Labelled ‘the greatest show on turf’, the Cheltenham Festival returns for another year, with a particularly strong lineup and plenty to watch out for!
One of the most anticipated events in the horse racing calendar, over the years, Cheltenham Festival has provided some of the most exciting entertainment for horse racing enthusiasts and this year’s event is predicted to be no different.
With in excess of 500 horses competing for over £6 million of prize money, at one of the most picturesque locations, nestled gracefully in the Gloucestershire hills, the four-day event makes for some thrilling viewing.
Such is the prestige associated with the Cheltenham Festival, there is an eager buzz about it, even weeks before, with interest coming from many different parties.
A spokesperson at online bingo comparison website BingoSites.net talked up the event, highlighting the interest that it receives from many different people: “Everyone loves a day out at the races and when it is an event of this magnitude, when you factor in the media attention, it is hard for many to contain their excitement.
“While this year’s event will be much more of a sombre occasion (for obvious reasons), we know that many will be tuning in. There is a reason why some of the brands that we work with, all want to be involved in the sponsorship due to the popularity. We expect a great affair”.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights for this year’s Cheltenham Festival!
Honeysuckle is one to watch!
This is one of Ireland’s great hopes as the friendly rivalry between English and Irish stables continues. Saddled by leading female jockey Rachel Blackmore, there are big things expected from Honeysuckle and the bookmakers seem to agree as well!
Appearing in the big race of the first day; ‘The Champion Hurdle’, this will make for a fascinating watch, with a modest lineup, that also includes Silver Streak with Tom O’Brien atop, this could go down to the wire!
Harry Cobden the secret weapon for Paul Nicholls?
The Irish trainer [NIcholls] has one of the best records of anyone at the Cheltenham Festival and he will be looking to continue this with this his third year. His biggest test will likely come on the second day, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, on top of last year’s winner Politologue. Cobden won the Tingle Creek aboard the horse back in 2017 and the pair appear to have formed a good partnership.
Can Nicky Henderson come out on top?
For years at Cheltenham, Nicholls’ main rival has been British trainer, [Nicky] Henderson and it seems to be close to call this year. Two of his best chances could come in Friday’s Gold Cup, in the form of Champ and Santini.
The former produced a fine performance to win last year’s RSA Chase having looked down and out with two to jump and Cheltenham is being tipped to be a more suitable test of stamina.
Santini, meanwhile, has had mixed form over the last 12 months, but big things are expected at Cheltenham and it will be interesting to see how he takes to the ground.