The Prestbury Park course stages the most prestigious program of 27 National Hunt races spread over four days. During those four days reputations will be made and broken and the Champion Chaser and Hurdler will be crowned. Thousands will descend on the charming Gloucestershire town on the edge of the Cotswolds. There will be a strong Irish contingent that will cross the Irish Sea to watch the racing, bet and consume a vast quantity of Guinness stout. Another interesting race on the first day is the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase a race of just under 4 miles which is run mainly over a specially prepared course inside of the main course. This relatively new race has proved a popular addition to the Festival and is usually won by a horse from Ireland where these type of races are more common.
The Racing Festival is one of the most important meetings in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom and in Europe, and the prize money is second only to another very important festival, the Grand National. Many of the best English and Irish trained horses race against each other, in an event incomparable to other across the year. The festival takes place in March at Cheltenham Racecourse, in Cheltenham – Gloucestershire. The event coincides with a very popular Irish Holyday, thus giving Irish fans more reasons to celebrate. Very large amount of cash are gabled across the four days of the festival. It is estimated that the amount reaches hundreds of millions of pounds, and that is huge amount, showing the popularity of this festival.
There will be many more great Cheltenham Festival s for years to come, but they will do well to match the quality and excitement of 2011. Beside the attractions on the racetrack, the Cheltenham Festival brings attractions to the stands as well. As the first signs of spring appeared, a lot of ladies from the British high society, come and display their most precious pieces of wardrobe, for the delight of the fans. Starting with the shoes, matching the extravagant hats, then bright coats and don’t forget the make-up.
There are still some critics and concerns about the high numbers of injuries and fatalities to horses. Especially in 2006, that was a fatal year, with 11 dead horses during the festival. The organizers tried to limit these fatalities by decreasing the number of runners in certain races and re-sitting the most difficult fences, but some animal rights groups consider that this is not enough. I see this being very useful for those who don’t have unlimited time to study the form. At a glance you can see which horses can be ruled out and also which are the ones to consider as potential winners. It takes a lot of the mundane form study away and although simple to view.