2020 Cheltenham Festival tips – Harry Cobden’s rides
We take a look Harry Cobden’s rides at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and who will give him the best chance of scoring a winner when the festival begins on Tuesday 10th March.
A few eyebrows were raised when Paul Nicholls employed young Harry Cobden as his lead jockey a couple of years ago. The 21-year-old has quickly silenced any doubters with some fantastic rides since then, proving he’s one of the toughest and most talented jockeys in the weighing room.
Cobden’s break-out moment came in the 2018 King George, where he guided Clan Des Obeaux to victory. Nicholls’ top jockey then gave Topofthegame a masterful ride in last year’s RSA Novices’ Chase, holding off Santini and Delta Work to enter the Cheltenham Festival winners enclosure for the very first time.
With only a few weeks left to go, we’ve taken a look at Harry Cobden’s rides at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
Harry Cobden’s Rides at the Cheltenham Festival
Dynamite Dollars (25/1 Unibet) made his comeback from long-term in the Game Spirit Chase. Harry Cobden’s mount jumped well throughout that Grade One, but failed to match Altior’s late burst as he crossed the line third. Making an impact in a deep Champion Chase is going to be hard, but Cobden’s mount has to be respected having proven his fitness at Newbury. I doubt we’ll see Dynamite Dollars in many people’s 2020 Cheltenham Festival tips though.
Paul Nicholls has always felt Master Tommytucker (25/1 William Hill) was a very high-calibre horse. Yet, we’ve only seen flashes of that ability in his outings over fences so far. Cobden’s mount fell when going well at the front in the Kauto Star, so there’s a chance he could be kept to three miles and enter the RSA. However, he’s still yet to prove he has three-mile stamina, and a tilt at the Marsh Novices’ Chase looks more likely.
Despite still holding novice status, Silver Forever (14/1 William Hill) stepped up into open company and landed the Listed Mares’ Hurdle over two-and-a-half-miles at Sandown. On the back of that triumph, an outing in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham looks a possibility. However, I think it would be more sensible to drop Silver Forever back in with her fellow novices and go for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival. She will feature in many people’s 2020 Cheltenham Festival tips.
Took the notable scalp of Call Me Lord in the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown, showing Nicky Henderson’s Champion Hurdle contender a clean set of heels on the run to the line. I doubt even Paul Nicholls would try and convince us that Quel Destin (20/1 Unibet) has the quality to challenge in a Champion Hurdle. Yet, Cobden’s mount has proven himself a hardy horse who’s capable of carrying plenty of weight in handicap company. He could challenge in a County Hurdle.
Harry Cobden was in the saddle as Greaneteen (16/1 Ladbrokes) bolted up at Ascot to claim victory on his chasing debut. Nicholls’ youngster then made it two-from-two over fences at Musselburgh, winning comfortably under a welter-weight of 11-10. An outing in the Arkle is a possibility, but a tilt at the Grand Annual looks to be on the cards for this improving six-year-old. While he won’t feature as one of my 2020 Cheltenham Festival tips, a bold showing in either race isn’t out of the question.
CLAN DES OBEAUX
Cobden’s decision to ride Cyrname over Clan Des Obeaux (9/1 William Hill) backfired in the King George. Sam Twiston-Davies picked up the ride on the defending champion, and Clan Des Obeaux put his stablemate to the sword with a magnificent display. The two-time king of Kempton didn’t seem to get up the hill in last year’s Gold Cup, but the team have decided to arrive at the Festival fresh this time around. Clan Des Obeaux cannot be underestimated and he’s certainly the best of Harry Cobden’s rides.