There are few sights in British horse racing to match the pageantry of Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival. Perhaps the festivities surrounding the Royal Ascot Festival trump those at Cheltenham in terms of prestige, the Queen is often in attendance after all, but Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham has its own special identity that sets it apart.
If you are unfamiliar with the Cheltenham Festival (March 13th-16th), it is a four-day jumps racing event held in Gloucestershire, UK. It is widely regarded as the premier festival in British horse racing, with 28 stellar races including the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Gold Cup. It is, of course, a big deal for punters with plenty of cash wagered. The races are insanely competitive, so it is worth keeping an eye on Cheltenham 2018 expert betting tips.
Ladies’ Day (14th March) is the second day of the Festival. It acts as a showcase for high fashion, with many of the ‘great and the good’ from British society spotted at the races in their finery. Hats and frocks aside, the racing is the most important part of the day. Seven in total take place on Ladies’ Day, with the highlight undoubtedly the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Races not to miss on Ladies’ Day 2018
Ladies’ Day 2018 will open with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, a Grade 1 race which has been won in the past by such luminaries as Istabraq and Faugheen, both of whom went on to have world-class careers over hurdles. This year the early favourite is Samcro at 6/4 (+150). He is an unbeaten gelding from the hugely-successful Gigginstown House Stud, which will undoubtedly have several winning horses at the 2018 Festival.
The day’s second Grade 1 race is the RSA Chase. It was won in the past by the wonderful Denman, whose rivalry with Kauto Star was one of the highlights of national hunt racing in the modern era. The RSA Chase is expected to be a closely contested race this year with Presenting Percy, Monalee and Fountains Windfall all making a case to be considered favourites.
Queen Mother Champion Chase always serves up drama and excitement
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is not just one of the highlights of the Cheltenham Festival, but one of the highlights of the British sporting year. It is a 2-mile steeplechase, which involves the navigation of a dozen fences. It is the most important middle-distance chase event in the British jumps racing calendar. The Champion Chase has a wonderful and storied history, stretching all the way back to its first running nearly 60 years ago. It was given the prefix ‘Queen Mother’ in 1980 in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, who was a horse racing enthusiast.
Altior, currently available at odds of 11/8 (+137.50), is widely expected to lead the betting for the Champion Chase. He has had some injury concerns this season however, so there may be value in checking out Min, Politologue or, last year’s winner, Special Tiara.
Ladies’ Day but one part of exhilarating Cheltenham Festival
The above is just a small sample of some of the thrilling action that takes place at Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham. It is worth remembering that is but one day in the four-day racing spectacular. The Festival as a whole has gone from strength to strength in recent years, turning itself into one of the truly unmissable events in equestrian sports.