With the Cheltenham Festival just around the corner, everyone’s donning their race day outfits and getting set for an outstanding event. With plenty of races lined up and a great selection of horses to choose from, anyone fancying a cheeky flutter on the sport of kings has their work cut out for them.
In fact, the betting markets at Cheltenham Festival are the biggest for any race meeting of the year! An average of 50,000 attend the event and collectively place bets of over £150 million over the four days of the festival. The first day, on the 13th of March, starts with Champions Day where the key race is the Champion Hurdle. Last year’s Champion was Buveur D’Air and he’s back this year to defend his title. Last year he was extraordinary and if he is able to perform as well this year as he did last year, he’s looking like a banker!
The second day is otherwise known as Ladies Day where the big showcase event is the Queen Mother Champion Chase: the favourite for this is the Henderson-trained Altior. He put in one of the most remarkable performances back in 2016, in the Supreme Novice Hurdle which he followed up with winning the Arkle Challenge Trophy. There is a possibility of Douvan returning, however it would take a mighty performance for him to win the Champion Chase following his injury.
The third day is for the Irish since its St Patrick’s Day, with the key race on this day is The Stayers’ Hurdle. The final day is normally the day that everyone has been waiting for, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The grand finale offers £490,000 prize fund which is shared amongst the top three horses. The rumoured favourite is another Henderson horse, Might Bite.
With so many races and so many horses all chomping at the bit, you can pick your odds yourself and some people have made some pretty big gambles in the past! Just check out this infographic-