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Mindenao, Phillipines, might be the place to go if you want to see horse fighting, but the Cheltenham Festival is the biggest and best horse racing festival in the world.
Because of the sport’s Irish roots – and because the racing usually coincides with St Patrick’s Day – a lot of Irish horses and spectators turn up. It is held over over four days and features eleven Grade One races (ie the top level of race) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the Friday is the most prestigious Jump race in the world. The Grand National may be more famous but the horses who compete in the Gold Cup will be the best horses. The start of the first race is marked by a lot of noise from spectators, known as the Cheltenham Roar.The Cheltenham Festival is home to four of the biggest races in national hunt racing – the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the World Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle.
Five reasons why Cheltenham rocks.
1. It is perfectly acceptable to start the day by drinking champagne/cava/prosecco for breakfast on the train.
2. It is extremely unfashionable when you arrive at Cheltenham Spa station if you don’t stop in the station pub for a beer.
3. You get such a great mix of people – from incredibly friendly Irish racing enthusiasts to amusingly posh country folk in tweed jackets and raspberry coloured cords – that it feels like a very special day out.
4. It’s usually really sunny and a great place to be outdoors in March.
5. You are guaranteed to see some of the finest races the sport has to offer. What other sport brings you the best it has for only £22 ticket price?
Tuesday is Champion Hurdle Day.
Hurdles are mall fences – up to 3 1/2 ft high, generally made of thin bits of wood you can push over. The races tend to run from 2 miles to 3.5 miles.
The Champion Hurdle is for the best hurdlers in the sport. Hurricane Fly is the big favourite.
Don’t forget you can open an account with Coral and get some fanatastic free bet offers all week!. More info on Coral offers and tips for Tuesday coming right up in the morning…
These show how likely it is for the horse to win the race.If you are at the track thet are usually in the form of a fraction – eg 5-1Which would mean the bookmaker think it has got 5 times as many chances of losing as winning.”Evens” – means its got as good a chance of winning as losing1-5 means it is thought to be very likely to win. (five times as likely to win as lose)The favourite is the horse that the bookies/people think has most chance of winning. He will have the shortest odds.
e.g if you bet five pounds to win at 5-1 – if it wins you win 5 x 5 pounds – 25 pounds – plus the fiver that you bet (or “staked”) back
Each way – You can bet on a horse to finish in the first three of the race – you get 1/4 of the oddse.g if you bet five pounds each way on a 8-1 horse. you have to give over ten pounds total – 5 pounds which backs it to win, and 5 pounds to back it for a place(In some races you will win an each way bet if the horse finishes fourth or fifth – it depends on the number of horses in the race.)
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