The one and only Cheltenham Festival is now just around the corner. Starting on Tuesday 13th March and ending on Friday 16th, this year’s festival is sure to once again provide us with an unrivalled feast of horse racing action. Year on year punters flock to the course, bellowing out the traditional Cheltenham Roar prior to the first race. The pace doesn’t let up over the entirety of Cheltenham, so there are regular highlights and betting opportunities for both casual fans and professional gamblers alike.
The Cheltenham racecourse at Prestbury Park has to be the perfect location for such a prestigious racing event. With an impressive capacity of 67,500 no-one need miss out, especially with the recent addition of the £45m 6,500-capacity Princess Royal Stand in 2015.
Some of the highlights of Cheltenham Festival include classic races such as the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Festival Trophy and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It goes without saying that the Cheltenham Gold Cup, first run in 1924 and with prize money of almost £600,000, is a highlight for most. It’s held on the final day and pits the cream of the crop of racing talent against one another.
I also have a soft spot for the aforementioned Queen Mother Champion Chase though, on account that the 2 mile Grade 1 race is a sweet reminder of how much the Queen Mother loved her racing! The race title was changed from National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase in 1980, on the year of the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday! Little did we know at the time that this royal racing fan from live to reach her 101th birthday!