Thursday 21 December 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2007: Tastes Like Chocolate

Robert ‘Chocolate’ Thornton proved the jockey to follow at the Festival in 2007. His four winners – My Way De Solzen in the Irish Independent Arkle Chase, Voy Por Ustedes in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Katchit in the JCB Triumph Hurdle and Andreas in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase – were sufficient to make him leading jockey for the one and only time.

Aside from Andreas, Paul Nicholls saddled Denman in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase, Taranis in the Ryanair Chase and Kauto Star in the Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup to become leading trainer for the second year running and the fourth time in all.

Other notable winners included Sublimity in the Champion Hurdle, Cork All Star in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and Inglis Drever in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. Drombeag, in the Christies Foxhunter Chase, provided a first Festival winning for leading Irish amateur rider John Thomas ‘J.T.’ McNamara, who was paralysed after a fall at the Festival six years later and died in 2016 at the age of just 41.

Friday 1 December 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2006: Nicholls and Walsh Dominate

Ruby Walsh topped and tailed the week with a winner, making up fully 7 lengths on the run-in to win the opening Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Noland, but having to work much less hard on Desert Quest, who drew clear for an impressive 2½-length win in the closing Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle. In between, the Irishman also took the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase on Dun Doire, trained by Tony Martin, and three winners were sufficient to make him leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival for the second time.

Along with Noland and Desert Quest, Paul Nicholls also saddled Star De Mohaison, ridden by Barry Geraghty, to win the Royal & SunAlliance Chase and picked up a second trainers’ title.

Other notable winners during the week were Brave Inca in the Champion Hurdle, Newmill in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Hairy Molly, who sprang a 33/1 surprise in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, My Way De Solzen in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and War Of Attrition in the Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup. All bar My Way De Solzen, who was trained in Wiltshire by Alan King, were trained in Ireland and contributed to a record-breaking nine wins at the Cheltenham Festival for Irish trainers.

Monday 20 November 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2005: Three Become Four

The National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham had been a three-day spectacle since 1923 but, in 2005, was extended from three to four days. Four new races – namely, the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, the Festival Trophy, or Ryanair Chase and the Spa Novices’ Hurdle, or Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – were added to the programme, along with an additional £500,000 in prize money.

The first Cheltenham Gold Cup to be run on a Friday was won by Kicking King, trained by Tom Taafe and ridden by Barry Geraghty, in front of a sell-out crowd of 50,000 spectators. Hardy Eustace completed a double in the Smurfit Champion Hurdle and Moscow Flyer made amends for his fall the previous year by winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Missed That, in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, was one of two winners for Ruby Walsh and Inglis Drever, in the renamed Ladbrokes World Hurdle, was one of three for Graham Lee.

Lee also won the Letherby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Arcalis and the Royal & Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle on No Refuge to claim the leading jockey title for himself and the leading trainer title for his boss, Howard Johnson.

Thursday 2 November 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2004: Time for Rupert

With all due respect to Paul Webber’s charge, Time For Rupert, who ran in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, the RSA Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in his time, the titular Rupert, in this case, is Rupert ‘Ruby’ Walsh. In his second full season as stable jockey to Paul Nicholls – who was to become leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival for the second time – Walsh announced his arrival on the Festival stage by winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Azetyuiop, the Grand Annual Chase on St. Pirran and the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle on Sporazene. Three winners were enough to make the Irishman top jockey for the first time.

Elsewhere, Hardy Eustace sprang a surprise in the Smurfit Champion Hurdle, seeing off the reigning champion Rooster Booster by 5 lengths. The ill-fated Total Enjoyment was a ready winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and Iris’s Gift reversed the previous year’s form with Baracouda when winning the Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle, but the Festival is probably best remembered for Best Mate, who made history by becoming the first horse since the legendary Arkle to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years running.

Sunday 29 October 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2003: Nap Hand for Geraghty

The Smurfit Champion Hurdle featured a showdown between Rooster Booster, winner of the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle the previous year and Rhinestone Cowboy, narrowly touched off by Pizarro in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 2002, but unbeaten in four subsequent starts over hurdles. However, the showdown never really materialised because Rooster Booster quickened clear in the closing stages to win, impressively, by 11 lengths from Westender, with Rhinestone Cowboy a further 3 lengths back in third.

Moscow Flyer, trained by Mrs. John Harrington, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase was one of five winners for leading jockey Barry Geraghty, while other notable winners included Liberman in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, Baracouda in the Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle and Best Mate in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Master of Jackdaws Castle, Jonjo O’Neill, saddled three winners, Inching Closer in the Pertemps Final, Sudden Shock in the National Hunt Chase and Spectroscope in the JCB Triumph Hurdle, to become leading trainer at the Festival for the one and only time to date.

Monday 9 October 2017

Cheltenham 2017 Recap

The Cheltenham Festival is dubbed “the greatest show on turf” and it duly delivered on its nickname in 2017 by serving up thrills aplenty for horse racing fans, punters, celebrities and royals alike. A memorable four days of high-quality racing culminated in success for Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power as Rock the World claimed the Grand Annual. It was their third victory of the week and they will look back fondly upon Cheltenham 2017, as will many trainers and jockeys that sealed a place in the history books. Who were the big winners and losers?
Legendary trainer steals the show
The 2017 meeting belonged to Harrington, who became only the third female trainer to win the Gold Cup in history. What made it all the more remarkable was that it came at her maiden attempt: she waited until the age of 70 to make her first entry into the most prestigious race in the calendar as she wanted to make sure her charge could seriously compete. A lifetime of hard work and perseverance paid off as Sizing John romped to victory. Harrington credited Power with the win after the jockey told her that Sizing John was crying out for a stamina test. He stepped up to the longer distance in style, overhauling Djakadam, the leading contender in the horse racing spreads, and winning by almost three lengths from Minella Rocco. The seven-year-old has now won all three of his races at three miles or more, a trifecta of Gold Cups, and is the one to watch going into the new season. Harrington and Power capped a magnificent festival when Rock the World seized the final race of the meeting, and they will be full of confidence going into next year’s contest.

Mullins and Walsh strike back
Willie Mullins had generated tremendous momentum going into Cheltenham 2017 by winning such key tests as the County Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett in the build-up to the Gold Cup, but could only watch as Djakadam blundered in the big race, finishing fourth. There was talk of a crisis for Mullins and Ruby Walsh after they failed to land a winner in the first two days of the festival. Even Douvan, who had so often beaten Sizing John over two miles, lost his unbeaten record as a broken pelvis saw him finish seventh in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. But Mullins and Walsh bounced back with aplomb by landing sensational four-timer on the Thursday: favourite Yorkhill took the JLT, Un De Sceaux romped to victory in the Ryanair Chase, Nichols’ Canyon took the Stayers’ Hurdle and Let’s Dance came in to make Walsh the first jockey to ride four winners in a single day at the Cheltenham festival. It was followed by the disappointment of Djakadam, but overall it was a strong meeting for Mullins, who saddled six winners, while Walsh took his fifth consecutive jockeys’ title.
Elation for Elliott
Gordon Elliott vanquished Mullins, his great rival, to be named the top trainer at the festival after landing a magnificent six winners of his own. They were neck and neck but with no runner in the Grand Annual, Elliott was crowned champion trainer with a race to spare. On the first day Elliott scored a treble when Tiger Roll came in, and he secured his sixth victory of the meeting when 12/1 shot Champagne Classic took the Martin Pipe. He will be in with a chance of winning the title again in 2018, but Mullins will be the one to beat and could be a good option for that market.
Irish assert their dominance
In the same month that Ireland’s rugby team ended England’s world record bid with a dramatic Six Nations victory at the Aviva Stadium, Ireland also asserted its dominance over Great Britain at Cheltenham. The Irish annihilated the British in the Bet Bright Cup, taking 19 winners out of 28 races to Britain’s nine. Sizing John’s victory was the centrepiece as the cup went across the Irish Sea, but the combined 12 winners from Mullins and Elliott sealed the deal. Britain won the title, formerly known as the Prestbury Cup, in 2015 and it finished all square in 2016, leading the British to go into 2017 as the favourites. But the Irish made a mockery of that by claiming an emphatic victory, and they are the frontrunners going into 2018.

Author bio
Martin Green is an experienced horseracing correspondent and tipster.

Cheltenham Festival 2002 - The Festival Returns

The outbreak of foot and mouth disease and subsequent ban on the movement of livestock, including the suspension of racing, put paid to the 2001 Cheltenham Festival in its entirety.

However, it was business as usual in 2002, with Flagship Uberalles supplementing his win in Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown the previous December in the Queen Mother Champion Chase to maintain his 100% record for new trainer Philip Hobbs.

Flagship Uberalles was one of just two winners for Richard Johnson, the other being Rooster Booster in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, but that was enough to make him leading jockey.

Hors La Loi III ran on well to beat Marble Arch by 3 lengths in the Smurfit Champion Hurdle, Best Mate did likewise in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup, coming home 1¼ lengths ahead of Commanche Court, and Baracouda just got the better of Bannow Bay in the Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle, winning by a neck, albeit a shade cleverly.

In the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, 14/1 chance Pizarro, trained by Edward O’Grady and ridden by Jamie Spencer, was all out to hold 5/2 favourite Rhinestone Cowboy, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by Norman Williamson.

Monday 2 October 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2001

The 2001 Cheltenham Festival was at first postponed and then cancelled in 2001, after a well-publicised outbreak of foot and mouth disease affected the area. The first time there hadn’t been a Gold Cup chase at Cheltenham for decades.

There have been no such problems since, but there has been a number of amazing races featuring Best Mate, the first to win the race in three consecutive season and Kauto Star, the first to regain the title after losing out the year before.

Thursday 14 September 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2000

There was a strong element of déjà vu about the Cheltenham Festival in 2000, with Istabraq and Stormyfairweather returning to Prestbury Park to repeat their victories in the Champion Hurdle and Cathcart Challenge Cup, respectively. Monsignor, who’d won the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 1999, took his record over hurdles to six from six when pushed out to beat No Discount by 8 lengths in the Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle while Looks Like Trouble, who’d turned the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Chase into a procession the previous year, repeated the feat in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, jumping well and coming home unchallenged to beat Go Ballistic by a distance. Mick Fitzgerald, winning jockey on Stormyfairweather, recorded three more victories to become leading jockey for the second year running. Other notable victories included Edredon Bleu in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Bacchanal in the Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle and Joe Cullen in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

Sunday 3 September 2017

Cheltenham Festival 1999: Nicholls Breaks Through

The Cheltenham Festival in 1999 proved memorable for Paul Nicholls, who collected the Queen Mother Champion Chase with Call Equiname, the Arkle Challenge Trophy with Flagship Uberalles and the Cheltenham Gold Cup with See More Business. The latter was all out to beat 66/1 outsider Go Ballistic by a length, but ultimately did just enough to make Nicholls leading trainer at the Festival for the first time. Mick Fitzgerald, who rode Call Equiname and See More Business, also added Katarino in the Triumph Hurdle and Stormyfairweather in the now-defunct Cathcart Challenge Cup for Nicky Henderson to become leading jockey.

Elsewhere, Istabraq was long odds-on (4/9) to win the Champion Hurdle for a second year running and did so with a minimum of fuss, beating Theatreworld by 3½ lengths having led going well at the second last flight. The Stayers’ Hurdle produced a surprise, with 40/1 chance Anzum producing a strong finish to edge out 2/1 joint favourite Le Coudray by a neck. So, too, did the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, with 50/1 chance staying on gamely under Brendan Powell Snr. to beat Golden Alpha by 1½ lengths.

Friday 25 August 2017

The Top 5 Horses to Grace the Cheltenham Turf

A truly magnificent flat season is drawing to a close and it is time once again to turn our focus to the National Hunt. All eyes will be on Sizing John as we go into the new season, with fans keen to see if he can maintain his superb form. Earlier this year he became the first horse ever to win all three of jump racing’s Gold Cups – the Irish, Cheltenham and Punchestown. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the jewel in the crown and it will once again be the standout event of the season as it has delivered all manner of thrills over the years. Sizing John is a classy champion, but for all his pizzazz he does not trouble the list of the top five heroes ever to grace the Cheltenham turf. Here we run through the record books to present you with the five greatest horses in Cheltenham history:
5. Dawn Run
Dawn Run is the only horse ever to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle, and her achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider she was a relative novice when she won at the Gold Cup in 1986. In perhaps the most thrilling battle in the race’s history went hell for leather against defending champion Forgive ’N Forget and triple King George winner Wayward Lad, and it was nail-biting stuff as she rallied to come from well behind and seize a win on the line. Dawn Run went on to become the most successful mare in National Hunt history.
4. Kauto Star
Kauto Star is an absolute legend among punters following his Cheltenham heroics. He went off as 5/4 favourite in the 2007 Gold Cup and overcame a poor jump on the last fence to secure a comfortable victory. The following year he was 10/11 favourite but looked out of sorts throughout, succumbing to a seven-length defeat to stablemate Denman. He was written off as a has-been by many going into the 2009 Gold Cup, but turned the tables on Denman to pull off a remarkable 13-length victory, making him the only horse to ever regain the Gold Cup. He could not add to his Gold Cup triumphs, but he won the King George five times, was the best steeplechase horse of the 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10 and 2011/12 seasons, ranked joint third in the all-time Timeform ratings and achieved the highest Racing Post rating of all time.

3. Best Mate
Best Mate was another favourite among gamblers after he achieved a sensational hat-trick of Cheltenham Gold Cup wins between 2002 and 2004, costing the bookies a massive amount of money. It was believed such a feat was impossible in the modern era, but he pulled it off in style. He was sublime in 2002 and 2003, but in 2004 he put in a dogged, scrappy performance to hold off a spirited challenge from 25/1 shot Sir Rembrandt and win by half a length, causing the crowd to erupt with joy.
2. Golden Miller
The legendary Golden Miller won the Gold Cup five times in a row between 1932 and 1936 and enjoyed an astonishing career. In 1932 he was just five years old when he secured his maiden Gold Cup victory, and in 1934 he followed it up by winning the Grand National – a feat never matched throughout history. He would have been the favourite to win the 1937 race but it was cancelled due to heavy snowfall, so he retired with a fantastic record.
1. Arkle
It takes a special horse to knock Golden Miller into second place, but Arkle is the greatest of all time. This brilliant bay gelding ran with phenomenal power but also jumped with astonishing grace, and he was unstoppable. In 1964 he went off at 7/4 second favourite in the Gold Cup, while defending champion Mill House was 8/13, but Arkle made a mockery of that by securing a five-length victory. In 1965 he trounced Mill House by 20 lengths, establishing his dominance over the sport. The following year he was the shortest priced favourite this race has ever seen and he justified odds of just 1/10 as he won by 30 lengths, the most emphatic victory Cheltenham has ever seen. Later that year he was injured and never raced again, but he went down as officially the greatest steeplechaser in history with a Timeform rating of 112. Check out today's racing at Sun Bets and you will see many great horses listed, but none can hold a torch to Arkle, described as a freak of nature by many and cherished by anyone that saw him run.

Author bio
Martin Green is an experienced horse racing correspondent and tipster.

Thursday 24 August 2017

Cheltenham Festival 1998 – McCoy and Pipe Dominate

In 1997, A.P. McCoy joined forces with reigning champion jump trainer Martin Pipe and in their first full season together rode 253 winners, including five at the 1998 Cheltenham Festival.

On day one, Champleve was all out to hold Hill Society by a short head in the Arkle Challenge Trophy but, later, Unsinkable Boxer won the Gold Card Handicap Hurdle by 4 lengths in a hack canter. McCoy drew a blank on day two, but finished the meeting in style, with a quick-fire treble in the last three races on day three. He won the Grand Annual Chase by 3½ lengths on Edredon Bleu, trained by Henrietta Knight, the Cathcart Challenge Cup by the same margin on Cyfor Malta and the County Hurdle by 1¾ on Blowing Wind, landing a gamble in the process.

Other notable winners included previous Festival winners Istabraq and Florida Pearl, who returned to Prestbury Park to win the Champion Hurdle and the Royal & Sun Alliance Chase, respectively. The ill-fated One Man, trained by the late Gordon Richards and ridden by Brian Harding, won the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Cool Dawn, trained by Robert Alner and ridden by Andrew Thornton, caused a surprise in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, making all to beat Strong Promise by 1¾ lengths at odds of 25/1.

Thursday 10 August 2017

Cheltenham Festival 1997 – A Look Back

Sir Anthony Peter McCoy, commonly known as A.P. McCoy, may have won the jump jockeys’ championship for 20 years in a row, but was leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival just twice, in 1997 and 1998. On the first occasion, McCoy rode just three winners, but they included Make A Stand, who made all to win the Champion Hurdle by 5 lengths, unchallenged, and Mr Mulligan, who was always prominent and went clear three out to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup by 9 lengths. McCoy also won the Arkle Chase on Or Royal, although his task was made considerably easier by the departure of the hot favourite, Mulligan, at the fourth last fence.

Other notable winners at the Cheltenham Festival that year included Martha’s Son, trained by the late Captain Tim Forster and ridden by Rodney Farrant, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Florida Pearl, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Richard Dunwoody, in the Champion Bumper. And, of course, there was 5-year-old Istabraq, who was all out to win the Royal & Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle by a length from Mighty Moss, but would return to the Festival to win the Champion Hurdle for the next three years running for Aidan O’Brien and Charlie Swan.

Sunday 23 July 2017

2017 Cheltenham Festival Moments

It's been a good four months now since the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, but it was certainly a memorable feast of racing action. There's understandably very little news of the 2018 festival out there at this time though, so I figured it's as good a time as any to cover some of the memorable moments from this years festival - from key races such as the Gold cup and Champion Hurdle, to notable achievements by jockeys and trainers, and general facts about the festival!So without further adue, let's get started!

2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup

First held in 1819, The Gold Cup is a 3 miles 2½ furlongs Grade One race. The 22 fence steeplechase event is one of, if not the most highly anticipated Cheltenham Festival race each year. With total prize money of over £500,000 it attracts the best of the best and is must watch TV for most racing fans, both casual and professional. Taking place on March 17th, this year's race was the 89th annual Gold Cup race. With 13 runners, the 2017 winner was Sizing John (7/1) in 6m 36.30s, ridden by Robbie Power and trained by Jessica Harrington. The 18/1 outsider Minella Rocco was second and Native river 3rd at 7/2. 3-1 favourite Djakadam finished in fourth place.

2017 Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is another Cheltenham race that draws the crowds in. It's an 8 hurdle Grade One race of 2 miles 87 yards in distance . To many it's considered a jewel in the rown of National Hunt racing and as such is a real feather in the cap to win whether you're a jockey, trainer or owner. In 2017, 11 horses ran in the Champions Hurdle, held on the 14th March. 2/1 Favourite Yanworth, riden by Mark Walsh, was a complete flop on the day finishing way back in 7th. Interestingly 3 or the top 4 placed horses were bred in France. The winner was Buveur D'Air, riden by Noel Fehily (and trained by Nicky Henderson) at 5/1.

Top Jockey of Cheltenham 2017 (most wins) - Ruby Walsh with 4 wins, continuing his impressive run of wins over many years.

Top Trainer of Cheltenham 2017 (most wins) - Gordon Elliott with 6 wins (toppling Willie Mullins, who was top trainer for the previous four years in a row).

The Numbers

The amount bet on the Cheltenham Festival each year - 150 million

The number of staff at the Festival - 6000

Impact on the local economy - £100,000,000

Total Prize Money on offer in 2017 - £4.3 million

Number of punters attending the festival in 2017 - 260,000

Monday 26 June 2017

Cheltenham Showcase Meeting Tips and Facts

The Showcase Meeting is the very first race that opens the National Hunt season at the Cheltenham Festival racecourse. It will begin the 27th and 28th of October 2017 and will continue all the way till 2018 before the season ends.

The meeting is one of the most popular in the season with tickets on sale as early as June of 2017. The pot last season was at target of £296,000 spread across 14 races, with two £50,000 handicap chases on the climax of the event during the Saturday. This is a race loved by traditional punters and handicappers that wish to see who the new stars of the season will be and what names to keep track on for the big events throughout the season.

This meeting is usually considered a warm up of future champs aiming to major events, especially for the followings month BetVictor Gold Cup.

As a piece of data to keep in mind: The Outback Way (1999), Shooting Light (2001) and Johns Spirit (2013) were all horses that won both races. So keep your eyes open for a promising champ, be it a selection for BetVictor race or the Meeting.

This is the perfect opportunity to spot a rising star at the very first race of the season.

The season will come to an end in March 2018 with the climax of all races during the Cheltenham Festival. The Festival ranks second in prize pot money just to the Grand National, an event were the best of British and Irish trained horses compete against each other. The meeting coincides with St. Patrick’s Day and is very popular with the Irish fans.

Bet on the Cheltenham Showcase Meeting
Cheltenham stands as one of the most popular racecourses to bet on, horse race betting online is more easier than it ever was. By placing a simple bet online bettors can benefit from huge bonus offers and free bets.

Buy Your Ticket
For those planning on attending the event tickets are ready for purchase on the official sales stations and online. Secure your preferred spot on this event that lacks the popularity of the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, but not less fun and far more comfortable for traditional fans of horseracing.

Seats and Packages Available

The Best Mate Enclosure
Ticket Prices: £9 - £19 - Friday and Saturday

It has a great view of the race track from the opposite side of the finish line, so attendees get to witness the final sprint and decisive jumps. The atmosphere is like nothing that you have witnesses before. Includes nearby betting shops, close to the track stands and live band entertainment.

Tattersalls Enclosure

Ticket Prices: £22 - £42 - Friday and Saturday
Be in a more secluded and high point area with extensive viewing steps, a betting hall and access to bars and buffets. The enclosure also has access to the Centaur, paddock and unsaddling enclosure. If you wish to have a full dining experience the location has direct access to the Gold Cup Restaurant.

The hall betting ring includes enough betting shops to place bets.

Restaurant Packages
Ticket Prices: £90 to £190 - Friday and Saturday

Enjoy of a more VIP and private seating location inside the luxurious restaurant overseeing the Cheltenham winning post directly from your dining table. Restaurant packages come on groups and attendees can select their location. The race can also be enjoyed through live televion broadcasts and table bookies will take care of your personal bet selections.

Experience the best dining you will ever have with Albert Roux in 'Chez Roux' at the Cheltenham racecourse.

Thursday 15 June 2017

Gold Cup Memory Lane

It's certainly a good while until the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, but it's such a rich event there is often something to talk about, either with reference to future events or write ups on the rich history of the event. That's a view echoed by many others I'd say, as I've just now been reading a year by year summary of the Gold Cup on the Cheltenham Focus Blog.

It really does bring back countless memories to think back to some of the classic Cheltenham Gold Cup races and wins over the years. It's no doubt the combination of the best of the best, in terms of horses, jockeys and trainers all competing for this prestigious prize that makes it unmissable for many racing fans.

Let us not forget how rooted in history this race is - the first Gold Cup was held way back in July 1819. Highlights of this grade one steeplechase for me over the years include the amazing 'triple' that was Best Mate's wins in 2002, 2003 and 2004, while being ridden by Jim Culloty and the impressive 2015 win by novice Coneygree - the first time in over four decades that a novice had won the race. Let's hope the 2018 race is one of the classics too, time will tell!

Monday 8 May 2017

You win some, you lose some!

Of course with every Cheltenham Festival there are talking points, and 2017 is no different. One story that stood out for me this year was that of a big money punter with topsy turvy fortunes.  The anonymous gentlemen got off to a stellar start when his bet on Altior in the Arkle Chase on the first day of Cheltenham bagged him a cool £100,000. So far so good right? Well yes, but let's not forget he had to wage an eye watering £400,000 at 1-4 to win that sum.

This guy clearly doesn't like the quiet life and unfortunately lumping big money on odds-ons proved to be his undoing on the second day of the festival. The cash rich punter placed a £375,000 bet on the favourite Douvan in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at stingy odds of 2-9.  What was expected to be an easy two mile win, turned into anything but for Douvan as he struggled, eventually finishing seventh. The loss was actually bigger than the prize money for the race.

Ben Keith, the shrewd and/or brave bookmaker who took the bet through his Star Sports firm will no doubt have been raising a glass as Douvan limped home.

I think I'll be sticking to fun bets!

Friday 17 March 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2017 - Day Four Results

1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle - Defi Du Seuil (5/2 fav), 2nd Mega Fortune (D N 

2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle - Penhill (16/1), 2nd Monalee (D J Mullins) 8-1, 3rd Wholestone (D A Jacob) 13-2

3.30pm Cheltenham Gold Cup - Sizing John (7/1), 2nd Minella Rocco (N D Fehily) 18-1, 3rd Native River (R Johnson) 7-2

4.10pm Foxhunter Chase - Pacha Du Polder (14/1), 2nd Wonderful Charm (Ms K Walsh) 7-2, 3rd Barel Of Laughs (Mr Alex Edwards) 100-1

4.50pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle - Champagne Classic (12/1), 2nd Verni (T Cheesman) 25-1, 3rd Runfordave (D Meyler) 9-1

5.30pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual - Rock The World (R M Power) 10-1, 2nd Gardefort (D A Jacob) 20-1, 3rd Theinval (J McGrath) 9-1 4th Dandridge (D N Russell) 13-2

Thursday 16 March 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2017 - Day Three Results

1.30pm - JLT Novices: Yorkhill (6/4 fav), Top Notch 7-2, Disko 4-1

2.10pm - Pertemps Final: Presenting Percy (11/1), Barney Dwan 16-1, Jury Duty 9-1, The Tourard Man

2.50pm - Ryanair Chase: Un De Sceaux (7/4f),  Sub Lieutenant 8-1, Aso 40-1

3.30pm - Stayers' Hurdle: Nichols Canyon (10/1), Lil Rockerfeller 33-1, Unowhatimeanharry 5/6f
4.10pm - Festival Plate: Road To Respect (14/1), Baron Alco 10-1 , Bouvreuil 10-1, Thomas Crapper 7-1

4.50pm - Mares' Novices' Hurdle: Let's Dance (11/8f), Barra 12-1, Dusky Legend 20-1

5.30pm - Kim Muir Challenge CupDomesday Book (40/1), Pendra 16-1, Premier Bond 9-1, Potters Legend 10-1

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2017 - Day Two Results

1.30pm Neptune Novices Hurdle - 1st Willoughby Court (14/1), 2nd Neon Wolf 2-1 Fav, 3rd Messire Des Obeaux 8-1
2.10pm: RSA Chase - 1st Might Bite (7/2), 2nd Whisper 9-2, 3rd Bellshill  5-1
2.50pm: Coral Cup - 1st Supasundae (16/1), 2nd Taquin Du Seuil, 12-1, 3rd Who Dares Wins 33-1
3.30pm: Queen Mother 1st Champion Chase - (11/1), 2nd Fox Norton  7-1, 3rd Sir Valentino  33-1
4.10pm: Cross Country - 1st Cause Of Causes (4/1), 2nd Bless The Wings 10-1, 3rd Cantlow 9-4
4.50pm: Fred Winter Hurdle - 1st Flying Tiger (33/1), 2nd Divin Bere 9-2 Fav, 3rd Nietzsche 12-1
5.30pm: Champion Bumper - 1st Fayonagh (7/1), 2nd Debuchet 10-1, 3rd Claimantakinforgan 22-1

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2017 - Day One Results

1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle - 1st Labaik 25-1, 2nd Melon 3-1, 3rd River Wylde 8-1

2:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy - 1st Altior 1-4, 2nd Cloudy Dream 12-1, 3rd Ordinary World 25-1

2:50 Festival Handicap Chase - 1st Un Temps Pour Tout 9-1, 2nd Singlefarmpayment 5-1, 3rd Noble Endeavour 15-2, 4th Buywise 33-1

3:30 Champion Hurdle - 1st Buveur D'air, 2nd My Tent Or Yours, 3rd Petit Mouchoir

4:10 David Nicholson Mares Hurdle - 1st Apple's Jade 7-2, 2nd Vroum Vroum Mag 11-4, 3rd Limini 6-4

4:50 National Hunt Chase - 1st Tiger Roll 16-1, 2nd Missed Approach 50-1, 3rd Haymount 33-1

5:30 Novices Handicap Chase - 1st Tully East 8-1, 2nd Gold Present 14-1, 3rd Two Taffs 7-1, 4th Powersbomb 22-1

Cheltenham Festival 2017 Schedule

cheltenham festival guide

Here's a handy Cheltenham Festival 2017 schedule, from Tuesday March 14th to Friday March 17th, to ensure that you don't miss a moment of the action!


1.30pm £125,000 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f
2.10pm: £175,000 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (G1) 2m
2.50pm: £105,000 Ultima Handicap Chase (G3) 3m 1f
3.30pm: £400,000 Stan James Champion Hurdle (G1) 2m ½f
4.10pm: £110,000 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (G1) 2m 4f
4.50pm: £120,000 J T McNamara National Hunt Chase (G2) 4m
5.30pm: £70,000 Close Brothers Novices’ H’cap Chase (Listed) 2m 4½f


1.30pm: £125,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (G1) 2m 5f
2.10pm: £175,000 RSA Novices’ Chase (G1) 3m ½f
2.50pm: £95,000 Coral Cup  (Handicap Hurdle) (G3) 2m 5f
3.30pm: £350,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (G1) 2m
4.10pm: £65,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f
4.50pm: £80,000 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (G3) 2m ½f
5.30pm: £75,000 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (G1) 2m ½f


1.30pm: £150,000 JLT Novices’ Chase (G1) 2m 4f
2.10pm: £95,000 Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed) 3m
2.50pm: £300,000 Ryanair Chase  (G1) 2m 5f
3.30pm: £300,000 Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (G1) 3m
4.10pm: £105,000 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (G3) 2m 5f
4.50pm: £80,000 Trull House Stud Mares Novices’ Hurdle (G2) 2m 1f
5.30pm: £70,000 Fulke Walwyn  Kim Muir Handicap Chase 3m 2f


1.30pm: £125,000 JCB Triumph Hurdle (G1) 2m 1f
2.10pm: £95,000 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (G3) 2m 1f
2.50pm: £125,000 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (G1) 3m
3.30pm: £575,000 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase  (G1) 3m 2½f
4.10pm: £45,000 St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2½f
4.50pm: £65,000 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4½f
5.30pm: £105,000 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase  (G3) 2m ½f

Be sure to tune in on ITV an remember that you can read up on every Cheltenham race here.

Saturday 4 March 2017

Almost Cheltenham!

when is the cheltenham festival Google knows the score. Are you ready for the Cheltenham Festival 2017? Any betting opportunities in mind?

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Cheltenham Festival Races

How time flies. The Cheltenham Festival is now just around the corner, commencing on 17th March 2017. Many of you will no doubt be interested in a specific race or two and have your wallet at the ready with your mind on a serious, or fun, punt. Should you be interested in checking out write ups of every one of the Cheltenham Festival races, from the Queen Mother Champion Chase , to the World Hurdle and of course the Cheltenham Gold Cup then be sure to check out our Cheltenham Festival Races page, which contains a write up on each and every race!       

Monday 20 February 2017

2016 Cheltenham Festival - FRIDAY MARCH 18 RESULTS

1330: JCB Triumph Hurdle
1st: Ivanovich Gorbatov (9/2 fav)
2nd: Apple's Jade (12/1)
3rd: Footpad (5/1)

1410: Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle
1st: Superb Story (8/1)
2nd: Fethard Player (33/1)
3rd: Sternrubin (33/1)
4th: Wait For Me (7/1)

1450: Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
1st: Unowhattimeanharry (11/1)
2nd: Fagan (33/1)
3rd: Champers On Ice (20/1)

1530: Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup
1st: Don Cossack (9/4 fav)
2nd: Djakadam (9/2)
3rd: Don Poli (9/2)

1610: St James's Place Foxhunter Chase
1st: On The Fringe (13/8 fav)
2nd: Marito (14/1)
3rd: Paint The Clouds (9/2)
(Victoria Pendleton 5th on Pacha Du Polder)

1650: Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle
1st: Ibis Du Rheu (14/1)
2nd: Flying Angel (8/1)
3rd: Sky Khan (50/1)
4th: Tully East (50/1)

1730: The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase
1st: Solar Impulse (28/1)
2nd: Dandridge (8/1)
3rd: Rock The World (9/2 fav)
4th: Savello (25/1)

Sunday 12 February 2017

2016 Cheltenham Festival - THURSDAY MARCH 17 RESULTS

1330: JLT Novices' Chase
1st: Black Hercules (4/1 jt fav)
2nd: Bristol De Mai (4/1 jt fav)
3rd: L'Ami Serge (8/1)

1410: Pertemps Network Final
1st: Mall Dini (14-1)
2nd: Arpege d'Alene (14-1)
3rd: If In Doubt (10-1)

1450: Ryanair Chase
1st: Vautour (Evens fav)
2nd: Valseur Lido (11/1)
3rd: Road To Riches (7/1)

1530: Ryanair World Hurdle
1st: Thistlecrack (Evs fav)
2nd: Alpha Des Obeaux (8-1)
3rd: Bobs Worth (33-1)

1610: Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
1st: Empire of Dirt (16/1)
2nd: Tango De Juilley (33/1)
3rd: Kings Palace (11/1)
4th: Full Shift (7/1)

1650: The Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle
1st: Limini (8/11 fav)
2nd: Dusky Legend (50/1)
3rd: Bloody Mary (7/1)

1730: The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase
1st: Cause Of Causes (9/2)
2nd: A Good Skin (14-1)
3rd: Silvergrove (16-1)

Wednesday 18 January 2017

2016 Cheltenham Festival - WEDNESDAY MARCH 16 RESULTS

1330: Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
1st: Yorkhill (3/1)
2nd: Yanworth (11/10)

1410: RSA Chase
1st: Blaklion (8/1)
2nd: Shaneshill (16/1)
3rd: More Of That (6/4 fav)

1450: Coral Cup Hurdle
1st: Diamond King (12/1)
2nd: Long House Hall (16/1)
3rd: Ubak (28/1)
4th: Blazer: (8/1)

1530: Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
1st: Sprinter Sacre (5/1)
2nd: Un De Sceaux (4/6 fav)
3rd: Special Tiara (16/1)

1610: Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
1st: Any Currency (11/1)
2nd Josies Orders (15/8 fav)
3rd: Bless The Wings (33/1)

1650: Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
1st: Diego Du Charmil (13/2)
2nd: Romain De Denam (20/1)
3rd: Coo Star Sivola (16/1)
4th: Missy Tata (10/1)

1730: Wetherbys Champion Bumper
1st: Ballyandy (5-1)
2nd: Battleford (25-1)
3rd: Bacardys (16-1)