Cheltenham Festival Preview
There is no other sporting event in the world quite like the Cheltenham Festival.
The Champion Hurdle promises to kick the week off in style with the best of the British going head-to-head against a strong Irish raiding party. Hurricane Fly will bid to become the sixth horse to win a hat-trick of Champion Hurdles, but faces a new generation of crack hurdlers in defence of his crown.
Horses for courses is a phrase that carries importance when it comes to the Cheltenham Festival, and Bobs Worth, the reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, is strongly fancied to take his course record to a perfect six from six.
Injury means Sprinter Sacre won’t return for a shot at his second Champion Chase. But the absence of the ‘Black Aeroplane’ leaves the door open for a thrillingly-competitive clash featuring the exciting Sire De Grugy.
No longer does Big Buck’s dominate the staying division, and although the four-times champion is back to try to reclaim his title in the World Hurdle there are doubts that he still has all of his brilliance at the age of 11. Solwhit, last year’s winner, is also out through injury, so we could well have a new ruler of the World.
Aside from the championship races there are a wealth of competitive novice contests and handicaps which carry their own high level of prestige in what will undoubtedly be a full-throttle, adrenalin-pumping week of racing.