The Cheltenham Festival is only days away. Hours. Minutes. That one week of the year, when people from across the UK, Ireland and beyond travel en masse to Prestbury Park for their annual knees up, is finally within reach. The best horses, the best crowd together in a wonderful amphitheatre which even raises the spirits of those who only have a fleeting interest in the sport. Muggles.
They’re almost off…
The final declarations are not yet in but keep it right here for daily news updates, stats and analysis on the day before each race and the best tips in the business. Here are some nibbles to whet the appetite :
- Tuesday – Champagne Fever returns to try and emulate Bobs Worth in winning three different races at successive festivals. However, in only finishing third last time he ran December, he’ll be jumping off against some strong trends if he’s to win the Arkle : 25 of the last 27 winners had finished in the first two last time they ran and only 3 winners since 1976 had not had a prep run within two months of the race.
- Wednesday – The RSA Chase, the Gold Cup for novices, and the favourite is the Willie Mullins trained Ballycasey. However, winners of this tend to have more experience over fences. Sam Winner is more than twice the price and should run a big race, with course form already in the bag.
- Thursday – The Pertemps Final is usually a good betting heat for each way punters so look out for the improving Upswing. 20-1 won’t last.
- Friday – Gold Cup day and whilst Bobs Worth will be attempting to retain his crown as the Champion Stayer, the Conditional Jockeys also have their chance to shine in their own race. Never Enough Time could be the one to watch
Keep up to date with all the Festival news and tips with The Market Man on Twitter @markthecard