Chris On Cheltenham

| March 8, 2018 | Reply

Today I’m handing over to our Head Reviewer, Chris Sowerby.

If you ever have any feedback or questions for Chris or I, you can reach us at bettingrant@agorapub.co.uk.

Matt Houghton


The Cheltenham Festival, probably the greatest four days of racing in the calendar, is now just days away and below I take a look back over the history behind today’s modern festival.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to expand the reviews section on the website, with at least four new reviews starting each month. Each review covers a period of three months and should provide valuable information for you to assess each of the tipsters covered.

The Tipster League also continues to grow at pace, and we now have over 125 tipsters covering horse racing, football, greyhound racing, golf, cricket, tennis and more…

The first full month’s results have been posted and this will continue to build into an invaluable source of information for anyone looking for a tipster.

Why not head on over to the website and have a look for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

You can also follow me on Twitter @betwithchris for regular updates, new tipsters added and more.

Chris

The Cheltenham Roar

With the Cheltenham roar just days away, I took a look back over the history and some of the highlights of The Festival.

1815 – Racing in the Cheltenham area dates back over 200 years when the first recorded flat racing meeting was held on Nottingham Hill.

1902 – Prestbury Park held its first two-day National Hunt Festival on 9-10 April.

1911 – The Cheltenham Festival is born as a two-day event. Originally the National Hunt Meeting – the meeting that staged the National Hunt Chase, the four-miler for amateur riders – the first Cheltenham Festival took place at Prestbury Park in 1911, when The National Hunt Committee agreed terms with The Steeplechase Company to allow the National Hunt Meeting to remain year-on-year at Cheltenham rather than continue its traditional annual tour.

1924 – The first Gold Cup is run at the Festival and is won by Red Splash, capturing prize money of £685.

1927 – The first Champion Hurdle is run.

1934 – Golden Miller becomes the first horse to complete The Gold Cup/Grand National double in the same season.

1936 – Golden Miller completes an amazing run of five consecutive Gold Cup wins.

1960 – The original Tattersalls Grandstand was opened to cope with the growing crowds.

1965 – The legend that is Arkle completes his hat-trick of Gold Cups.

1978 – The Gold Cup is abandoned because of snow! It is run in April instead.

1979 – The main Grandstand was completed and was then extended twice in the 1980s. The top two levels were dedicated entirely to Private Hospitality.

1982 – The Parade Ring, Weighing Room and Hurdlers Hall were built behind the stands with terraced viewing for 4,000 racegoers.

1987 – 21-year-old Gee Armytage becomes the first female jockey to win a race at the festival, winning the Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

1988 – Celtic Shot wins the Champion Hurdle to give Fred Winter his 28th and final Festival winner as a trainer. Winter remains the only person to have won the Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National as both a jockey and a trainer. This outstanding feat is recognised in the naming of the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Festival.

1989 – Desert Orchid wins the Gold Cup and becomes one of the most-loved horses in racing history.

1990 – Norton’s Coin becomes the longest-priced winner of the Gold Cup, triumphing at 100/1.

1990 – Also in 1990, the new stables complex was opened to provide additional and improved facilities for the main attractions at the Festival.

1995 – The Cross-Country Course was introduced and is now raced on three times each season, including The Festival. The race weaves around the centre of the course with natural obstacles including hedges, banks and ditches.

1997 – The original Tattersalls Grandstand (built in 1960) was knocked down and replaced with tiered viewing and the Panoramic Restaurant which boasts spectacular views across the racecourse.

1998 – Ruby Walsh, then 18, enjoys the first of his 56 wins at the festival on board Alexander Banquet in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

2001 – The Festival is abandoned because of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK.

2004 – The Best Mate Enclosure in the centre of the racecourse is opened, boasting a new grandstand and arguably one of the best views of racing.

2005 – The Festival is extended to its current four-day format.

2008 – The Wednesday card is abandoned due to high winds. Thursday’s racing started at 12:30 and concluded with the tenth race at 17:50. Friday was extended to a nine-race card and also got underway at 12:30 with the first running of the Mares Hurdle (won by Whiteoak).

2011 – The 100-year anniversary of the Festival is celebrated. Centenary winners included Hurricane Fly (Champion Hurdle), Big Bucks (World Hurdle), Zarkander (Triumph Hurdle), Bob’s Worth (Albert Bartlett Novices’) and Long Run (Gold Cup).

2017 – Ruby Walsh becomes the first jockey to ride four winners in a day at the Festival. His successes come on Nichols Canyon (Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle), Yorkhill (JLT Novices’ Chase), Un De Sceaux (Ryanair Chase) and Let’s Dance (Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle). Thursday’s haul also helped Walsh to his fifth consecutive leading rider award, his 11th in all.

2018 – Over 200,000 spectators are expected to attend the four days of The Festival with estimated gate receipts of around £7m.

Enjoy the racing and if you need help picking the winners you could do a lot worse than take a look at Matt’s Cheltenham Syndicate

With over £¼ billion expected to be staked over the four days there’s plenty to get excited about!

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