Truly the horse racing event of the season, soon thousands of racing fans will be flocking to Cheltenham to catch the racecourse’s titular event! A festival for many different types of racing fan- wagerers, ladies and families- the National Hunt Meeting is so popular as to be the second largest horse racing event in the UK, boasting twenty nine hurdle and fence races held over four exciting, nail biting days of action. Throughout Champion Day (10th March), Ladies Day (11th), St. Patrick’s Day (12th) and the Gold Cup Day (13th) punters and pundits alike will be trying their hardest to sort the winners from the losers, but what’s the current news on Cheltenham’s lineup of horses and jockeys?
Un De Sceaux
Racing great Tony Paley has already begun tipping Willie Mullins and the promising horse Un De Sceaux for a podium place on the Racing Post Arkle Trophy, and for good reason. The horse has jumped to the top of ante-post betting due to his amazing display at Fairyhouse in December, Mullins proving that he could saddle the novice horse to victory in the EBF Beginners Chase over 2m. Enthusiastic and energetic, this horse could be the one to watch.
Trained by Jessica Harrington, Irish contender Jezki is a contender for the Supreme Novices Hurdle that every racing lover should keep their eye on. Having recently achieved a Grade One success at Fairyhouse in December and a six length victory in Leopardstown’s Christmas Future Champions Novice Hurdle, the five year old Irish horse is already looking to be one of the front-runners.
Tipped by a number of bookmakers currently to be the winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdles at 4/1, six year old Bay Gelding Vautour already has a glittering career behind him. In eight lifetime runs the horse has come first seven times, smashing away the competition at last year’s Cheltenham festival- can they do it again this year?
For the unaware, the four main events at Cheltenham are the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, World Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup. For the first of these, contender Faugheen is being tipped by bookmakers as coming top in the results. The seven year old has a one hundred percent winning streak behind it, won the event last year and looks set to do it again. This horse could be a very good bet, but as always look out for The New One and Jezki, these two also being a pair of very strong contenders.
Although disappointing fans last year with his poor Champion Hurdle third place finish, Hurricane Fly has been away training with Willie Mullins over the past year, winning all four of his Irish races during that time. At 15/8- thanks to last year’s performance- this horse could be a rather lucrative choice!
Ten year old Bobs Worth is no stranger to success, having won ten and came second in two of his sixteen lifetime jumps. Last year him and B J Geraghty came in first place for the Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase, in 2012 came first in the event’s RSA Chase, and in 2011 won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle with flying colours. Tipped at 15/8 by Channel 4 Racing for a Gold Cup win, this could be the crowning year for Bobs Worth.