Staged over about two miles for novice 4-year-old hurdlers, Defi du Seuil and Tiger Roll have been previous winners of this contest. Another competitive field is expected to feature in the 2020 renewal with Solo expected to start the race as favourite.
Trained by Paul Nicholls, Solo created a very favourable impression when winning at Kempton last month. That race was his first and only start in this country, and he could have won by more than his thirteen lengths victory such was his dominance from the front over the final few hurdles. Running at Cheltenham will be a much more demanding task but he could improve still further with odds of 3/1 available.
Opposition is likely to include Goshen (7/2) from the Gary Moore stable with the former flat racer seeking to extend a three-race unbeaten sequence over hurdles. Each of his victories to date in soft ground or worse conditions have been secured by more than ten lengths, and he was considerably eased last time when winning at Ascot.
Another horse to consider among the favourites is Allmankind from the Dan Skelton stable. As per the other two horses discussed, he is also unbeaten over UK hurdles and is a previous course and distance winner. In his last start during late December, he was an impressive nine lengths winner of a Grade 1 contest at Chepstow in heavy conditions. He is also experienced from flat racing and is priced at 4/1.
There is also expected to a challenge from Ireland with Aspire Tower representing the Henry de Bromhead stable. He was also an easy winner of his two initial races of hurdles before falling at the final obstacle in a Grade 1 contest at last months Dublin Festival. Disputing the lead at the time, the outcome would have been debatable as the winning horse, A Wave Of The Sea, is a decent prospect.
Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the winner that day had been well-beaten by Aspire Tower during last December but had clearly improved from that performance. A consistent horse in six races over hurdles, his chances for this race will increase with drying ground although there is little to choose between himself and stable companion Cerberus who could be decent each-value value. The latter horse has never finished outside of the first three placings in six starts over hurdles.