Cheltenhem Festival is right around the corner, and with it, all the wonderful occurrences we see year in and year out, betting related and otherwise. Here are the 10 things you can count on happening once again, at Cheltenham Festival 2018.
Bookmaker’s representatives will claim prior to the start of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival that should the four ‘ good things ‘ oblige on the opening day they will suffer losses of eye-watering proportions. Getabird , Footpad , Buveur D’Air and Apple’s Jade are the 4 horses in question on this occasion and firms will be offering odds in the region of 25-1 that they go one better than in 2015 when the final flight fall of Annie Power in the final leg saved bookmakers a payout running into several millions.
In 2017 only five favourites obliged out of the twenty eight races. The biggest priced winner was Domesday Book at 40-1 with horses priced between 10-1 and 40-1 taking 50% of the contests.
Frugality is one thing few racegoers will be guilty of over the four days of the festival with most determined to have a good time irrespective of how their Cheltenham betting goes. The level of alcohol consumed during the festival is expected to be in the region of – 265,000 pints of Guinness – 25,000 bottles of Champagne – 120,000 bottles of wine – 125,000 pints of lager – 120,000 bottles of beer or cider. For those determined to stay on the wagon a massive 8,000 gallons of tea or coffee will be available.
Providing the great Irish jockey’s injury problems are behind him a record twelfth top jockey title is there for the taking with a full book of leading fancies almost guaranteed.
One Cheltenham Festival record that is likely to remain intact forever is that achieved by trainer Michael Dickinson who saddled the first five horses home in the 1983 Gold Cup. The winner Bregawn was ridden by Graham Bradley who rode Collier Bay to win the 1996 Champion Hurdle. The jockey was due to ride the strongly fancied Alderbrook but lost the ride due to missing work on the horse after his alarm clock failed to go off.
With less than six weeks to go before the 2018 Cheltenham Festival most trainers would like to wrap their intended runners in cotton wool as so much can go wrong between now and Tuesday 13th March. A minor setback, a bad scope or a runny nose are just a few minor things that can stop a horse from running and that includes any of the leading fancies as well as those turning up in hope rather than expectation. Which one will it be this year? Buveur D’Air – Altior – Footpad – Apple’s Jade – Samcro! Answers on a postcard…..
With the twenty eighth and final race about to take place at the festival most punters will find themselves on the losing side in their battle with the bookmakers. But one more opportunity exists to make that long journey home ( particularly for the Irish contingent ) more bearable leading to a wholesale gamble taking place on the ‘ buzz ‘ horse in the final race. In 2017 Le Prezien was heavily backed into 7-2 but could finish no better than eighth.
As the starter lets them go for the opening Sky Bets Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 361 days of anticipation since the previous festival will finally come to fruition as the Cheltenham Roar send the runners on their way, commencing another four days of the greatest national hunt racing in the world.
The one thing that is most likely to spoil the greatest celebration of jump racing is the weather. In 1978 when the festival was a three-day meeting the first two were run without any problems and none were anticipated on Gold Cup Thursday. As racegoers in Cheltenham awoke on that morning they were amazed to see the town covered in snow. The final day was abandoned and the card transferred to the April meeting. In 1987 The Gold Cup was won by The Thinker after the race had suffered a substantial delay due to snow showers. The final race was eventually run after 6.30pm.
As soon as the festival comes to a close the talk then turns to the following year. Will the winners of the championship contests return to defend their crowns or will those horses victorious in the novice events prove the next generation of jumping superstars? The discussion will continue for some time!