This week sees the arrival of one of Horse Racing’s greatest spectacles – The Cheltenham Festival. An estimated 230,000 racing fans will descend upon Prestbury Park over the course of the next 4 days, to witness the pinnacle event of the Jump season. Here is a pick of the races for the Festival, along with a few cheeky tips for anyone who is feeling lucky!
Tuesday 14/3/17 – Champion Hurdle (3:30pm GMT)
Petit Mouchoir – H de Broomhead, B J Cooper
Fresh off the back of a victory in the Irish Champion hurdle, the 6-year-old Gelding is poised nicely at 8/1, a good Each Way price. You could also include him in a forecast with the favourite Yanworth, who is under the spotlight to prove he has the speed and jumping ability to beat the specialist 2 milers over the minimum trip.
Wednesday 15/3/17 – Queen Mother Champion Chase (3:30pm GMT)
Douvan – W P Mullins
Struggle to see past Douvan here. Unbeaten in 12 outings since joining Mullins, the French import landed the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle impressively in 2015 and last year defeated Sizing John comfortably by seven lengths in the Racing Post Arkle Chase. His unbeaten streak was extended to 13 at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Fox Norton (C L Tizzard, A Coleman) also looks to be a strong contender and is worth a stake Each Way.
Thursday 16/3/17 – Stayers Hurdle (3:30pm GMT)
Uknowhatimeanharry – H Fry
The stayers hurdle is Thursday’s feature race and is likely to be a heavy betting affair with many people’s banker of the Festival. The amusingly named Unowhatimeanharry is currently 5/4 and many punters will hope that the reference to Frank Bruno holds true, and Harry Fry’s charge delivers a knockout blow!
Friday 17/3/17 – Cheltenham Gold Cup (3:30pm GMT)
Native River – C L Tizzard, R Johnson
Stablemate to early favourite Thistlecrack, who has now withdrawn from the headline race due to injury at home, the Welsh National winner is now looking likely to be starting the race as a favourite. The 7-year-old Gelding is coming into the Gold Cup in fine form having been placed in all of his last 10 races. Jockey Richard Johnson feels Native River has to be a “Big Player” after the win at Chepstow in December.
5 Fun Facts about the Festival…
- The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most valuable non handicap-chase in Great Britain
- 125,000 of Lager will be consumed
- Kauto Star is the only horse to regain the Gold Cup (2007 & 2009)
- £600,000,000 will be bet on the Festival
- The most ever wins by a jockey in a single year at Cheltenham is 7 by the festivals most prolific Jockey – Ruby Walsh
What’s your fancy for the Cheltenham Festival? We’d love to read your views on this weeks action. Share your thoughts in the comments section, or tell us on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.