2020 Cheltenham Festival tips – Nico De Boinville’s rides
We take a look through Nico De Boinville’s rides at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and pick out his top chances when the meeting starts on Tuesday 10th February.
Nico De Boinville hit the big-time in 2015, when he guided novice Coneygree to a stunning victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. De Boinville landed the gig as Nicky Henderson’s retained jockey the following year and has entered the Cheltenham Festival winners’ enclosure seven times since, four times aboard the great Altior.
De Boinville looks set for another successful Festival in 2020, with several Nicky Henderson horses sitting prominently in the betting. Here’s a look at Nico De Boinville’s rides at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival.
Nico De Boinville’s rides at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival
Nico De Boinville’s opening ride of the meeting could be one of his most exciting, as he guides favourite Shishkin (11/4 Ladbrokes) into the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Following a fall on his maiden hurdles outing, Nicky Henderson’s budding star has delivered two faultless rounds of jumping. Shishkin shot straight to the head of the Supreme market after a bloodless triumph in the Sidney Banks at Huntingdon, and he’s sure to feature in many punter’s lists of 2020 Cheltenham Festival tips. Click here to read my Supreme preview.
12 months ago, De Boinville guided Pentland Hills (5/1 Unibet) to a surprise victory in the Triumph Hurdle. Things haven’t been plain sailing for last year’s top juvenile this term, losing in both the International Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle Trial up at Haydock. Yet, there were still signs of immense quality during both of those outings and Henderson is sure to have his five-year-old primed for a tilt at the Champion Hurdle.
Altior (2/1 Unibet) and De Boinville will be seeking a fifth Cheltenham Festival victory in 2020, and a third Champion Chase on the bounce. Following his first ever defeat over jumps at Ascot, Altior looked back to something like his best in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. He’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi in the Queen Mother. Read my Champion Chase preview to see how I think Altior will get on.
Henderson’s charge has been one of the new novice chasers to impress on this side of the Irish Sea. Following a smart victory at Cheltenham’s International Meeting, Mister Fisher (8/1 Ladbrokes) dropped back to two miles and collected the Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster. Although he holds an entry for the Arkle, you’ll know from my preview that I think Mister Fisher could be very competitive in the Marsh Novices’ Chase and De Boinville will fancy his charge’s chances.
Having lost leading contender, Marie’s Rock to injury this week, Floressa (3/1 William Hill) will fly the flag for Nicky Henderson in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. Floressa impressed in two outings at Newbury earlier in the season. De Boinville’s mount was unlucky in the Yorkshire Rose, where she was hampered at a crucial stage as she tried to catch Lady Buttons, and should be a big player dropping back into Novice company.
Has really improved as his novice chasing season has progressed, stepping up in trip with each of his starts. Pym (12/1 Unibet) hacked up with 11-13 on his back in a handicap at Ascot, before an emphatic eight-length success at Cheltenham in December. If Pym impresses in the Reynoldstown this weekend, he’ll likely join Champ in the RSA. If not, he could be handed a crack at the Ultima Handicap Chase instead. Either way, Pym certainly looks a great Cheltenham Festival bet.
Having returned with an underwhelming display at Sandown, Santini (9/2 Paddy Power) thrust himself into the Gold Cup picture with a smart victory in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham. Nico De Boinville came within a length of winning his second RSA with Santini 12 months ago, and Nicky Henderson is confident this lad could hand him the Gold Cup for the first time since Bob’s Worth’s triumph in 2013. He’ll be a popular Cheltenham Festival tip in the build-up to the Festival.