Cheltenham Festival 2014 Preview
Some will argue that the Aintree meeting, with its Grand National climax is the highlight of the National Hunt Calendar but serious punters prefer the full four day excitement of the Cheltenham Festival. Whatever your opinion may be, there’s no doubt that Cheltenham provides more sustained excitement over a longer period of time.
There are always great memories to take back from the Festival with horses such as Desert Orchid forever etched into Cheltenham history while there can be some huge upsets, like the time Norton’s Coin romped home to take the Gold Cup in 1990 at an incredible 100/1.
But what can we expect from the Cheltenham Festival in 2014?
Tuesday 11th March 2014
Tuesday’s action sees seven races with the Stan James Champion Hurdle being the annual highlight. The horse to watch this year is two time winner Hurricane Fly who will be aiming to add a third success. Only a handful of horses have achieved that feat and only three have won this race as a ten year old.
The Champion Hurdle dominates the day but the six remaining races will offer plenty of opportunity to make a serious profit. They are the Supreme Novices Hurdle, Arkle Trophy, Festival Handicap Chase, Mare’s Hurdle, National Hunt Chase and Novices Handicap Chase.
Wednesday 12th March 2014
On Wednesday we will have an in-depth preview of the big race of the day, The BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase. Sadly for race goers, Sprinter Sacre has been ruled out of the festival and while we’ve been robbed of the chance to see one of the greatest ever jumpers, the market has opened up as a result of his unfortunate withdrawal.
In Sprinter Sacre’s absence, Sire de Grugy will become the new favourite after winning three times already this season in the Tingle Creek, Desert Orchid Chase and Clarence House Chase. Those victories contribute to a total of eight victories from 11 starts and clearly this is the horse to beat.
A busy Wednesday card continues with the Neptune Novices Hurdle, Coral Cup, RSA Chase, Cross Country Chase, Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle and the Champion Bumper.
Thursday 13th March 2014
Big Bucks’ run in Cheltenham 2012
Thursday’s big race is the Ladbroke’s World Hurdle and Annie Power is set to start as favourite after a late declaration from trainer Willie Mullins. Rider Ruby Walsh will be up against his former horse Big Buck’s who is likely to be the main challenger here.
Annie Power and Big Buck’s head the betting by some considerable margin and it’s widely believed that the result will be between these two.
If you’re not tempted to enter what could be a two horse race, there are plenty of alternatives taking place on Thursday including the JLT Novices Chase, Pertemps Final, Ryanair Chase, Byrne Group Plate and Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
Friday 14th March 2014
Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, or to give it its full title the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase is the highlight of the entire festival and a strong field has been declared ahead of this year’s event.
If the favourite Bob’s Worth comes home in first place, the horse will join an elite band of runners who have won this event on two occasions and early indications are that this is the one to beat. Elsewhere, it’s a packed field with 27 runners currently declared for the main event.
The Gold Cup is the pinnacle of the week’s racing but Friday hosts seven races in total including the Triumph Hurdle, County Hurdle, Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle, Foxhunter Chase and the Conditionals Handicap Hurdle before the week ends with the Grand Annual.
It promises to be a fascinating four days of racing and as Bet365 is one of the horse racing betting sites, they will be offering live streaming to their customers so you won’t have to miss a single race. Remember too to keep reading as we will be previewing each of the day’s big events throughout the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.