb secured his first Group 1 success in the United Kingdom with a power-packed display in the QIPCO British Champion Stakes at Ascot. The six-year-old’s loyal band of horse racing betting fans were rewarded with odds of 9/1 as he surged clear on the run-in to finish comfortably in front of Skalleti.
The William Haggas-trained horse started the campaign with two top-level wins in Australia, and his victory at Ascot crowned what has been a magnificent campaign. Jockey Tom Marquand was superb aboard Addeybb, safely navigating a tricky draw to ease the horse into a challenging position before roaring away in the home straight.
Royal Romps Home in the Welsh Champion Hurdle
Sceau Royal made a brilliant return to action at Ffos Las on Sunday as he secured a thoroughly deserved victory in the Welsh Champion Hurdle. Better known as a high-class two-mile chaser, Alan King’s charge travelled powerfully during the race before pulling clear in the home straight.
The meeting also saw trainer Paul Nicholls unleash another exciting hurdler, with Estelle Ma Belle making a winning start following her switch from Willie Mullins’ yard. The French import finished second on her only start in Ireland at last year’s Galway Festival, and she looks one to follow over the coming months.
Trump One to Watch at Cheltenham
The National Hunt season steps up a gear on Friday and Saturday as the Showcase Meeting takes place at Cheltenham. There are 14 races across the two days, many of which will provide pointers for the Cheltenham Festival next March.
The October Handicap Chase is the highlight of the opening day, and Nicholls may well be the man to follow in that race. His Getaway Trump recorded a confidence-boosting success on his last outing at Warwick and looks worth an interest in what will be a competitive race.
Nottingham Meeting is Always Informative
Punters searching for clues for future events would be well advised to tune in to Racing TV on October 28 to watch the meeting at Nottingham. Last year’s event saw Goshen romp to a seven-length victory in the one-mile, six-furlong handicap on the card.
George Moore’s charge subsequently rattled off three wins over hurdles, before suffering a heart-breaking fall at the final flight in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. King of Change, the winner of the 2019 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, finished second in a maiden race on this Nottingham card the previous year.
Tiger Moth was installed as the favourite for the Melbourne Cup on November 3 after it was confirmed that top Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy will ride the horse. McEvoy is a familiar name to horse racing fans in the UK having spent a five-year spell as Frankie Dettori’s understudy with the Godolphin operation.
Tiger Moth has run just four times during his career and was last seen winning a Group 3 event at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has made no secret of his desire to win the Melbourne Cup and McEvoy’s booking is undoubtedly a positive move.
Tiz the Real Deal for the Classic
The two-day Breeders’ Cup meeting at Keeneland on November 6/7 is the last top-class flat event of the 2020 season. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is the standout event on a stacked card and four-time Grade 1 winner Tiz the Law is the value bet in the race.
The New York-bred three-year-old worked well in his final breeze at Belmont Park last Friday and looks primed to run a big race in the Classic. Tiz the Law was hugely impressive in winning the Belmont Stakes earlier this season, and he is likely to prove tough to beat at Keeneland.
Clan Chasing Famous Kempton Treble
The National Hunt season takes centre stage after the Breeders Cup, with the schedule in November and December packed with top-class meetings. Cheltenham, Haydock, Newbury and Ascot all stage big events, which lead up to big meetings at Kempton and Leopardstown during the festive period.
Clan Des Obeaux is a horse to follow over the next few weeks as he gears up to try and win the King George VI Chase at Kempton for the third successive year. Achieving that feat would put the eight-year-old in the same legendary category as other multiple winners of the race such as Desert Orchid and Kauto Star.