Cheltenham Prepares For FestivalMarch 6, 2014
Over 200,000 spectators will attend Cheltenham Festival next week for the four-day national hunt meeting where the best horses from the UK and Ireland takes each other on.
The Festival, as it is commonly known, attracts people from outside of the sport to attend a day’s racing. Generally, they enjoy it that much, they return the following year.
The atmosphere during Cheltenham is what most people remember from their visit to Prestbury Park. Race-goes are always in jubilant mood, whether they have backed a winner or not.
Irish racing fans play their part in the event as 10,000 make the trip across to England each year. Some have saved all year long just to be able to afford a weeklong stay in the town.
Each of the 27 races across the four days means so much to connections, whether it is the jockey, trainer or owners of the horse. The winning runner is cheered back to the enclosure by the packed crowd at the racecourse following each event.
Day one at Cheltenham is known as Champion Day and features the load roar of the crowd as the starter lets the tape go for the opening race of the week. The feature contest of the day is the Champion Hurdle, as the best of the 2m division jump hurdles around the course.
The following day has traditionally become known as Ladies Day. Not only does racing take place, but there are prizes for the best dressed women, among other fashion events throughout the afternoon.
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on day three, despite it being a couple of days earlier. Unsurprisingly, spectators tend to splash out on one or two pints of Guinness during the celebrations.
Finally, the best is saved until last as Cheltenham Gold Cup Day concludes the meeting. This features the blue riband event of the sport, the race that everybody in racing wants to win.