It is one of the highlights of the horse racing and perhaps the entire sporting calendar. With so much action taking place during the four-day event, here is your guide to the Cheltenham Festival 2013.
Horse racing fans will tell you that there is nothing quite like the mixture of glamour and excitement of Cheltenham. From the roar that greets the tape going up on the opening race of the first day, all horse racing eyes will be firmly fixed on Prestbury Park. Off the track, keep an eye out for the special atmosphere of Ladies Day on the Wednesday, when style and sophistication takes centre stage.
However, most of the week will be focused on the racing action. The Arkle is often a cracking race to get proceedings underway on day one, where Simsonig would appear to be the favourite for glory. However, the highlight of Champion Day as it’s known is undoubtedly the Champion Hurdle. Rock on Ruby will be looking for back to back wins, but will face stiff competition, especially from the likes of Hurricane Fly, Nicky Henderson’s Grandoulet, while Cinders and Ashes could also mount a serious challenge.
The feature race on Ladies Day is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, in which Sprinter Sacre appears to be the stand out favourite. However, in a sport which often defies the odds, it is worth looking further afield, especially with two former winners of the race Sizing Europe and last year’s winner Finian’s Rainbow out to recapture the crown. St Patrick’s Thursday brings a truly Irish flavour to Cheltenham. Two grade one races will be taking place and both promise intriguing contests. There is no clear favourite for the World Hurdle, although smart money might go on Smad Place and Monksland. Meanwhile, in the Ryanair Chase, Flemenstar would appear to be a safe bet.
Friday brings the final day of racing and the showpiece race of the meeting, the Gold Cup. For many people, this is what Cheltenham is all about, giving runners and riders alike the chance to etch their names into history. Last year, Synchronised gave jockey AP McCoy and owner JP McManus a first win in the race. This year, Hennessy Gold Cup winner Bob’s Choice is the bookie’s favourite by quite some way. He is after all a horse that appears to enjoy the Cheltenham course. Meanwhile, Long Run has yet to finish outside of the top three in a race and would seem to be a good bet for at least a place. It is also worth checking out Sir Des Champs, who appears to enjoy the good ground at Cheltenham and also comes into the meeting off the back of a Jewson win.
There is action and excitement guaranteed at the Cheltenham Festival and William Hill makes sure that you don’t miss a thing. With over seventy years experience as the leader in sports betting, William Hill offers great odds and comprehensive coverage on Cheltenham betting.