The Cheltenham festival is less than a week away as we all get ready for the equestrian jumping Olympics.
The Cheltenham races date back to 1860 however the Festival as we know it today started in 1911. The four big Championship races were added in different years.
Firstly the Gold Cup in 1924 followed by the Champion Hurdle in 1927. The Champion Chase now run in memory of the Queen Mother was added in 1959 and the Stayers Hurdle named as the World Hurdle was first run in 1972.
Frederick Cathcart was the man who established Cheltenham as the Festival of national hunt racing and there is a race named in his honour.
By 1960 the course fell in to an awful state of repair and was likely to be sold to developers for shops and housing. In stepped a banker by the name of Johnny Henderson who raised untold thousands for a trust to buy the course, have it totally refurbished and save it for racing.
I mean could you imagine a large housing estate and a Tesco on the wonderful Prestbury Park course. It goes to show there are a few good bankers amongst all the crooks.
Johnny Henderson was the father of top trainer Nicky Henderson and also has a race named in his honour and memory which Nicky likes to win a often as possible.
Next week we can expect 200,000 to visit the course over the four day period to enjoy the thrills and hopefully not to many spills.
Picking winners at Cheltenham is always a tough business and I find you can get bigger profits from finding each way selections rather than diving on to all the Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh hot pots.
The one I’m really looking forward to seeing is the New One in the Champion Hurdle who I thought was very unlucky in last years Champion Hurdle when badly hampered at a crucial stage. Sam and Nigel Twiston-Davies maintain he is the fastest they have trained between A and B and I expect him to power up the hill and beat the Mullins jolly to the cheers of all the locals.
Today’s racing looks very average by comparison however there are a couple I fancy at Kemptons evening meeting. I had intended putting up a 50/1 shot as Howies Hottie but after a dismal run I have decided to go for a shorter selection and save the long shot for my paying subscribers
The tip goes in the 8.45 Kempton and is Gold Club who was badly hampered last time yet was noted still running on strongly in the final furlong. With better luck in running he is entitled to go very close in the final race of the evening.
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EYECATCHERS – 2 more winners last week with Soll and Monsieur Chevalier.
Stun Gun trainer D.Shaw – Has been staying on very strongly in his last two races and perhaps a mile plus will suit.
Black Iceman trainer Lydia Pearce – Running well at distances beyond 12 furlongs and if returned to the shorter trip he should get his head in front again.
Sirens Cove trainer J.Tate – A Sir Percy filly who needs stepping up in trip to be seen at her best.
Verse Of Love trainer D.Evans – Ran well at Lingfield when held up finishing in 4th place. This horse is far better when allowed to bowl along or race prominently. This is where inside info or knowing the trainer comes in handy.
Promanco trainer C.Longsdon – The mare ran a promising race on her hurdling debut and will strip fitter for the outing when next racing.
Back next Wednesday have a good week and be lucky.