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2021 National Hunt Chase Tips – Get on Galv in final race on day one

  • We’ve published our guide to the 2021 National Hunt Chase
  • This Grade Two is the final race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Galvin tops the betting and he's our top tip at 7/2
  • Royal Pagaille, Next Destination and Latest Exhibition won't run here
  • Longhouse Poet is our second bet at 12/1
Galvin (right) looks a good bet to hand Gordon Elliott another win in the National Hunt Chase. (Getty)
Jon Vine 15 Mar 2021
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Day one at the Cheltenham Festival closes with the National Hunt Challenge Cup. The National Hunt is the second-oldest race at the meeting, behind the Grand Annual Handicap Chase. Usually only amateur riders are allowed to ride in this Grade Two. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, professional riders will ride the National Hunt entrants in 2021.

Gordon Elliott boasts an excellent record in this race, winning in recent years with Festival legends like Cause Of Causes and Tiger Roll, so it’s no surprise to see one of Gordon’s runners sitting prominently in the market.

2021 National Hunt Chase Guide

2021 National Hunt Chase Odds

Best Odds
Royal Pagaille5/2
Latest Exhibition6/1
Next Destination6/1
Secret Reprieve7/1
Escaria Ten8/1
Dickie Diver10/1

*Odds taken from Paddy Power on 26/2/21*

2021 National Hunt Chase Tips – Laid Out

Galvin2021 National Hunt Chase FavouriteGET 3/1 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

Having finished a close second behind Imperial Aura in a handicap at last year’s Festival, Gordon Elliott got the good-ground loving Galvin out nice and early this term. Elliott’s seven-year-old broke his won his first chase in July at Killarney, a modest Grade Three at Tipperary in October, and scored in a three-mile novices’ chase at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting.

Elliott then announced that Galvin would be put away for the winter, and they’d go for the National Hunt on his return. Tiger Roll was campaigned in a similar fashion when he won this race in 2017, and Elliott will have Galvin primed to run a massive race come day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

2021 National Hunt Chase Tips – Other Targets

Royale Pagaille’s rating of 166 makes an outing in a Grade One at Cheltenham inevitable and, with fellow Rich Ricci representative Monkfish topping the Brown Advisory Chase betting, he’s odds-on to have a crack at the Gold Cup.

Paul Nicholls has already said Next Destination will be taking on Monkfish in that Grade One, while Latest Exhibition – who’s finished second to Monkfish three times over the last 12 months – looks set to be saved for Fairyhouse or Aintree.

Dickie Diver was put up by several tipsters for the National Hunt after he stayed on to finish second on his chase debut at Newbury. Sadly, Nicky Henderson’s talented gelding – who’s been seen just once since the 2019 Albert Bartlett – has been absent ever since, and entrants need to have run in at least two chases to qualify for this Grade Two.

Only once has Gordon Elliott run more than one in the National Hunt Chase, so his entrants behind Galvin in the betting will likely get redirected.

Pencilfulloflead will square off against Monkfish in the Brown Advisory Chase. Escaria Ten looks more likely to enter the Ultima Handicap Chase. Run Wild Fred sits under the 145-ceiling for the Kim Muir, and Coko Beach – who wasn’t mentioned during Elliott’s recent stable tour – may be saved for a crack at the Irish Grand National.

Welsh Grand National winner, Secret Reprieve will skip Cheltenham for a crack at Aintree Grand National glory, and Kim Bailey has already said Happygolucky goes for the Ultima. 

imperial aura
Galvin (left) finishing second to Imperial Aura on day one of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

2021 National Hunt Chase Tips – Possible Challengers

Longhouse Poet finally made his mark over fences at Punchestown, staying on to win nicely on his fourth attempt. Run Wild Fred was second that day and went on to finish second in the Thyestes, while third-placed The Big Dog hacked up in the Irish Grand National Trial next time out. 

Remastered extended his unbeaten record over fences into a third race when making all in a handicap at Ascot. David Pipe’s charge received an RPR of 152 for that four-length win over Demachine. An official mark of 146 would be good for the Ultima, but connections may fancy another tilt at the National Hunt, after Native River was beaten into second by Minella Rocco in 2016.

Lord Royal is yet to show his true colours over fences, having finished second just once in three seasonal starts. Willie Mullins has said this race is the plan, but I doubt whether this giant gelding would be suited by good ground, and his form this season looks average.

Golan Fortune has jumped well since switching to fences, and has plenty of experience running around this track. Phil Middleton has him entered in the Midlands Grand National, and that looks the most suitable plan, but I wouldn’t completely dismiss this hardy stayer if he pitched up in the National Hunt.

Soldier Of Love hasn’t been seen since finishing seven-lengths behind Galvin, and Paul Nicholls won’t be afraid to throw him into this Grade Two. 2019 winning trainer, Ben Pauling could pitch Nestor Park into the mix. St Barts, The Mighty Don, Forza Milan and Milanford could also feature in the final field.

2021 National Hunt Chase Tips – Final Verdict

Galvin2021 National Hunt Chase Best BetGET 3/1 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

When Royal Pagaille heads for the Gold Cup, and the likes of Next Destination, Latest Exhibition and Escaria Ten inevitably drop out, GALVIN will get cut into something around 2/1, maybe even 7/4. 

Galvin has run well at the Festival twice before, and produced a career-best effort around Cheltenham when last seen in October. He’ll be the highest-rated entrant in the race, and he’s got a trainer preparing him who’s won this race three times in the last six years. 7/2 will look like a distant memory, so you better snap that up while you can.


Galvin has been moved from Gordon Elliott's yard to Ian Ferguson, who did train a Cheltenham Festival winner in 2011 when Zemsky won the Hunter Chase. Ferguson knows Galvin very well, having taken care of him in his younger years, and he's been preparing Galvin for Cheltenham over the last couple of months. He remains one of my best day one bets.



Galvin has been put away since October with this race in mind, and he looks a fantastic bet to hand Gordon Elliott his fifth win in this historic race.

2021 National Hunt Chase Tip 1: Galvin Straight Win $4.50 at Winnersbet - 20 Units

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