As the home of national hunt horse racing, the United Kingdom boasts some excellent and exciting festivals. From Ascot to Aintree, some of the best known racecourses in the world play host across the season, however, one stands out above the rest.
The Cheltenham Festival takes place every March, and is seen as the jewel in jumps racing’s crown. With millions watching worldwide as the very best horses, jockeys and trainers battle it out in 27 races over the festival’s four days, Cheltenham has provided racing with some of its greatest moments.
The 2014 Cheltenham Festival will be no different. The festivities get off to a bang on March 11th with the first race of the festival, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. A fast paced race, the 2014 favourite is Irving, unbeaten in his career so far, and available at 5/2 with Coral.
As this race begins, the large crowd will let out the traditional Cheltenham Roar, enough to send a shiver down the spine of every racing fan.
Travelling to the Festival
Cheltenham is easily accessed from any direction, with excellent links to nearby bigger cities such as Birmingham by both car, coach and train. For international visitors, it is best served by Birmingham International Airport, which is just a short train journey away from Cheltenham itself.
The journey will be more than worthwhile, soaking up the atmosphere and being one of the more than 200,000 spectators that will witness the very best racing over the course of the festival is a memorable experience for both hardcore and casual racing fans alike.
The Biggest Races at the Festival
The highlight of the first day’s racing is always the Champion Hurdle. Run at a fast pace, this race has produced some fan-favourites over the years, none more so than Hurricane Fly. The Irish-trained hurdler will be going for his third win in this event, and would be an extremely popular winner with the crowd. Priced as a joint 3/1 favourite alongside The New One with Coral, this race could be electric, all the latest odds can be seen at Cheltenham.coral.couk.
However, the highlight of the entire festival will not take place until the final day, when the very best stayers line up for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. A true test of technique and speed, the Gold Cup is a crowd-favourite. Last year’s winner Bobs Worth is this year’s favourite to win at 7/4. Nevertheless, a strong field lining up against him and could run him close.
The Cheltenham Festival must be attended to truly appreciate its magic, with a week full of the best racing entertainment awaiting the lucky spectators.