The Crowds Are Ready To Roar, The Horses Are Ready To Run – Cheltenham Festival 15-18 March 2022
The best horses from Britain and Ireland come together to do battle in the Cotswolds when for the four days of the Cheltenham Festival there are no small races – just big races, and bigger races! Follow your deams and beleave your hunches Cheltenham Festival Betting
Hundreds of millions of pounds are bet over the course of the festival and the atmosphere is captured by the ‘Cheltenham roar’ referring to the noise that the crowd makes as the starter raises the tape for the first race of the festival.
This year Cheltenham, often referred to as the highlight of the National Hunt season, co-incides as it often does with St Patrick’s Day and will no doubt draw a huge crowd, including many Irish visitors celebrating being back at Cheltenham following the pandemic.
Originating in 1860, the Cheltenham Festival was first held in Market Harborough. Then, having been held at several courses over the first few years, it returned to Prestbury Park in Cheltenham in 1911 and has remained there ever since.
Originally a three-day festival, in 2005 a fourth day was introduced in order that there would be a one championship race on each day, culminating with the Gold Cup on the Friday. There are now 28 races in total across the four-day festival.
Unlike other top flat racing events in Great Britain and Ireland, the Cheltenham Festival tends to attract predominantly home bred horses rather than international contenders although some French-trained horses have done well in the past.
The Cheltenham festival is second only to the Grand National in terms of prize money and features a number of Grade 1 races including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion chase and Stayers’ Hurdle.
The Grade 1 Jump or Championship races are the finest display of skill and daring in a National Hunt race meeting. Grade 1 races attract the biggest crowds, the biggest prizes and the best contenders. So, what are the highlights of this year’s Cheltenham Festival?
Champions Day – Tuesday 15th March
The festival opens with the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle race, Supreme Novices Hurdle Betting. This looks likely to be a very strong opening race, particularly for the Irish racegoers, in Sir Gerhard following his six-length win at the Dublin racing festival. Race outsiders’ worth considering might be Mighty Potter or My Mate Mozzie.
In the second race of the day, Sporting Life Arkle, Arkle Betting, the favourite might be one for the British with a strong contender in Edwardstone. And Coeur Sublime might be the dark horse in this race.
In the Championship race of the day, the Champion Hurdle at 15.30, Champion Hurdle Betting, a clear favourite is Honeysuckle who will be hard to beat. If, however you are looking for a suitable outsider then maybe think about Quilixos who hasn’t yet reached full potential.
Also worth mentioning is that the final race on Tuesday’s opening day will be run as the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Chase in response to the humanitarian crisis arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ladies Day – Wednesday 16th March
Look out for Bravemansgame in the second race on Ladies Day, the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase. This horse may well give the Irish a run for their money with trainer Paul Nicholls having total faith in the horse. However, an Irish contender that may upset the betting could be Gaillard Du Mesnil who is improving all the time.
The big race of the day at 15.30 is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting, with Chacun Pour Soi a previous favourite now losing out to Shiskin and Energumene in the betting odds. Funambule Sivola might also be worth thinking about.
St Patrick’s Day – Thursday 17th March
Boosted by the Irish roars and the Guinness, Ryanair Chase the second race of the day looks like it might be a back-to-back double by Wille Mullins trained Allaho. A second Mullins trained horse, Janidil, might also be good for an outsider bet.
Following the Irish theme of the day, next up is the Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle championship race. Likely to be an open race with last year’s winner Flooring Porter maybe just snatching it from Klassical Dream. Sporting John might be the dark horse of the race.
Gold Cup Day – Friday 18th March
And so, to the race of the festival, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting. With £625k of prize money up for grabs this race looks set to be dominated once more by Irish runners. Whilst Minella Indo will bid to win a second consecutive Gold Cup at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, it is fellow stable mate A Plus Tard who might prove the most difficult to beat. One that might go under the radar and therefore worth a punt is British trained Protektorat.
Cheltenham 2022 will be a very special place this year, back to its full glory and with the crowd roaring to full capacity. Enjoy the festival!