The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the National Hunt season. The atmosphere on the racecourse can only simply be described as amazing. Believe me, I was there on Gold Cup day in March this year for the first time and the electric buzz around the place just adds to the spectacle.
Its the racecourse where anything can happen. It’s the racecourse where champions are made. It’s the racecourse where legends are born. Its the racecourse where reputations can be ruined. But one thing for sure is that this festival will always be battled out by the finest horses, jockeys, and trainers that National Hunt has to offer.
If you have been to The Festival, then you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t been able to go yet, then do it, you won’t regret it. Trust me.
How to make the best of it?
If you’re going for just the one day (That’s all most of us can only afford), then I have to recommend that you go on Gold Cup day. It’s the busiest day of them all, it has the best atmosphere, most of us are off on a Saturday so there is no need to rush back home and of course its home to the greatest National Hunt race of the season.
Make the day of it, get a hotel booked for the Friday Night. You need to book these early and usually, a Travelodge is the cheapest and best option available. They are usually available within 15-20 miles from the course.
Travel down or up the country in the morning to the hotel. Park at the hotel and then get a taxi into Cheltenham. If you’re early and fancy a Breakfast then there is a Sainsbury’s around the corner which serves a cracking cooked breakfast. And then its just a 5/10 minute walk to the racecourse.
Then have a good day, have a good drink, have a good bet, and hopefully take some money off of the bookmakers. Enjoy the spectacle, and make the most of being present for the greatest race of the horse racing calendar.
Get a taxi back to the hotel, sleep off the hangover and travel home on Saturday.
When is The Cheltenham Festival?
The Cheltenham Festival 2019 will commence on Tuesday 12th March, with the first race set to go off at 13:30 pm.
It’s four day’s full of racing, with the festival set to run until the last race ends shortly after 17:30 pm on Friday 15th March.
Which horses to look out for?
I’ll go through my full recommendations nearer the time, but overall I would say if you back the majority of either Gordon Elliot’s or Willie Mullins’ horses then you should be doing good.
And for the Gold Cup, I still want to say either Native River or Might Bite, but I don’t think we can rule out Presenting Percy either.
Featured Image H\T Cheltenham Borough Council. Displayed under Creative Commons.