Cheltenham Festival – An Inside Look
Cheltenham Festival is one of the most popular horse racing events in the National Hunt calendar. It boasts excitement, tremendous prizes, and numerous races for 4 days (read how exciting the 2019 Cheltenham was at https://www.sportsvibe.co.uk/2019/02/24/two-unpredictable-races-at-cheltenham-festival-2019/). This is a fan’s favourite because they get to see some of the top jockeys, trainers, and horses in the world. They also have the chance to bet on them, and since this competition is at a top-level, the odds are fantastic.
The 2020 Festival will start on March 10 (Tuesday) and it’ll last until March 13 (Friday). This year is set to be amazing, with many people competing for the prize purse that is second only to the Grand National. Since Cheltenham is extremely popular, we decided to give you an inside look in it, but before we do that, let’s see what 2020 has in store for the fans.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle will be among the first horse races at Cheltenham. Abracadabras is the top favourite to win this race with odds sitting at 7/2. Envoi Allen is on the 2nd place with 4/1, while Fiddlerontheroof is 3rd with odds sitting at 6/1. Lucky One is considered as an underdog by many tipsters and its odds are 14/1.
Epatante is bookie’s pick for the Champion Hurdle with odds at 3/1. Saldier comes right behind Epatante with 6/1. Pentland Hills is the tipster’s favourite with odds sitting at 7/1. Elsewhere on the list, we have Klassical Dream, Honeysuckle, and Envoi Allen with 10/1.
As we mentioned earlier, Cheltenham lasts for 4 days and there are plenty of races to bet on. For example, Notebook is the favourite to win the Arkle Chase with 9/2, Honeysuckle topped the list for the Mares Hurdle with 15/8, and Altior is the most likely horse to win the Champion Chase with 7/2. You can check the rest of the odds for these races, as well as for every other race online. To make things even better, bookies offer free bets and numerous other promotions that will allow you to bet without spending your own money (for more information, check the following link https://www.freebets.co.uk/cheltenham-festival-free-bets/).
Without any further ado, let’s check out some facts about Cheltenham.
Cheltenham is held annually at the beginning of March each year. You can see a lot of Irish fans at this event because its timetable coincides with St. Patrick’s Day. 28 races are taking place over the course of 4 days – from Tuesday to Friday. Logically, 7 races are being held per day. Most of them are Grade I, but there are a couple of Grade II, II, as well as 4 ungraded races (Cross Country Chase, FulkeWalwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, Foxhunter Chase, and Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle).
The most popular events at Cheltenham Festival are the Champion Hurdle (Tuesday),the Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday),the Stayers’ Hurdle (Thursday), and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (Friday).
Like we mentioned earlier, the prizes are gigantic at Cheltenham. The Gold Cup has £600,000 purse, the Champion Hurdle has a £450,000 prize purse, and the Queen Mother Champion Chase has a £400,000. The prizes on the rest of the races vary from £100,000 to £400,000.
Top Jockeys and Trainers
The two top jockeys in this event are Mick Fitzgerald and Ruby Walsh. Fitzgerald was crowned as the best jockey in 1999 and 2000. Ruby Walsh, on the other side, is not just a Cheltenham legend, he’s the GOAT of horse racing. Between 2004 and 2019, Walsh was named the top jockey on 11 occasions. He received a milestone of 2,500 overall career wins and decided to retire in mid-2019 (read more about his retirement at https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/01/ruby-walsh-retires-jockey-horse-racing). Some of the top trainers are Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls, and Martin Pipe.
Image courtesy of REUTERS/Eddie Keogh