Cheltenham Festival Review

 Posted by on 16 Mar 13  Categories: Sport
Mar 162013

Horse Racing Legs

The Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the National Hunt racing calendar that runs over 4 days in March every year. There are 27 races with total prize money of £3.8m with the highlight being the Gold Cup on the final day which has total prize money of £550,000. There will be around 250,000 spectators over the four days of the festival and punters collectively bet around £600m during the Festival.

The race is a big event so when snow and frosts of -6C threatened the start of the meeting 45 acres of plastic sheeting covered the course to protect it. That’s a massive area to cover and it required 60 staff to lay 630 covers kept in place with 10,000 pegs. All the hard work paid off and the meeting started after a slight delay to allow the ground to completely defrost the Festival could start.

The highlight race is the Gold Cup which is a steeplechase over a distance of 3 miles 2.5 furlongs or 5,331m which requires just over two circuits of the new course at Cheltenham. Steeplechases include a variety of jumps including ditches and water and in the case of the Gold Cup there are 22 fences to be jumped. The race was won by Bobs Worth the favourite at 11/4. Long Run led for most of the race but Sir Des Champs was very close and with four to go was challenging for the lead. With two fences to go Bobs Worth was in fourth place but catching the leaders fast and he jumped the final fence in the lead which he maintained up the hill to the finish line with Sir Des Champs in second place and Long Run in 3rd place.

The Gold Cup was won by an Irish horse and over the whole Festival 20 of the 27 races were won by Irish horses. I used to live in Cheltenham and this explains why Guinness is the most popular drink during the week of the Festival ! Kauto Star has won the Gold Cup twice (2007 & 2009) and was paraded before the race. Since he has retired from racing he is doing a fantastic job promoting racehorse retraining.

The Festival did unfortunately demonstrate that National Hunt Racing is a tough sport. J T McNamara riding on the third day of the Festival had a very nasty fall. He is currently in a medically induced coma and has had an operation on fractured vetebrae. StreetStance wishes him well for a rapid recovery.


Author: Chris Atkin

Chris Atkin is a videographer specialising in high quality equine videos which are typically used to sell your horse, promote your stallion or equine business or as a memento of a big competition. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube and adverts can also be produced for broadcast on specialist equine satellite TV channels.

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