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

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