2020 Cheltenham Festival tips – Sam Twiston-Davies’ rides

Sam Twiston-Davies King George Kempton

Sam Twiston-Davies lifts the King George trophy after guiding Clan Des Obeaux to victory.

We take a look through Sam Twiston-Davies’ rides at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and pick out his best chances of winning when the meeting starts on Tuesday 10th February.

Once touted as a future Champion Jockey, Sam Twiston-Davies’ career hit a bumper when Harry Cobden replaced him as Paul Nicholls’ retained rider. However, Twiston-Davies has adapted to life a freelancer brilliantly. Sam is well on course to ride over 100 winners for the seventh season on the bounce, and looks to have a decent chance of improving on his tally of Cheltenham Festival winners, which currently stands at seven.

Let’s take a look through Sam Twiston-Davies’ rides at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, and see who might hand Sam that eighth Festival winner.

Sam Twiston-Davies’ rides at the Cheltenham Festival


A drop in trip has brought about a resurgence in form for Ballyandy (25/1 Unibet). Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge followed fine placed efforts in the International and Christmas Hurdles with a poignant victory in the up at Haydock, beating Pentland Hill in the race names after his old Festival winning stablemate, The New One. Sam will likely partner Ballyandy in the Champion Hurdle at the Festival and, as you can see in my preview of the race, I think the former Champion Bumper winner is a solid each-way Cheltenham Festival tip.


Sam Twiston-Davies had the choice between Mossy Fen (50/1 Unibet) and Redford Road heading into the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle on New Year’s Day. Sam eventually sided with Mossy Fen, but his mount failed to get home up the Cheltenham hill at the end of three miles, and Twiston-Davies looked on as Redford Road claimed that Grade Two prize. Mossy Fen made up for that disappointing display with a fine victory in the Leamington at Warwick. Although the odds would suggest a return to three miles is on the cards, I think Nigel will be eying up the Ballymore with this chaser-in-the-making.


That would leave Sam free to partner Redford Road (33/1 William Hill) in the three-miler and the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle winner looks tailormade for the Albert Bartlett. On the back of that Grade Two triumph, Twiston-Davies decided to give his charge a little more course experience at Cheltenham, and Redford Road finished fourth under a penalty over an inadequate 20-furlong trip. Stepping back up in distance will be ideal and Redford Road looks a solid each-way Albert Bartlett tip.


With Harry Cobden likely to ride Dynamite Dollars in the Champion Chase, Paul Nicholls will ask Sam Twiston-Davies to renew his partnership with last year’s runner-up, Politologue (25/1 Unibet). Together, Sam and Politologue have claimed many big victories down the years, their most famous coming at Aintree in 2018, where Politologue edged out Min in a thrilling renewal of the Mildmay. Politologue is not without an each-way chance, but I doubt he’ll feature in many expert’s Cheltenham Festival tips. Read my Champion Chase preview here.


Although Good Boy Bobby (33/1 Ladbrokes) didn’t stand up to the scrutiny in the Scilly Isles Chase, Nigel Twiston-Davies won’t be put off throwing his novice into the Marsh Chase. Sam’s mount was narrowly beaten by Mister Fisher when they clashed in the Rymans over course-and-distance, and is much more capable than that outing at Sandown suggests.


Looked a novice chaser to follow when hacking up to beat Getaway Trump on his chasing debut here at Cheltenham. Al Dancer (20/1 William Hill) has since struggled to get over the winning line, coming out second best in the Arkle Trial and the Lightning Chase up at Doncaster. A run in the Arkle is a possibility, but I think Nigel would rather run Al Dancer in the Grand Annual, and he would be very dangerous in that handicap off his current mark of 151.


Arguably the best of Sam Twiston-Davies’ rides at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Riders Onthe Storm (8/1 Ladbrokes) arrived at Twiston-Davies’ base having enjoyed a solid novice chasing campaign in Ireland. Two impressive handicap victories followed, before Sam’s mount shocked the world when beating Cyrname in the Ascot Chase last week. He’s sure to be a popular Cheltenham Festival tips on the back of that, and looks a big player in this year’s Ryanair.