The 2018 Cheltenham Festival is on the horizon and we’re sure you’re buzzed about it as much as we are.
Four days of high-class racing across 28 renewals. Over £4m in prize money. Some of the best horses, jockeys, and trainers in the world all vying for glory. And punters across the UK and Ireland looking to scalp the bookies.
We’ll preview all the major races in due course, but what about the other aspects of Cheltenham? It’s a cracking week of action with major subplots among the runners, riders, and the audience in attendance.
The Ladbrokes News crew take a look at some of the more interesting storylines of the festival.
The Prestbury Cup is a celebration of the Festival rivalry between England and Ireland. The trophy is awarded to the country with the most winners by the end of the 28 races.
Ireland have won it for the last two years, so the English will be keen on taking back the title this year.
Can the oldies reclaim former glories?
A large portion of Cheltenham is based around the rising stars of the jumps season. With races like the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the JLT Novices’ Chase, there are plenty of opportunities for the younger generation to shine.
But there are always a few horses who’ve been there and done it, and then been discounted. The likes of Cue Card and Douvan probably fall into that bracket nowadays.
There could be plenty of life in the old guard yet, though. It will be interesting to see how they go in their respective renewals.
The Irish Takeover
If there are two things the Irish love, it’s horse racing and Guinness. Approximately 10,000 punters fly across the Irish Sea and head for Cheltenham.
St. Patrick’s Day is usually on the Thursday of the Festival. However, this year it’s on Saturday. That won’t stop the Irish from celebrating in style at Prestbury Park, though.
A reported 265,000 pints of Guinness will be sold and consumed across the four days. Plus 12,000 bottles of wine.
Ladies’ Day fever
Like any good festival, a touch of glamour is always required. And on the second day of Cheltenham – Ladies’ Day – we get it in abundance.
Expect fascinators and prosecco flowing as the women of Gloucestershire and beyond takeover Prestbury Park.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the feature race of the day so expect some royalty to be in attendance
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