2017 Cheltenham Festival Preview

Horse Racing

Horse Racing

This year’s Cheltenham Festival takes place from March 14th to the 17th, and once again it has become the most highly anticipated horse-racing event of the year.


It’s a chance for every punter to make a handsome profit, or even lose a few quid, but the bookies will again be the real winners. Over the course of the festival, there is expected to be a minimum of €600 million changing hands from punters to bookmakers.


Last year’s festival proved to be a dramatic affair, with Douvan, Vroum Vroum Mag, Thistlecrack, Vautour, Annie Power and Sprinter Sacre performing to the best of their abilities to wrap up some very high-profile victories.


Nearly 12 months on, both Vautour and Sprinter Sacre have retired but, in Douvan, Vroum Vroum Mag, and Thistlecrack, you have real contenders to strike glory once again at Cheltenham.


However, it wouldn’t be Cheltenham without an upset over the course of the event. Altior, Cue Card, The New One and Unowhatimeanharry pose considerable threats to the field, and of course the bookies.


This year the award for the leading trainer will be hotly contested, most likely between Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Gordon Elliot and Paul Nicholls. Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty are again likely to battle it out as the front runners chasing the award for top jockey.


Each year, the Gold Cup is the race that draws the most attention, and this year will be no different. The 2017 Gold Cup will take place on Friday the 17th of March at 15:30. It is a Grade 1 chase and it will cover three miles and roughly two and a half furlongs for horses 5 years old and above.


Previous winners of the infamous cup include racing legends such as Don Cossack, Kauto Star, Imperial Commander and Best Mate. Thistlecrack is the pre-race favourite this year, but Native River and Djakadam are also in the mix.


The opening day of the Festival is many people’s favourite with three massive races for fans to discuss. Melon is the bookies favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, while there is nothing to separate Yorkhill and Buveur Dair, who are likely to contest the always enthralling Champion Hurdle.


The feature race on day two will be the Champion Chase. It is one of the season’s biggest races and always proves to be a massive race for punters. The big race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival in 2017 will of course be the excellent Ladbrokes World Hurdle. The stayers have their moment in the limelight on day three and it is already shaping up to be a cracking renewal.


The final day of the meeting features the Cheltenham Gold Cup and we are all waiting to see if Don Cossack can repeat his success of 2016, or will Coneygree bounce back and win the race for the second time. The Triumph Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Hurdle race are other exciting races on offer at Day Four of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.

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